The Gloss Report: Fake Tan Reviews
1 / 11
The Gloss Report: Fake Tans
As our hems get shorter during summer and we begin to bare more skin, we’re faced with the biggest annual beauty drama of them all - pale, whitewashed skin. Not willing to rely in any way shape or form on the weather alone to liven up our looks, The Glossy Posse have been trialing and testing 10 fake tans to help us at least bluff a bronzed body. From gels and sprays to creams and mousses we’ve been testing the lot - read on to see which gave the perfect golden glow and which were more, ahem, tango-tastic.
2 / 11
St Tropez Classic Bronzing Mousse
Feedback: "St Tropez was the first self tan I really fell in love with. I used it so much my nickname was Florida Granny. However then I was unfaithful and have had a few dalliances with other brands - many of which I thought were just as good. But then the other day I went back to the original St Tropez Self Tan Mousse, and I have to say I'm not sure anything actually has really ever come close. I forgot how easy it is to apply (with a mitt), what an even colour it gives and how it never looks orange - it's the honey colour I would like to be if I actually went brown. If the comments are anything to go by too 'You look like you've been on holiday' has been most common this week, then this is probably the best self tan ever invented. Sometimes an original is just the best."
3 / 11
Bioderma Photoderm Autobronzant Moisturising Tanning Spray
Feedback: “It's not an understatement to say I am terrified of fake tan. After an incident with Johnson's Holiday Skin in which I had one of the worst allergic reactions of my sensitively-skinned life, I've avoided the beautiful bronzed look at all costs, preferring instead to pretend I think it's better to be pale and interesting. Nevertheless I batted away my demons in order to try the new Bioderma bronzer for the Gloss Report and I have to say, I'm glad I did.
"Bioderma as a brand is fantastic for sensitive skin, so I was surprised to read that this product contained perfume. Not to be put off in the name of research, I gave it a tentative go and am pleased to report, there's no reaction in sight. It's a fine, clear mist which you spray on evenly as best you can - it's a shame it's not tinted so you can see where you've applied it - and that's it. At first, tanning amateur that I am, I rubbed it in, but soon realised this was pointless as it dries very quickly. I did a second layer and left it to dry. There was not even a hint of colour until 12 hours later I awoke to very gentle, natural looking tan; I hadn't applied it perfectly and could see where I'd used more on the side of my leg, but it was so subtle that I think I could easily patch it up with another application. The added perfume, though a worry, meant it smelt lovely and fresh, and the fact that it gives a barely-there tan if you use it as cautiously as I did is a massive plus for me and my fair skin. I'll be using it again - without the fear this time.”
4 / 11
Sienna X Instant Bronzing Gel
Feedback: "I’m a bit wary of fake tan – I’m scared I’ll be an orange patchy mess (the number of times I have returned from a summer holiday with an orange hue from too much Greek sun is too shameful to admit). I love having tanned skin so I really want to crack this self tan lark and find one that I can use with as little fuss as possible and with a golden tan colour – without the orange. The Sienna X Instant Bronzing Gel might just be the best I’ve tried yet.
"This is an instant wash off tan so perfect for a night out if you are baring your legs or want a bit of a summer glow. It’s a pump form so very easy to use. It does come out as a very dark colour in a gel-like form but fades as soon as you begin to rub it in. It has quite a sticky texture, which put me off to start with but once I had rubbed it in, my skin was completely smooth. I would advise using a tanning mitt as I used my hands so I had to be careful to ensure it was all rubbed in evenly to avoid any streakiness. It did leave a bit of an orange tint to my hands which took a couple of washes to remove. I love the smell too – it's fresh and perfumed so there is no hint of that tell-tale fake scent at all."
5 / 11
Sisley Self Tanning Hydrating Body Care
Feedback: "This is a gradual self tan that can be left to develop. It smells amazing when first applied, however as the tan appears a couple of hours later it had a hint of that typical biscuit smell – not overly strong though so I didn’t mind.
"The next morning my legs were a little patchy around the knees but I think that was more my own fault for not prepping as well as I should have. The overall colour though was a soft golden tan – one layer was enough to get this natural colour however you could go darker if you wanted to. As far as gradual tans go it's one of the best I have tried – it is mighty expensive though so it may have to be a little treat as opposed to a regular beauty staple."
6 / 11
Vita Liberata Phenomenal Self Tan in Dark
Feedback: “As a woman of colour self tanning may seem a bit redundant but I was blessed with a somewhat uneven ashy tone in the winter which highlights every blemish and blotch my skin throws at me. I turned to self tan and tinted moisturisers to help even out complexion and give me a bronzed glow. Vita Liberata definitely delivered. I showered and exfoliated before applying; the application was fairly straightforward, it comes out of the bottle as a foam (which incidentally became increasingly runny). It was a case of rubbing it on all areas evenly; which wasn't a problem as it dries quite quickly and stays a bit sticky for a few minutes. I went to bed (it stained my pillowcases!) and showered it off the next morning. Quite a bit ran off in the shower and there was a slight difference post shower. I did a second application on my face in the morning which has returned the dark bronze glow I was after. Vita Liberata say the results will last 2-3 weeks after three applications, so fingers crossed it does; so far I'm very happy with the immediate colour I got.”
