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June Sneak Peek: Self Tanner That Isn’t Scary

It may be bikini season, but since I don’t lounge poolside everyday, I care more that it’s shorts season. As a fair-skinned gal and a major SPF nut, my gams are pretty pasty year round. (True story: I recently took a trip to Bermuda and a co-worker, trying to be nice, commented that I got some color on my trip. Completely horrified, I replied, “I hope not!”) During the summer, I rely heavily on self-tanner for to keep from looking ghostly. 

This month, to go along with our Jet Set theme, we’re sampling Comodynes’ Self-Tanning Towelettes. As someone who has tried zillion and one faux tan products, I naturally wanted to test them out myself. I didn’t know what to expect from Intensive, their darkest shade, but I was very pleasantly surprised at both the ease of application and the pretty result. I have some tips for anyone who is intimidated by either the word “self-tanner” or “intensive.”

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Fake A Beach Tan with this 2-Second Bronzer Trick

Photo: Allure

Just because I’m deathly afraid of the sun doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy a healthy glow. Since I don’t tan for real, I rely on sunless tanner all summer long to keep me looking bronzed (and from frightening anyone with my pallor while in a two-piece). But honestly, in the winter, I just can’t be bothered to slather on tanner from head to toe—mainly because it’s a lot of effort when the only skin I bear from November to March is my face and hands.

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Friendly Advice: Guest Blogger

The moment you start reading Alex Yeske’s dreams + jeans blog, you know one thing for sure: the girl has excellent taste. Musing on everything from fashion to beauty to design, the recent Syracuse grad has a knack for spotting pretty things — a skill that no doubt serves her well in her day job as a graphic designer for Madewell. This week, we’re lucky enough to have her guest blogging for us about everything from her beauty must-haves to how to get the perfect blow dry.

Who doesn’t love getting product recommendations from friends? I asked a few fellow bloggers that I know well to recommend some of their favorite products.

Kathryn of Sweet Tea and Champagne: I love St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse because it’s so easy to apply and you get that instant fresh-off-the-island glow.

Mackenzie of Design Darling: I always thought that as a redhead, I couldn’t rock a red lip, but I gave it a go this summer and I’m suddenly smitten. Pair NARS’ matte lipstick in Jungle Red with dewy skin and a dash of black mascara — it’s attention-getting for all the right reasons!

Molly of A Piece of Toast: My only makeup essential that has not changed since I was a sophomore in high school is my Shu Uemura eyelash curler. I truly cannot live without it. I first put on my mascara (a rotation of cheapies from Target) and then use this curler, and I seriously feel like a movie star!

Another big blogger fave? philosophy’s Hope in a Jar.

Summer Glow…Sans The Sun

All in all, it was a pretty lackluster spring in NYC—and if you don’t live here, then you know this simply because we’ve complained so much. Fingers crossed, the next season will yield better weather and as far as we’re concerned, this holiday weekend is the unofficial beginning of summer. By now you know to load on the SPF (here are some tips for how), but to adequately prepare for skin-barring temps, you should definitely prep with some self-tanner. Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta Glow Pads are incredible at bringing a natural faux-glow to your visage (with the added benefit of anti-aging ingredients), but we also want our skin to look fresh and dewy. Enter our new fave find, gloMinerals’ Body Glisten. Makeup artist Nam Vo introduced us to this gilded lotion at a recent photo shoot where she applied a handful to the model to give her some sparkle. We imagine that this is the perfect way make our legs look a little extra special after months of no sun, so we can’t wait for the weather to turn nice enough for us to actually test out our theory.


Dr. Dennis Gross also makes Alpha Beta Peel towelettes without any tanner. Pick them up in our Birchbox Shop!

My Top Four Self Tanners

A few years ago I made a discovery that would change my life forever: self tanner. I had spent high school in southern California where everyone was effortlessly sun-kissed and while I did achieve a nice glow from time to time, it was never easy. It involved lots of burning, tanning, and even slathering on oil sans SPF. Yikes. Not my most brilliant days.

I have since repented for my foolish youth and stopped going in direct sun altogether. (A whopping sunburn my junior year of college was the final straw and I while won’t go into all the painful details, let’s suffice it to say it was rather unpleasant.) Finally realizing my skin was not meant for tanning the natural (and unsafe) way, I began to explore the world of the faux glow. It’s truly liberating: no tan lines or painful redness, even color in just a few hours—why doesn’t everyone do this? Over the years, I’ve tried lots of products, (not all self tanners are created equal, believeyoume), but these are my current faves, in no particular order.

Clarins Self Tanning Milk ($32.50): My first foray into self tanning was with Clarins and that was completely by luck. This has been my go-to for years because it goes on easily and streak-free and it provides the most incredible, natural color.

Bare Escentuals Beautifully Bronzed Deluxe 2-piece Edition ($46.14): I got this self tanner and brush set in a gift bag a few weeks ago and I was a little hesitant. The formula is really dark and I am so accustomed to applying with my hands. That said, I gave it a shot on my legs and not only does the color look great, but the brush was really thorough and an awesome way to keep my palms from getting more color than they should.

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