This $15 Gradual Mask Is Honestly the Only Self-Tanner I'll Use on My Face

Growing up in the 2000s in New Jersey, doing everything in your power to look tan all-season-long was simply how things were done. And as you can imagine as a fair-skinned girl with pinkish undertones, getting that perfect glow — rather than looking completely orange — was near impossible for me to achieve. Case in point? My sophomore prom when I used so much self-tanner my head resembled a tangerine. Not a good look.

Since I was in high school, there’s been a change in the beauty world: people have began to value healthy skin more than a sun-kissed glow. After swearing off the tanning bed years ago, I assumed that I would just look borderline translucent in the Winter. Untrusting of tanning lotions in general — I’ve woken up with orange blotches everywhere more than I’d like to count — I was curious when senior beauty editor Kelsey Castañon asked if I’d be interested in trying Bliss’s Gradual Bronzing Overnight Mask ($15). With a wedding coming up, I figured I’d give the affordable product a whirl, and I was not disappointed.

After three days? I looked like I had just gotten back from a Caribbean vacation minus the sun damage.

The formula is both thin enough to go on smoothly and pleasant-smelling, a welcomed surprise compared to products I’ve used in the past. I also didn’t feel like I had put any product on once it dried, meaning my pillow didn’t suffer from my little experiment. After ensuring I put enough product on my face and neck, I headed to bed confident that I’d look like an extra in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. However, Bliss isn’t lying when they say it’s gradual! Not only was I not orange, I had just enough of an additional glow to go up a shade in foundation the following day.

After three days? I looked like I had just gotten back from a Caribbean vacation minus the sun damage. I’m also happy to report I didn’t have terrible tan lines or see any spots that I obviously missed, which means the coverage is a 10/10.

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