My feelings for faux glow have always been complicated. Not anymore.
Self-tanners have never had the best rep, and now, thanks to a certain very orange president, even hearing the words fake tan or self-tan is enough to nauseate most people. I mean, I don’t blame them, because I feel the same and also think he looks like a giant Dorito.
For these reasons and the fact that I love to lie out on the beach, the park, or any stray piece of grass I can find in the city, I’ve never been a fan of self-tanner. Everyone I know who used them had a streaky orange Cheeto tint that also didn’t smell so great. For the longest time, I accepted that I would just be pale every season that wasn’t summer and have people constantly tell me, “But you don’t look like a Gonzalez” (and to that I would like to say: not all Gonzalezes look the same, thank you very much).
When I met with Marc Elrick to discuss Tan-Luxe, his line of self-tan products, I was skeptical. But my tan from my recent trip to Havana was fading, and with the weather in New York getting better every day, I was desperate for a beachy glow for spring.
What makes his products different than most is the lack of color guide, which makes most self-tans heavily pigmented. Instead, Tan-Luxe uses a patented technology called “transparent tanning,” which provides a healthy, natural glow that you can adjust to your liking. Instead of the one-size-fits-all mentality, Tan-Luxe’s base products, The Face and The Body, are serums that come in bottles with droppers. You can build your tan by adjusting the amount of product you drop into your everyday moisturizer. They also contain ingredients like raspberry seed oil, vitamin E, and aloe vera, which work to heighten the skincare benefits of the products you already use. It sounded like a win-win-win, so I went ahead and decided to try my first-ever self-tan.
I started with The Body Illuminating Self Tan Drops. The night before, I did a patch test on my leg, and the next morning that area felt super soft, and I could already see a very tiny tan, which was impressive considering I barely used a drop. Since it didn’t irritate my skin and actually made it feel better, I went ahead and decided to try it out on the rest of my body and face.
After my shower, I added a drop of The Body serum to every handful of my Greek Yogurt Dial Moisturizing Lotion. Then I added two drops of The Face serum to my La Mer moisturizer, which I was nervous about at first, since it felt like I was tainting my hero product, but coupled together, my skin still felt great, and I looked very sun-kissed with no streaks. The serum also smelled like flowers, which is a lovely added bonus.
After that first use, people commented on how long my tan from Havana was lasting, and no one compared me to an orange junk food (a great sign). The tan lasted for about a week, and to maintain it I just added two drops into my moisturizer the following Sunday, spritizing on The Water (a clear spray formula that’s very light) every two days. Haters gonna hate, but this ex-self-tan cynic looks like she just got back from vacation sans plane ticket. Win-win-win.