When it comes to the festive season, those of us in the northern hemisphere drew the short straw. Sure, we get magical white Christmases, mulled wine and snowmen, but we also get stuck wearing party dresses in subzero temperatures. This year, as always, we’ll put on a brave face, slip on an outfit that’s designed for warmer climes, and of course, invest in the ultimate accessory to any Christmas party outfit. Golden, glowing skin. 

Achieving the perfect fake tan isn’t always easy, but the products you use can make a world of difference. A quality self-tanning skin care product will hydrate and nourish your skin, leaving it smooth, bronzed and more even. Whether you’re entirely new to tanning or are a seasoned professional, the collection below includes everything you need to get ready for the festive season. 

Gradual or instant? Face or body? Dark or light? Check out these five standout products for an all-over glow that puts Rudolph’s to shame.

Best All Rounder: Nip + Fab Faux Tan Luminize Body Serum 

Nip + Fab have gained a loyal following of beauty enthusiasts over the years thanks to their award-winning range of targeted skincare products. So, it will come as no surprise that their faux tan serum is the must-have item this festive season.

With a lightweight texture that can be used on either your body or face, Nip + Fab Faux Tan Luminize Body Serum contains moisturising ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. These compounds plump and smooth for more youthful, hydrated skin and, in just eight hours, leave you with an even golden tan.

Best Buildable Tan: Skinny Tan Gradual Tanner

Gradual tanner is the perfect way to introduce yourself to the world of tanning. Designed to deepen in colour the more you apply it, the formulation minimises the risk of going overboard. While other products can transition your skin from ivory to mahogany in one sitting, Skinny Tan Gradual Tanner gives you full control over your desired result. 

The vegan-friendly body butter is made with 99% naturally derived ingredients which nourish and condition your skin while giving it a healthy glow. Apply daily to build the perfect depth of tan with no streaks or patchiness. 

Best Fast Results: Cocoa Brown Original 1 Hour Tan Mousse Dark 

Gradual tanning products are great when you’ve got the luxury of time, but sometimes you need results and you need them now. When time is of the essence, Cocoa Brown Original 1 Hour Tan Mousse is the answer to your prayers. Rapid tanning ingredients accelerate the development of a gorgeous bronzed glow in as little as one hour. 

With its Tahitian gardenia scent,  natural shade and vegetable derived formulation, this rapid-tanning mousse is easy to apply and suitable for even sensitive skin. Let it develop for one hour for a dark bronzed glow, or three hours for an intense result. Then, enjoy until the results fade in 5-7 days.

Best Quick Dry: L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self Tan Express Mist Spray

If applying your tan with a mitt often ends in disaster, L’Oreal has just the thing for you. L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self Tan Express Mist Spray is an easy-to-apply self-tan with a revolutionary application system that eliminates the need for endless rubbing. 

The secret to streak-free results comes from the ultra-wide spray applicator which uniformly expels micro-fine tanning particles over the skin. These particles dry instantly, without the need for rubbing. So, if you’re a bit of a butterfingers, or just want a fool-proof way to achieve flawless results, this is the tanning solution for you.

Best For Face: SOSU by SJ Dripping Gold Wonder Water Tanning Face Mist

In summer you can get away with ditching the foundation in favour of natural, sun-kissed skin, but in winter it’s a different ballgame. Pale, lacklustre skin leaves you looking washed out, but now there’s an alternative to full-face makeup. 

SOSU by SJ Dripping Gold Wonder Water Tanning Face Mist is a facial tanner designed to give you a boost of radiance throughout the winter. The hydrating mist is infused with vitamin E and gives your face a filter-like golden glow in 4-8 hours. Allow the spray to dry before applying makeup or going to sleep, then enjoy your natural bronzed glow.

From party season to family selfies, this list has all your tanning needs covered.  


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