Body Care, Sun Care - July 23rd, 2009
I finally had a chance to review another self tanner! I’ve been wanting to review Clarins Delicious Self-Tanning Cream since it came out, and finally took the plunge and bought a jar.
The cream is supposed to be lightly scented (and no objectionable “tanner” smell), have a light caramel color to aid with application, and be streak-free. It is also supposed to be a good moisturizer. I gave it a sniff ages ago at a Clarins counter and was favorably impressed with the scent (or lack thereof) but at $42 a jar it’s a bit on the splurgey side.
It’s summer however, and I’m feeling a bit on the splurgey side when it comes to combatting my very white legs. I don’t go tanning or lay out in the sun, so my chances of getting any color (at least on my legs) is pretty minimal. I do have some color on my arms because I’m not super-diligent with the sunscreen on my body (I know! Bad Claire!) so my arms get some color from driving about in the car. But the legs? White all the way, because if I’m running around outside where they’d get some sun, I do put on the ‘screen.
The Clarins product has definite pros and cons, in my opinion. First, it’s a big jar, so you’re going to be dipping your fingers in and scooping out product. It’s thick, but not thick enough that it’s not going to glop all over if you aren’t careful. Clarins helpfully includes a spatula, which I promptly lost. My fault, not theirs. But if you use some care, getting the product out of the jar and onto your skin isn’t that hard. It’s not a dealbreaker, but I prefer a tube. Clearly though, you can see it’s a jar, so it’s not like I couldn’t have guessed I wasn’t going to love it.
I had to do two applications to get a decent tan color. This could have been a problem with me, though, since I was a bit on the sparing side in the first application. I need to learn to use a heavier hand with the product, which will eliminate the need for two applications.
It takes FOREVER to dry, it seemed like. The Bella Bronze dries a LOT faster. I was not prepared for the 20-30 minute wait before my skin felt reasonably un-tacky to the touch. I got around it by doing my makeup and hair in my underpants while my legs dried, which is okay I guess in the summer, but definitely not going to be so great in the colder wintertime. The room with my makeup desk gets CHILLY. Timing FAIL! I think this will be a strictly warm weather product for that reason.
This is a nitpick, but it’s hard to screw the jar lid on properly. It wants to cross-thread. Again, not a deal-breaker, but annoying nonetheless.
On the plus side, the caramel color does indeed help you tell where you’ve spread it, although it’s pretty sheer. It’s better than nothing, though. It applies quite smoothly, and was easy to feel like I was getting a fairly even application. I applied a teensy amount of regular body lotion first on my knees and ankles, and didn’t have a problem with funny dark spots in those areas. The exception was a bit of an dark swipe on the top of one foot – the result of me not remembering the advice to do your feet last. The ankles and knees looked good!
The smell is definitely not objectionable at all. It is vaguely sweet, and overall definitely more pleasant than not. It doesn’t smell like anything in particular, despite the associations by color and name with chocolate. The color was a natural tan color on my skin, not overly orangey. Just a golden-y color, nice! The color takes about four days or so to fade, and faded pretty evenly – no funny splotchy patches.
It does strike me as a decent body moisturizer. Certainly I had no issues with my skin feeling dry for the rest of the day after applying
Overall, I think Bella Bronze edges out Clarins by a small margin. However, I do like the even application, the helpfulness of the caramel color, and the fact that I got a deeper color with just two applications. With enough practice, I could probably figure out about how much to use to get that color in a single application. So far, 2-3 minimum is needed with Bella Bronze, which I suspect is just a lighter formula in general. I give Clarins a solid one thumb up! (In case you’re wondering, one thumb up means I recommend it with a few reservations. Two thumbs would be a rec. with no reservations.