The Ultimate Self Tanner Review

The Ultimate Self Tanner Review

Summer is pretty much upon us and if there’s anything I love it’s a nice tan! While I do love a natural tan, I don’t love wrinkles or skin cancer. So while I’m slowly getting my tan on through my sunscreen, a fake tan is good enough for me. Since I’ve tried so many tanners I thought I would share my reviews on each.

So, in no particular order, here is every fake tanner I’ve used in the past two or three years.

  • St. Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse. If you want to look like you’ve gone on a tropical vacation pronto this is a great product. However, while it’s relatively streak free it transfers a ton. I’ve never had issues getting it out of clothes before, but sheets are another story. Although, to be fair, I just have issues with self tanner and my sheets in general. Another down side is that if you get wet it comes off pretty instantly. I used this self tanner before my graduation photos and when I got in the fountain (it’s a tradition at Elon) the bottom half of my legs were noticeably paler than the rest of me. On the plus side, this product gives you an instant tan when you put it on and gets darker over the next 8 hours AND it only costs $13. I’d give it a 6/10
  • St. Tropez Classic Bronzing Mousse. One of the OG self tanners, I think this is a pretty solid product. It’s relatively easy to apply and gives a good color. However, I did have problems with streaking and I just didn’t love it—which for the price ($32) doesn’t exactly make it worth it for me. I’d give it a 6.5/10/
  • Loving Tan 2 HR Express Self Tanning Mousse. Honestly I absolutely love this product except for one flaw: it doesn’t fade very well. This product fades patchily and it’s super noticeable on my neck. It’s also pretty hard to scrub off to avoid the patchiness. This could be because I have dryer skin. I know a ton of bloggers use this product and look phenomenal. If you want to take a chance it really does give a gorgeous olive color that doesn’t look fake. I just don’t like paying $40 when I have to deal with a patchy neck. I’d still give this an 8/10 though.
  • Vita Liberata Fabulous Self Tanning Gradual Lotion. Along with St. Tropez, this is one of the first self tanning products I’ve used. I really liked it as a starting point, but ended not buying it again after Ulta sold me an expired bottle of it. That obviously isn’t the brand’s fault, but I just tend to buy my self tanner there. Again, I loved it when I first used it but now I probably wouldn’t go back to it because I like more of an instant tanning product versus a gradual one. But, if you’re looking to add a tan more slowly this could be the product for you! I’d give it an 7/10.
  • Tanologist Express Tan Water. This is actually a newer product for me and I had started with the mousse then accidentally bought the water version. The mousse was good, but I actually love the water more! This is a really easy to apply, affordable ($17) product that’s pretty streak free. To maintain the color I like I use it about one or two times a week. While I do think it applies easily, sometimes I do miss some spots and have a few white patches—usually around my feet, hands, and elbows—but that’s more to do with user error. I would give this a 9/10.
  • Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Butter. So this product can only be bought as a bundle with the face tanning drops, but it is SO WORTH IT. This is my absolute favorite self tanner I’ve used in awhile and what I’m currently using. I didn’t think I would like going back to a lotion (I’m so used to mousses and my tanning mitt) but I love this product. I actually enjoy the lotion aspect and I feel like it makes it easier for me to not miss spots. My only complaint is that since you have to wash your hands after using it, it’s hard to get the top of your hands looking perfectly tan. Otherwise that is amazing and I highly recommend it. I use it about twice a week right after I get out of the shower. The face drops are also amazing. I do tend to put body tanner on my face because I don’t break out that often, but having something made specially for faces puts me more at ease. Plus, it does a better job in general. I give this a 9.5/10. (If I figure out a solution for the hand dilemma, it’s getting a 10/10).
  • L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse. This is a really good product for those who are new to the self tanning world. I actually recommended this to one of my best friends who is pale, but wanted just a little tan for our graduation photos last year. It’s easy to apply, affordable, and smells good. The downside is that it only comes in a medium shade and it’s just not dark enough for me. The bottle recommends applying three times throughout the day for a darker shade, which does help, but I don’t have time to spend a whole day applying self tanner. For my personal needs I give it a 5/10, but I wouldn’t say don’t try it. If you’re paler this might be a 10/10 purchase for you. My friend actually really liked it.
  • L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towelettes. So I haven’t actually really used these since my senior prom (5 years ago), but sometimes I find towels in my bathroom at home and use just one to add to my tan. I will say, I didn’t get a spray tan for prom and my tan looked really good. If you consistently use these for about a week, you’ll get a great bronzed color. The only problem is that it can be hard to get a streak free tan on your first try—it calls for a little practice. Once you have it down though, I definitely recommend. I also don’t love the smell, but it’s not that bad. Overall I’d say 6/10, mainly because I’m not patient!
  • Tanceuticals CC Self-Tanning Lotion. I heard a lot of great things about this product and I did like it. It has a color correct (CC) which helps get an even, streak free tan. I liked the color, the smell, and the application. What I didn’t like is that I used practically the entire bottle after four applications. I just don’t think it’s worth the price (just under $30) for the amount of product you get. But if you don’t mind spending that much, this is a really good product. I’d give it a 7.5/10.

