how to fake a tan—and get away with it
the cool girl's guide to faking it
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Picture Jane Birkin’s eye-dusting fringe, flared denim, and easy tees. Or Brigitte Bardot’s tousled hair, bikinis, and St. Tropez tan. Eternally on point, right? Time may march on, but true style stays the same age. Even though we know better than to tan the old-fashioned way, like Bardot famously did, or even take it indoors—a JAMA Dermatology report released this month confirmed that indoor tanning dropped from 11.3 to 8.6 percent among 19- to 20-year-old women between 2010 and 2013—we can’t help but pine for that full-body, golden-skinned glow.
But faking a tan that doesn’t look, well, dated, is crazy challenging (just ask the ubiquitous orange-hued party girls of 2003). Achieving a natural-looking, sun-kissed tan without the sun requires thoroughly modern products and a Jedi battle plan. This summer, we’re bypassing this year’s sure-to-look-dated #sunburnart tanning trend and going for an authentic sunless tan that not only carries us into fall, but becomes a part of our timeless style, thanks to these tanning tips from beauty’s biggest experts.