My friend Dana asked, “over the summer I want to switch to lotions with a slight bronze or shimmer, but I don’t want to look like a glittery teenager. And I don’t want to use a self-tanner — what are your recommendations?”
This was well timed because I had just found out that celebrity makeup artist Angela Levin used a shimmery body product on Jennifer Aniston for her appearance at the London premiere of Horrible Bosses last week. I, of course, had to see for myself what product she used and compare it to a few others I’ve relied on over the years.
The product she used was the St. Tropez Skin Illuminator in Gold, $22.50. She applied it to Aniston’s arms and legs and claimed, “The iridescent sheen gave Jen’s naturally tanned skin depth and definition while giving her shoulders and cheekbones a subtle touch of radiance for the cameras.” says Levin. After trying it myself, I totally approve. It does, in fact, add a subtle shimmer to skin — so that your body looks simply well moisturized and glowy — not overly sparkly. It absorbs quickly because it’s a very lightweight formula, and it has a subtle perfumy fragrance (though if you don’t like scented body products, this might not be right for you). It really is one of the better ones I’ve tried. Heck, if it works for Aniston, it’s good enough for me.
After trying this, another product popped into my mind — one I’ve been using for years, which is Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Body Gloss, $7.99. This gives skin a similar golden, shimmery glow while being even a touch more subtle than the St. Tropez. It doesn’t absorb as quickly, due to the added cocoa butter and vitamin E, but it’s a great alternative to the above if you’re sticking to a budget, need added moisture or if you prefer a less scented product. This gloss has a barely there cocoa butter scent, but mostly just smells like lotion.
If you’d rather use a product that bronzes skin while adding shimmer, try Scott Barnes Body Bling Platinum, $42. This adds a believable dose of bronze to pasty skin while adding a sprinkling of shimmer that is just a touch more obvious — though not glittery at all — than the St. Tropez product. A great option if you need to warm up your skin while making it glow.
But, if you’re looking for a temporary body bronzer without the shimmer, try the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs, $13.99 or MAC Skinsheen Leg Spray, $26.50. I’ve used both many times for special occasions, like weddings, and they don’t transfer onto clothes and add a touch of color without looking as obvious as a self-tanner.
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