I Tried This New "Invisible" Self-Tanner By Literally Pouring It On A White Dress

Sophie Wirt/Vita Liberata

Ask me what my favorite skincare product is and I'll say sunscreen (it's so important!). Nevertheless, I love looking tan; like I-moonlight-as-a-lifeguard-in-the-Bahamas level tan. But as someone who regularly sports UV-protective hats, etc., I'm forced to resort to sun-free means to glean my glow. And that's what spurred me to write this Vita Liberata Invisi Foaming Tan Water review.

This new product will easily become the gold standard in golden glows. First and foremost, the formula is totally invisible. As anyone who has experimented with traditional self tanners can attest, the process of sunless tanning can — and often does — incur messy repercussions. I, for one, am no stranger to discovering unsightly patches of bronze on my clothes after tanning and dashing out the door. Similarly, I have ruined countless towels and tainted numerous sets of sheets (much to the dismay of my super-clean boyfriend).

But the aptly-named Invisi formula takes the potential for mess (and complaints from your S/O) out of the equation. Whereas most tanners contain a "guide color" (i.e. the bronze layer that washes off in the shower and can end up transferring to clothes and towels), this one does not. Instead, it's formulated to react and deepen upon contact with skin (and skin alone). In fact, you could spill this stuff all over a gleaming white dress and the gown would still be gleaming (exhibit A, below).

The first time I became a believer in Invisi was at a press event; one of the publicists dispensed a sizable dollop of the formula onto a fresh towel without leaving so much as a shadow of spillage. At the time, I remember wondering whether there was some big catch — that the color would eventually turn electric orange, or that it would smell like a litter box...or something. But, after giving it a whirl at home, I'm pleased to report that I have yet to find anything egregiously wrong with this stuff.

On the contrary, I've discovered perks beyond the invisibility factor — one of which is the spectacular color payoff. If you've ever tried the original Vita Liberata tanning mousse — or any of the brand's other products, for that matter — you know what I mean when I say the brand has the faux glow thing down to a science. (Vita Liberata is so good, in fact, that it's used on the bodies of the Victoria's Secret angels before they hit the runway at their annual show; the brand is also responsible for bronzing the bods of Sports Illustrated models before they shoot the mag's annual Swimsuit Edition.)

This tanner comes in the shades light, dark, and super dark. Personally, I like my tans to look like the color of a burnt french fry, so I go with super dark — but if you're looking for more of a subtle glow than a post-vacay bronze, the less shade-intense options are probably a better option. Whichever hue you choose, the color develops over 4-6 hours, so it's imperative that you're not sweating, showering, or frolicking in the rain during that time. Additionally, I highly, highly recommend buying a tanning mitt if you don't already own one ($6.50; Sephora). Not only will a mitt prevent the product from staining your hands, but it provides an immensely more even glow and reduces the risk of streaking by a zillion percent.

Lastly, not only does the new Invisi foam make your skin look good, but it also makes it feel good, too, thanks to an infusion of skin-loving ingredients including hydrating aloe vera (side note: self tanner lasts longer on hydrated skin!).

You can snag the new Vita Liberata Invisi Foaming Tan Water on the brand's website for $39. While it's not the cheapest self-tanner on the market, this stuff lasts a while, so you could consider it an investment (in your skin, in your white clothes). One tanning session can last, in my experience, around a week, though the brand claims it can last 2-3 weeks.

If you need me, I'll be wearing a white dress, sitting in the shade, and enjoying my UV-free glow.