The Adventures in Self-Tanning

So, while I’ve always loved lying out by the pool to get a little bit of color, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that it’s not necessarily the best way to take care of my skin. (yes, that was sarcastic) Too many people I know are having medical issues and myself included had a bit of a scare this year. So…. I’ll still maybe lay out a few times, but not nearly as much as I used to. I have some Spanish/French in my background meaning I look better with some color to my skin. Which also means, I have to find a damn good self-tanner because I look sickly when I’m pale.

As far as self-tanners go, I’ve tried a plethora already, including: Jergen’s Natural Glow Express for Medium to Tan Skin Tones, Too Faced Tanning Bed in a Tube, TanTowel’s Tanning Mist and Tanning Towelettes to no avail and now have moved on to Per-fekt Matte Body Perfection Gel and St. Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse. I thought I would share with you guys my adventures and reviews of all these products.

First, let me explain my qualms with the other products. Jergen’s Natural Glow Express does work, and you do get a good color out of it, but it smells horrible. Whenever people talk about the “self-tan” smell, this one is a great example of it. I smelled myself all day long when I had it on. It’s so embarrassing. I want color but not for everyone to smell that I choose to not lay out in the sun for the color. In addition it does stain your hands a bit, if you don’t wash them well enough. I will admit a positive about this product was that it was Jergen’s, so it was a moisturizer built-in unlike others that require you to moisturize first. However, the smell was something I couldn’t get past, it was simply way too bad. At least it’s not ridiculously priced at $8.

TanTowel. Oh my, oh my. I was recommended to try the TanTowel line from some girls at my local Beauty Brands. They said they were the best self-tanners they had ever come across. And let me mention here, I was returning another self-tanner by Too Faced Tanning Bed in a Bottle. (HORRIBLE. Not even worth a review because I didn’t keep it past one application it was so bad) Anyway, they recommended TanTowel. They informed me that they were easy to apply, would not streak, and do not have the self-tanner smell because they have a citrus smell to them. Well…. I was so excited, I bought both the towelettes and the mist. Because I was so excited to try them, the first couple of application issues I gave them a break and just assumed it was me being picky. They are easy to use, like they said, and they create a tan, but it doesn’t last. When you first apply it, you’re terrified to touch anything for a long time afterwards because after you apply it you still feel wet. You seriously can’t touch anything without the weird citrus-y self-tanner smell rubbing off on it. This made me the most mad. They push that the citrus smell is wonderful and makes it seem like you don’t have any tanner on. Wrong! Very Wrong! The back of the Tanning Mist even boasts “It has a light citrus fragrance that dissipates within minutes.” Wrong! You will smell it all day, until your next shower, and the smell just gets stronger. The smell will stay on whatever clothes you wore until you wash them. This does include your sheets so the next day when you sleep on your sheets you get the smell, again. Next TanTowel claims to dry quickly (it says wait 5 minutes before dressing). I gave the tan a whole 15+ minutes to soak in before I got dressed or crossed my legs or anything that I thought might ruin the result. So, I crossed my legs after what I thought was a hugely sufficient amount of time and when I undid them, hours later (since the color doesn’t appear for 2-4 hours) I had a huge leg print across my thigh where the top leg had rubbed off on the bottom. I was really, really disappointed with this line. Definitely not worth the price, in my opinion: $10 for the Tanning Mist and $26.98 for the Towelettes.

I did just recently purchase Per-fekt Matte Body Perfection Gel Tan, which is not really comparable to the other products as it’s not a gradual tanner, the color just lasts until your next shower, but it’s really cool. The name is deceiving though as it’s not really a gel. It comes out in a brown glob that you put in your hand then PAT, not spread, but PAT over your arm, leg, etc. until you’ve got some product over the entire area, then you can spread and blend it in. I was given a lesson at Beauty Brands the correct way to apply it. It’s main ingredient is talc, which makes it so it’s not spreadable. It’s not of a lotion consistency like other tanners. But it really does give you some color. And the best parts are it’s instant and buildable. Because it’s talc based and not water based, you won’t go through it that fast, which is good because it will cost you a pretty penny at $48 for a 3 fl oz. bottle. I honestly, haven’t used it that much so I don’t feel right giving it a full-fledged review but for the times I have used it, I love it. There’s no smell, and as long as you wash your hands you can pass for a pretty sun-induced tan.

Lastly, my current favorite: St. Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse. I saw excellent reviews for this online and had to try it. Because it’s a mousse and it comes out brown, you can see where you apply it. There’s no guessing, which means… no missing areas. It’s a gradual builder, so it does create a tan that stays, and there is no smell (kind of). According to the label, it says to wash it off after 4 hours. While I haven’t done this, I do believe that it is true. After about 5 hours, the self-tanner smell does come out. So, shower, shower, shower after the 4 hours like the label says! Believe me, otherwise your boyfriend will come up to you and tell you that you smell. The only qualm I have with this tanner, and its minute, is that it does a number on your hands. This is the one thing I read about in all the reviews online. Apparently St. Tropez sells a mitt separately that you are supposed to apply the product with but I didn’t buy it. Me, being me, figured it can’t be that bad and why spend money on a mitt.. well, it is bad on your hands. Really bad! I still haven’t given into the mitt buying, and probably won’t. I just wash my hands the second I get done with really, really hot water and a lot of soap. It works well enough for me. This tanning mousse isn’t cheap either, just like all the rest of the products I’ve tried. It’s $30 for 4oz, but honestly, I think it’s worth it. I have color to my skin and I don’t smell like I just doused myself in self-tanner.

So, there you have it, my adventures in Self-Tanner. Do you have a favorite or at least a tolerable product that you want to share?

PS. What do you think of my blog’s new look? I wanted to tone down the pink a bit, lol :)


One Comment to “The Adventures in Self-Tanning”

  1. I’ve never really experimented with the self-tanning, but I’ll definitely take into consideration your feedback on the various products. :)

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