Faking It: Clinique Touch of Bronze Moisturizing Body Lotion

As a pale person who burns easily, is afraid of skin cancer, and generally dislikes "outside" activities, I rarely spend time in the sun. But, sometimes a girl would like to have a little color, so I've been known to dive into self-tanner from time to time. Thankfully, self-tanning formulations have gotten much better in the past five years, so if you have fears of turning into a streaky Oompa-Loompa, I'm here to tell you that times have changed!

Clinique's Touch of Bronze Moisturizing Body Lotion was my most recent experiment in the quest for a fake, natural looking tan. They claim that it is "a sunless way to give your skin a natural-looking bronze radiance" and, honestly, who wouldn't like to order up a little more radiance? The directions are fairly straightforward: exfoliate your entire self, apply the lotion as evenly as possible, wash hands, wait 5 minutes before wearing clothes.

First, the positive points. The color develops gradually over 24-48 hours so it's not like you suddenly show up to work one day looking completely different and obviously faking it. So that's good. Second, it is a delicate, subtle bronze color that worked well with my pale skin tone. The tan I eventually developed looked very natural, so much so that my cousin, sister-in-law, and boss were surprised to hear that it was fake. Thinking it was real, my boss even told me that I had lovely skin color! How amazing is that?! Third, it is build-able color so re-applying every day or every other day provides a gradual deepening. Lastly, it has an easy-to-apply consistency and there was no streakiness.

Now the negatives. It smells kind of weird. I don't know what it smells like, but it is definitely not a smell that I would request. It is a clear gel and applies without a color. This could be a positive, but it was challenging to apply the color evenly without having some sort of color indication as to how I was doing. It also left a kind of "film" on my skin that was rather unpleasant. I waited up to 15 minutes (more than the recommended 5) before getting anywhere near clothes, but it didn't feel like the product was absorbed completely even after that time. Lastly, at over $18 a bottle, it is not the most economical of self-tanning options. This is especially true because I got a maximum of 4 whole-body applications out of the 5 fl oz container.

So, what's my final verdict? Well, the best I can say is that it is a mixed bag. If pushed, I'd give it a B grade. I would abandon it completely except for the amazing compliments that I got from friends and family. There was universal approval of my newly bronze-touched self and it's hard to argue with that. Well, universal female support, at least. J. didn't really have much to say although I think he did approve of all the naked-time required for proper application.

A helpful video tutorial about applying a flawless self-tan can be found here.



Irina said...

thanks for the good review...i know what its like to be pale and its hard to look an but i enjoy using Booty Butter by Bikini Kitchen...it smells great and gets me tan in under an hour

February 9, 2009 at 8:10 AM

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