The lowdown on daily self tanners from St. Tropez, Lorac and Pacifica came a few weeks ago. Now it's time for Perfekt, Charlotte Ronson and Laura Mercier to go head-to-head in a self tanner throwdown.
First up on the roster is the Perfekt Matte Body Perfection Gel. Unlike the regular Perfekt Body Perfection Gel, which is available in a three-color range designed to suit those with paler skin tones as well as the tan-hued ladies, the Matte version is sold in only one hue, a dark chocolate color. The matte version is formulated with Smart Color Technology, which the brand claims enables the color in the tube to mesh perfectly with the wearer's skin in order to bring out the most natural-looking color, thereby ensuring that nobody's faux tan looks...well, faux.
Second up is Laura Mercier Body Bronzing Makeup, which comes in a single shade and imparts a rosy-colored tan and shimmery gleam to the skin.
Third on the list is Charlotte Ronson's A Summer's Kiss Face and Body Glow which is a glimmering bronzer that uses Light Filter Technology, which claims to adjust in any lighting to give the most flattering glow to the skin.
Here are the swatches of each pictured on my arm. The first photo is taken in the shade and the second photo was taken in direct sunlight. Starting from the top is Perfekt, then Laura Mercier, then Charlotte Ronson.
As you can see, the Laura Mercier and Charlotte Ronson bronzers look exceedingly similar on the skin, as they both cast rosy, pinkish tans - replete with shimmer - to the skin. Perfekt is matte and darker in tone than the other two, and it reminded me of St. Tropez, as both brands contain green undertones to counteract Snooki-esque orange tints that appear in other tanners. The texture of Perfekt was fluffy and mousse-like, and little gobs of product sometimes spewed everywhere when I was trying to squeeze some from the bottle. The product looks a bit garish in the picture, but once I started to rub in what I had squeezed onto my arm, it blended pretty nicely and evenly into the skin. Sometimes I would see uneven, small, dark patches if I tried to blend product over too expansive an area of skin, but otherwise I had no issues. I couldn't detect a scent from Charlotte Ronson or Perfekt, but Laura Mercier gave off the most alluring coconut-beachy fragrance that practically sells the product by itself. As a girl that wears tanning oil just for the scent, I am hooked. And reviews from others that have purchased Laura Mercier Body Bronzing Makeup have all echoed the same sentiment.
Overall, Perfekt gives the most natural color, as it blends in easily and lacks the tell-tale shimmer that indicates a faux-tan. However, the $48 price tag may rebuff some potential customers.
Charlotte Ronson is similar to the color and texture of Laura Mercier, but is $18 for a 3 oz. bottle whereas Laura Mercier is $38 for a 5 oz. bottle. But, Laura Mercier's extremely enticing coconut scent gives her product an extra oomph that the others can't compete with.
Final say: It just depends on what you're looking for. Need something cheap? Go with Charlotte Ronson. Want something to look natural and that is easy to use? Go for Perfekt. Want something to double as a perfume and to last for a long time? Choose Laura Mercier.