There is no shame in my self-tan game. Consistently intrigued by drops, waters, oils and overnight masks that elevate my pale eastern European complexion with a subtle hint of bronze, I find this particular beauty category one of the most innovative in the industry. My latest glow and mood boosting discovery? The Isle of Paradise. Or, the best thing from across the pond to hit Sephora recently.
Created by Jules von Hep, the celebrity tanning expert with one of the funniest podcasts out there, Isle of Paradise is named for a state of mind: a place where body positivity and self-love are required and where perfect skin has no filter. The tightly edited line up features drops, waters, and mousses, all focused on delivering the most natural looking color with added skincare benefits. Each formula is available in light, medium, and dark to provide any desired level of color payoff.
Full disclosure: I’ve had some success with self-tanning my body in the past, but ultimately have decided to leave the head-to-toe bodywork to professionals with spray guns. There simply have been too many mornings on which I have awakened to horrendous stains on my feet, wrists, and arms. Self-tanners for the face, however, deliver a streak-free application every single time.
Inspired by the backstage secrets of flawless self-tan and makeup techniques that result in an even, camera ready glow, Isle of Paradise brings the same effect thanks to a blend of actives that color correct minor surface imperfections. Think nourished skin and the most flattering bronze finish. For days.
The liquid yet viscous formula is infused with Coconut, Avocado, and Chia Seed Oils to nourish the skin. In short, the tanning agent (Dihydroxyacetone aka DHA) is part of a serum allowing for seamless spreadability and absorption. The Isle of Paradise drops are too intense to apply directly to the to skin. Mix a few drops into your moisturizer to achieved the perfect glow.
How & When
I always self-tan overnight. Having used the Isle of Paradise Drops in Medium a handful of times, I recommend mixing it with lotion type moisturizers (AMOREPACIFIC Creme Fluid is my favorite for that). Always exfoliate first, follow with a hydrating serum, apply Drops/Moisturizer fusion, and drift off to sleep. I may lightly press in a drop or two of a face oil without any actives (pure Marula Oil most likely) on nights that my skin requires extra moisture. Other must-do’s: don’t forget the neck and always wash your hands extra well after you’re done.
Why I love the drops:
- *very* natural color
- results last 3 days (even when I use acids and retinoids daily)
- pleasant natural scent
- super easy to use
- travel friendly 30ml bottle
- affordable price point (drops $29, water $28, mousse $29)
Slightly more portable and just as user friendly is the Isle of Paradise Tanning Water. Suitable for use on the face and the body, it excels as a spritz-on self-tanner slash refreshing toner. A couple of pumps deliver enough of the airy mist to cover the face, neck, and ears and deliver a subtle hint of color. Be sure to follow with moisturizer and blot along the hairline and nostrils where pigment may appear more pronounced.
Truly impressive, Isle of Paradise is worth checking out at Sephora. The Self-Tanning Drops in Medium are a must-try. Bonus points for vegan friendly, cruelty-free, organic.