NB: none of the products I mention in this review were gifted – I bought all of them – but I’ve used affiliate links, meaning if you clicked through and bought something, I’d make a few pennies by way of commission but it wouldn’t cost you any more.
I’ve used plenty of self-tan products over the years but apart from the instant stuff that I like to use for nights out (Rimmel Sun Shimmer is ace) and spray tans I’ve had for weddings done by actual professionals, it’s generally been a disaster.
I feel like every single year I try out a new one based on someone’s recommendation or a magazine tip, and whatever I do, end up with lovely big streaks of orange.
Not ideal when the reason you tanned in the first place was because you were wearing summer clothes, and you end up going back to long sleeves because that back-of-arm area is a streaky, blotchy site to behold.
This year in another act of hope over experience, I purchased Bondi Sands Self Tan Foam (Light/Medium). I’m going away this coming weekend and knew how tempted I’d be to splash out on a spray tan (when we’re supposed to be in saving mode). I’d heard good things from a few different people, so thought it was worth a shot.
At £14.99, it’s definitely not the cheapest on the market, but still comes in at a fair bit less than the premium brands. Mindful of last year’s disaster, I figured it would make sense to get a decent exfoliator to go with it, so spent my Boots points on Soap & Glory’s Smoothie Star breakfast scrub (£8).
I like to trial any tan on my legs first, because let’s face it, if it all goes wrong it’s a whole lot easier to hide. So day one was spent using the scrub on my legs and moisturising (I use Liz Earle’s Nourishing Botanical Body Cream which has lasted me ages). The scrub smells like maple syrup porridge, like you-want-to-eat-it good. I was really impressed with how it felt too, and how smooth my legs were afterwards.
Day two meant time to tan. I squirted a big dollop of foam onto the mitt and got going – I already had a tanning mitt but you can get these really cheaply if you don’t yet have one – definitely don’t apply with bare hands! The foam comes out tinted so you can see exactly where you’ve put it, which is ideal for people like me because it’s a whole lot more idiot-proof. Smell wise, there is a hint of biscuit but it’s not nearly as strong as with other brands I’ve used in the past.
You leave it on for a minimum of an hour (depending on how dark you want the tan) so I stuck to the minimum to be on the safe side. Then you shower it off, at which point I thought I’d be left with the aftermath, so was kind of disappointed when it all seemed to have gone and I was as au naturel as when I started (albeit relieved it was that way round and not become something akin to an orange mess).
Clearly I didn’t read up on it that well beforehand, because unlike other products I’ve tried, the tan develops after that. Sure enough, as the day went on, my legs became more golden. And here’s the thing, NOT STREAKY! Yes of course, the tan was a little darker on my knees and ankles as it always is, but really not that bad. Otherwise, it was pretty perfect.
I repeated the process on my upper body – one day exfoliation then one day tanning and I am honestly so impressed. I have a lovely, natural-looking tan as if I’ve casually spent a bit of time in Spain over the last few days.
After years of trial and error, I feel like I’ve finally found a self-tan product that works for me.
What beauty products have you discovered recently?