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 • Skincare  • Skincare Reviews  • I Try Indeed Labs’ Nanobronze Bronzing Drops (that Aren’t Really Drops…)

I Try Indeed Labs’ Nanobronze Bronzing Drops (that Aren’t Really Drops…)

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Main image – Indeed Labs

Anyone who knows me knows that I love a bronzed face. But when my all-time favourite Amanda Harrington Illuminating Bronzing Face Mist was discontinued, followed swiftly by another brilliant face tanner, James Read H2O Face Tan Mist, I was more than a little irked.

If you’re a self-tan addict like me, you’ll know how hard it is to find the right balance in a face tanner. You need one that gives enough natural coverage without giving too much unnatural coverage. One that’s not too orange but not too dark. And one that’s not too greasy but also not too dry. We don’t ask for much…

So, I was excited about giving Indeed Labs Nanobronze Bronzing Drops (£24.99 from Boots UK /$24.99 from Indeed Labs US) a try. I’d been a fan of the smoothing, line-blurring effects of its sister product, Nanoblur, for a while so this was an intriguing step up for me.


Image – Courtesy of writer


If you’re in the market for a new face tanner, keep scrolling to find out why, even after a serious bout of unnecessary confusion and grumpiness on my part, I actually ended up really liking it.


Drop it

When I saw the name of Nanobronze Bronzing Drops I imagined the formula being packaged in a glass bottle with a pipette applicator. Because ‘drops’ surely means it contains runny, liquid – right?

And if you were to ‘drop’ some of the product into your moisturiser to create a tint, you’d need a pipette to help drop it evenly and neatly. So when I opened the lid, I was surprised to find a pump. How could this runny liquid possibly not splatter everywhere when it’s pumped out? Surely a pipette would be the much more sensible option.

Confession: I have never got on very well with using bronzing drops in the past as they’ve historically not given me enough of a tan, no matter how many drops I’ve used. 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t exactly want to look as tanned as Magda from ‘There’s Something About Mary’. But if I’m taking the time to use a bronzer, I would like my fair to medium skin to at least end up looking less fair, more medium (with a hint of olive actually). And tanning drops have never quite delivered. I was strangely hopeful with these ones though because I like Indeed Labs


Image – Courtesy of writer


The instructions say, “add 1 to 2 drops to your preferred moisturiser and apply to face.” Only 1 to 2 drops eh? We’ll see about that.

I braced myself, putting tissues on my lap ready to pump out the liquid drops which would surely make a huge mess. Even so, I went for it and did two hard, quick pumps. Some might call it over-zealous, I just like to call it committed.

To my surprise, out shot two very large, thick, non-splattery blobs. Huh? This is not a bottle of bronzing drops. It is quite clearly a bronzing cream.

Confused about the word ‘drops’, because these clearly weren’t, I went along with it, mixed it in with my moisturiser (it mixed really easily) and applied it to my face.

Oh God, too much, too much! My face was brown. But not in a golden, sun kissed way, in a Magda from ‘There’s Something About Mary’ way (oh the irony). 

Now, I hate to bang on, but two ‘drops’ would have probably been the perfect amount if this was indeed a bottle of bronzing drops. But since it is a cream (who knew? Nobody), one half pump is really what I should have applied.

I know it sounds petty to quibble over wording, but it actually isn’t petty when it comes to applying a product for the first time or when it comes to buying something you think is something else. 

Most people associate the word ‘drops’ with a sheer, runny liquid that will quickly disappear into their moisturiser and create a subtle finish. Meanwhile, a bronzing cream is known to be heavier and thicker and leaves a fuller coverage. 

So if Indeed Labs had switched the wording a bit, then users would know what to expect and to be a little more sparing with how much they apply. Also, bronzing drops and bronzing creams have very different selling points. Everyone has their preferred formula method of application, and I should imagine bronzing drops fans would be pretty disappointed by this point.


The results

Anyway, I stepped back from the mirror and confirmed that it was, indeed, too dark. So before it had a chance to dry, I added more moisturiser to my face in the hope of diluting it a little which sort of worked. (Although I now probably didn’t need to moisturise for at least a week.)

But let’s be fair here. I must say that after all the ‘drops’ controversy, and even before adding an extra layer of moisturiser, I’d neglected to note how soft my skin felt. Velvety smooth in fact and my skin had a new radiance to it which I also hadn’t noticed in the midst of all my confusion.


Image – Courtesy of writer


The colour was too deep but I could tell it had potential and I looked forward to seeing the results once I’d used it a second time, having only used a very gentle pump. 

I was right to be excited because this time I finally achieved the perfect glow. Golden, sun kissed and natural looking. Now that I had managed my expectations, I could embrace everything good about this product. And there’s lots of it.

Namely its impressive balance of hydration – it’s not greasy but it doesn’t dry out the skin either. I must say, it does feel really gorgeous on. Also, you don’t have to mix it in with your moisturiser – you can apply it alone too. So even when you do this it will hydrate your skin nicely (just remember the colour in this instance will be much deeper.) 

I love that you can also use it on your arms, chest and legs if you want to as well, although I wouldn’t say the bottle is big enough to cover both legs very frequently. It’s a great little bronzer for when you’re on-the-go though and looks particularly fabulous on the curve of your shoulders – try it!

Overall, this does exactly what it says on the tin. Erm, except for one huge detail of course. But I’ll stop dwelling on the wording and focus on my (now) beautiful, natural golden glow instead. 


What other users are saying

I’m not the only one who’s confused though. Karen on says “I’m confused on the reviews. Everyone is saying they only use on or two drops. This product is a brown tinted cream on the advertisement link I clicked on.” I know right? But Payge F loves it. “It’s amazing. Mixing it in with my moisturiser it lasts all day, plus a beautiful dewy glow? Absolutely, take my money.”

And Vickie S adds, “I really hesitated in buying this product as so many bronzing products tend to go orange and look HORRIBLE. I LOVE this product! Will definitely be buying again!”


Overall value for money

At £24.99, whilst I’m really not surprised it’s slightly on the expensive side for me, particularly for a 30ml bottle. Having said that, Indeed Labs is a well-respected skincare brand, and you can probably tell from my review that you’re not going to be needing to use much to make an impact on fair to medium skin. And there is a deeper shade available so the same applies for darker skin tones. 


The takeaway

Yes I know, I know, I was picky about the name. But I’m speaking on behalf of those who are already confused about what to buy, without then having to be blindsided when they finally do make their choice. 

I also speak for those who are looking for a particular terminology on the packaging because they usually like it, spend their hard-earned money on it and then get caught unaware by a completely different formula altogether. I even found the term ‘tinted serum’ mentioned by the brand on the website too, which confused me even further. Come on, which is it?

But overall, this product is impressive, and I really like how it makes my skin look and feel. It gives the right kind of tan – when you use the right amount – and I really mean it when I say it hydrates the skin beautifully. If you love a natural looking tan, ‘drop’ everything (if you’ll pardon the pun), accept that this is a bronzing cream and give it a go.


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Beauty Editor

The former Beauty Editor of Glamour UK, Philippa has been a beauty and lifestyle journalist for over 16 years, picking up countless tips and tricks from makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists and celebrities. In that time she’s written for names like Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery 29 and Byrdie. Philippa lives in the UK with her husband, two children and their hyperactive cockapoo, Paddy.

Expertise: Makeup, hair care
Education: Oxford Brookes University

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