Hey there! Meet Catherine. She’s a fellow Her Campus writer who has decided to embark on the journey of self-tanning.
Neither Catherine nor I have ever tried self-tanning before, so we weren’t entirely sure how this process was going to go. But we committed to giving it a try anyways. With the help of L’Oreal’s Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Towelettes, we holed ourselves in Catherine’s bathroom and got to work.
For step one, the box says to “cleanse and exfoliate skin,” which I definitely don’t think we thoroughly did. Catherine did shower and shave, though, if that counts. Our tanning expert friend told us to make sure Catherine covered herself in lotion first, so we did that and then broke out the towelettes. Naturally, that’s when a little concern started to set in (though I was definitely much more nervous than Catherine, and I wasn’t even using them on myself).
Catherine: I don’t tan, ever. The only time I ever tan is in the sun. I’m a natural kind of gal, organic. So this is a little nerve wracking. I hope I don’t come out orange.
Me: I’m more worried about you coming out streaky!
Catherine: Yeah, I’m definitely going to be streaky. I think that’s a risk I’m willing to take for science.
Me: It says you have to do this 1-2 times per week. Do you think you’re going to do it that often?
Catherine: If I like it, I’m going to do it til all of the box runs out! (Thank you Her Campus for the free stuff). Then maybe I’ll buy it!
The next step on the box is to “smooth towelette all over body, unfolding as needed”, followed by the warning “use sparingly around ankles, knees and elbows.” Easy enough!
We used one towelette on her whole body and the application was easy enough. It wasn’t wet or sticky, which was really nice. I’ve heard about spray tanning and that always sounded like the biggest mess to me. These towelettes created literally no mess at all. They didn’t smell weird, they didn’t dye my hands orange…it was like using a baby wipe.
Me: What are your feelings now as I’m wiping this on you?
Catherine: I feel clean! I feel like I’m being cleansed. Like I’m an old woman who’s in the nursing home being cleaned.
The only thing that was a little confusing was making sure you applied it everywhere, since it doesn’t leave the skin wet or immediately darker or anything. When you’re using this product on yourself, I would just advise to actually pay attention to where you’ve wiped so far. I personally just dove right in with the towelette and at the end was hoping I didn’t miss anywhere. (But again, I was the one afraid of making her streaky, so…)
Honestly, the hardest part about this whole process was figuring out what body parts you’re supposed to tan! (Did I mention we’ve never done this before?)Catherine: I’m worried my face is going to be in contrast with my arms.
Me: Aren’t we going to tan your face?
Catherine: Well, can we?
**Short break to read the directions more thoroughly. This is where questions such as, “Were we supposed to use just one for your body or multiple?” and “Are there warnings for where you can put it?” arose.**
Catherine: It doesn’t say you can’t put it on your face. I think we should just be gentle, though.
Me: Okay! Did I get your neck?
Catherine: Should we do that?
Me: Probably if we’re going to do your face…
Catherine: Should we do the back of the neck?
Me: I think I did.
Catherine: Oh God, okay. I’m so nervous about my face. My arms are whatever, it’ll look like I played in paint, that’s cool. This could look like I messed up.
Me: Worst thing that happens is you come out a Donald Trump shade.
Catherine: But I’m sure that’s going to come into style now.
Me: Honestly, it’s GQ’s everything.
Catherine: I could also put my hair in front of my face, so this is fine. If you see me tomorrow with my hair in front of everything, you’re going to know it didn’t work well.
Before you knew it, we were done! The whole thing didn’t take more than ten minutes and no disasters happened. We weren’t sure what parts were going to be noticeably not tan, so we literally applied it to her face, neck, ears, armpits…just everything. The next step is to just wash your hands after application and then wait for skin to dry completely before putting on clothes, and that didn’t take long, either. We gave it about another 10 minutes before calling it a day and heading off to get dinner!
The box claims the tan will start to develop in less than an hour. So here’s Catherine after one hour!Personally, we didn’t notice a difference after an hour. But that’s okay since we weren’t in a desperate need to be tan immediately. The brightside is she still wasn’t looking orange or streaky.
The next morning… Catherine was a little tanner! We definitely noticed it more in her arms and (not orange) face, but the tan lines from her shorts and bra straps also helped serve as a before and after for us.
Catherine: The result wasn’t as intense as I wanted it to be. I still think it’s a great product. The first time I used it I used one towelette for only my arm and my stomach. The second time I used one for the entire body, so maybe that’s why I didn’t come out so tan. I haven’t washed it off yet, either.
Me: Are you surprised you’re not streaky and that your face came out well?
Catherine: I wasn’t totally surprised.
So, things to keep in mind upon reflection of the product. The box does say to use the towelettes daily until you achieve your desired tan and then to maintain, do it once or twice a week. Therefore, I don’t think it was realistic for us to expect her to come out of this looking like a bronzed goddess after one towelette. But! Catherine did like it enough that she would keep using it, so hopefully over the coming weeks we see her get tanner!
I do think it’s worth pointing out that the tan we see does look super natural! I definitely think if you keep up with applying the product, the end result would be a natural, bronzed tan.
Because she never showers, we shot some magical “Psssst” Instant Dry Shampoo Catherine’s hair, stuck some easy-to-use Hot Lips on her, and sent her out into the world looking like a total babe. Personally, I think the Hot Lips are amazing because I can’t figure out how they work (you just stick your lips on this paper kiss and you leave with cute lip color!) Catherine is a big fan of the dry shampoo because it doesn’t leave her dark hair with white roots, as she’s found with other dry shampoos. Then, voila! You have a true Oswego babe walking around the campus.