By Krista Bennett DeMaio, REDBOOK
We spend a lot of time reminding you to stay out of the sun, but that doesn't mean we want your skin to look pasty and blah. We're all for radiance, even a little tan, as long as you get it the safe way - that is, from a compact, a cream, or a bottle. Check out these bright ideas for the best spray tan or faux glow that money can buy.
1. Skin sloughers: Get a quick brightening boost by peeling away the dull stuff at skin's surface using an AHA such as glycolic acid. New at-home peels get pretty close to the results you'd expect from in-office versions. Try Brazilian Peel, $78 for four weekly treatments, which has a whopping 30-percent glycolic-acid peel and a self-neutralizer that gradually deactivates the acid over a 10-minute period.
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2. Smarter self-tanners: The latest self-tanners are made to suit your every need: For more moisture, try Hawaiian Tropic Island Radiance Sunless Tanning, $9, shown, with shea, mango, and cocoa butters to soften skin for up to 12 hours. For an on-the-go glow, try Brownberry Clear Sunless Tanning Spray, $55, a clear spray that allows you to shower or swim after just 30 minutes without messing up your soon-to-develop tan!
3. Illuminating facials: The celebrity secret to looking glowy on the red carpet? LED treatments. "They stimulate the skin and increase circulation," says Lea Eigard of Lea Advanced Skincare in Beverly Hills, CA. "When you bring blood flow to the skin, you immediately see a radiance." Most LED treatments include a red light to stimulate collagen and a blue light to oxygenate skin. Eigard takes it up a notch by using five different colors. She suggests at least three treatments; hers cost $200 and up.
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4. Powder bronzers: To create a temporary tan with makeup, dust a bronzer all over your face and neck. The newest powders are packed with antiaging ingredients and botanicals. Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Bronzer, $39, includes antioxidant goji berries and pure gold, as well as amino acids, a peptide, and minerals. Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Pressed Shimmer Bronzer, $15, shown, includes botanicals that moisturize skin and vitamins C and E to naturally boost skin's radiance.
5. A touch of tan: Missed a spot? Fill in tacky tan lines or mistakes (from self-tanners or the sun) with The Tanee Tan Line Corrector, $6.99. The pocket-size tube has a slim, sponge-tip applicator so you can easily apply the self-tanning formula only where you need it.
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6. Adjustable body bronzers: This might look like a regular powder bronzer, but the baked, marbleized powder of Laura Geller Beauty Ingenuity Baked Body Frosting in Tahitian Glow, $40, shown, lets you customize your level of glow. Dust it dry on your shoulders and décolletage for a hint of color, or apply it wet with the included puff for more intense, allover coverage.
7. One-day tanners: Bronzed today, gone tomorrow. When you can't commit to a sunless tanner, try a wash-off body bronzer that's transfer-resistant (so the color stays on your skin, not on your clothes), such as L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze One Day, $10.50, shown, or St. Tropez Wash Off Body, $20.
8. Skin brighteners: Sometimes you want an "I just had lunch outside" flush instead of an "I just spent six hours at the beach" tan. Try a bronzer-brightener - a bronzer mixed with pink or peach tones - like Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Exotic Bronzing Blush, $35.
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9. Liquid luminizers: Real glow is created by light bouncing off your skin. Help that process along by applying a light-reflecting cream highlighter to the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, your brow bone, and your collarbone. Try Clarins Instant Smooth Compact Highlighter in Natural, $32.
10. Pro glow: For the most flawless tan, hit the booth. No, not that one: Mystic Tan's new HD booth offers souped-up sunless tanning. After you choose your desired shade (from barely bronzed to tropically tanned), an airbrush nozzle mists on the formula and continuously blows warm air. So when the two-minute spray is done, you're already dry. For locations, visit mystictan.com.
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Permissions: Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.