In Our Makeup Bag: Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning

What It Is:
Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning Primer

Why This Should Be in Your Bag:
Maintaining a glowy complexion during the dreary winter months can be darn right difficult! If you’re like me, you’ve been scared silly of tanning beds (and if you’re not scared, read this) and have tried a couple self-tanners with less than pleasing (ahem, orange) results.

Clarins takes their cult-fave, Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Primer, and kicks it up a notch by adding self-tanning pigments. Here it is, straight from Clarins: The silky, lightweight mousse melts into the skin, for quick and ultra-easy application. Lines and enlarged pores are instantly smoothed away, the complexion is luminous and later develops a subtle healthy glow. With regular application, the tan intensifies, but always with a subtle, natural-looking color result.”

Just Applied.

Blended Out.

How To Use It:
Even though they never come out and say it (who knows why!), this is definitely a primer and not a moisturizer. Start with your regular morning skincare routine, including moisturizer. Once that has settled in, wash your hands clean and apply Instant Smooth Self Tanning sparingly. Trust me, even though the jar looks teeny-tiny, you use less than a pea-sized drop on your whole face! And because this is going to change the color of your skin, you’re going to want to blend it into your neck.

Before.

After (with a little bit of finishing powder)!

CC Rating: B+
As far as quality goes, Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning definitely deserves an A+! It gave me an even, glowing, tanned complexion and a soft focus look. I like it because it’s designed to work with all skin tones and deepens every time you apply it. I only applied for 4 days to get my desired result and now apply every 2-3 days for maintenance. Even looking at those before and after pictures shocks me – I can’t believe how much more color I have!

The price is a little steep ($32.50 for 1oz), especially for students, but I have been using this for almost two weeks and literally barely made a dent. You use so little, which indicates that quality of this product. The B+ is a reflection of the reality that most of us can’t afford to be splurging on luxuries like primers while paying rent and buying groceries, textbooks, etc.

Even you’re only looking to brighten up your skin, you’re getting a two-for-one deal here as it doubles as a primer! As a primer alone, this stuff can probably be duped by another, cheaper brand, however I’ve yet to see many self-tanning primers. Hopefully other companies will start to follow suit!

[Need some new makeup but not sure what to buy? Check out Alex’s other beauty reviews here.]

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