You Only Need $13 for Glowing, Sun-Kissed Skin This Spring

I’ve committed the cardinal sin of the skincare world in the past, and I’m finally here to admit it: I used to go tanning in a tanning bed. (Yes, it was for prom because I am a #basicbitch.) In complete honesty, I loved my time in the tanning bed. I’d listen to music and daydream all while my skin was scorched until it turned golden brown! I’ve always had naturally tan skin, but the cold Midwestern winters turn me many, many shades lighter than where my skin goes in the summer. So like any person who loves having a tan but fears the harmful effects of the sun, I started self-tanning.

About a year ago, I entered the self-tanning world with wide eyes. I was so unfamiliar with the intricacies of self-tanner that I forgot to buy a mitt, didn’t wash my hands after applying, and I walked away with orange splotches all over my legs. I’ve improved my technique over the last year, fallen in love with a tanning product, stopped using a sock and actually bought a tanning mitt (TBH the sock was better, but that’s a story for another day), and everything seemed pretty good … except I haven’t quite figured out how to tan my face.

I typically don’t self-tan my face because I figured putting self-tanner on skin that is exfoliated twice a week and constantly slathered with oils and moisturizers was a waste of product. So, my go-to solution was a darker foundation, which gets pretty costly when the foundations you love are all generously priced over $40 a bottle. 

Last week while working a project (oh, I love saying that), I came across this new Bliss mask. I’ve tried two other Bliss masks now (the Pumpkin Powerhouse Exfoliating Mask and the What A Melon Overnight Mask), and when I was looking to link to my favorite exfoliating one, I came across the Stay-Cay Glow Gradual Bronzing Overnight Mask. Intrigued, I read about it a little bit and was inspired enough to give it a try.

 

 

After double-cleansing and applying my eye cream and a light layer of moisturizer, I applied the mask all over my face, ears, and down my neck. It’s a light, gel-like texture that has a slight bronze tint. It also smells like coconuts which overpowers the self-tanner smell without feeling like you just doused your face in coconut oil. Once it dried (which was pretty quick), it didn’t feel like I had anything but my usual skincare on my face. I went to bed, dreaming of Pete Davidson and glowy, bronzed skin. 

Before:

me hiding in a turtleneck because my skin hasn’t seen the seen in eons

I got one of my wishes last night (hello, Pete, I exist) because immediately upon waking up and looking in the mirror, my skin looked so good. Not orange and not five shades darker than my body—it looked like a healthy glow and a natural tint you’d get from spending a few hours in the sun on a summer day. It wasn’t anything crazy, but it was just enough to feel confident. 

After:

the bronzed summertime me has arrived early this year, say hello to me (and my new cream blush)

The product says you can do it a few nights in a row for a deeper bronze, so I followed the same steps two more nights, and it looked like I just stepped off the plane from Hawaii. The glow was real, ladies and gents. And it never looked streaky or artificial either. I’d call this product a self-tanner win.