(Trial Run)

I Tried The New Sunscreen Oil With A 1,700-Person Waiting List

Is it really worth the hype?

In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews.

As the summer slowly but surely draws to a close and the transition from summer makeup and skin care moves to fall-worthy products, it’s important to remember that sunscreen is an essential item to keep your skin protected and healthy, no matter the season. But as much as you may understand how essential SPF is on the daily, it can be frustrating to find a formula that really works with your skin, meaning it leaves no white cast, is lightweight and comfortable, and actually leaves your complexion looking *better* than before you applied it. Enter cult-favorite brand Vacation, which just released its new Chardonnay Oil SPF 30, a lightweight sunscreen oil.

The sunscreen comes in vintage-esque packaging and is the epitome of not only the brand name but what I imagine summer in the ’80s - ‘90s to look and smell like — think vintage beach chairs, retro swimwear, and poolside lounging. The sunscreen is formulated with a number of oils from jojoba to shea oil to keep the skin feeling soft and smooth after application. I’ve never been able to find the perfect oil-based sunscreen that’s given me just the right amount of shine without any stickiness or heaviness, and with the product benefits aligning exactly with what I’ve been looking for, it was only right that I put Vacation’s $22 Chardonnay Oil SPF 30 to the test. Was it love at first sight and did it live up to the hype of its 1,700-person waitlist? Here’s what I discovered.

My Sunscreen Journey

Truth be told, I only started wearing sunscreen religiously a few years ago as I was never taught the importance of it growing up. Once I learned how crucial it is for skin health, even for people like myself with darker skin tones, I never looked back. I’ve tried a lot of sunscreen over the past year, and personally, as long as it contains an SPF of 30+, I’m willing to try it.

I have a normal-to-dry skin type meaning I’m blessed to be able to use any type of sunscreen formula without wreaking havoc on my skin. My personal preference is either something cream or oil-based. However, with so many options to pick from it doesn’t mean that everything I try is a perfect match. I often struggle with cream-based sunscreens as a lot of them tend to leave a white cast on my skin, despite many claiming not to. This, however, typically isn’t a problem with oil-based formulas but they, too, can come with their issues, from feeling super heavy on my skin to making me look like a bit of a greasy mess.

Thankfully I have a few holy grails that I can always rely on but I’ll never turn down the chance to add a new sunscreen to my collection for the perfect year-round glow.

After applying my usual skin care products - Vanese Maddix

What’s Inside?

Vacation has created a formula that the brand says is designed for “enviable lounging.” The vegan and cruelty-free sunscreen oil contains a heap of non-greasy and nutrient-rich oils including chardonnay grape seed oil — which is a by-product of the champagne industry (chic) — along with marula and passion fruit seed oils and jojoba and shea oil. Despite this surplus of oils, it is extremely lightweight when applied and delivers a nice subtle glow. While my skin type is normal-to-dry I encourage anyone who may be hesitant with oil-based products to give it a try as it feels light and comfortable. Remember — even if you have oily skin, you can benefit from an oil-based product as the lack of adequate moisture can prompt your skin to produce even more oil.

Other notable ingredients in Vacations uber-popular sunscreen include vitamin E, which has the ability to replenish and soothe sun-exposed skin. Last, but by no means least, is bisabolol, a soothing ingredient derived from German chamomile to help minimize irritation from sun exposure.

The Scent

Once you smell the chardonnay oil you won’t be able to stop! It's infused with an alluring aroma that Vacation calls "Grand Cru '86," which is inspired by the undeniable joy of popping open a bottle of bubbly. I get instant sweet notes from the oils and it just smells super luxurious and unique. It’s the type of smell that makes you reminiscence years later about your epic beach getaway. If Vacation decided to bottle up the scent and release it as a perfume, I would be first in line to buy it.

Vanese Maddix

Testing The Chardonnay Oil SPF 30

As a person in the beauty space, there have been many buzzy product launches over the years, but I’ve never seen so much hype for an SPF until this oil. It made me wonder if it was really worth the hype.

In incorporating the oil into my daily routine, it’s clear to see why it’s such a beloved product already. I began by applying my usual skin care products to my face which includes a hydrating cleanser (which I apply straight after I get out of the shower), a toner for added hydration, occasionally a serum depending on the needs of my skin that day, and lastly an SPF. I used to use a moisturizer before I applied SPF but noticed that a lot of the cream-based SPFs I used would pill within seconds. So I now just stick to an SPF and skip the moisturizer all together — this formula is moisturizing enough on its own.

I applied a generous amount of the Chardonnay Oil to my face and body (it’s suitable to use for both). At first, I was worried that I’d applied too much to my face but it blended in so smoothly with absolutely no look or feel of oiliness, which was such a pleasant surprise.

Another great benefit is that, because it’s so lightweight and non-sticky, when I reapplied the oil a few hours later, it felt as if I was just applying it for the first time. I also didn’t once notice any dry patches on my face throughout the day which is usually a problem for me.

The sunscreen also worked really well underneath my makeup. I applied a concealer, balm, brow product, eyeshadow, and mascara about half an hour after the application of the SPF and it blended so well with each product, all while keeping me extra glowy. I would also say that the SPF has been a better base than some of the primers that I’ve tried.

After makeup application, wearing the Chardonnay Oil.Vanese Maddix

Would I Recommend This Product?

Do you need this SPF in your life? It’s a big yes from me! Of course, people with different skin types would have to see if it was a good fit but if, like me, you have normal-to-dry skin, I think you’ll love it. It provides so much hydration, it’s inclusive of all skin tones, has such a retro look and feel, offers sun protection, and it’s only $22 which is a total steal in my opinion. I personally think it’s a lot nicer than other high-priced SPFs that I’ve tried. Had it been $40+ and I knew what I know now about it, I would still make it a staple in my skin care routine. And at 3.4 ounces, it’s the perfect size to pack in your carry-on for your beach vacation — summer is not quite over yet!

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