Color me GUILTY – of tanning, glowing, and sparkling!

My self tanner addiction...

My self tanner addiction…


Well. Now I feel a little ashamed…I mean, this amount of completely unneccessary products is basically obscene. Guess my self tanner/bronzer/shimmer addiction is now officially out of the closet!

*PR samples/purchase by me/affiliate links

I honestly had no idea how many of these types of products I had going until I gathered them all for their family pictures. These are the ones I have open…I decided to leave the second cousins (those awaiting to be christened) for another time. I think I am addicted to self tanners because they hide uneven skin tone and give the illusion of looking slightly thinner. Here are all (well, most…I found some more after the pics were done!) the self tanners I have open right now:

Self tanning lotions

Self tanning lotions

Self tanning mousse

Self tanning mousse

Self tanning sprays

Self tanning sprays

I have three different types:  lotions, sprays, and foam/mousse. I use the lotions in the winter when my skin is at its driest. The foam/mousse are great when I am in a hurry because they need a little less work to get them applied correctly. I use the sprays mainly in the summer. I have a thing about not putting on any heavy body products when it’s hot out – it makes me feel funny. Anyone else weird like that??  I especially love Xen-Tan and Vita Liberata (the latter isn’t pictured because it was shy and said no photos today, please).

My addiction doesn’t stop at self tanners…I am also addicted to body bronzers. I have sprays, lotions, mousse…I love them all.

Body bronzers

Body bronzers

No one does shimmery bronzed skin like Scott Barnes and I adore Guerlain and Red Carpet Kolour (RCK).

Also addicted to spray on shimmering bronzers…if it has a coconut scent, I can’t do without it!!

Spray on shimmer and sparkle

Spray on shimmer and sparkle

I am sad that tarte doesn’t have the Celebutant Dry Oil Spray anymore. I highly recommend the Lucy B Frangipani Bronzing Oil Spray and the Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Spray. Hampton Sun makes amazing shimmer sprays too.

Oh, and how could I forget — every day I put two drops of this Paula’s Choice Sun 365 Self-Tanning Concentrate in my moisturizer to keep a consistent color. It’s subtle but awesome.

Paula's Choice Sun 365 Self-Tanning Concentrate

Paula’s Choice Sun 365 Self-Tanning Concentrate

So there you have it. I have no more secrets. And if you really want to know why I need so much self tanner, just take a look at the classic blogger tan lines (courtesy of Tan Towels)!  – Lisa


*some products PR samples, some purchased by me.  Affiliate links.

Tarina Tarantino Sparklicity Shimmer Dust in Gold

My young daughters and I have a ritual that we do together before we go anywhere. We make a big deal out of ‘sparkling up’ using spray shimmer powder – for years it was my Guerlain Sublime Radiant Powders in gold and silver. Hairdos, arms, necks…everything gets glammified with some serious shimmer and we feel beautiful. However, those spray shimmer powders were limited edition and my sparkle just ran out…so you can imagine how thrilled I was when Tarina Tarantino sent the BIZ the Sparklicity Shimmer Dust ($39) to test. The ritual has been saved by Tarina, the undisputed queen of sparkle and shimmer.

Tarina Tarantino

Tarina Tarantino

 Sparklicity Shimmer Dust is a micro-crystalline sparkle pigment that is safe for anywhere on the body, including face and hair. There are three different opalescent shades available:  Bronze (shimmering bronze),



Aurora Borealis (iridescent shimmering pink),

Aurora Bor

Aurora Borealis


and Gold (shimmering gold).



I tested the Gold version, and it is gorgeous. I particularly like it against my faux-tanned skin. The shimmer is obviously shimmer, but there’s not too much of it – can gold shimmer spray be subtle? If so, I would say this one is! It can be layered it for more dramatic effect but the initial spray isn’t so overdone you look like a 1970’s dance floor at midnight.


