If James Bond teaches us anything (what? You don’t get all your important life lessons from Bond movies?!), it’s that being covered in gold is a surefire way to a tragic demise. Yet, as any girl knows, nothing lengthens limbs, enhances muscles and gives that sexy summery glow like a bit of strategically-placed golden shimmer.
A cult French product, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or, has long been the gold (ahem) standard for moisturizing and gilding the skin. A dry oil filled with golden particles, it gives the skin a sun-kissed glow and shimmer. I used to be a fan, but after making a switch to green beauty, I find it to be unbearably over-scented. Although, according to its label, 95% of this oil’s ingredients are of natural origin, it hardly passes clean and green muster and, in fact, it gets a not-so-great grade of 4 on EWG’s Skin Deep Database. Thankfully, green beauty offers a number of gorgeous options for self-gilding, all of which contain ingredients that will nourish your skin and indulge your senses.
May Lindstrom Skin The Good Stuff is one of the original green beauty shimmer oils and it’s simply one of the most elegant, luxurious products I have ever used. May’s entire line is gorgeously decadent and this oil is a great example of what makes it so special: clever, precious ingredients, a sexy scent and stellar results. The oil contains a cacao absolute and essential oils of ylan-ylang, rose and lavender and its scent is sweetly warm, yet in no way too sweet (I’m not a fan of over-sweet scents). In fact, it has a faintly tangy note that makes the scent a lot more light that it would seem based on the ingredients. One of the ingredients in The Good Stuff is sea buckthorn oil, which has an intense orange tint. Mixed with the other oils in the formula, it gives just the right amount of sun-kissed glow, that would be perfect to bring life to winter-pale legs. The mica particles in The Good Stuff somehow seem intensely, richly golden, yet on the skin they are subtle: giving a glow and a shimmer, rather than making skin glittery. This oil isn’t cheap, but it’s a gorgeous indulgence. I use it for special occasions and, much like expensive lingerie or a fine perfume, it never fails to make me feel sexier and more put together.
African Botanics Marula Shimmering Gold Oil is a fairly recent offering from African Botanics: a brand focused on harnessing the nourishing power of African Marula Oil, as well as a host of other ingredients indigenous to the continent. The Gold Oil is a light oil, filled with tightly packed shimmer particles, it absorbs lightning-fast and gives a pretty shimmer to the skin. Unlike The Good Stuff, it doesn’t add any color to the skin. The Gold Oil is rather strongly scented, but because the smell is natural, it dissipates quickly. Despite being sensitive to smell, I don’t find it at all offensive, though if you are particularly sensitive, it might be worth trying a sample before buying. The main fragrance components in the Gold Oil are gardenia and magnolia and its scent is definitely floral, but it has a lovely bitter-green note that keeps it from smelling too flowery or junior prom-like; while a light vanilla note becomes noticeable on dry-down. Although black miron glass is far more elegant and, let’s face it, more sustainable, I kind of like how practical and transportable the Gold Oil’s lightweight plastic container is. The packaging, the texture and the light shimmer all make this oil a perfect daily moisturizer that also ads a dash of glamour and sophistication to your daily routine.
Prtty Peaushun Skin Tight Lotion is obviously not an oil, yet I am including it in my roundup because I am a little in love with it and because it leaves the skin with the same gilded glow as a shimmer oil, while providing some additional benefits by virtue of being a lotion. Actually, I think “lotion” is a bit of a misnomer. The best way I can describe Prtty Peaushun (gotta admit, I am NOT a fan of the name!) is creamy, delicious skin pudding: rich, thick and creamy, though surprisingly fast absorbing. I am, generally, not the biggest fan of Prtty Peaushun’s brand message: it’s all a bit too “OMG this will make you look waaaay skinny!!!” and “OOOH CELEBRITIES!!!”, but I am a big fan of the product itself. It’s intensely moisturizing and has a tightening effect of the skin. PP (seriously, I can’t with this name!) comes in Plain (no color) and in the tinted shimmer versions in Light, Medium, Dark and Deep Dark. According to the company, any of the colors can be used by any skin tone: the darker tones would give a tanned look to lighter skins. I use Medium and it doesn’t add much color, but gives my legs a sexy sheen. I would suggest waiting a couple of minutes after application before getting dressed, otherwise you might end up gilding your clothes. This is possibly the sexiest of the three products and one with the lightest scent, which won’t interfere with your perfume. I also quite like the packaging: the metallic, squeezable pouch minimizes packaging, yet manages to look cool (and the product also comes in a smaller, carry-on-friendly size). As much as I love oils, sometimes a body lotion just feels more nourishing and cozy and PP is the perfect product to provide the benefits of a lotion along with a sexy, curve-enhancing glow.