7 / 11
Garnier Ambre Solaire Bronzing Tinted Self-Tan Mousse
Feedback: "Having been born with incredibly ‘Nordic skin’ as my mother calls it, I’ve never been one to tan well - burn yes, but tan no. My pale complexion also means I’m frequently reminded of the dangers of sun damage and the wrinkled prune that I will surely become if I expose myself to sunlight. As a result, I’ve spent many years building up an impressively large collection of fake tans, and this ladies and gentlemen was a surprisingly good tan.
“Say hello to wonderfully sun-kissed skin with this tinted mousse from Garnier Ambre Solaire. With an accident-proof pump and a non-drip consistency you’d have to be trying really hard to make a mess with this product. It glides on like a dream and the gentle tint allows you to see exactly where you've applied it, so you can avoid those pesky tango palms and Wotsit toes.
“What’s more, this tan also works to build up over time with its colour enhancing after each application. So, even after you wash off the night's gleam, you’ll be left with subtly, sunkissed skin. The best part though - a light, fruity scent that doesn’t give of even a hint of musky biscuit - ideal.”
8 / 11
He-Shi Rapid 1 Hour Liquid Tan
Feedback: "I'm a bit of a fake tan addict so I've tried out just about every tan on the market - except this one, and it's definitely different. The consistency is odd - it's a little like tanning yourself with soy sauce - so runny that even with a tanning mitt you make quite a mess with it dripping everywhere, so it took a lot of getting used to. However, despite its liquid formula it's not greasy at all and absorbs really well; the smell is pleasant (no soggy biscuit scents here) and because it is so dark, it's easy to see where you're applying it which is a bonus. The colour looked great while it was developing, so off I went to bed in the hope I'd wake the next morning with the perfect glow. I woke up with a very even, very dark tan - it faded slightly in the shower but for anyone who's not into their self tan it might be a bit much! Luckily, I like looking like I've just had two weeks in the sunshine so it was perfect for me - I might just use a little less next time now that I'm used to the consistency."
9 / 11
Rimmel London Sun Shimmer Instant Tan and Gradual Glow
Feedback: “Ever since a fake tanning incident in my teenage years that left me with orange smears inbetween my fingers and radioactive orange legs, I’ve been a bit put off the whole ‘summer skin in a bottle’ idea. This Gradual Glow from Rimmel however has gone a step towards changing all that. Super easy to apply, it looks natural as soon as you rub it onto your skin and is easy to wash off, meaning you get to skip hours of scrubbing at your rapidly yellowing hands in the sink. It develops nicely overnight, and gives a subtle tan which is noticable yet natural.
"It doesn’t spread to towels, bedsheets and the like (one of my absolute pet hates) and leaves none of the dreaded streaks and patches you get with some other fake tans. Because it is gradual, you can build your tan up over a few days and judge how much (or how little) you require, meaning you get to avoid that dreaded shade of TOWIE tango at all costs.
"I used the Light Matte shade, but would have probably liked it to be a tiny bit darker to make the tan a bit more noticable. However the product does also come in Medium - a purchase I’ll definitely be making pretty soon! It’s not so much a ‘bronzed-Brazil’ tan, but for first timers or those looking for a more natural colour, Rimmel’s Sun Shimmer Instant Tan is the perfect summer companion for pale skin and great value for money”.
10 / 11
Nuxe Silky Self Tanning Body Lotion
Feedback: "I have a patchy history with self-tan (quite literally) and am always a bit nervy when trying a new one. I’m pale of skin and allergic to some formulations, so development time can be tense in my household. Luckily this Nuxe offering caused no issues, either on the streak or sensitivity front. A thick-textured yet easily absorbed cream, the lotion leaves skin soft with a subtle sheen (the ‘iridescent’ effect isn’t too twinkly thankfully). There’s no digestive biscuit whiff either- it smells of honey. The product is meant to develop in an hour- I think it took a little longer but then I applied quite sparingly. By the end of the evening my legs looked lightly sunkissed with not a blotch or smudge to speak of. I’ll be relying on this flattering self-tan to perk up my Celtic skin all summer long."
11 / 11
James Read Bronzing Spray Clear
Feedback: “Technically, this is the closest that a product has come to a professional spray tan ever. With a 360 degree spray, you can hold the canister any which way up so it’s easy to spray your back and the backs of your legs. It will also deliver a really wide, continuous, even lightweight mist, so there is no need rub it in or worry about blotches around the ankles or knuckles. One layer is incredibly light so I would do a couple (leaving each to dry inbetween) but you may need to experiment a few times to get the shade that’s right for you. Created by the tan king himself James Read, the colour is perfect and never too orange. My only one issue is the mist is so fine it can get all over the bathroom, which is fine if yours is stone coloured, but I might worry if it was white.”