Christie Brinkley and Ashley Graham Have This Self-Tanner Secret in Common

If there's anyone you can trust for beauty recommendations that make you look like a sun-kissed, golden fragment of living bliss, it's Christie Brinkley. The supermodel's been a joyful global presence since the '70s, and over the years she's amassed a library's worth of beauty secrets — and she just shared a few of them on Instagram.

"Scroll thru to see my favorite products I'm using on this trip that will protect you from the sun, tan you like the sun, and repair you from the sun," Brinkley captioned a shot of herself with a lineup of all-star skincare products. "I love my @sblabeauty! And I really need it as I didn't do enough to protect myself from the sun when I was young. So please protect your skin with #spf everyday! 🌝🌞🌕😘" 

Coming from one of the original beach babes, the compliment of saying that a product  "tans you like the sun" without risking skin damage cannot be overstated. Obviously I clicked through her recommendations post-haste and found that while trends and settings may change, seemingly all supermodels and celebrities rely on one tried-and-true tanner: St. Tropez's Classic Self Tan Bronzing Mousse.

Shop now: $42; amazon.com

Ashley Graham is another recent celeb to proclaim her love for the iconic self-tanning brand, joining bold names like Kim Kardashian, Margot Robbie, Emily Ratajkowski, Gigi Hadid, and now Brinkley in the St. Tropez fold (just another thing Graham and Brinkley have in common). Amazon shoppers also think the tanner is well worth it: The formula has just shy of 7,000 five-star ratings, and dozens of before-and-after photos in the reviews demonstrate the stunning, Oscar statue-esque glow it imparts. 

"My favorite self-tanner I have ever used. I have used MANY different kinds, and this brand far exceeds expectations," one self-proclaimed aficionado wrote. "It is the most real-looking tan and has absolutely no hint of 'orange'… You are left with the perfect sun-kissed tan. I have purchased this product over five times, and have had no issues with it. No one can tell it's fake tanner." 

Former tanning salon employees say it's the best source of a "gorgeous, faux summer tan," since the application is virtually foolproof (especially if you use a tanning mitt). That's thanks to the formula's subtle greenish tinge, which balances out any unwanted red-orange tones and makes the result look uncannily natural — even on people with "beyond fair and pasty" skin. Those with darker skin tones, too, say it makes their skin look glorious. And when something earns a happy sign-off from both Irish and Italian people, well, take that tanner to the UN. 

I personally used the self-tanner through the tan-obsessed aughts, so I can attest that — even for an inexperienced novice — it was incredibly difficult to mess up. Shake the bottle, squirt a couple pumps onto the mitt, run it over the desired areas, wait five minutes for it to dry, and head to bed. Upon waking to miraculously unstained sheets, hop in the shower to wash off the excess, and go about your day looking like you just stepped off a plane from any tropical locale that'll take an American right now.   

The thing that truly makes the St. Tropez formula worth $42, though, is how long it lasts (and the delightful absence of a malodorous scent). Some shoppers report a single use lasting from five to seven days, while others say they can squeak it to nine days before reapplying for maintenance, since it fades evenly and without a splotch in sight. 

With rising vaccine availability, people will soon be outside again (happy tear). If you, too, are eager to shed any lockdown reminders, grab your self-tanner, bronzer, and spring dress — we're going outside.    

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