For the most even tan, go to a stand up tanning bed. Start going about 3 or 4 times a week...do this for about three weeks depending on how pale you are now...then keep going once or twice a week to maintain color without getting darker.
Or if you're scared of tanning beds, the new Neutrogena build a tan lotion works great. So does the new Jergens tanning lotion. You use them just like regular lotion. The tan gets darker the more frequently you apply.