It’s fake tan season, baby! Chances are you’ve dug out your old one already and swiped it all over your pasty body in a last-ditch attempt to tan up your legs now it’s too hot for jeans.

If you’re embracing the pale, good on you! Love that for you, it’s just not me. And this year I was determined to figure out which fake tan products actually worked with ease, as opposed to the ones that leave you all streaky and orange.

I recruited colleagues, friends and my sister to try LOADS of fake tans, and these five were the favourites.

1. St Tropez Extra Dark Mousse

St Tropez Extra Dark Mousse, $59.99

Ok, this one comes with a warning – you NEED to exfoliate prior to application, you NEED to use a mitt and you NEED to exfoliate once it starts wearing off. This is the real deal and if you don’t follow fake tan protocol you’ll end up with patches and streaks.

However, when I did everything right and used this on my pale winter skin, the results were amazing. A full-on natural glow overnight, perfectly even and a great olive tone.

It’s my new favourite, it’s just a little more high maintenance than my usual fave, St Tropez Dark.

2. Ella Bache Great Mousse

Ella Bache Great Mousse Tan, $29

My sister tried this tanning mousse and said it gives a really natural colour, and goes on streak-free. Great one for newbies – it’s not suuuper dark, but it also won’t leave you looking like a carrot.

3. Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam Dark, $19.95

This tan has such a huge cult following, especially the Dark shade. It’s easy to see why – goes on super easily (although I find I have to work with the mitt real quick to make sure it doesn’t dry too soon) and gives an amazing glowy bronze.

4. ModelCo Jelly Tan

ModelCo Tan Jelly, $25

My colleague Rachael tried this one and loved it. “This went on clear and felt a bit sticky, but dried super quick and most importantly left NO RESIDUE ON MY CLOTHES, a true gift from God. The only downside was it smelled not great (not bad but not great). However, maybe I am stupid or something but because it was clear, so I didn’t pay attention to where I was putting it. I woke up with the most amazing glow BUT it was the worst patchy tan I have ever had. However I am super impressed by the colour and have received a MULTITUDE of compliments directly and indirectly on the tan – so next time I’ll just be more cautious about application.”

5. Bali Body Self Tanning Mousse

Bali Body Self Tanning Mousse, $29.95

I used the Dark version of this tan, and loved the quick-dry formula and perfect blending – a great mousse tan for noobs. It’s not my fave-fave-fave, but it’s good and pretty foolproof.

Image: Instagram / @stephclaresmith