To say I own a lot of self-tanning products is a slight understatement. Over the last few months, I have been collecting an array of tanning products to trial and have finally got round to testing them all out. There are far too many to name, so my favourites will be featured in one of two posts (this one or another one in a few weeks time) dependent on whether they are a gradual tanner or a instant self-tan. Personally, I prefer instant self tanning products because you can immediately tell where you have applied the product and so are far less likely to keep going over the same area (which often gives patchy results) however, I know some people prefer gradual tanners – so I have covered both!
If you are anything like me, you will look for three specific things in a self-tanning product. 1) They should give you an all over, natural healthy looking glow (without patches or streaks). 2) They should have a natural (non biscuit) scent, so that the fact you are wearing fake tan isn’t given away by an off putting smell. And 3) the product should last for several days and wear off naturally and gradually, without leaving unsightly patches that take an hour’s work to get rid of. So, with this in mind – I reviewed over 15 instant self-tanning products and these are my favourites so far.
Xen-Tan Deep Bronze Luxe (in Dark)
This is my all time favourite tanning product and it’s been featured on my blog numerous times. After discovering it, I immediately neglected all my other tanning products in favour of this and was reluctant to try any new ones. However, it is a little pricey and although each bottle lasts me over a month, it was worth me looking into a cheaper product which had the same or a similar effect. The product itself, gives an all over natural olive undertone tan and NEVER streaks. It is extremely easy to apply, as you can see where you have already used it and this deters you from going over the same areas twice. The scent of the product is quite vanilla like (but not overly sickly) and you can also smell the Shea butter ingredients (which does leave me sniffing my arms for a few hours after applying). The base colour this product produces is AMAZING, especially if you have naturally olive-y under toned skin as it really looks like you’ve been away for a month in Barbados! I use this product in dark, as I prefer going as dark as I can possibly get. However, if you have paler skin or prefer just to look slightly bronzed, then it can also be bought in medium and light. Once you wash the tan off (you should wait 24 hours before doing so though!) the colour does fade quite significantly, so what I tend to do is apply this product the day I’m going out and leave it to dry for several hours. Despite this, it does remain my favourite tanning product – especially if you want to look really bronzed.
Abi O Soft Sun Self Tan (for English roses)
This tanning product is also one of my favourites, as not only do I know the lovely lady herself (Abigail Oleck) but it produces a really natural, bronzed finish without looking orange or over done. The product itself is so easy to apply and although the effects are instant, after about half an hour the colour develops even more and you are left with such a lovely natural medium tan which lasts even after showering (please wait 24 hours though!). I usually apply all my instant tanning products with a mitt as I can trust myself to wash my hands of all the colour properly, however if you don’t have a mitt handy, please do make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after using this product as it does show up on your hands quite quickly. The great thing about this tanning product is that it lasts (usually about 5 to 7 days) which is unbelievable compared to other products which fade away within one or two days. Even after showering, you are still left with a gorgeously natural looking tan and luxurious soft skin (it must have moisturising ingredients because it really does leave you with silky smooth skin!). Although this product does come in a variety of shades, I think the English Rose self-tan caters for all skin tones as it’s quite a natural product with organic ingredients and won’t leave you looking patchy or orange. Even if you have really pale skin normally, this still produces a medium bronzed tan without the Essex orange look!
Creightons Bronze Ambition Bronze Me Mousse
This product was actually the famous instant tan that featured on this year’s apprentice (during the task where candidates had to sell wholesale products at a shopping mall and the tanner proved to be the most popular!). Although I’m sure Lord Sugar’s Apprentice’s oversold what the product can do a little in order to win the task, I can vouch for the fact it really is a contender with regards to other instant tanning products, as the results it produces are amazing! Also, originally I found Creightons mousse a little difficult to apply at first (it comes out really quickly and you do find yourself applying generous amounts!), once you get the hang of it and use a mitt (PLEASE use a mitt, as it’s impossible to get off your hands) you are left with a gorgeous bronzed tan. One thing I will say about this product is that despite it being a little tricky to apply, the formula really does live up to the ‘no streak’ claim on the back of the bottle. It seems that no matter how much you apply and however sloppily you apply it, the tan somehow evens out and creates flawless looking results!
St Moriz Instant Leg Tanning Spray
I own several products from the St Moriz range, however with regards to instant tanning – the leg tanning spray is definitely one of my favourites. Whilst it’s not necessarily great for an all over tan (as it gets quite messy if you choose to spray it everywhere) if you want to top up your legs before a night out, this enables you to do so quickly and efficiently.
Lauren’s Way Self Tanning Bronzing Mousse
At first I was a little cynical about trying Lauren’s Way products because my initial reaction was that since they are all celebrity (well, Essex) endorsed, they are probably only there to serve the purpose of raising the profile of Miss Goodger, rather than actually being a strong contender in the tanning world. Saying that however, once I tried the tan I was pleasantly surprised as it doesn’t stink of the typical fake tan biscuit-y scent, but actually maintains a sweet yet refreshing smell that is quite nice! The results Lauren’s Way Instant Mousse gives is also surprising great, as despite Lauren quite regularly sporting a rather orange looking tan, this is quite the opposite (I wonder if she actually uses her own products) and it produces a far more desirable bronzed glow which is both nautrla and healthy looking.
So, those are just five of my all time favourite instant tanning products. As you can tell from the photographs, clearly the popular colours for tanning packaging is white and gold (what does that tell you!). So if you are spoilt for choice in your local boots and can’t decide which to pick, just look for the one with white and gold packaging!