This Moisturizing Mist Will Brighten Your Winter Face

It takes a lot for a face mist to impress me. Rose extract, been there. Glacial water? Seen that. But the newly launched H20 Tan Mist from James Read contains something I truly hadn't seen before: self tanning actives (mind explodes!). It’s an alluring idea: while spritzing away the nasty winter dryness or the feelings that come with clocking too many hours deskside, I can also lay the groundwork for a believable glow, thanks to a low percentage of DHA in the mix. But does it work?

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So, I swapped my traditional face mist for this skin-darkening version for a week to find out. Admittedly, there was some concern that this newfangled way to bronze would kick out an imprecise mist, leaving pigmented dots all over my face, instead of a believable tan. But, thanks to a superfine sprayer, misting about six inches from my skin made for pretty even coverage. It also dried quickly and didn’t stain my clothes. So far so good.

After spraying three to five times a day, I noticed that my skin started to darken. The change in my fair skin tone was subtle — like I'd spent a few hours in the sun with a bit of sunscreen on. And it doesn’t replace a dark tanner meant to rival a straight-from-the-tropics hue. But I like that it breathes a bit of color into my Vitamin D-deprived complexion and that nobody asked for the number of my spray-tanner.

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As anyone who has delved into the word of self-tanners knows, most formulas out there stink. And while this mist smells nothing like rosewater — despite its enormous 95% rosewater content — it also doesn’t reek of icky DHA either. Instead, its perfumed like an old-school, flowery French product, which can rile sensitive noses, but didn’t overpower mine.

By day three, this mist was promoted from my desk to a 24/7 must-have — taking it with me to freshen up in the car or to cool off post-workout. When in need of a calming spritz of lavender or heavenly dose of rose, I still reach for my trusty traditional hydrosols. However, I love that this new staple has my complexion glowing again, despite whatever the hell is happening outside.

James Read H20 Tan Mist, $31, available at Space NK.

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