Summer is right around the corner, which tends to kick my obsession with being tan into overdrive. As much as I love a good golden glow and basking all day in the sunshine, I don’t love abnormal skin cells, the threat of cancer and/or wrinkles (the order of importance is up to you), or the scolding eye of an all-knowing dermatologist.
So I’ll fake it.
But I’m very skeptical about self-tanner and spray tans. I’m a bit of a dummy when it comes to application, there’s upkeep involved, and I don’t even want to teeter on the edge of being orange. I find that even the gradual ones take on a little orange-ish tinge after 2 or 3 days of application. But I love me a good bronzer. The idea of a body bronzer that dries completely, gives your color a bit of a boost (without that chemical, self-tanner smell), and washes off completely at the end of the night (or when you mess up), is super appealing to me. Sure, you’re basically putting make-up on your arms, legs, and wherever else. But there are weirder things, and it’s a small price to pay for a gorgeous glow without the sun exposure.
I love the One Step Bronze from Stila (1). It adds a little warmth and color to your face without looking fake or too “make-up-y.” I’ve started using it in the morning just over a little moisturizer with SPF and concealer under my eyes. Considering that my prior AM routine involved primer, foundation, blush, bronzer, highlighter, yadda yadda… It’s really helping to cut down my getting ready time. And it looks really good and natural – people have asked if I’ve gone away for the weekend! I haven’t tried, but I’m sure I could put it on my legs in a paleness pinch!
I actually just bought the One Night Only by St. Tropez (2) this afternoon. I put it on my arms and chest just to check it out, and I’m liking it so far! A little goes a long way, and while it looks scarily dark coming out of the tube, it blends in really easily. It also dries completely very quickly, and it smells really good! I keep sniffing my arm. It’s definitely a subtle color – not too dramatic or at all orange.
I used this Victoria’s Secret Instant Bronzing Tinted Body Spray (3) on my legs to go out in a super short dress. It does blend well, but not quite as easily as the St. Tropez. Also, the aerosol can doesn’t work upside down or too far sideways, so it was difficult to do certain parts of my legs. I had to enlist the help of one of my roommates to spot check me. I went out to dinner first, and the restaurant booths were, I kid you not, white vinyl. The backs of my legs were sweaty and felt like they were sticking to the seat. I thought for sure I had left a mark, but when I got up, nada! And the tan held up on my legs through dinner and a looong night of dancing!
Overall, I think I’ll continue to use the One Step Bronze on my face on a pretty much daily basis, but I’ll probably reserve the full body bronzers for more ‘special’ occasions, or at least summer nights out.
Do you have a tanning product you love the most? Do you, like me, feel the need to boost your bronze when summer rolls around, or do you embrace fair skin year round?