Forced chuckles for the title, anyone?
I have a pale complexion. That’s not an opinion, it’s pretty much a fact, given that I spend the vast majority of my time in sunscreen and shade. As much as I abhor the idea of lying out in the sun until I get tan (which, in my case, would probably be around 48 hours), I did want a bit of a glow for summer. Was I brave enough to try self-tanner?
The reason I had avoided sunless tanners in the past was 1) because they generally don’t smell very nice and 2) I was scared that my pale skin would cause any self tanner to look orange. And I am not one to embrace the oompa-loompa look, thanks very much.
Lately, self-tanner technology seems to have improved to the point where most of them impart natural color, and some even smell good. With that in mind, I opted to test out this all-natural offering from Lavera:
Lavera‘s entire skincare and cosmetic line is designed for sensitive skin. All of their products are free of parabens, SLS, synthetic preservatives, fragrances (I take it that they mean synthetic fragrances here) and petroleum-based ingredients. In addition, their products are also cruelty free.
The Sun Sensitiv Self-Tanning Lotion, being a part of their extensive line, adheres to all of these standards. In addition, it is a Vegan product. For these reasons, I think you’ll understand that I was a little bit apprehensive about the product. I know it’s not exactly fair of me to think so, but I often find that organic/all-natural cosmetics don’t deliver the best results.
Luckily, that was not the case with Lavera! This is the second self-tanner I’ve ever used, and the results were amazing. I’ve used this on both my face and my body (yes, it’s safe for both), and was super impressed with the even, natural color I got. The lotion has a golden undertone once it develops, not too orange, and not too muddy looking. It’s definitely warm, but not so warm that it will look strange on cool undertones.
Here’s a sort-of ‘before/after’ for you:
It’s probably not the most accurate representation, since these photos were taken about a month apart. I forgot to take a ‘before’ shot when I first applied the product to my face, so I had to pull one from about a month back. Bare face except for self tanner and the requisite skincare products+sunscreen.
My favorite thing about this self tanner is the smell. My God, it smells so good, I bet you’d never guess this was a sunless tanner if someone waved it under your nose. It’s got a light caramel scent, and sometimes I can detect some hints of citrus in there. The point is, there are no nasty chemicals wafting around my nose in the 3-5 hours it takes for the tan to fully develop.
I’ve been reapplying the lotion about once a week for a month now, and I love that it doesn’t streak at all when it starts to fade. One application delivers noticeable color, but you can definitely build up by applying 2-3 times a week until you achieve your desired color intensity.
Lavera Sun Sensitiv retails at $27.50 for a 150 mL/5.0 fl oz bottle. It also retails at Target for $22.99, so if you have a store near you/haul enough for free shipping, go for that option. I’d say that the price is mid-end for a self tanner; it’s more expensive than what you would get at the drugstore, but cheaper than many department store options. In my opinion, it’s worth every penny of the price. This is a product that even self-tanner newbies should feel comfortable using.
Grab a bottle+your summer sandals (mine are from Aerosoles, obviously)…
(The ‘BOING’ noise represents the sandals and their longing to spring out into the lush green pastures of life)
And waltz out the door!
‘dress’: Forever 21
skirt for butt-covering purposes: Cotton On
When applying self-tanner, these tips may come in handy:
Exfoliate beforehand for a smooth base.
Wear plastic gloves to prevent orange palms, or wash your hands right afterwards.
Apply the product in circular motions to avoid streaking.
Exfoliation/shaving will cause the product to fade more quickly.
Wait about 15 minutes to put on your clothes, and about 3 hours to shower/exercise.
Apply lotion on areas with dry skin (elbows, knees, ankles) to prevent the color from getting too intense there. If you’re applying self tanner on your face, put some lotion on your eyebrows and around your hairline.
And of course, remember to apply sunscreen before you waltz out the door with your new tan. Or I may have to hunt you down and give you an spf lecture.
Thumbs up for
The gorgeous color, all-natural ingredients, non-streakage, ease of application, and the yummy scent.
Thumbs down for
Price, but that’s more of a thumbs-to-the-side.
I love it, if I haven’t made that obvious already. When I run out, I’m definitely high-tailing it to Target to pick up a new tube, which is something I never thought I’d say about self tanner.
Full Disclosure: The product in this post was submitted for review, either by a PR firm or directly from the manufacturer. For more information, please see my disclaimer.