Summer Skin Savers Part 2 — Tinted Moisturizers, Shimmer Lotions, and Self-Tanners Galore!
How much time have you actually spent at the beach this summer? How often have you had the chance to sit on a park bench, eat at an outdoor café, or bicycle through the park, basking in the sun’s rays rather than looking at them through a glass window in your office or home? Most of us dream of summer, imagining beach romps worthy of Jeff Spicoli’s crew in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and topping these imaginary moments off with images of romantic beach bonfires like those Kelly and Dylan enjoyed in so many Beverly Hills 90210 episodes. But, sadly, once we graduate from college and enter the professional sphere, the rigors of adult life (work, kids, errands, etc.) often prove so time-consuming that our leisure time becomes non-existent.
Aside from the frustration of not spending time at your favorite summer haunts, that also means feeling disgruntled over your lingering pallor — a sentiment that’s only aggravated when you see some of your more well-to-do counterparts flaunting the tans they developed during their exotic tropical vacations and weekend beach house excursions. While we can’t free you from those weekend shifts at work or cut your work hours down, we can at least help you feel better about your limited time in the sun by letting you in on some of our secrets to achieving a natural-looking faux glow that will fool even the most discerning of onlookers and leave you feeling like the sexy siren you are.
SHIMMERING LOTIONS AND SELF-TANNERS
GloMinerals Body Glisten, $20. Available at GloProfessional.com
If you don’t want your skin to glisten without looking like you’ve been glitterbombed, consider applying this luminous lotion, which is enriched with vitamins A, C, E, an K, as well as soothing green tea, lavender, chamomile, and aloe extracts to soften and nourish the skin while also coating it with tiny golden mica particles. Since the glimmer is the result of the mica particles’ light-reflecting properties, your skin won’t shimmer as brightly when in dimly lit areas but, once you bathe in sunlight, your skin will look like it’s covered with this delicious baked frosting. From my experience, this shimmer lotion won’t streak nor will it transfer to clothing. In fact, once it’s fully dry, you can smooth your hands all over your skin without winding up with sparkly palms. And, when you run your hands over your skin, you’ll notice how much softer it feels — which, of course, is the Body Glisten’s main claim to fame: how both skin care and immediate cosmetic benefits were considered when formulating this stellar product.
St. Tropez Wash Off Instant Shimmer Stick, $22.50 at Nordstrom.com
Rocking a romper or short skirt and need to give those legs a bit more color? Get a faux glow with the St. Tropez Wash Off Instant Shimmer Stick, a pigmented body gloss formulated with natural waxes that hydrate the skin and coat it with a brownish bronze hue and a dose of alluring shimmer. To apply, you simply roll the stick over any exposed areas, blending the color in using hands and fingers. The wax-based formula can be a bit viscous when you first glide it over the skin but, as you keep smoothing it onto skin, the color seems to start softening, transferring onto the skin with greater ease, as if it were melting right off. You can apply it all over your skin for a tanned look or use it as a highlighter, to contour specific areas, by applying it on such key areas as collarbones, the decolletage region, or the front ridge of legs. Best of all, the product washes right off when you shower so, after you’ve dazzled everyone and returned home, you can remove the body makeup completely — no scrubbing to remove lingering bits of amber or orange color.
Much like the Kate Somerville Somer360 Tanning Towelettes we raved about last summer, these towelettes are meant to simplify the oft bewildering self-tanning process and reduce potential messiness. As with the Kate Somerville option, the TanTowel towelettes rely on DHA to give skin a natural-looking pigmentation boost. What is DHA? It’s a glycerin-derived chemical that interacts with the amino acids in dead skin cells to produce a temporary brownish pigment. Since these cells will be polished off skin, any DHA-derived faux tan will last about a week. And, since no artificial pigments are mixed with the DHA in the formula, the TanTowels will yield a rather natural, sunkissed effect.
Each of the Full Body Plus towelettes is large enough to cover your entire birthday suit. All you have to do is rip open the heat-sealed pack, unfold the towelette and smooth onto skin using even circular motions, making sure to cover all desired areas. And, since the towelettes are made of pulp fiber, they will naturally exfoliate the skin, which means the tanning formula will be applied evenly, so that there won’t be any regions with excess pigment concentrations (a dead giveaway that your glow is oh-so-faux). The tea tree extract in the formula, meanwhile, soothes and conditions skin. Bottom line: this is one of the best self-tanning products I’ve ever encountered.
Rodial Brazilian Tan Airbrush, $64. Available at Rodial.co.uk
What if you could get deliciously smooth caramel skin by simply spritzing a fine mist onto your birthday suit, without having to smear any lotions or gels onto your hands that could potentially stain your palms? That’s the option Rodial attempts to deliver with its Brazilian Tan Airbrush spray, which relies on 360-degree airbrush technology for easy and streak-less coverage (theoretically, that is) and delivers a color boost via caramel extract, while softening skin with Tahitian monoi and moisturizing and soothing with aloe vera extract. To use, you have to hold the can 30cm from the skin and spray slowly and evenly, applying the same pressure to the spritzer with your finger so as to yield continuous coverage.
