Fake it Till you Make it: A Guide to Self Tan

I truly believe you feel better with a tan, it just makes me look and feel a 1000x better, but unfortunately I live in the UK and sun isn’t something we see too much of, especially hot enough to give you a natural tan, so I have to rely on self/fake tan 90% of the time.

I do love getting a spray tan, but I don’t have the time or money to do that a lot, so I tend to self tan at home, and I’ve tried a fair few different tans, both brands and formulas, so I thought I’d share with you the few I’ve tried.

I always use a standard foam tanning mitt, no particular brand but just a classic tanning mitt. I also try to shave, exfoliate and moisturise lightly before I tan.

Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter – Night & Day Tan – £7.99 @ Superdrug

This is my newest tan purchase and I’m loving it. I’d seen this all over social media so I decided to give it a go, and it is so different to anything else I’ve tried. The selling point of this product is the ‘2-in-1’ concept, when you first apply the product, it gives you the instant tan, you get a great light tan colour straight away, but it is also a gradual tan, and will develop through out the day night. I think this concept is amazing for nights out etc and the colour of the tan is a really nice bronze shade and quite subtle. I did find this tan faded a lot when I washed it, so the gradual tan isn’t very dark, but it is so comfortable to wear and dries so quickly.

Bondi Sands – Self Tanning Foam – £14.99 @ Boots

This was another product I’d seen a lot on social media, and I am so glad I decided to give this a go. This is my ultimate gradual tan, I can’t say enough good things about it. It is slightly pricier than some tans, but it isn’t the most expensive. I use the dark one and I love the colour it goes, which is, as the name would suggest, pretty dark. This tan is really easy to layer and the colour develops really well. I like to apply this at night and then leave to develop over night and wash off in the morning and it lasts really well. It is a bit sticky but it dries after about half an hour.

Rimmel – Sun Shimmer Instant Tan – £6.99 @ Boots

My one of these is very old and I’ve had it for ages and I should probably get rid of it, but I keep it in case I ever need a very quick, dark tan. I would probably opt for the Cocoa Brown tan now, but if you don’t want a gradual tan, then this is fine for instant. It is quite dark, even this medium shade is quite dramatic and it does take some blending. It doesn’t feel too sticky so it is comfortable enough to wear, and if you want it off, it washes straight off really easily. For the money, it is an easy quick fix, but I think the world of instant tan has improved since I got this.

Sally Hansen – Airbrush Legs – £9.99 @ Boots

This isn’t fake tan but it is does fit in with the idea of ‘fake it till you make it’. This is basically leg makeup, a spray on leg makeup. It does what it says on the tin, it gives your legs an airbrush effect, and makes them look smooth and does give a slight tan. It is quite high coverage, so I try to spray from a distance and rub in with a tanning mitt to give a more natural finish. This product does transfer so avoid sitting anywhere you could stain but it washes off the skin really easily.

I hope this has helped if you’re on the look out for a new tan in time for Summer, I actually tan before I go on holiday so I look brown when I get there, anyone else do that?

Let me know what your favourite fake tan is, I love trying new ones!



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18, full time Content and Social Strategist, beauty enthusiast.

3 thoughts on “Fake it Till you Make it: A Guide to Self Tan

  1. The one I loved and now I can’t find anywhere is the Dove Summer Glow And Soft Shimmer lotion! it had really fine shimmer that highlighted your skin and it was self tanning <3 shame I cant find it anywhere now 🙁
    As a Spanish woman living in UK where there is almost no sun, I really miss my natural tan so this is a great post, I will definitely try one of these! 🙂 xx

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