I am not a tan girl (It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out, just look at my last outfit post). No one has ever said to me, “Wow, Natalie. You are SOOO tan! Did you just go on vacation?!” It just doesn’t happen.
Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to be the girl with the envious, deep tan. I tried, believe me. In high school, I’d bake myself in tanning beds before dances, school plays or just because. I skipped the sunscreen on beach vacations because I desperately wanted to be a bronze goddess, even though I more closely resembled a lobster (I went through a lot of aloe in those days).
But, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to embrace my fair skin and that bottle of SPF because a) skin cancer is not cute and b) there are ways to achieve a convincing faux glow at home, without the harmful UV rays.
Scroll below to see which products I reach for to get the job done! Because even though it’s currently April and it’s SNOWING, shorts weather is hopefully right around the corner.
No, I’m not a R+F rep. But, I am a girl who loves her self tanner (shout out to Megan for sending me a new one to try!). And when it comes to self tanner, I’ve tried it all — lotion, spray, towelette, mousse. While there are a lot to choose from, I’d recommend a mousse, especially if you’re a newbie. I’ve found mousse formulas provide the most even coverage, so you don’t have to worry about orangey streaks (been there, done that). Use a mit to apply the tanner and make sure to go lightly around knees, elbows, hands and feet. I prefer to apply it before bed so the tan can develop while I sleep.
There are a few micellar waters on the market, but Simple’s version is my favorite. I’ve already killed one bottle and I’m halfway through the next. It’s the perfect addition to any skincare routine and is great for prepping your skin for moisturizer and foundation.
I’ve been really into oils lately. At first, I thought the whole “putting oil on your face” thing was nuts. Especially because I have a history of terrible acne from my teen years, and the scars to prove it. But facial oils are so hydrating and are the best for giving you a natural dewy finish (I’ve found they help improve the look of my skin overnight, too!).
This foundation has a dewy finish and blends flawlessly. If you’re on the oily side, I’d recommend staying away from this one and going with its more matte counterpart, but if you have dry or combination skin, you will not be disappointed.
This powder is gorgeous. It’s a subtle illuminating powder (not glittery by any means) so it can be used all over, and will give your skin a lit-from-within look.
These products make contouring and highlighting a breeze — you don’t even need a brush. Apply them where you normally would apply a contouring powder and highlighter and blend with your fingers.
I’ve raved about e.l.f. products before, but their prism eyeshadows are on point. They’re highly pigmented for such an affordable price point. The shadows feel like cream when you apply them, and their shimmery formula is gorgeous.
Here’s another product I’ve talked about before, but guys, this mascara is so good. In a sea of so many others, I’ve finally found the one.
This blush contains three different shades in one compact, and is great for giving your cheekbones a natural-looking flush.
Because all of the products I’ve mentioned are heavy on the glow factor, I like to keep my lips more matte (we don’t want to go overboard here). I found out about the ColourPop brand on Kathleen’s YouTube channel and wanted to give it a try. For just $6, you can’t beat the quality of their lipsticks. This matte shade is an everyday pinky nude, perfect for spring and summer.
This is, like the name says, mascara for your brows. It’s so easy to apply, so forget dealing with the hassle of a pencil and try this on for size.
A peachy color compliments tan skin. This quick-drying formula is a great budget-friendly option.