It’s that time of year, when the temperature surges above 50 degrees and the bare legs are set free.
Except most of those bare legs haven’t seen the sun in literally months and are looking a bit sickly pale.
I never really got into the whole self tanner thing until recently, but now I consider myself fairly well versed in the application, formulation, and other aspects of becoming sunlessly bronzed.
I’ve only tried a handful of tanners over the past few years, mostly because I didn’t really know what I was doing at first and also because I use it so sparingly that I manage to last a while between replens. The first I tried was the Clarins Delicious Self Tanning Cream. I picked it out at first because it has a bronze tint to it, so it works as a bit of a guide when you apply, and it’s not so scary as something green or purple. I also thought a cream would easy to work with, since that’s what I’m used to applying to my body, and it has the word “delicious” in the title. It smells like chocolate (well, it smells like chocolate scented self tan) and is moisturizing and pretty non threatening. A pretty solid gateway tanner.
From there I branched out to the St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse. Some people swear by this foam, which is why I originally picked it up. I found the greenish tint to be terrifying, but once applied it works out okay. It does leave you with a very natural glow and I found the mousse to be super easy to work with. It’s a lot easier to spread across the skin that a cream and dries much faster, so if you like to tan in the morning before heading out then this could work well for you! I find you really need an applicator mitt to apply it evenly since the foam is even more likely to seep in between your fingers than a lotion or cream, giving you telltale bronze finger webs. Is that what they’re called? You know what I mean.
Another St. Tropez product I’ve given a go is the Self Tan Luxe Dry Oil, which I was drawn to since oils have been so popular lately. What I really wanted out of this product was good moisturization with a dry finish and a nice even glow. I’d say that it delivered fairly well on my expectations. It’s not super moisturizing, but it helps, and it does dry quickly. It smells a little too tropical fruity for my tastes, and it can be difficult to apply because the formula is so thin, but I haven’t seen anything else on the market like it and the it does give skin a really beautiful natural looking tint. It does last a long time too! I think maybe because the oil sinks in deeper? I’m not a scientist though so take that with a grain of salt.
Finally, my most recent foray into tanning has been the Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse. This mousse has more of a purple tint than a green one, and I feel like the tan itself is a bit more yellow? In certain lightings it doesn’t look as great, but in natural sunlight it looks totally fine. This one is supposed to allow you to build up the tan over three applications. I only had a sample size so I only got two layers out of the bottle, but I definitely saw results after each. I think I like the scent of this tanner the best, but having to apply and shower and apply and shower is kind of annoying. I also have a sample of the Rapid Tan Mousse, which you apply and allow to develop, and when it reaches the level of tan you want, you shower to stop the tanning, but that seems like a lot of effort. I’ll give it a shot though!
For face, there are two Clarins products I’ve found effective but fool proof. The first is the Instant Smooth Golden Glow which works as both a primer and a self tan in one. It’s nice under makeup or in the morning on no makeup days just to even out and bronze skin slightly. The results are very subtle which is good, because you don’t want to look in the mirror halfway through the day and realized that your face is a streaky tanned mess. What a nightmare! The other product is the Golden Glow Booster, highly concentrated drops that you can add to your moisturizer to create a custom self tan. So smart! I love incorporating this into my “foundation” mixes or into my SPF in the morning just for a slight boost of color. I find that since I cleanse and exfoliate my face more often than my body, I tend to apply tanner on a more daily basis face in order to keep up the bronze, and these products are great for that (and last forever)!
What tanning products do you like the best? I have my eyes on the James Read Sleep Mask Tan to try next!