City Style: Glow Getters

By Rachel Baker | Boston Magazine |

Feeling pasty but unsure which self-tanner to choose? In pursuit of sun-kissed perfection, we brave orange ankles to test new potions and old standbys.


You’ve been fantasizing about beach weather since before Thanksgiving. But now that things are actually heating up, the thought of putting your sallow skin on display makes you nostalgic for a nor’easter. We’ve tried a slew of faux-tan creams, gels, and mousses to let you skip the experimenting and go straight for the bronze.

1. Lancôme Flash Bronzer Glow ’n Wear
The new formula didn’t rub off on clothes and gave us a pronounced glow in just a few applications. $29.50, Neiman Marcus, Copley Place, 617-536-3660, neimanmarcus.com. Orange Factor: 3

2. Bobbi Brown Sunless Tanning Gel for Face and Body
It’s easy to make mistakes with this clear gel, but if applied with care it yields a golden hue that’s worth the extra minutes. $30, Barneys New York, Copley Place, Boston, 617-385-3300, barneys.com. Orange Factor: 2

3. Anthony Logistics for Men Self-Tanner with Anti-Aging Complex
This sweet-smelling, simple-to-use facial cream was created for guys with limited faux-tanning experience, but it’s powerful enough for seasoned gals, too. $28, Sephora, Prudential Center, Boston, 617-262-4200, sephora.com. Orange Factor:: 1

4. Kiehl’s Sun-Free Self-Tanning Formula
Take your time with this deceptively light body lotion: When put on haphazardly, the quick-drying formula can leave stripes. $22.50, Kiehl’s, 112 Newbury St., Boston, 617-247-1777, kiehls.com. Orange Factor: 3

5. Chanel Perfect Colour Body Self-Tanner
Available in two colors, golden and bronze, this product darkens in stages and has a surprisingly pleasant scent. $45, Chanel, 5 Newbury St., Boston, 617-859-0055, chanel.com. Orange Factor: 3

6. Clarins Concentré Teinté Auto-Bronzant Intense
Applied with a cotton ball, the newest gel from the self-tanning experts at Clarins glides on for a deep yet natural-looking result. $28.50, Saks Fifth Avenue, Prudential Center, 617-262-8500, saks.com. Orange Factor: 1

7. Orlane Paris Anti-Wrinkle Self-Tanner
Thick and unscented, this face and body cream delivers subtle color while keeping mature skin from appearing leathery. $100, Neiman Marcus, Copley Place, 617-536-3660, neimanmarcus.com. Orange Factor: 1

8. Estée Lauder Body Performance Golden Naturally Radiant Moisturizer
Built-in hydration prevents flaking and helps to boost the staying power of this gradually darkening lotion. $35, Saks Fifth Avenue, Prudential Center, 617-262-8500, saks.com. Orange Factor: 2

9. Origins The Great Pretender
Porcelain dolls, be warned: Intense and dark tinted, this translucent gel treatment is better for olive skin tones. $17.50, Origins, 8 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-868-8090, origins.com. Orange Factor: 4

10. Clinique Self-Sun Body Quick Bronze Tinted Self-Tanner Mousse
This fast-drying foam produces a bright, if streaky, effect. $17.50, Bloomingdale’s, The Mall at Chestnut Hill, 617-630-6000, bloomingdales.com. Orange Factor: 3

Orange key
1. A perfect fake
2. Likes sun, loves carrots
3. Lindsay Lohan, sunny-side up
4. Oompa-Loompa