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I was a sophomore in college when my world came screeching to a halt. I hadn't even hit my 20s when doctors found a cancerous mole on my ankle. Growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, people were always telling me to wear sunscreen, but applying sunscreen to protect my ankles never really crossed my mind.
I remained awake as two doctors opened up my ankle and dug out the cancer then sewed me up with 17 stitches and left me with an unfading scar. From that moment on, I knew that I had to protect my body. I stayed clear of overexposure to sunlight and always wore sunscreen, but one thing I just couldn't figure out: how to keep the sun-kissed skin tone I'd had for practically a lifetime.
I saw women who got spray tans, but sometimes, I couldn't help but think they looked a little … orange. One day I said forget it and grabbed some of the St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse that everyone always raves about. It was nice, but for the price I was paying, the glow just didn't last as long I was expecting. Then one day, I saw an advertisement for Tan-Luxe's new Wonder Oil. Priced at $68, it was a little too steep for me, but I splurged anyway to see if it was worth all of the hype.
My experience using Tan-Luxe Wonder Oil
This bottle isn't like a lot of others on the market. First off, it's a rolling-ball applicator, so you just roll it right onto your skin and then rub it in using your bare hands, a mitt, or even gloves. Because it's an oil, it goes on more evenly, and it's full of ingreditents that are good for your skin, including moisturizing jojoba oil and anti-inflammatory argan oil and caffeine.
The oil doesn't feel sticky or uncomfortable. To be honest, I don't think I could ever go back to a mousse because of the sticky, residue-like feeling it leaves behind.
I'll admit that my first application was a bit of a mess. I couldn't really tell where I had rubbed in the oil and scratched it off as a loss. Despite this, I was pleasantly surprised that the oil gave me the best glow of my entire life, and even better, it lasted for a solid week and a half, maybe two weeks.
Read more: The best self tanners you can buy
I went with the light/medium shade and think the medium/dark shade would have been too much for my fair skin tone. What I love most about this product is how natural the color is — I grew up around people with natural tans from the Arizona sun, and this product really replicates that appearance.
When it came time to reapply, I went into it knowing what to expect and took a bit more care. I started at my ankles and rolled the applicator ball in a circular motion on my skin, rubbing the oil in as I worked my way up to my arms and chest. Side note: The first time I applied the oil, I used my hands (as directed), and the second time I used a mitt. Both methods worked well, you just have to make sure you wash your hands really well afterward.
I don't apply the oil directly to my face, but instead mix two to three drops of it with Tan-Luxe's The Face Illuminating Self-Tan serum and make sure to rub that down my neck. I love using their drops for my face because I feel like the glow is consistent across both products.
Oil tanners can take a bit longer to dry than mousse, but trust me, the glow is well worth it. After I was done applying my tan, I hung out in my bathroom until the oil started to absorb. Then I put on loose-fitting clothing and did some tasks around my house until it felt completely dry. While this product has gotten its fair share of negative reviews regarding its longer drying time, if I'm staying in for the night, this feels negligible.
You only need to leave the product on for about four to six hours depending on the glow you're looking to achieve. I've had success applying it at night and rinsing it off in the morning, however.
I've self-tanned five times with the Tan-Luxe Wonder Oil and have consistently achieved a natural-looking glow for at least a week each time. I've used a quarter of the bottle in this time, which is a lot of product for the steeper price tag. I truly feel like I am getting my money's worth.
Now that I have found Tan-Luxe Wonder Oil, looking like I just got back from Hawaii is easy. And I have the assurance of knowing I am keeping my skin safe by staying out of the sun and using a quality sunscreen.