For the longest time ever, self-tanners, to me, belonged in the “love the effect, but I’m too intimidated to try it” category. Other two were false eyelashes and hair extensions. Few years a go I tried falsies, and my life has never been the same. The thought of clip-in hair extensions though still triggers a slight panic attack in me.
I think I was about twelve or thirteen when my sister and I tried a self-tanning lotion for a very first time (my sister being 3 years younger than me). I remember “stealing it” from my mom, hiding in a room and slathering our legs and arms with that brown, sticky and horribly smelling lotion (My cousin and I actually did that a lot. One day we were just watching TV when a razor commercial came on and I said “hey, there’s an idea, let’s shave our legs!” And that was how I discovered a secret of smooth skin at the age of eleven.) It’s funny, but I can still recall how excited we were when the tanner developed, admiring the beautiful, golden tone of our skin. In reality, we looked like we rolled in mud. We were less excited when my mom noticed what we did and yelled at us (such rebels, weren’t we). Later on as an older teen, I developed a love for tanning beds, it was truly one of my favorite things in the world. After I became more educated about the harmful effects of my love of solarium, I gave up on my dreams of golden skin tone.
Over the years I felt really temped to give fake tanning a try, but I always found it very intimidating. I finally decided to give it a go few years a go. I went through a whole bunch of different products, and just when I was about to give up, I came across St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse. It has such a light formula, it’s incredibly easy to work with and most importantly, it looks very natural. I love the fact that it comes with a pump, it makes it very easy to control the product, however, when using it for the first time you do need be a bit cautious. The amount of mousse that comes out with one pump is quite generous and because of its mega fluffy formula it’s easy for it to slide and fall on the floor. I’d definitely recommend applying this either in the shower cabin, or on the bare floor-save your bathroom rugs! (If you do happen to stain it, no worries, it comes off rather easy.)
It has a slight brown tint, so when you’re applying it to the skin, you can actually see it, which makes it very easy to cover any missed spots/areas. I usually like to use plastic gloves when applying this, so that my hands don’t stain. I apply it all over my body after a shower (give myself a nice scrub to exfoliate the skin and use generous amounts of lotion usually the day before), let it dry for 60 seconds and put on some loose-fitting clothes. I shower few hours later to wash the self-tanner off and reveal my tan. One other great thing about this product is the fact that it doesn’t stink. It definitely has a smell, a rather pleasant one, although I do detect that fake-tan-smell, but it doesn’t stink. The tan last about 3-4 days, and the color is definitely buildable. I only happen to use this on special occasions, especially when I go somewhere where there will be a lot of picture taking, so self-tanning is not something that is a part of my regular routine. If I were to do it regularly, I think that once a week application would be enough to maintain a nice color. This mousse is a definitely on the pricey side (although very much worth its cost, in my opinion), I usually get the 4 oz bottle at Sephora for about $32.00.
TanTowel is another great alternative for sun-less tanning and it’s even easier to use than the St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse. The one that I’m using is a “Half-Body Application” pack and it comes with 5 individually packaged saturated towelettes, I use two of these for a whole-body application (they also come in “Full Body Application”- a box of 5 costs $24.00 at Ulta). Unlike St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse, you can’t actually see where the product goes during the application, but I still think that it’s a bit more user-friendly. While the towelettes are saturated, they’re not soaked in the product, which is nice and makes for a mess-free and, more importantly, streak-free application. This product is great to use on those days when I don’t have much time to play with the mousse. I just open the packet, take the towelette out and rub it into my skin in circular motion, making sure to wash my hands afterwards. The tan comes out after a few hours, once again nice and natural looking. Similarly to the St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse, TanTowel does have a scent, but it’s not a bothersome one at all.
Those two products finally put an end to my quest for a sun-kissed skin. I still love to bask in the sun during warm summer days (with proper sun protection of course), but thanks to these two gems I get to have a nice tan even during winter months. If you guys have any other recommendations for similar products please, do tell!