Here's some breaking news for you: Brown girls like to look tan, too. Yes, just like the light-skinned individuals of the world who engage in a year-round quest for bronzed skin, many women of color want a deeper glow, as well.
But you'd never know it based on the state of the self-tanning aisle in the drugstore, which is pretty much only geared toward light-to-medium skin tones. Why would someone who is already dark want to look darker, right? Welp, here's the quick answer: When it comes to women of color, there's absolutely no such thing as being too dark. Period.
Listen, there is nothing more beautiful to me than being surrounded a huge range of chocolate skin tones, and a major part of what makes me feel magical as a black girl is the color of my skin.
Being brown just feels special, like I'm a mighty golden goddess capable of harnessing all the powers of the world, so why wouldn't I want to look darker? (Safely, of course—skin cancer makes zero people feel like a goddess).
But, thanks to the inherent light-skin favoritism in the tanning market, most bronzers look ashy and milky against my skin, while self-tanners do, uh, literally nothing. Still, I promise you that options do exist, as long as you know where to look.
Which is why I took the headache out of one more prejudiced aspects of life and found the very best bronzers and self-tanners that were actually made with dark skin in mind. Check out the best 10 options, ahead.
Not many self-tanners can take darker skin to an even deeper shade without looking weirdly fake, but this cult-favorite spray can and does, and even includes a mitt for easier application.
Fake Bake Flawless Darker, $30
BUY IT: us.fakebake.com.
This is a go-to for brown girls who are already somewhat skilled in the world of sunless tanning, since the tinted lotion really will give you a rich, deep color—even on dark-chocolate skin.
Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning Lotion in Deep Dark, $8
BUY IT: ulta.com.
Meet your real-life Instagram filter. This wash-off bronzer won't deepen your skin tone like other self-tanners, but will instead even out discoloration and hyperpigmentation for an airbrushed-looking finish.
Vita Liberata Body Blur, $45
BUY IT: vitaliberata.com.
One of the main causes behind splotchy, streaky self-tanner is having dry patches on your skin. Luckily, the blend of green and brown algae in this bronzing mist makes up for any spots you may have missed while moisturizing.
VersaSpa Bronzing Mist, $45
BUY IT: veraspa.com.
If you're in the caramel to milk-chocolate complexion range, this matte bronzer makes for a natural-looking contour.
Too Faced Dark Chocolate Soleil Bronzer, $30
BUY IT: toofaced.com.
If you're a bronzer newbie, try a wash-off gel, first. It's easier to apply than a heavy cream or a drying powder, so you'll never look too matte or too slick.
Tom Ford Soleil Bronzing Gel, $49
BUY IT: tomford.com.
For darker skin with red undertones, look for a shimmery bronzer with gold and copper undertones. Bonus points if it's a liquid formula, which gives skin a more realistic glow.
Volition Thankakha Radiant Bronzer, $30
BUY IT: volitionbeauty.com.
A cult-favorite among brown girls, this velvety powder has slightly red undertones, making it ideal for anyone looking for a warmer, richer glow.
CoverGirl Queen Collection Natural Hue Bronzer in Ebony Bronze, $11
BUY IT: amazon.com.
You won't find any chunky glitter or disco sparkle, here—just a stunning bronze shade that looks good on even the deepest of complexions. Plus, it contains SPF 30, because yes, brown girls need sun protection, too.
Nars Laguna Body Tint, $45
BUY IT: narscosmetics.com.
Yes, the price is kind of steep, but shades 07 and 09 in this brick-hued bronzer are top picks among beauty vloggers and makeup experts.
Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder, $53
BUY IT: guerlain.com.