How to Fake a Day at the Beach for Under $5

fullI have forever been a sun worshipper…and as you can see from the throwback from high school on the right..sometimes to a fault. (went a little overboard at the tanning salon)

From soaking in the sun as a lifeguard in my younger years to laying out in my backyard for hours, a sign of past great summer days were a few natural highlights and the perfect sun kissed glow accompanied by some sweet new freckles. And while achieving the perfect tan was as easy as a few spritzes of sweet smelling Banana Boat tanning oil back in the day, achieving the same color now during a work week is nearly impossible.  So what is a pale as Casper the Ghost girl to do? 

A) Skip work and lay out. Nope

B) Revert to my tanorexic younger self and hit the tanning booth. I would prefer to not look like a crocodile by the age of 40.

C) Buy a tan. Fineeee

For a working girl that can’t make it to the beach on a weekend the best option is to pay for a little fake and bake. While I am a big advocate of spray tans, especially for a big event, they can tend to be a little pricey. Thanks to my girl Alexandra, who is a beauty blogger over at TheBloginista, I have discovered an affordable option that is perfect for getting a radiant, sunkissed glow year-round, without exposure to the sun’s (or tanning booth’s) harmful UVA/UVB rays. They are called Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pads.

I bought this 5 pack of glow pads from Sephora Tanning Wipes for $12 and they also carry a larger pack of 20 for $35 or 50 for $68.

I was a little skeptical of using an at home tanner as I have had a few streaky mishaps from Jergens Natural Glow lotion so I decided to try these out on a Sunday in case I needed to spend the day scrubbing it off.

Here is what one of the pads looks like:

Dr. Gross Tanning glow pads

The glow pads were really easy to use and unlike other self tanners dried fairly quickly. The pads don’t show any color as you apply them so it is important to make sure you really apply each inch of your face and neck in several small circular motions to avoiding streaking. It took about 4 hours for me to really start to notice the color showing up and it kept getting darker through out the course of the day. Here is a look:

Before and After

               Before                                      8 Hours Later                                The  Next Day

Untitled design (28)



To be 100% honest I was a little nervous after seeing the 8 hour picture. I felt like I overdid applying the pads but after a shower and some make up I was really pleased with how it looked. I even had several coworkers ask me if I spent the weekend at the beach which is of course the best compliment you can get for a tan you paid for.

Final Thoughts


  • ZERO streaking and looks natural
  • Cost- About $2 a tan and even less with a larger box
  • Easy to use
  • Doesn’t rub off on white sheets (thank goodness)
  • Cruelty Free (yay for our four-legged friends!)


  • Fake tan smell (goes away after showering)
  • Not sure how they would look on someone with fair skin
  • Only for the face, body pads sold separately.

I will definitely continue to use these and have added them to my list of favorite beauty products.

Want to try out these glow pads? Buy them here.

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