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I still remember my first self-tanner faux pas. It was in high school, and with shorts season approaching, I was dabbling in Jergen’s Natural Glow in an attempt to add some sort of color to my fair skin. Much to my chagrin, that color turned out to be orange, and it manifested itself in a big triangle on a patch of dry skin on my left leg — only to be publicly pointed out by a fitness instructor. Memories.
I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with self-tanner and I’m sure many others have the same complaints — the color doesn’t blend well, smells funky, and leaves unnatural streaks on the skin’s surface. Then again, I’ve had even worse experiences with natural tanning methods (aka the sun) and I know my pale pals can agree — a summer glow is not worth the excruciating pain of a peeling sunburn.
That’s why, since I discovered these tinted bronzing drops from Tan Luxe, there’s been no turning back to my old ways.
The brand makes fuss-free products that let you get a healthy, sun-kissed glow sans sunshine. Tan Luxe has a host of products that help you create a natural-looking tan, and though I haven’t used them all, I can say with confidence that I love using The Body Illuminating Self Tan Drops ($59). Like many of my best purchases at Sephora, it was an impulse buy that turned into a lasting love story.
What are The Body self-tanner drops?
Many self-tanners take a one-size-fits-all approach, but understandably, when you use a product that isn’t really made for your skin tone, your skin may not look so natural. Tan Luxe offers a tailor-made approach to tanning with potent, liquid self-tan drops that you mix into your favorite moisturizer for an effortless glow that feels just right for your skin tone.
The Body self-tan drops come in two colors: light/medium and medium/dark. Although I have pretty fair skin, I bought the medium/dark (only because the lighter version was sold out), but I haven’t had any issues with it being too dark. Since you control the depth of the color, I think you can get away with using either color of the drops — just go lighter on the number of drops if you’re nervous about the color being too dark.
In terms of the formulation, the drops are made with good-for-your-skin ingredients like raspberry seed oil, Vitamin E and aloe vera, and made without harmful ingredients like synthetic dyes, sulfates, and other concerning chemicals that may be lurking in your skincare products.
How to use the drops
You can mix the drops into moisturizer and apply all over your body or go body part by body part. Either method should work fine, just be cognizant of how many drops you’re using — if you’re just doing one leg at a time, you probably won’t need as many drops as if you were planning on doing your whole body at once.
The buildable color makes these perfect for getting a natural glow all-year round. When your skin is lighter, go lighter on the drops. When you want something dramatic, mix away! Based on the guide provided by the brand, two to three drops is recommended for a radiant glow, and up to 12 drops can be added for a fully bronzed look.
While this is intended for your body (Tan Luxe has a formulation made just for the face), in an attempt to get my money’s worth I’ve thrown it on my face, too, and thought it looked pretty good — just make sure to use more sparsely when it comes to the face, especially if you have sensitive skin. And make sure to wash your hands when you’re done — or you may be stuck with a temporary case of carrot hands.
I like to use about two drops per body part for a nice, gradual tan. I mix it in with a lot of lotion — this helps ensure your skin is moisturized and prevents streaks. In the end, I’m left with a natural-looking tan with just the slightest shimmer.
While the idea of spending $60 on a self-tanner may sound frivolous, it’s the safest way to get a sun-kissed glow and that’s something I feel pretty good about. They also last a really long time.