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Simone Gannon: Four great lazy-girl tanning products. No mess, fuss, or tutorial-watching required

Look no further for great tan products for a low-stress faux glow

My skill level when it comes to self-tanning can be described in three words: not very good. Over the years, I have unintentionally transformed myself into an orange-hued, streaky mess more times than I’d like to admit.

That said, I am nothing if not enthusiastic about improving my faux tan skills and finding products that do most of the work for me. Lazy-girl tanning, if you will.

While the products I recommend in this piece all deliver excellent, natural-looking results with skin-loving benefits, what initially sold them to me was their blissful ease of application. No mess, fuss, or tutorial-watching required – just a gorgeous, easy, natural-looking glow.

For me, there are four categories of tanning: the quick and easy wash-off option that can be applied before a special event or occasion; the foolproof developing tan that delivers a natural finish and stays put for several days; the tan-enhancing dry oil that can be used on holidays or over existing tan when you really want to turn heads; and the wash-off tan drops that bronze up your complexion in a hurry.


The wash-off option

When I need to tan my legs, arms, or ankles quickly, my go-to product is Sculpted by Aimee Body Base Instant Tan (€21 from Available in matt and shimmer variations, this lightweight, almost dry-cream formula glides on to the skin and sets in seconds. No stickiness, no streaks – just smooth, even tan that looks as good as it feels, thanks to its hyaluronic acid and shea butter-infused formula. I recommend applying it with a tanning mitt or the brand’s excellent Deluxe Tanning Brush (€19).

The foolproof developing tan

For the past two years, I have exclusively used one developing tan: St Tropez Luxe Body Serum (€41.99 from My commitment to this product boils down to two things: it feels akin to a lovely, hydrating bodycare product rather than a traditional tan, and it doesn’t need to be washed off. Yes, you read that right. This is a developing tan that doesn’t need to be washed off. Once applied, it dries in less than a minute and gradually transforms into a natural, medium-light tan over the course of several hours, leaving the skin looking and feeling soft and hydrated. It’s a perfect 10 on the lazy-girl tanning scale.

When an existing tan needs to be brought back to life, I love nothing more than a tan-enhancing dry oil. Partial for many years to Nuxe Multi-Purpose Gold Shimmer Dry Oil (€41.95 for 100ml from, it has recently been replaced in my affections by the infinitely more affordable Bare by Vogue Golden Shimmer Dry Oil (€29 for 150ml from Meaghers Pharmacy). Adding a subtle, streak-free shimmer to the skin, this deliciously scented dry oil can be applied with hands in seconds, leaving behind a healthy, sun-kissed, shimmery glow.

The complexion bronzing drops

I’m not a fan of using developing tan on my face. Instead, I prefer instant wash-off options that don’t interfere with the balance of my skin. My current favourite product within this category, one I have repurchased several times over the last 18 months, is Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops (€39 from Boots). Simply mix a few drops with your moisturiser or foundation of choice, and watch as an instant, bronzed glow appears (don’t forget to apply to your neck, too).

This week I’m visiting ... the Trinny London stand at Brown Thomas

Yes, it’s finally happened! Trinny London is now officially available in Ireland. Created by the entrepreneurial powerhouse Trinny Woodall, this much-loved multi-use brand can now be found at Brown Thomas on Grafton Street. Explore the brand’s range of stackable make-up pots, brilliant bases (the BFF De-Stress Tinted Serum is a standout), and award-winning skincare products.