Forget about the sticky, smelly, orange tans of the past. According to professional tan artist Nicole Hyatt, who’s the founder of Tan On The Run, an international luxury mobile spray tan service, advancements in the faux glow category have come a long way. “People are protecting themselves from the sun, but they still want a tan, so the evolution has come about because of demand,” says the expert glow getter whose clients include A-listers like Lady Gaga and Jessica Chastain. “With the improvements in formulations and the different delivery methods, there’s something for everyone.”

From mists to gradual tanners and drops to foams—there’s no shortage of ways to get sun-kissed skin that won’t involve baking in the sun. And why would you risk UV damage now, when faux tans look so real no one will believe it came from a bottle.

“You want to create a subtle luminosity, something that warms your complexion,” says Hyatt on achieving the perfect glow—but choosing the right formulation and application is critical to accomplish this. Hyatt’s mantra is less is more. “The goal is to look like you have a tan, but not look like it’s fake. So always go more natural especially if it’s your first time,” she explains. “Start light and gradually work yourself up.”

Some of Hyatt’s golden rules for a bespoke glow include hair removal and exfoliation 24 hours before application—she prefers a mitt rather than a scrub. Hyatt says a tell that you’re rocking a faux tan are patchy hands and feet. The fix? “Save these areas for the end and use any excess product left on your brush and buff it into your wrists and the sides of your hands to fade any obvious lines,” she explains, saying that applying solution directly to those areas can make it appear too dark. Finally, to extend the life of your tan, Hyatt says the secret is moisturizing. “I’m a fan of oils like coconut, just avoid creams that have water as the first ingredient.” Ready, set, glow!