I’ve done everything in my power to avoid the sun’s wrath in recent years. Whereas I once laid in UV-laden tanning beds and fried on the beach wearing sun-absorbing baby oil, I’ve learned to embrace the safer side of achieving sun-kissed skin in my older years, even if that means getting my glow from a bottle.
Thankfully, sunless tanning products have dramatically improved in recent years. Though these over-the-counter products once left you looking blotchy, uneven, and just plain awkward with their mysterious, often-haphazard results, today’s most innovative tanning products are creating ethereal, enviable tans that look healthy, natural, and downright gorgeous.
Even A-list celebrities are rocking sunless-tanning products, including your residential dream beau, Ryan Gosling. Tanning specialist Kimberly Nkoski, who worked as a tanning expert on the highly anticipated Barbie film (premiering in 2023), used the vegan, cruelty-free, and affordable brand Isle of Paradise to create Gosling’s Barbie-inspired glow for his role as Ken in the film. If a product works well enough to make Gosling look even more dreamy than he already is, it’s definitely worth researching.
I tried three of Isle of Paradise’s popular sunless-tanning products, including their Self-Tan Priming Spray, Self-Tanning Water, and Big Blending Brush to see if I could achieve my own tanning goals. As someone who has experienced unfavorable results in the past with other sunless-tanning products, I was nervous to test out a new, unfamiliar spray formula, but I decided to go for it anyway.
Isle of Paradise Prep It Self Tanning Primer Spray
A couple of days before fully applying the Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water, I did a quick patch test on my skin to make sure the self-tanning water I chose was the right shade for my skin. There are three Isle of Paradise self-tanning waters to choose from, including light, medium, and dark all suited for a variety of skin tones and the level of bronze desired. I chose the Light shade because I’m super fair, but also because I was looking more for a natural glow as opposed to a darker, golden-hued look.
Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Water
After a successful patch test on my wrist, I exfoliated and moisturized my skin thoroughly before applying the Prep It Self-Tan Priming Spray all over. This brightening, easy-to-apply spray, which is infused with avocado, chia seed, and coconut oil, spritzes on lightly with an even mist, smells amazing (unlike so many self-tanning formulas out there!), and immediately absorbs into your skin within seconds without leaving it the least bit oily, fragrant, or greasy. Though you don’t have to use the Self-Tan Priming Spray in conjunction with the Self-Tanning Water to achieve your desired look, the priming spray sets in the product much better and makes it last days longer.
Isle of Paradise Shape and Glow Self Tanning Blending Brush
Next, I sprayed on the Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water from head to toe, making sure to blend it in with the brand’s Shape and Glow Big Blending Brush. This vital, easy-to-use brush helps mix the spray in tricky areas like your hands, feet, elbows, and knees, but I used it everywhere I sprayed the tanning water to make sure the mist was getting evenly dispersed and distributed, especially on my face, feet, and knees.
After waiting a few hours, I finally beheld a gorgeous, peachy, glistening glow that looked natural, healthy, and not in the least bit patchy. My fears of looking streaky, blotchy, and orange did not come true at all; in fact, what I appreciated most about Isle of Paradise’s Self-Tanning Water compared to other name-brand tanning products is that it looked very natural, almost like I had come back from a relaxing, sunburn-free beach vacation.
You’ll be relieved to know, too, that the Self-Tanning Water doesn’t transfer over to fabrics after you’ve applied it to your skin. Even after coming in contact with my clothes, towels, and sheets, I didn’t catch sight of the shimmery product anywhere on my belongings, which is a vast improvement from other stain-creating tanning products I’ve tried before.
Once my tan set in after about six hours, it stayed on for the next six days, thanks to the lasting effects of the Self-Tan Priming Spray. I tried the Self-Tanning Water on its own without the Self-Tan Priming Spray a second go-round and noticed that the tan lasted only about four days compared to about six with the priming spray, so if you want to extend the life of your gorgeous glow a few extra days longer, the priming spray is worth the investment.
Also, an important tip to remember: Definitely make sure to exfoliate and moisturize your skin before applying the Self Tanning Water all over. In doing this, you’ll avoid those much-dreaded, hard-to-camouflage streaks that come from having dry skin.
It’s embarrassing to admit that it took someone like Ryan Gosling to inspire me to try a new beauty product, but if the Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water works well enough to make someone that beautiful look even more amazing, then it’s worth giving this celeb-approved tanning product a try.
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