Vacation’s New Bronzing Lotion Is Like an Instagram Filter in a Bottle

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Scouted/The Daily Beast/Vacation.

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While I think pale, Snow White-like skin is absolutely beautiful, there’s no denying that I enjoy the off-label beauty benefits of a nice sun tan. For me, a nice wash of color kind of doubles as light body makeup, blurring the look of scars, blemishes, and even cellulite. During my reckless teenhood spent mostly on the sandy beaches of North County San Diego, my summer hours consisted of splashing around in the waves and doing everything I could to achieve a nice tan, including using every tanning product on the market, including baby oils and browning lotions. (Along with “lightening” my hair using Sun-In to a very unintentional shade of tangerine orange and over-plucking my brows into the shape of little sperm, this is my biggest beauty regret to date.) Naturally, in my reckless youth, SPF and protective skincare products were unfortunately not part of my regimen.

As an adult suffering the consequences of this SPF avoidance in my youth, I now resort to UV-free options to get a sunkissed glow, like self-tanner and spray tans, but sometimes I’m too lazy or busy to squeeze these time-consuming treatments in before an event or beach day. Such was the case just the other weekend when my pasty rear-end found itself on a weekend getaway in Miami with my husband and without my confidence-boosting protective armor, also known as Mystic Tan. Fortunately, I had the foresight to pack an advanced sample of Vacation’s new SPF-30-fortified Instant Vacation Browning Lotion (along with the brand’s SPF 30 Baby Oil), which came in a clutch. The buttery yet lightweight lotion is infused with skin-firming natural oils, vitamin E, and a hint of self-tanning technology, earning its moniker ‘Paradise In A Bottle.’

Instant Vacation Browning Lotion

It was exactly what my translucent self needed: a light wash of color that didn’t require hours to set in like a spray tan or DIY self-tanner, a solid dose of hydration for my parched, post-flight skin, fuss-free and fast application with no streaks whatsoever, and actual UV protection that doesn’t require extra products to prevent sunburn and skin damage.

Buy Instant Vacation Browning Lotion at Vacation, $24

Not only did Instant Vacation give me the exact subtle addition of color (super buildable without being streaky), but my skin also looked more taut and my cellulite was less visible. It dries down to a demi-matte with the most subtle sheen—no oiliness, reflective glimmer, shimmer, or highlighter effect, only a natural look responsible for its impressive staying power.

I loved browning lotions back in the day, but aside from functioning as a temporary Instagram filter, they’re not doing you or your skin any real favors. Now that I have a constellation of sun spots on my chest, thanks to my poor suncare habits during the ’00s, the sun protection component of Instant Vacation is critical. If you, too, grew up using bronzing lotions back in the day, you’ll love Vacation’s new-and-improved iteration. It smells just like the cocoa-hazelnut heaven that you remember from your youth, but even better—no nasty self-tanner stench in this creamy lotion. Just try not to eat it… because you will be tempted.

Vacation Instant Vacation Browning Lotion Review | Scouted, The Daily Beast
Before and After Applying Instant Vacation (One Coat)
Mia Maguire.

As with all of Vacation’s products, Instant Vacation is pure nostalgia and fun—but not at the expense of function, ease of use, and sun protection. Apparently, fans of Vacation have been requesting they release a unique take on this beloved sun-care staple for years. “Since we launched, our customers have been asking us for our take on a browning lotion. When we looked into the category, we found that the majority of browning lotions were focused solely on giving you a sunkissed look, but didn’t provide any SPF protection (or had low, insufficient levels of SPF),” Lach Hall, Vacation Founding Partner and Executive Chair of Marketing tells The Daily Beast. “For that reason, many of them instruct customers to couple their browning lotion with a separate SPF when using it in the sun. We thought that was pretty crazy, so our answer, Instant Vacation SPF 30, combines the two.” They asked, Vacation listened and delivered.

Vacation Instant Vacation Browning Lotion Review
Mia Maguire.

It’s no secret that Vacation is one of my top three beauty brands of all time—I recently heard someone describe it as their seasonal depression cure and, boy, that sure resonated with me—but its new Instant Vacation Browning Lotion is probably my favorite multi-tasking product of all time. This bronzing formula will not only be a staple in my beach bag every time I hit the waves or poolside, but I’ll be using it as a liquid pantyhose solution of sorts when I need a little glow for an event, beach day, or any situation where I anticipate photographs on the agenda. It truly is paradise in a bottle. Instant Vacation launches today, Feb. 27, at 12 p.m. ET for $24.


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