Every summer I struggle with this dilemma. Should I buy some tanning lotion or should I just lay out and try to get some sun. See the problem with my job and lifestyle is very little sun is involved. I work in a windowless office, many times in very cold comm rooms or server floors which also have no windows and means my work garb is mainly long pants. My home life is either spent in front of the computer or the television or catching up on cleaning, laundry, etc etc. The little time I do go outside I tend to lean towards wearing pants mostly cause I'm attempting to hide my bright white legs (as well as my hips). I always say I am going to get more sun but I just never seem to do it.
Last year I started toying with the idea of self tanning lotions and creams but shelved it mostly cause of reviews talking about streaks on skin, skin turning orange, blotchiness, or the product transferring to clothing despite waiting a great deal of time before dressing. The other problem is the prep work, areas you are going to apply it to like your legs much be shaved and you have to make sure you exfoliate your skin really really well. I also have an issue with having to ask for help with getting lotion on my back. I don't think my SO wants his hands stained orange for helping me apply a tanning lotion.
I've considered bronzing make up as well. Laura Geller makes a body bronzer that comes in a baked form that you use a puff to apply. Also Gleam by Melanie Mills is getting good reviews, she's the MUA on Dancing with the Stars and her make-up cream comes in about 4 shades. Both of these offer a nice healthy glow without the commitment of a gradual tanning lotion or the problems with streaks and blotchiness. They also are supposed to work well with any tan you all ready have and to help even your skin out. But that still leaves the possible transfer to clothes problem. I just don't know. Have any of you had any experience in this department? I'd love to hear about it before I make a decision because right now I'm leaning towards good old fashion SPF 15 and a lawn chair with the hope that my legs aren't so white they reflect the sun.