I used to be a walking—er, lying—stereotype: As a native New Jerseyan, I spent most of my summers slathering on dark tanning oil (you know, the bottle with the flowers on it and an impressive SPF of 4), lying out in the hot sun with the intention of baking my skin to a golden brown crisp. I’m not proud of it.
But with age comes wisdom, as they say, and I cut that shit out the moment I learned about skin cancer—and the fact that you only need, like, five minutes of sun to get a full day’s worth of vitamin D. But getting a good faux tan isn’t a walk in the park, either. To help you narrow down your search, we culled 10 of the best self-tanning lotions, mousses, and sprays that won’t leave you streaky, orange, or smelling faintly burnt. Oh, and hot tip: If you opt for a mousse, make sure you wear a tanning mitt, lest you want your tinted palms to give you away. Our favorite formulas for a believable faux-tan, ahead.