Even the box is gold shimmery goodness


beautiful vintage bottle

Tarina Tarantino’s Sparklicity Shimmer Dust differs from the Guerlain versions in two ways:  1. It doesn’t have fragrance and 2. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Guerlain shimmer powders are definitely guilty-pleasure-splurge items that can cost upwards of $100. But I can have a small splurge with my Tarina Tarantino Sparklicity since it’s only $39 and there’s no fragrance to compete with my perfume. I just might buy every color and call it good!


The beautiful atomizer


Gold Shimmer Dust up close


Not too much shimmer…just enough.

Sparklicity Shimmer Dust comes in a gorgeous vintage bottle that is a complement to any vanity table. It has an atomizer that sprays out the right amount of glam. I spray this directly onto my body or I spray it onto a steel palette then apply with a big fluffy brush. Or I use an eyeshadow brush and it becomes a pretty, shimmery eyeshadow. This shimmering spray has a formula called ‘reflex’, which means it is pure shimmer without any binder or base to it. It dries super quick and doesn’t change the feel of hair or skin.

 I think Sparklicity Shimmer Dust is just the definition of FUN. My daughters love it and getting all sparkled up together is a terrific ritual that I know they will always remember.  – Lisa
*pr sample

Ingredients: Silica, mica, potassium sorbate, sodium dehydroacetate, carmine (c l75470). May contain +/-: iron oxides (cl 77491, cl 77492, cl 77499), titanium dioxide (cl 77891), bismuth oxychloride (cl 77163).

Revisiting summer with Hampton Sun – Sunless Tanning Gel and Serious Shimmer Cooling Spray in Bronze review

Hampton Sun Sunless Tanning Gel

As much as I love fall, I am a summer girl at heart.  So I keep the summer around through scent – I love anything that takes me to the beach, like coconut scents, or the smell of suntan lotion.   I also keep summer around by using self-tanner.  I’ll bet I have more self-tanners than almost anyone – I am just a tiny bit obsessive about it.   I look younger with a faux tan.  My skin looks healthier, my skin tone is more even, and I get a  glow that my natural color just doesn’t have.

Over the past few years, I have found that Hampton Sun truly specializes in that ‘summer experience’.  All of their products are designed around ‘smart, serious sunbathing’.  One such product is the Sunless Tanning Gel ($32).

Sunless Tanning Gel swatch

Like all other good self-tanners, this is easily applied and with proper preparation it gives a streak-free, natural looking tan.  It works for both the face and the body.  So what makes this self-tanner different from the other ones out there?  Two things:

1.  It smells GREAT.  I love the scent of Hampton Sun products, and this is no exception.  The Sunless Tanning Gel smells like a very subtle version of their signature scent Privet Bloom, a gorgeous mixture of lily of the valley, white hyacinth, sea spray, dune grass, blue plum, and privet blossom.  The scent does eventually dissipate, but it smells amazing while it’s there.

2.  It leaves my skin SUPER soft.  I mean to the extreme – I use this even when I am not particularly interested in self tanning just because it moisturizes so beautifully.

After the self-tanner does its magic and leaves me with a beautifully bronzed body, I like to complete the ‘summer experience’ with the Serious Shimmer Cooling Spray in Bronze ($32).

Hampton Sun Serious Shimmer Spray in Bronze

Oh my, what a gorgeous sheen this gives your body – you won’t believe how beautiful it makes your legs look.  Unless you are between 12 and 16 years old, I don’t recommend applying this to your face – although it does look pretty cool when applied to your hair.  It gives a really pretty shimmer to your locks, and your hair smells flipping amazing.  Just keep the bottle about six inches away from the hair, it’s too wet of a mist to be held any closer.  While it’s wet if held too close, held the proper distance away it’s a super fine mist that does have a slight cooling sensation when sprayed on your skin.

Close up - check out that gorgeous shimmer!

You need to shake the bottle first to get that gorgeous shimmer swirling about.  Heck, it’s fun to just do that and then watch the show, it’s a like a little lava lamp.  It also smells divine, it’s really a fragrance mist of Privet Bloom with some golden shimmer mixed in.