Obviously I’m a bit of a self tanning addict, but I hope my vice is helpful for you! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products (or plan to) or if you have any other self tanner questions!

xo,

Carey

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Kimono: Amazon // Bikini top: Aerie // Bikini bottom: Aerie // Sandals: Tory Burch // Bracelet 1: Kendra Scott // Bracelet 2: Kendra Scott

Skincare: Morning and Nighttime Routines

Skincare: Morning and Nighttime Routines
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I don’t know why, but I LOVE reading about people’s skincare routines. Even if their skin is completely different than mine, you never know when you’ll learn a new tip or find a new product to try.

I asked on stories and the poll was almost unanimous—you guys wanted me to share my skincare routine! I’ll be honest with you—I didn’t have a full routine until about 6 months to a year ago. My skin is still a work in progress and I’m still trying to find the right products for my concerns. But, with that being said, I’ll share everything I do now to keep my face clear and glowing! Also to preface my skincare routine, my skin is pretty normal, but on the dryer side. I have the occasional breakout due to hormones, stress, and sometimes diet (if I’m not eating that healthy), but for the most part I don’t have acne.

AM Routine:

  1. Splash with cold water. I never wash my face in the morning because I feel like it’s too much having just washed it before bed. The cold water is really to wake me up, but I think it helps.
  2. Apply vitamin C serum. I’ve been using vitamin C on my face for awhile now, but I just got in a sample of the Drunk Elephant cult favorite vitamin C serum. Here are my thoughts: I’ve been using this for two weeks now and I really can’t tell a difference from my other (cheaper) serum. I also think you have to use a lot of product or it feels really sticky. I’m going to keep using it until I run out, so I can give another update then.
  3. Apply under eye cream. I’ve tried a lot of eye creams because my dark circles and under eye bags are probably my biggest insecurity. Truthfully, nothing really helps me. I ended up just buying a cream I saw at Target and I use it solely for moisturizing the delicate skin.
  4. Apply moisturizer. I ran out of my favorite moisturizer a little while ago, so right now I’m using this Olay one that I had on hand. It’s really thick for a day cream, so I will be going back to my usual Clinique soon.
  5. Apply eye balm. The Tula eye balm was really hyped up on Instagram, so I figured I should give it a try. Again, I don’t see any difference in my circles/bags (they’re from genetics and allergies), but I really love the cooling sensation. I think if I had especially puffy eyes from staying up too late/crying/etc. it would help bring that down. There is also a brightening effect, but I think it looks a little unnatural on it’s own. Under makeup though I love it!
  6. Apply sunscreen. So, I don’t actually use sunscreen on it’s own, I either use my tinted SPF or my foundation which has SPF in it. This is something I’m looking to add to my routine though!

PM Routine:

  1. Wash face. I just started using the Cetaphil face wash after a dermatologist I follow on TikTok recommended it. Already, I love it! It’s such a gentle cleanser and really does a great job removing makeup. Any other makeup residue I remove with either Micellar water (I’m out right now, sadly) or a makeup removing microfiber towel.
  2. Apply collagen serum. So, I think this serum is meant for anti-aging, but I like that it has hyaluronic acid (helps skin hold in moisture) and I like to think I’m being proactive on the collagen front! I’m 23 now, but collagen production begins to decline at 25 so I want to make sure I’m doing everything I can to counteract.
  3. Apply eye cream. This is the same eye cream I use in the morning.
  4. Apply Argan oil. Instead of a moisturizer at night, I like to use Argan oil to really help moisturize my skin. If I’m feeling extra dry I’ll do double duty and apply moisturizer on top.

Other Notes:

  1. I always try to remember to apply my serums and moisturizer to my neck and chest area as well, and wipe any excess on the back of my hands! Skincare doesn’t just include your face!
  2. Once or twice a week I exfoliate using this exfoliator. It’s relatively new to me, but I can already tell that it’s become a favorite. My skin feels baby smooth after I use it.
  3. Whenever I feel like my skin needs a refresh, I apply my favorite mask (I talked about it in this post recently). So, usually once a week or every other week. It really depends on how I’m feeling!
  4. On days I’m feeling extra puffy, I like to use a jade roller—technically mine is rose quartz—to get rid of fluid build up. I don’t use this every day, so I haven’t seen miraculous results, but at the very least I find it relaxing, like a mini facial! I usually apply Argan oil or a thick glob of moisturizer before rolling.
  5. Don’t come at me for not using a toner! I know I need to use one. I’ve tried this one and this one in the past and love both, but they do two different things. It’s on my list of things I need to buy!
  6. I’ve been using these headbands to keep my hair out of my face while washing/applying products and I love them! They’re perfect for when you’re doing makeup too.
  7. I also do my best to drink enough water and eat a healthy diet because that’s important for clear skin. Also taking vitamins. I use a generic daily vitamin and I also take biotin—but I will admit that the past few months I haven’t been very diligent in taking them.

Anyway, I hope that answered any questions about my daily skincare routine! Let me know what I should cover next in the comments below!

xo,

Carey

My Amazon Quarantine Purchases

My Amazon Quarantine Purchases

If there’s one thing keeping me going during quarantine, it’s online shopping. Is there any better feeling than seeing a package at your door? Name one, I dare you.

But in all actuality, I have been doing a bit more online shopping than normal (I’m justifying it by looking at all of the other expenses I’m saving on by being stuck at home!). Of course, I made one or two (or three or four) Amazon orders!

I thought it would be fun to share all of my purchases at Amazon since quarantine started. I have to say, it really isn’t too much! So, let’s get into it!

  1. No-show Socks. I have so many shoes that require no-shows and hadn’t been able to find a good pair. Another blogger recommended these, so my mom and I had to try them out. I think they work really well! They still slip a bit, but they’re 10x better than others I’ve tried!
  2. Flyaway Hair Stick. My friend and I constantly joke that we’re the queens of flyaways. No matter how much I smooth down my ponytail or bun, I have a million little (curly!) baby hairs going every which way. This does a really good job of getting them slicked down and doesn’t leave a weird feeling on your hair.
  3. Chain Necklace. Chain necklaces are having a MAJOR moment, so of course I had to hop on this trend. I love the shape and length of this chain and the fact that it’s 18k gold-plated helps with tarnishing. I’ve been wearing it every day—sometimes even working out in it—and have yet to see any wear and tear.
  4. Fendi Dupe Headbands. I’ve been wanting these headbands for such a long time! They haven’t come in yet, so I can’t attest to the quality, but I’m so into Fendi right now, plus you know how much I love headbands. I’m pretty confident that I’m going to love these.
  5. Tongue Scraper. So this is a bit of a weird purchase, but another blogger I follow shared these on stories and I wanted to try. I definitely think it does a better job than a toothbrush of brushing your tongue. It really makes my mouth feel cleaner!
  6. Tinkle Razors. I’ve heard so many people say that they use these razors to scrape off any peach fuzz on their faces as well as dead skin cells—basically dermaplaning at home! I’ve tried it once so far and I will say that I didn’t see a huge difference. I felt like I should have seen more “stuff” come off my face (as gross as that is) than I did. I’ll have to keep trying and see if it was just user error. They are good for getting rid of any hair between your brows though!
  7. Makeup Headbands. How adorable are these bow headbands for washing your face/doing your makeup? I’m in love! There’s really nothing else to say here.
  8. Makeup organizer. It was high time I got rid of my makeup bag (that my concealer leaked all over) and upgraded. I like that this organizer is adjustable, so basically you decide how many compartments and where they go. I will say, it doesn’t hold as much as I would like it to, but if you don’t have A TON of makeup, it’s perfect!
  9. Celine Dupe Sunglasses. I swear, every LA fashion blogger has these glasses and I knew I needed them. They’re a $13 dupe for the $400 Celine pair and I think they look so chic! Highly recommend (they’re my favorite purchase along with the chain necklace).

