I'm currently in Bella Coola, a town about an hour and forty five minutes north of Vancouver by plane, population of under 2000 and home to heli skiing and grizzly bears. I'm staying in a really great lodge that's a mix of modern hotel comforts with a cozy, home-like feel. There's a large living room with couches and a tv, a dining room, and a kitchen where you can help yourself to pastries, yogurt, bananas, and tea. I feel like I'm staying in someone's house. I went out of my room to get snacks and was approached by an older Korean man who asked me if I was Korean. I get asked that a lot, and I told him that my mother is Korean and that my father is Chinese. He said, "Yes, I thought so! As soon as I saw you I wondered if you were Korean." That got me thinking. I get asked frequently by Korean people if I'm Korean, and it's full of warm fuzzy feelings, friendly smiles, and an immediate sense of connection, but I very rarely get asked by other Chinese people if I'm Chinese. I wonder if it's because there are so many of us in Canada that it's not a big deal anymore, or maybe they just assume, but there's definitely no "You're Chinese? I'm Chinese!" party. Perhaps Koreans are more excited to meet other Koreans because it's a much smaller country with a much smaller population. I've noticed the same thing with Iranians and Japanese people. Maybe in a place with very few Asians - Iceland, perhaps - Chinese people would be the same way.
That and other differences aside, there is one thing that all Asians have in common: we hate tanning. We (as in women) use whitening creams, cover up with long sleeves and hats, use umbrellas in the sun, and do everything we can to avoid getting darker. I would never tan deliberately but I love outdoor activities so I layer on the SPF in as many different versions of products as possible. Tanning is not super great for the skin anyway and needing to buy foundation in a darker shade - well ain't nobody got time for that. With that said the west coast beach vibes has influenced me and one cannot deny that skin with a sun-kissed glow looks so nice and tanned legs look super toned and slim. Thankfully, there are products that help you achieve this glow without needing the sun.
1. Caudalie Divine Legs - This was my first entry point into self tanning and I feel like it's a gateway drug of sorts. It's great because it washes off at the end of the day, so it doesn't require a lot of commitment. It's quite foolproof and has a naturally gorgeous effect. I put it on clean legs, one leg at a time, with both hands like I would put on lotion, and I smooth a pea sized amount over my legs until it's evenly applied. I normally stop just above the knee. I was worried that it would come off from crossing my legs but it stays put very well. My only complaint and caveat for you is that it has a strong smell. If you like the scent of the Caudalie Divine Legs oil, then you won't mind it.
2. Caudalie Crushed Cabernet Scrub - A sugar and grapeseed oil scrub with a lovely scent that smooths your legs in the shower and helps to prep them for tanning products (shaving helps too). It has draining properties so I like to massage the scrub on the back of my thighs to prevent trouble spots. I love Caudalie products - see my review of the Vinoperfect line here.
3. LUSH Ocean Salt - Ingredients like a a vodka lime cocktail and a smell to die for, this scrub is just one of the many great smelling almost-edible concoctions that I love from Lush. I feel like it's just a little bit too rough for my face, but I like to use it over my hands and arms to get wash off sunscreen and to make my legs smooth. I often use it just to get a shot of that addictively refreshing smell.
4. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Bronze - I've been a fan of Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks for years but waited a long time before I finally splurged on the blush shimmer brick in nectar. The blush is now in like many broken pieces because clumsiness but I still use it all the time. I recently went a bit baller and added the bronze one to my collection *raise the roof*. It imparts a subtle bronzed look that accentuates my cheekbones and makes me look awesomely tanned and contoured. I like it a lot.
5. Fan brush (similar) and bronzer brush (similar) - I like to wear makeup but I don't want to look like I'm wearing makeup, you know what I mean? Whenever I put on bronzer I always think I've put on too much, so I like to take a big fluffy brush with no product on it and swirl it over my cheeks, which takes off excess makeup and blends everything together nicely for a natural look.
What are your favorite bronzing products?
Shop my favorites below: