I Tested 7 Instant Self Tanners To Find The Best

Want that summertime glow, but only for a night? It's completely achievable! There are several instant and temporary self-tanners out there that give you an incredible glow without the commitment. Whether you want to avoid the sun forever, or simply need a tan for one night only, there is a product out there for you. Temporary bronzing agents are perfect for those who want the glow, but don't want the hassle of streaking or fading, since they tend to be easier to blend. It's amazing. You can get achieve a deep, rich tan, and then wash it away in the shower. No commitment whatsoever.

Most temporary self-tanners only last for about 24 hours, and can wash off sooner in the shower with whatever body wash or soap and water you use on a daily basis. This means that you don't have to worry about any embarrassing streaks or clothing stains — any mistakes will wash away easily. For those of us who've wisened up to the dangers of tanning beds and unprotected sun exposure, but still love the look of a glow in the summer these are a dream come true. No more awkward self-tanner patches or discoloration; you can show off your self-tanned legs with pride. Looking for a temporary self-tanner that will work best for you? Here are a few of my favorites.

For Beginners: St. Tropez One Night Only Wash Off Face & Body Lotion

St. Tropez One Night Only, $18, Sephora

Let's get one thing straight: This stuff is absolutely amazing. Every time I wear it, someone asks what tropical destination I've been jetting off to. It's incredible, especially because it's so easy to use. You apply the formula to your hands as you would a lotion, and buff into your skin in downward strokes. Make sure to blend everything for a streak-free finish, and you're done! As always with any tanning products, make sure to wash your hands afterwards. I never noticed any orange palms with this stuff, but I'm a freak about washing my hands after applying products anyway.

This product comes in two shades: Light/Medium and Medium/Dark. In the picture above, I'm wearing the light/medium shade, which you can see provides a super natural-looking glow. However, I've been using the medium/dark shade as well for when I want a deeper tan, which still doesn't when I wear the deeper shade, it still just looks like I spent some time in the sun. No orange glow here! Make sure to let this stuff dry for a few minutes after applying. I didn't notice any rub off, but it does have a lotion-like feel after it's applied.

For All-Over Powder Bronzer: Laura Geller Baked Body Frosting

Laura Geller Baked Body Frosting, $41, Nordstrom

Want a glow from head-to-toe? Then you need this in your life. The Laura Geller Baked Body Frosting is spectacular for those who want to add some color without using any lotions or aerosol products. Use the puff that is included to buff the product anywhere that you would like a little extra glow. The results are incredible.

This may look subtle in the photo, but this product builds up like a dream. One of my favorite aspects of this bronzer is that you can layer it. One layer looks as if you have a slight glow, while a few layers gives you an all-out tan.

For Your Face: The Body Shop Honey Bronze Tinted Face Gel

Honey Bronze Tinted Face Gel, $20, Amazon

There are two ways that I like to use this product. The first is by mixing it in with my everyday foundation. This gives me a natural glow to my foundation without getting that dreaded line of bronzer demarcation on your chin. The second way I use this is as a gel bronzer. Take the tiniest bit onto your fingertips, and blend under your cheekbones and towards your temples. I love doing this for when I want glow that lasts a bit longer than your usual powder bronzer.

The image above shows how the product looks when it first squeezed out of the tube as well as how it looks once it's blended in. This products gel consistency is great for the face as it doesn't feel too heavy or sticky.

For Those With Pale Skin: Bliss Hide & Glow Sleek Tinted Body Spray in Fair/Medium

Bliss Hide & Glow Sleek Spray, $29, Amazon

This aerosol formula is amazing for those with pale skin who's looking for more of a luminous boost than a full-on fake tan. It adds an incredible sheen where applied without looking too shimmery. I absolutely love the smell of this product as well; It smells almost fruity with a hint of caramel.

Above you can see how the product looks when it is first applied compared to when it is blended it. My only downside of this product was that it was a little too light for my skin tone, which made it act more as a blurring product than a self-tanner. However, those with even fairer complexions will absolutely love this stuff.

For Quick Application: The Body Shop Honey Bronze Tinted Leg Mist

Honey Bronze Tinted Leg Mist, $25, Amazon

Need a quick tan? This stuff is for you! Apply a generous coating to the areas you want tan, and blend in. This stuff takes about a minute to dry, and then doesn't budge until you wash it off. It's great for those who want a quick tan, but don't want to wait all day for it to dry.

Also, I love that this stuff has very little glitter or shimmer. A lot of self-tanners add in shimmer in order to "get the glow," which can lead to some unfortunate '90s middle school makeup vibes. This product is very thin in consistency. It sprays in quick bursts, so focus on one area at a time when applying in order to avoid any streaks. This stuff is great at giving you a medium to deep tan when applied properly.

For Blurring Imperfections: Urban Decay Naked Skin Body Beauty Balm

Urban Decay Beauty Balm, $34, Sephora

Have any bumps or discoloration that you want to cover up? The Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm is perfect for when you want to blur away any imperfections. I apply this to my legs when I want to conceal any veins or bruises. It covers like a dream without looking like makeup.

The product is a deep yellow champagne color that has enough pigmentation to cover imperfections. My only fault with this product is its single shade: While it looks great on those with pale to deeper medium skin tones, those with deeper skin tones will be let down by the lack of color selection. However, you need to take note of the smell. It's divine! This product smells like vanilla and caramel, so it almost doubles as a scented lotion.

For Intense Results: Caudalíe Divine Legs Tinted Body Lotion

Caudalíe Divine Legs, $38, Sephora

There are not enough words to describe my love for this product. It definitely gives the deepest tan out of all the products on this list. The Caudalíe Divine Legs is just that: divine. It has a beautiful shimmer, and looks amazing on every skin tone. This stuff is absolutely worth the money if you want a gorgeous glow.

Above is the product when it is first pumped out of the bottle compared to how it looks when it is rubbed into the skin. This product has such an intense color payoff, yet washes away easily in the shower.

Overall, I'd say I'm officially a temporary glow convert. Sorry, spray tans! You've been replaced.

Images: Emily McClure (15)