So that’s what I’ve ordered so far from Amazon! I’m sure I’ll be adding to list very shortly!

xo,

Carey

Sephora Spring Sale + 10 Holy Grail Products

Sephora Spring Sale + 10 Holy Grail Products

So you might have heard by now, but Sephora’s bi-annual sale is back! If you’re a Rouge member you’ve already been eligible to start shopping the sale at a 20% discount. If you’re a VIB (like me) today is the day you get to start shopping at at 15% discount! And Beauty Insiders get to start shopping the sale on Tuesday (4/23) at a 10% discount. Just remember to use the code SPRINGSAVE to redeem online!

If you’re a beauty lover like me, now is the perfect time to stock up on all of your makeup, skincare, and hair care favorites and maybe even splurge on a new product you’ve been eyeing. Because the sale is going on, I thought I would share the top 10 Sephora must-haves that I can’t live without.

  1. Secret Brightening Powder. I’ve shared before that my under eye circles and puffiness are one of my biggest skin concerns. While concealer is a must to help hide them, this product really sets the concealer in place (looks good all day!) and adds even more brightness. It also helps to mattify the area — in other words tone down the dewiness from the concealer — to avoid drawing attention to that area. Truly a life changing product for me!
  2. CILS Lash Booster. I’ve raved about this before. I have incredibly straight eyelashes so using a lash primer is an absolute must. I’ve tried the drug store version of this and it just doesn’t compare. This is definitely worth the extra $$!
  3. Foundation. Personally, I don’t go for heavy duty foundations. I like that this one feels almost like moisturizer, but still covers up everything it needs to. The face that it also has SPF is a major benefit! I wear shade 4N — it’s the perfect match to my skin tone after I self tan.
  4. Tinted SPF. If I’m not using my foundation (pretty much days that I haven’t self tanned or don’t plan to wear a lot of makeup) this is my go-to product. It’s SPF 50 which I LOVE and is basically the same as a tinted moisturizer. It really blurs out imperfections and is worth every penny.
  5. Beauty Elixir. I will admit that I don’t use this every day, but it is one of my favorite products. I use this mostly as a setting spray, but also sometimes after I put on primer. It really helps to set your makeup, but also adds moisture back in so you don’t look cakey. I also love the minty smell/feeling!
  6. Eyeshadow Palette. This is basically my most used palette at the moment. I got it last summer and am still super impressed by the pigments. I can create so many looks just from these 6 colors. And even if you don’t love these exact colors, I can’t recommend Charlotte Tilbury palettes enough.
  7. Face Mask. I’ve been out of this for awhile and am hoping to get my hands on it during the sale. I’m not super into face masks, but this one I love. It’s a pink clay mask so it really cleans out your pores, but doesn’t leave you feeling dry. In fact, my face always feels so soft after using it.
  8. Moisturizer. I’ve been using Clinique moisturizers since middle school and I don’t think I’ll ever find a brand I love more. All I have to say is my face feels moisturized without the heavy feeling some moisturizers leave behind.
  9. Lip Mask. I bought into the hype around this product and don’t regret it! I love how moisturized my lips feel the next day if I put it on at night. Mostly though, I like to put it on before doing my makeup so that by the time I’m done, my lips are soft and primed for any lipsticks.
  10. Blush. The last product on my list is the NARS blush in Orgasm. It’s seriously the prettiest shade and lasts forever. It’s a cult favorite for a reason and I highly suggest snatching it up during the sale!

