To me, self-tanning products are to my beauty routine what creamer is to coffee. I don't necessarily need them, but after seeing the difference they make, I attempt to incorporate them into my routine more often. The keyword here is attempt because the mere thought of the self-tanning process (yes, it is a process), makes me forego all of my sun-kissed glow dreams and settle on covering up my skin discoloration with yoga pants. That is, until I discovered a solution to my uneven, easily-bruised legs: Sally Hansen's Airbrush Legs ($12). It's my secret weapon to—you guessed it—super airbrushed legs, and it actually makes it appear like I'm wearing pantyhose.
Not to be confused with a self-tanner (which is meant to last for a prolonged period of time), this leg spray (which, spoiler alert: can be used on more than just the legs—more on that later), comes off when you take a shower. As someone who's insanely picky when it comes to tanning products, this one's become a staple in my beauty routine. Keep scrolling for my full review.
- Provides full-coverage results
- Doesn't transfer
- Feels extremely lightweight
- Has a water-resistant formula
- Doesn't have the cleanest ingredient list
- Non-inclusive shade range
Sally Hansen's Airbrush Legs body makeup is an integral part of my beauty routine, especially for special events.
Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs
Best for: All skin types
Uses: Evening out discoloration, bruising, freckles, veins, or stretch marks on the skin
Potential allergens: Contains dimethicone
Byrdie Clean: No, contains parabens and PEGs
About the brand: Sally Hansen was founded in 1946 and has seen become a household name for affordable beauty.
About My Skin: Bruised, dry, and vein-y
I've always admired people who remain dedicated to their tanning routines because for me, tanning has always been inconsistent and quite frankly, a chore. For one, there's that notoriously chemical-y self-tanner spray that I loathe, then there's the stickiness that I have to endure for 24 hours before rinsing the product off. I also have severely dry legs, so finding something that's as equally hydrating as it is glow-inducing has been a challenge. I naturally bruise easily, have apparent veining, and scale-like dryness on my legs (I'm really winning here, guys). Needless to say, I'm always on the hunt for a product that can offer full-coverage, skin-evening benefits.
The Feel: Like full-coverage foundation, but weightless and transfer-proof
I know what you're thinking: if this rinses off in the shower, won't it rub off on my car, partner, or my clothing? Nope! Of course, I don't go out of my way to rub up against surfaces, but if it happens, there are no stains left behind. I even use this product when I wear white dresses or light-colored clothing (bold, I know) and I've never experienced any staining. Here's the trick to getting it to last: Let it fully dry before putting on your clothes. I like to do this after I've let my body lotion absorb, typically as the last step of my getting-ready routine (post-hair and makeup). I usually apply it to just my legs, as that's where I have the most unevenness, but I've applied to my arms before and it's been just as smoothing. It also doesn't dry out my legs or feel like I'm wearing anything at all: I like to think of as a full-coverage foundation but with the feel of a BB cream.
The Results: Smooth, even coverage
To get the perfect results, I like to spray the formula into my hands and apply it like a lotion, always making sure to apply it on my feet (to avoid a line of demarcation) and triple-check that the coverage is even on both sides (a mirror helps). I wash my hands immediately after I apply, check Twitter as I let it dry for about five minutes, then get dressed and head out. My legs always look smooth, gleaming, and like I'm wearing some sort of tights—but in the most natural way possible. I always get compliments on how nice my skin looks when I wear this. It's my best kept secret to covering up any imperfection on my legs.
The Value: Worth it, with some caveats
I've been using this leg spray for years for reasons stated above, but as I've been inching toward a cleaner beauty routine, I can't ignore the fact that the ingredient list calls out parabens and PEGs. Also, I'll be the first to say that with only six shades, they need to do better with being more inclusive. Overall, at $11 I think it's worth all of the head-turning compliments and newfound confidence it gives me and my legs.
Similar Products: You have option
- The Korres Age-Defying Tanning Serum features the glowing benefits of a tanner with the skincare benefits of a serum and promises to last a minimum of seven days.
- This Works' Perfect Legs Skin Miracle holds a heftier price tag, but reviewers rave about the scent-free formula's ability to hydrate and tint the legs.
I highly recommend this leg spray if you're prone to bruises and dry patches like I am. It makes my skin look and feel hydrated year-round.