Bare hand with Serious Shimmer Spray in Bronze applied - click to see a larger image

It is not an over-the-top shimmer, it’s subtle and it really makes your legs (or whatever you have decided to spray!) look pretty perfect.  It hydrates the skin with Aloe Vera, Chamomile, and Vitamins A through E.

If you are like me and are longing for summer, I absolutely recommend checking out Hampton Sun.  You can find it online, as well as in stores such as Saks, Sephora, and SpaceNK.  – Lisa

Sunless Tanning Gel ingredients:  Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer,  Dihydroxyacetone, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Cyclomethicone,  Phosopholipids, Dimethiconol, Glycerin, Erythrulose, Ethoxydiglycol,  Polyquaternium-37, Butylene Glycol, Pro-pylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl  Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopherol, Fragrance, Urea, Trehalose,  Polyquaternium-51, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Aloe Barbadensis Gel,  Chamomile Extract, Juglans Regia (Walnut), SheWater, Glycerin, Peg-16 Macadamia Glycerides,  Propylene Glycol & Diazolidinyl Urea & Methylparaben &  Propylparaben, Fragrance Polysorbate, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Aloe Barbadensis  Gel, Simethicone, Extracts of Cucumber, Grapeseed, Peach, Seaweed, Lemon  Calendula, Gingko Biloba, Ginger, Chamomile Extract, Benzophenone 4, Disodium  Edta, Peg-8 Dimethiicone & Zea Mays (Corn) Oil & Propylene Glycol &  Octyldodecanol & Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) & Ascorbic Acid  (Vitamin C) & Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A) & Pyridoxine Hci (Vitamin  B6) & Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) & Silica & Sodium.  Propoxyhydroxypropyl Thiosulfate Silica ll Extract, Caramel, FD&C  Yellow #6

Serious Shimmer Cooling Spray ingredients:  Water, Glycerin, Peg-16 Macadamia Glycerides,  Propylene Glycol & Diazolidinyl Urea & Methylparaben &  Propylparaben, Fragrance Polysorbate, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Aloe Barbadensis  Gel, Simethicone, Extracts of Cucumber, Grapeseed, Peach, Seaweed, Lemon  Calendula, Gingko Biloba, Ginger, Chamomile Extract, Benzophenone 4, Disodium  Edta, Peg-8 Dimethiicone & Zea Mays (Corn) Oil & Propylene Glycol &  Octyldodecanol & Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) & Ascorbic Acid  (Vitamin C) & Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A) & Pyridoxine Hci (Vitamin  B6) & Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) & Silica & Sodium.  Propoxyhydroxypropyl Thiosulfate Silica

Celebutante – Tarte’s unsung hero

It’s easy to go for the major players in any cosmetics line, but I always like to dig a little deeper.  I want to find the hidden jewels, the unsung heroes of each line.  I think that Celebutante ($34) is the unsung hero in Tarte Cosmetic’s line.

Tarte is well-known for its blushes, eyeshadows, and lip products, but it’s moisturizing dry oil spray?  I had no idea they even carried such a thing.  I don’t really think of Tarte as a body oriented line.  But Celebutante is not to be missed if you are into body shimmer, it’s really fabulous.

I think it’s safe to assume that a ‘Celebutante’ is a cross between a ‘celebrity’ and a ‘debutante’.  What that means kind of escapes me, except perhaps that this product makes your skin look as perfect and glowy as those on the red carpet, à la J. Lo.  This is a dry oil moisturizing spray with a champagne tint and tiny shimmer.  It is actually quite subtle in the world of body shimmer, which doesn’t really show up unless you look very close.  Instead, the shimmer gives that diffused look that makes your skin look perfect.  Moisturizing ingredients include apricot oil, avocado oil, and vitamin E. 

Here is a full-on spray on the top of my hand.  Normally what I do is shake the bottle (the oil separates from the mineral pigments) then spray from about ten inches away.  I will use my hands to even it out if I end up getting too much in one area.  It is nicely moisturizing, and the shimmer is fabulous, but I haven’t even mentioned the best part yet – it smells AMAZING.  It smells of real, fresh, yummy delicious coconut.  I put this on and get comments all day long.  And I can’t quit smelling myself because it smells so freaking good!!!  If you love coconut, this is an absolute must-have.

