Until last year, I never really thought about self-tanners. I'm pale, and okay with that. I can appreciate wanting to change it up sometimes, though, and wanting to slay in a bikini without weird tan lines or blinding folks with my "stuck in a basement apartment all winter" er, "glow."
But Vita Liberata reached out to me and started sending me some products to try, and I have to say, there is now a place in my seasonal beauty routine for self tanners. I've reviewed Vita Liberata's Self Tanning Night Moisture Mask before (with SCIENCE), and was pleased. That was pretty tame, though, compared to the Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse in Medium. This one requires a tanning mitt, which made me bug out at first. I'm not the most precise or coordinated person, and I had visions of being all splotchy and orange after a slapdash application. Thankfully, that was not the case. This is pretty fool-proof (and it's my first experience with an all-over body tanning lotion).
|Dreaming of summer.|
I usually shower and shave my legs before I start (the instructions say to exfoliate prior to application). You pump the dark brown foam on to your mitt (I purchased one mitt on my own, and was given another one by PR), then apply in large, circular motions. I start from my feet and work my way up, and skip my face. I applied it once on myself, and then had S do it another time, and the results were similar, although he is more thorough than I am. As soon as you apply, you can see the color, so it's easy to see where you may have missed. Protip: Stand in good lighting.
It smells a little of burnt sugar (not unpleasant and very faint), spreads evenly, dries quickly, and doesn't transfer once it dries (I put clothing on immediately afterward and nothing stained). I applied 2-3 times over 2-3 days, showering only with water in between, and I would say it lasted about a week, with gradual, natural fading. The bronzed glow was very much my natural tan shade - not orange at all - and not too deep. It does deepen with reapplication, but if you want it to be very deep, they suggest going with the "Dark" option (I have Medium). So, not quite the 2-3 week mark that it claims, but I didn't do much to prolong it, either. If I wanted it to last, I would probably reapply a light coat every week.
The only problem is that the bottle does tend to leak a tiny bit, near the seal (beneath the cap, though, so it won't leak anywhere else), so be careful when you open it. This is easily remedied by wiping the residue off onto the mitt when you open it, though. A bottle is a bit pricey at $54 (Sephora has mini sizes for $25 to try/travel, as well), but it's not streaky, doesn't smell bad, and leaves a nice, natural bronze tan, and I think it would last a few months (several applications). Even in the winter, it's a great way to boost your mood (helps add definition to pasty areas, ha), so if you're in the market for a self-tanning lotion, this is definitely one to try!