How-to Tuesday: Fake a Tan

The reality of summer is that we all get too busy with jobs and internships, so the number of days at the beach are limited. And as the school year begins, we are lacking the glowing tan that use to be a back-to-school staple. That’s where fake tanning products come in. The key to a great fake tan is affordability and a great color payoff. Spray tans tend to be quick and easy, but also pricey. Self tanners require a little more work on your part, but tend to be way more affordable than a weekly spray tan. But the most affordable products for a tan come from the drugstore.

Here’s a guide to the best spray tan places in the NYU area and the highest reviewed self tanning products, from high-end to drugstore buys.

Spray Tans

Future Tan’s Tanning Spa

53 Greenwich Ave.

Take a ten minute walk from Washington Square Park to a relaxing full service tanning salon. They usually charge $79 per tan, but right now they are offering a buy one get one free deal for new customers. And perfect for college students, they are open until midnight.

Beach Bum

50 E 15th St.

Beach Bum is a local chain that offers services other than tanning including massages and a sauna. They charge $31 for a one time use in their spray tanning booths or offer a $99 per month deal for unlimited tanning.

Sugared and Bronzed

114 4th Ave.

Sugared and Bronzed is a modern studio that specializes in tans and sugaring. It is the most affordable option in the area with a deal for new customers: 2 tans for the price of one — $39.

Self Tans

St. Tropez’s Self Tan Untinted Classic Mousse applies clear to create a long lasting tan. It is priced at $42 or $6.26 an ounce. It’s recommend to buy the brand’s mitt as well to assure a streakless application, and that is only an extra $6.50.

Kate Somerville offers Somerville 360° Tanning Towelettes. You get 8 towelettes for $48 or $6 for a mess free, natural tan.

Clinique Self Sun Body Tinted Lotion acts as a normal lotion that leaves a bronzy tone. The lotion gives a nice, even tan for only $25 at $5.95 an ounce. It is also oil-free and comes in two shades light/medium and medium/dark.

Cheap Tans

Jergens is a drugstore favorite when it comes to tanning. Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer is a subtle development of color over a couple of days while also moisturizing your skin with Vitamin E. It comes in two colors Fair to Medium and Medium to Tan. Target offers 6 ounces of product for $8.49, or the cheapest $1.42 an ounce.

Jergens also offers a quicker option with its Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse that claims it dries in only 60 seconds. It also comes in two colors: Light or Deep Bronze. It is slightly more pricey at $11.99 for 6 ounces.

If you are looking for a cheaper dupe for the Kate Somerville towelettes check out L’Oreal Paris’s Self-Tanning Body Towelettes. They are only $8.59 for a six count or $1.43 per towelette.

Regardless on how you choose to look like you just got back from the Bahamas, be careful to not turn out like Ross in the Friends episode “The One With Ross’ Tan.”

Krista Burton is a contributing writer. Email her at


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