So dig a little deeper into the Tarte Cosmetics line and become a Celebutante.  You won’t be sorry!!  – Lisa

Longing for summer with Vanitymark

Sigh.  I love fall, I do, but I love summer even more.  When it gets cold and dreary out, I absolutely long for warm breezes, blue skies, hot sand, and the smell of tanning oil.  In fact, I wear nothing but coconut-based scents year round, because I am always dreaming I am at the beach.

Two items that help me make my dreams even more vivid are the skin sprays from Vanitymark.  They have two of them:  Shimmerskin and Summerskin.  I cannot decide which one I love more.

Shimmerskin ($14) is a champagne colored body spray that gives your skin a gorgeous gleam.  Not only does the shimmer hide any body flaws, it also has the most delicious coconut scent ever.  And I know my coconut!!  I am extremely picky and only wear the BEST coconut scents – nothing chemically or fake is allowed.  In fact, I must admit that at least once a day someone tells me that I smell fabulous – and it’s often thanks to this fantastic product.  The shimmer is not over the top, it’s very subtle, and appropriate for both day and night looks.  I wear this and I am instantly transported to a summer day with warm, soft breezes that envelope you like a big hug.  Sigh.

Summerskin ($14) is a body bronzer that has a little bit of shimmer.  It has the same fabulous coconut scent, and boy does this make your legs look slimmer!  I have tons and tons of spray bronzers, and this one really impresses me.  A big problem with spray bronzers is the transfer to clothing – and this one does not budge.  At all.  It’s great.

If you miss summer like I do, pick one of these up – or both of them.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  – Lisa

Disclosure:  products reviewed were PR samples.

Shimmer Spray for Grown Ups from Hampton Sun

Want to sparkle like a Joan Rivers ring collection?  Me neither.  I wanted that back when I was high school, but now that I’m in my mid-forties, that look would be sorta pathetic.  Want to glow in a subtle, but flattering way?  Me too.  It’s a fine line, though, and difficult to find products that aren’t too over the top – or so modest they might as well not even be applied.

I remember a few years ago I was going to a Bar Mitzvah, and thought it would be nice to have a little shimmer.  I put Giorgio Armani Midnight Shimmer Powder (LE from a 2005 collection, so that gives you an idea how long ago this party was) on my decolletage, and thought it looked really good.  I was wearing a rather low-cut, but otherwise demure dress from J Crew.  I got to the party and went into the hors d’oeuvres room, which had a huge window with the setting sun coming through strong.  As I stood there chatting, I happened to look down…and was mortified!!  My chest wasn’t shimmering, it was SPARKLING like a disco ball…ok, two disco balls.  I ran out of there faster than you can say ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and stayed away from bright lights for the rest of the night.  And I remember longing for something that shimmered in an adult way.  I have been searching for the perfect solution ever since.

Thankfully, I came across a truly grown up version of shimmer spray that gives you a nice, subtle glow and also smells amazing.  It’s called Serious Shimmer Cooling Spray by Hampton Sun, and it costs $32 for a 1 oz. bottle.

I previously reviewed Hampton Sun Sunscreen here, where you can find a pretty detailed description of the scent.  Trust me, it smells simply AMAZING.

I have the Pearl version of the shimmer spray, although it also comes in Bronze, which I’ll bet is fabulous.  The Pearl gives a great highlight to both light and dark skin, and it contains Aloe Vera, Chamomile, and vitamins A through E.  Shake up the bottle then spray, and you get a sexy shimmer that is just right – not too much, not too little.  The scent is light in the spray, so it’s not overpowering but it’s still there.

I highly recommend this gem if you are looking for an adult version of shimmer – no disco balls here, just fabulous looking skin for the summer months!  – Lisa

Disclosure – this item was sent to us for review purposes. Please see our disclosure for more information.