What’s the catch? Well, the application process isn’t quite as simple in practice as it is in theory. Unless you’re a veteran aerosol artist, it’s difficult to maintain the required distance from skin (30 cm) as you move the bottle along different areas of your skin. And, of course, if you start getting too close when covering certain regions, you’ll inevitable wind up with darker patches. Another hiccup: if you have any hair on your legs (even blond baby hairs), the color will clump around the hair follicles for a spotty look that’s more mangy dog than tanned goddess. Your best bet is to have a friend or family member help you out with the Rodial Brazilian Tan Airbrush since it’ll be much easier for them to gauge the distance at which they’re spraying and to spritz continuously (as you would when applying hairspray). Also, I’d recommend using on shaved, clean, exfoliated, and fully dry skin.
That being said, the color itself is gorgeous and the gardenia scent makes you feel like you’re in Hawaii or some other tropical paradise.
Sue Devitt Microaquatic Tinted Body Moisturizer, $36. Available at SueDevittBeauty.com
There are times when you want a dose of shimmer or a light sun-kissed glow. And then there are moments when you need to pull out the big guns (to use a tired cliché), taking your skin directly from a spooky alabaster shade to a rich amber hue. When you want these type of dramatic results, the Sue Devitt Microaquatic Tinted Body Moisturizer is an excellent resource. This rich lotion smells like Frangipani flowers, transporting you to a tropical landscape via the delicate, ultra feminine scent. Your skin will benefit from Devitt”s Signature Microaquatic Complex, which includes rejuvenating marine extracts and soothing floral and plant-based ingredients like water lily extract, orchid extract, and aloe extract.
When you first apply the lotion onto your skin, you may feel rather intimidated since it’s a rather dark russet color with red undertones in its most concentrated form. Blending it in does require some vigorous massaging action but, once absorbed by skin, you’ll be left with a true bronzed look that leans towards the reddish, rosier side of the spectrum as opposed to the typical yellow and orange range.
Rodial Brazilian Tan Light, $64. Available at Rodial.co.uk
A gentler formulation than its predecessor, the Rodial Brazilian Tan Dark, this self-tanner is designed for women with lighter skin tones, costumers who might have found that the DARK model produced too dramatic a pigmentation difference. This self-tanner’s consistency is absolutely delicious — it’s almost as lightweight as a gel, but it’s not the last bit sticky. Enriched with softening avocado and coconut oil, the Rodial Brazilian Tan Light moisturizes, balances, and conditions skin, while giving you a Fiji femme fatale glow.
As soon as you pump the product onto the skin and massage it in, you’ll see your skin transformed into a sheer, warm, honey-meets-toffee shade thanks to the caramel in the formula (yes, caramel is an active ingredient), which immediately delivers a luscious glow. Within about 3 hours of application, you’ll notice the color deepen a bit while still looking incredibly natural.
Another plus: the lightweight formula dries incredibly quickly, making it ideal for on-the-run applications (you can pretty much get dressed within 2-3 minutes).
TINTED MOISTURIZERS FOR FACE
Cover FX Tint FX Moisturizing Treatment & Tint SPF 30, $42. Available at Sephora.com
This multi-tasking moisturizer offers SPF 30 protection from UVA and UVB via a combination of physical blocks like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and chemical sunscreens like octinoxate, octisalicylate, and oxybenzone.The vitamins A, C, and E in the formula, meanwhile, protect the skin from harmful free radicals, brighten the complexion, promote cellular renewal, and function as emollients, while chamomile-derived bisabolol soothes the skin, preventing irritation and reducing inflammation or redness. In addition to soothing and protecting the skin, the Tint FX also boasts anti-aging properties, with hyaluronic acid spheres delivering continuous hydration, smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines, and ceramides and peptides that prompt the skin to regenerate and fortify its natural moisture barrier.
Available in six shades, this liquid treatment will offer as much coverage as many a cream powder, while also illuminating the complexion thanks to the pearlized minerals in the formula.
Benefit You Rebel Lite Tinted Moisturizer, $30. Available at HSN.com
This tinted moisturizer, designed for women with light to medium skin tones, offers SPF 15 protection and is enriched with free radical-fighting antioxidants, soothing aloe vera, and allantoin, a crystalline powder that seals in moisture and increases the longevity of coverage. Though it’s easy to blend into the skin and it does feel comfortable, offering sheer but even coverage, it can feel a bit greasy so that you’d need to follow application with a mattifying powder or bronzing veil. I’d only recommend Benefit’s You Rebel for women with dry skin as it could otherwise lead to breakouts — which, of course, is never a benefit.