Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

August 13, 2020

Self Tanner for the Girl That Doesn't Tan: Isle of Paradise Tanning Drops Review.

     Before this summer, I was convinced that my skin would never hold a warm summer glow. I was pale as could be for about 11 months of the year, and usually fighting off some sort of red sunburn for a few weeks in the summertime. But I've officially found a holy grail self tanner, it worked on me exactly how I wanted it to, and I couldn't be more pleased! Today I'm sharing all about my newfound obsession with Isle of Paradise Tanning Drops.

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    Aside from a couple streaky tan attempts with my mom's Jergens lotion when I was in high school, I've always stayed far away from anything tan related and just embraced my naturally pale skin. Too many girls in my high school were addicted to tanning beds back in the day- not only did it typically look horrible, but that's so dangerous as well! Even though spray tanning is a much safer alternative, I never wanted to invest the time or money into doing that. And I didn't get the hype with self-tanner either for the longest time.

     This winter and spring, I started really taking notice of how good the tans of some of my favorite bloggers were. They didn't look orange or fake, just really pretty and glowing- and that's even before the weather was getting warm this year! It was around this winter that I also noticed how many bloggers were raving about the Isle of Paradise tanning drops, which I hadn't been familiar with in years passed. Bloggers that were using them stressed how easy they were to apply. It honestly seemed too good to be true that you just mixed these drops in with your favorite lotion and applied? Like that seemed too easy. I'd tried the Jergens lotion back in the day after all and not had great results. 

     Curiosity eventually got the best of me this spring! I figured in a year where I wasn't doing a lot of typical summer activities or seeing friends as much as years passed, this would be the time to experiment with self tanner. Best case? I'd have a gorgeous glow that made it look like I was having a better summer than I was. Worst case? It'd look horrible but no one would really see! Isle of Paradise makes several tanning products, but I decided to order the drops that everyone was talking about. They come in light, medium and dark- I went with medium! I read in some reviews that light didn't really show up enough, and dark seemed like it would be too severe for someone who had never tanned. 

     All I can say is wow oh wow- these really work!! They were just as easy to apply as the bloggers I'd seen review them had said, and the results happened quickly! Below is a picture on the left of my arm the day before I started applying them, and then a picture three days later on the right of that same arm after two applications of Isle of Paradise!

     At first I was applying them every one or two days, but I didn't want to keep getting too dark too fast. I wanted a pretty and summery glow, not something fake and orange! For about the last month, I've been applying them twice a week, usually in coordination with the days I shave my legs in the shower. (which happens just twice a week this summer #NoPoolDays) 

    As you can see in the photo above, these work fast! The glow that the medium shade provided is just what I was looking for- something that definitely made me look tanner than normal, but not too much. The Isle of Paradise drops mixed with lotion apply perfectly, with minimal streaking. Last month in between bottles of the drops I did try a more traditional self tanner with a mit from another brand... the first application was so streaky and fake looking that I never used it again! These drops also are great for your face and they don't make me break out. (I have had a lot of chin acne this summer but I attribute that to masks- as the rest of my face has been fine!)

     I'm currently on my second bottle of medium drops- the first one lasted me about six weeks at the rate I was applying. I apply them everywhere visible in a bathing suit on my body, from face to toes! It truly is so easy to apply- no tanning mit or special equipment needed. You just mix as many drops as you want in with a lotion of your choice. I mix them with my current face moisturizer when I do my face, and with this lotion for the rest of my body. Here's how many I use per application (which again I do twice a week right now!)
  • Face - 1 drop
  • Neck - 1 drop
  • Arms - 1 drop each
  • Chest - 2 drops
  • Shoulders - 2 drops 
  • Stomach - 2 drops
  • Legs - 4 drops (2 each) 
     Below is two pictures of me taken at similar angles- one taken in July 2019, and one taken two weeks ago. My hair has also definitely changed, but I also think you can notice the change in my tan from last year to this year! Last year I looked so pale and borderline washed out, and I'm so pleased with what my skin looks like in this year's photo example.

      My friend Emily also bought the same drops in medium when I did, and tested them this summer. She's had more experience with other types of self tanners, so I was interested to see her thoughts compared to mine as a tanning newbie. Emily has also tried self tanners from Loving Tan, St. Tropez and a couple different L'Oreal ones, and she liked the Isle of Paradise drops the best! She mainly applies them on just her arms and legs, so her first bottle has lasted longer than mine. She has tried them on her face and agreed with me that it's okay to use on more sensitive skin! I really trust Emily's perspective on this since she has been using self tanners for a lot longer.

     Isle of Paradise does make several other tanning products as well! Since this summer is coming to an end I probably won't try them too soon, but I look forward to branching out next year. I'm considering switching to the light shade of drops and keeping a semi-tan going through the fall and winter- we will see! Sephora has a great selection of Isle of Paradise, as does QVC.

     I hope this review was helpful to anyone considering these. Let me know if you've tried them what you thought!

     God Bless,

    xoxo Annaliese


  1. You have a glow! It's mostly your smile, but a tan doesn't hurt!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this, you're glowing! I never use tanning products because they always look fake on me. I am going to have to try this soon because it looks gorgeous on you.


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