TikTok Might Have Sold Out Some Bronzing Drops, but My Go-To Brand for Sun-Kissed Skin Is in Stock

It's how I get a faux glow in the winter.

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This One Product Helps Me Fake a Sun-Kissed Glow in Winter
Photo:

Instagram @saiebeauty

An inevitable truth of life: I’m pale. Not like kind-of-sort-of pale but tans in summer, no, I grew up thinking it was a universal rule that children weren’t allowed to be at the beach or pool between the hours of noon and 4 p.m. (lest we all want to be applying aloe vera for the next week). But there I sat, with my rash guard covering the entire upper half of my body, dreaming of sun-kissed — not burnt — skin. I’ve since come to terms with the fact that SPF is my friend and shade zero will almost always be my right foundation, but, as TikTok has taught me, a bronzed glow isn’t hard to fake.

In the past few weeks, the app has fed me video after video of people applying Drunk Elephant’s Bronzi Sunshine Drops (the Alex Earle effect) which, unsurprisingly, are now sold out everywhere (I repeat: the Alex Earle effect!). According to the countless number of viral videos, a few small drops of this product will add an instant glow to skin, with or without makeup. 

But as badly as I want that look, I’m drawing the line at going on eBay and buying the product where I saw it listed for double its retail price. Instead, I have turned to a brand I already know and love, Saie, who makes one of my all-time favorite skin tints. When I was told that the brand’s newest shade of its Glowy Super Gel gives wearers that same bronzed radiance I was looking for, I had to give it a try. 

GLOWY SUPER GEL

Saie

Shop now: $28; saiehello.com

Glowy Super Gel isn’t a new product; it went viral late last summer on TikTok for helping wearers achieve glass skin and, subsequently, the brand partnered with Reformation to release a limited-time shade of the highlighter, a does-it-all product. But Sunglow, a limited-edition shade recently made a permanent part of the brand’s lineup, remains relatively under-the-radar — though I can’t imagine that it will be for long. Like the colors that came before it, Sunglow brings instant radiance to skin while providing ample hydration and brightness thanks to ingredients like vitamin C and squalene oil. But unlike the OG Starglow, this warmer shade acts a little less like a highlighter and more like a bronzer. 

I’ve found that two pumps is just the right amount for me, starting with dabs on the apples of my cheeks and forehead and then working the product outwards. The serum-like consistency makes this easy to spread, and I’m able to evenly distribute it across the face and down onto the neck in seconds, no brush required. The tan might not be dramatic, but the glow is instant. So no, you won’t look like you spent a week at the beach, but you might look like you spent a few hours there. I wear this on its own for a low-maintenance makeup day (as seen below) or, if I’m wanting to look truly sunkissed, paired with my favorite Merit bronzer.

Glowy Super Gel Before and After

InStyle / Kaelin Dodge

Shoppers also love how well it plays with other skincare products and makeup, with one noting that, “the gel glides onto…moisturized skin with no pilling,” adding that, “it gives just enough of a tint and glow for a perfect no-makeup look.” Another explained that they mix a few drops of Glowy Super Gel with their moisturizer for a non-sticky, “dewy look”, which they add has “saved [them] from looking…dull” this winter. And a 42-year-old shopper wrote that when mixed with the brand’s Slip Tint, it gives them a “true glow…smooths and brightens,” calling their skin “luminous.”

While we might all love to jet off on a spontaneous beach vacation this winter and get that glow au naturel, our budgets and busy schedules are restricting a number of us. So while I work on manifesting that dream vacation, I’ll be applying this $28 bronzing gel for a natural-looking, sun-kissed glow.

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