This Is The Easiest Way To Fake A Tan, I Promise

Calling all lazy girls! Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster just may be the answer to all of our self-tanning woes. As a long-time member of the club, I must say that I have very few regrets. Sure, my hair basically looks the same everyday, I can rarely be expected to accessorize, and my constant uniform is jeans and a T-shirt — but I'm OK with this. However, as the years have slipped by, there's one thing that can bother me from time to time: I'm pretty freakin' pasty. (For reference, I'm consistently either the lightest or second-lightest shade of any foundation.)

Of course, there's absolutely nothing wrong with being fair, and I usually enjoy it in the winter, especially when I'm trying to rock a dark lip. It's just in the summertime I become nostalgic of my childhood and how dark I was from playing outside with the neighborhood kids 24/7. But here's the catch: Yes, I long to be tan, but I simply cannot be bothered with a self-tanning routine (and, obviously, I'm all about proper SPF these days). What with the super intricate application to avoid streaks, trying not to touch anything for hours on hours, and having to shower again when I'm done, no thanks. I don't care about being tan enough to set aside half my day to accomplish it.

So when I found out about the Glow Booster, I thought that maybe we can have it all. You see, instead of having to incorporate a whole new routine to achieve a tan, this product adds only half of a step. (And is 99.8 percent natural, to boot.) This is because, all you have to do is mix a few drops of it in with your normal lotion and apply it as usual. Pretty simple, right? I thought it must be too good to be true, so I put it to the test.

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster, $45, Clarins

For each of three days after my morning shower, I added four drops (Clarins recommends four to six ) to my lotion for each section of my body (legs, torso, arms, back). I then snapped a picture of the inside of my arm 24 hours after the application to see how the palest part of my body tanned. After three days of consecutive tanning, I then did not apply any tanner for one week to see how much it would fade. Here's how it went:

Day 1

Left: Before Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster; Right: After 24 hours of first application

After one day, I was slightly tanner. It was not too noticeable, but I did feel my skin was not as transparent as before. However, this amount of color was not enough to appease me.

Day 2

Left: Before Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster; Right: After 24 hours of second application

Much better. This was more what I was looking for. I was by no means dramatically darker, but I would say I was rocking a subtle tan at this point.

Day 3

Left: Before Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster; Right: After 24 hours of third application

Talk about a golden goddess, amirite? Whoever named this product gets an "A+." The only problem with how tan I was by day three was that it was still a little too cold to hit the beach. And keep in mind that I only ever used the minimum recommendation of drops.

Day 10

Left: Before Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster; RIght: After seven days of no applications

The tan almost completely wore off by the end of the week. But for something that takes basically no effort to use, I'm not mad at it.


I realized after the first two days that because this product is rubbed in with regular lotion, it actually just doesn't leave any streaks behind. So on the third day, I tried to make it streaky just to see if this product was even capable. As you can see in the Day 3 After picture, there is a somewhat distinctive line at my wrist. So it is possible to obtain tanning streaks from this product, but you'll have to try to get them. As long as you're properly rubbing in the lotion mixture, you should come away streak-free.

If you're looking for a miracle product that will transform you from light to dark in just a few hours, this might not be for you. However, if you do want to go a couple shades darker without any effort, look no further. The Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster gives a totally natural-looking tan to the palest of skin.

Images: Courtesy of Clarins; Miki Hayes