Several years ago I gave up sun completely. Ok, that sounds a bit extreme. Actually while I know it's harmful I actually do not mind occasional sun exposure on my body. After all, we all need our vitamin D. But as far as my face is concerned, I have become increasingly conscious of shielding it from the rays in my daily activities - choosing the shaded side of the street while walking, tinting my car windows, and obviously using sun protection on my face and neck area daily.

While protecting myself from sun damage will benefit me in the long run, I do think that there is nothing sexier than the healthy tan. And usually half-way through the winter, around December, I start desperately craving some color. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I just feel healthier, sexier, skinnier with some tan on … and I also trick myself into thinking that summer is just around the corner.

So for the last few years, I have been on a quest to find a quality self-tanning facial product that only I know works! Meaning the kind that I would get the healthy natural look with - not “the tanned look”.

When I first saw Beautisol Need I Glow More Face Self-Tanner ($23), I immediately liked the fact that were two formulas specifically designed for the appropriate skin type - oily, and normal/dry. While my skin is on the oilier side, and most tanning products tend to clog my pores, I did not find the Normal/Dry Beautisol formula that I used to be oily or greasy at all.

The product itself has dark chocolate color and while the tint helps with guiding its distribution on the face, I was a bit concerned with looking too dark. So I blended ⅔ Beautisol with ⅓ of another light oil-free moisturizer in my palm to decrease the color intensity and potentially looking like a persimmon. I also thoroughly exfoliated with YBF Prep prior to applying the product.

Beautisol Face Self-Tanner has a sweet pleasant scent and distributes really well. A quarter size squirt was enough to apply on the face, neck, chest and even some shoulder area.

I gave it about 30 minutes to absorb before going to bed. The following morning I inspected the pillow and the product had not rubbed off. The tan looked even and while I certainly noticed a significant color after the first application and was a bit self-conscious walking down the street, my colleagues said it looked very natural. Someone even asked if I’d flown out to the Bahamas over the weekend (it is only 3 hours away from New York after all).

Beautisol claims to use “Pure Scent odor-eliminating technology” to reduce tan processing odor by 80%. While the scent was typical of other self-tanning products, and I did not find it particularly unpleasant, it was certainly present for about 3 days and didn’t appear lighter as the company claimed.

One initial application was sufficient to give me healthy sun-kissed radiance that lasted for about 4 days. In fact, in the future I will blend half and half with another product, as the shade is natural, but quite intense. The color later faded very evenly and naturally, in fact unnoticeable to the eye.

Overall, I am quite happy with the product. In addition to its natural self-tanning properties, Beautisol Self-Tanner is formulated with ChroNOline (Caprooyl Tetrapeptide-3) - an anti-aging peptide that may help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you are on the paler side, I’d definitely recommend blending it with another product (oil-free lotion or even a serum) at first to achieve the desired shade. It will also make the product last longer. Once I reached the color intensity that I liked, I maintained the shade with a once a week application. I think the 45 ml tube ($26) should easily last for at least 2-2.5 months.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Dihydroxyacetone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Coco-Caprylate/ Caprate, Hydrolyzed Starch Phosphate, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Dicaprylyl Ether, Glyceryl Stearate, Caramel, Erythrulose, Caprooyl Tetrapeptide-3, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Phenethyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol, Lithium Magnesium Sodium Silicate, Potassium Sorbate, Fructooligosaccharides (D-beta), Dextran, Fragrance/Parfum, Red 33, Blue 1, Yellow 5