I’m mostly English and Irish, which means that despite the smattering of Potawatomi Indian in my blood, I’m very fair complected. I gave up on laying out years ago, I don’t seem to change color at all in the sun. I might burn a little, and I’ll develop clumpy freckles that are unflattering (no, they are not the cute smatterings of freckles. These are big clumps that from more than a foot away look like melasma. It’s not cute).
But a little bit of a tan? Heh, not so much.
So, I mostly follow my mom’s lead, and wear a lot of sunscreen to avoid the blotches of freckles. My mom has stayed out of the sun and slathered us with sunscreen in the 1980’s when everyone else had tanning beds in their basement. The results are obvious, she definitely looks younger than her friends who spent a lot of time achieving the perfect tan.
Those images right there. They are 100% the reason why I can’t give up the idea of having a tan. It is all the fault of Michael Kors. His ads always feature models with a jet set lifestyle, wearing clothes that I want, and just the right amount of tan.
So, while I’m usually pale, every now and then I decide to give self tanners a shot again. In the past I’ve done well with traditional self tanners like Beautisol and Clarins. They don’t turn my skin orange, and I didn’t have problems with streaking. But the products take a while to apply and then dry. I don’t have time for that! I’ve also tried gradual tanning lotions like the Jergens lotion, but who wants to smell like self tanner every day? And I admit that these products have turned me orange and had a surprising number of streaks. Last year I was really excited about Josie Maran’s Self Tanning Body Wash. It was something that only added a few minutes to my daily routine and did give me some color. But the difference was subtle and it took 4 uses (and half of an expensive bottle of product) before even I noticed anything.
I was still excited about the new St. Tropez In-Shower tanner, despite the less than stellar experience with Josie Maran. This product came out earlier this year in the UK and has been selling out, there were some advance online reviews that had good things to say… so when it finally came to stores in early June, I stalked ULTA until it was available. And then I bought 2.
This product is pretty easy to use. I use it at the very end of my shower, after I’ve shaved and washed everything. First I put a hair mask in my hair and clip it up and out of the way so it won’t drip onto my body. Then I shut off the water and use my hands to remove most of the water from my body. I start at my ankles and start applying the product, using my hands to apply product in a circular motion. I use simply work my way up my body. I did the tops of my feet and the backs of my hands last, and then turned on the water briefly to rinse the product off of my palms. Then I stood here, a little cold, for 3 minutes. This would be a great time to have a song to listen to, or brush teeth (if you do that in the shower), etc. Personally, I just stood there and thought about things I needed to do. At the end of 3 minutes you rinse off the product, though I’ve read online that you can leave it on longer, so I’ve started waiting more like 5 minutes. Note that you do need to use your hands a bit to get all of it off, you don’t want to leave any on as you’ll get blotchy. I just patted myself dry. I wasn’t sure if I could apply lotion or not, but the product is pretty hydrating so I just skipped that step.
After my shower I did feel like I had applied a light lotion. I didn’t smell anything on my skin at all, and over the course of the day I noticed that my skin was slowly adding a bit of color. The color isn’t orange at all, instead it is a very natural looking glow! I definitely had more glow in 1 use than after using most of a bottle of the Josie Maran body wash. Note, that I used about 1/4 of the bottle in my first use. Since that time I’ve used it twice more just on my legs, which I would like to be a little darker. That’s taken much less product. My glow isn’t streaky or blotchy at all. The hands and feet do seem to get a little darker than the rest of the body, so I apply less product there and apply to those areas last.
I do think that I’ll be using this self tanner throughout the summer. It’s a pretty easy to use and fast way to add some color! If you want a dark tan, it would probably be a good idea to start with a darker, more traditional self tanner and then use this product to keep the tan, rather than using up an entire bottle with many uses to get to your desired color.
What sunless tanner are you using? Have you found a great product?