Now that I’ve shared all of my holy grail products, I wanted to share a master list of products from Sephora I’ve used and loved. Happy shopping!

xo,

Carey

P.S. Thought I saved a photo from my eyeliner tutorial the other day, but I did not. So please enjoy this selfie of me wearing sunglasses.

My Favorite Haircare Products and Tools

My Favorite Haircare Products and Tools

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a beauty post, so today I’m sharing all things hair! I really don’t do too much with my hair. I hardly put any product in and usually I curl or straighten my hair and am good to go for a few days. But anyway, here are the hair tools I use on a regular basis and the few products I put in!

Hair Tools

  • Revlon One Step Blow Dryer and Volumizer Brush: This is the latest addition to my collection. I actually just shared a tutorial on how I use it on IGTV yesterday, but I love that I can blow dry and style my hair at the same time, eliminating the need for multiple heat tools.
  • Conair InfinitiPro Hair Dryer: If I’m not using the blow dryer brush, I use this hair dryer to dry my hair. It has ionic technology which helps dry your hair faster, something that is necessary for my thick hair! I can usually dry my hair in 15 minutes.
  • BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Straightener: I’ve been using this straightener for a few years, ever since my CHI straightener died while I was in London. It works really well on my hair, which is naturally thick and wavy.
  • 1.5″ Curling Wand: I can’t find my exact wand, but lately I’ve been using a 1.5″ tapered curling wand to curl my hair. I love how my hair has been turning out!
  • Remington 1″ Curling Wand: When my hair was shorter this wand was always my go-to! I just recently switched over to a larger barrel because my hair was getting too long for the 1″ tapered wand. But, this wand gives me curls that last for DAYS! I definitely want to try this brand in a thicker barrel or maybe a 1″ non-tapered wand!

Hair Products

To tell you the truth, I don’t use a ton of products in my hair. But, here are the handful that I do:

  • Dove Dry Shampoo: Out of all of the dry shampoos I’ve tried, this is one of my favorites. It doesn’t leave a gross residue once you brush it through your hair and it definitely eliminates any oil.
  • Kendi Bamboo Oil: I started using this on my damp hair before blow drying and I love it! It adds shine and helps strengthen hair against damages.
  • Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast: I recently tried a sample of this volume spray and I have to be honest, I thought it was just okay. If you have thinner hair I think this would probably work well. I think my hair is just too heavy for it. I’m still on the hunt for a volume spray that really gives me more volume at the roots, and will report back when I do!

That’s all for this week! I hope you enjoyed reading about the hair care products and tools I love. Leave a comment with your hair must-haves!

xo,

Carey

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Sephora Holiday Bonus Event: My Top Picks

Sephora Holiday Bonus Event: My Top Picks

Happy Monday friends! I don’t usually post on Mondays, but today I had to because the Sephora Holiday Bonus Event has started and I couldn’t not share. You may be wondering what the event is and why you should even care. Well, don’t worry, I’ll fill you in. Sephora has tier-membership sales a few times a year, and this one is amazing because it’s ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday events. So, if you’re looking to purchase beauty/makeup gifts, now is the perfect time.

Here are the specifics: Sephora Rouge members (highest level) can start shopping now until the event ends on November 11 (a full week before others can start shopping) and save 20% with code HOLIDAYSAVE. Everyone else can start shopping the sale on November 7. VIB members (second level members) will save 15% with code HOLIDAYSAVE while Beauty Insider members (first level members) will save 10%. And, if you aren’t already a member you can sign up now and still shop the event!

Now that the details are out of the way, here are my top picks. But side note: I’m suggesting a lot of gift ideas, but by all means shop for yourself! It’s the perfect time to stock up on the beauty favorites you use every day!

Value Sets

I kind of went overboard with this section, but I love a value set!

 

Gifts Under $100

 

Gifts Under $50

 

Stocking Stuffers

 

Luxury Gifts

 

I hope you liked this Sephora Sale guide/gift guide! I can’t wait to share more gift guides with you this holiday season. If there’s a specific gift guide you want to see next, let me know in the comments below!

xo,

Carey

P.S. Shop my top picks from the last Sephora sale!