Confession time: I do not like my body.
There, I’ve said it. If I had to choose a body to live in, it wouldn’t be the one I currently have. Why? Because it’s too long, too scrawny, and too hairy in some places or too bald in others. It’s far from North American beauty standards, and the worst part is that I seriously can’t be bothered to try changing it by going to the gym or waxing.
There is one thing I like about my body, and that is its colour. Israeli born and raised, my skin loves the sun and soaks up its harmful rays as much as possible, especially in the summer. Still, there’s a caveat; it’ll only pick up colour on one side at a time. What I mean is, while the top of my arms might become a golden tan shade after a day at the beach, the underside will remain pasty white. It’s even worse when I wear a shirt out, because then the farmer’s tan syndrome becomes a real problem (don’t even get me started on wearing a watch). I end up looking like a half-baked toaster pastry, or a Frankenstein’s Monster who went to a cheap salon.
St. Tropez wanted to help me out with my unfortunate situation, and I’m glad they did because it is officially pool party season and I want to look as well-done as possible. They hooked me up with the brand spanking new One Night Only Wash Off Face & Body Lotion (in Light/Medium) ($20*), which certainly seemed like a safe alternative to going to an aforementioned cheap salon. This product claims to be an “easy-to-apply bronzing lotion for a radiant sunkissed glow that easily washes off with soap and water.” That sounded pretty good, not only because it was low-risk but also because I have commitment issues (working on it). It is also significantly less expensive than a comparable product such as the Guerlain Terracotta Jambes De Gazelle Cooling Bronzing Mist ($72*).
The lotion comes out like rich chocolate sauce, and smells lightly floral (very pleasant, actually). As you rub it on the skin it absorbs quickly, giving an even and streak-free olive tint that doesn’t look orange and fake à la Trump. I was impressed that the lotion didn’t make my applying hand gross, but also did not transfer onto the white shirt I was wearing. It blended seamlessly into the parts I did not cover, and overall I was incredibly happy with the results. I do hope it comes in a larger bottle with a pump, because I could see myself using large quantities of this at a time. Alternatively, it would be great for people who rarely wear short clothes and just need something to warm up the complexion a little when they do (or for special events – i.e. low-hanging wedding/prom dresses). You can technically use this on the face as well, but I prefer a regular bronzer for that purpose (however, it’s perfect for blending slightly darker foundation on the neck). Keep in mind that there is no SPF in this product.
The real test was washing the lotion away, as it claims to be super easy. And indeed, with minimal scrubbing I was back to my blue-veined self. Success has never looked so horrible. Sigh.
Only after I finished washing the tan off did I realize I am literally days away from Pride Toronto’s culminating event, the big parade, and everyone knows the only rule for Pride is to love the body you’re in and show it off as much as possible! It was time to break out the big guns. Once again St. Tropez came to the rescue, this time with the award-winning In Shower Gradual Tan ($35*). In three days you’re supposed to see glowing results, so I settled in to see what would happen. Step 1: exfoliate. Step 2: wet skin thoroughly. Step 3: apply all over body and let sit for 3 minutes. Step 4: wash off. This is ideal for people who have heard horror stories about tanning gone wrong but would still like to experiment with how much they can get away with.
After three days of testing I had to throw in the towel. No matter how much of the funky-smelling lotion I spread on my body, and no matter how long I stood in the shower waiting for it to sink in, I just did not get the results I anticipated for the price. Friends who saw me before and after didn’t notice a difference, and my tan lines were as prominent as ever. As much as the One Night worked, this one was a dud.
Big thank you to Valerie for organizing this review and making me look so hashtag-flawless! Let me know if you’ve tried self-tanning products like these and what worked for you! I’m definitely feeling like I will continue to use the lotion year-round, or until my melanin production catches up to my lifestyle. Happy and safe tanning, everyone!
*Prices true at time of writing.
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