You may or may not know that I am a self-tanning addict. I apply self-tan once if not twice a week and feel positively ill without it both in body and mind. I have, however, pared my habit back over the years. When St Tropez self-tan was first invented (I worked at Glamour magazine at the time) we thought nothing of the mahogany Florida granny look – until Towie ruined that for everyone (apart from themselves). These days I get my glow from more subtle gradual tanners.
Fearless in my pursuit of fake bronzing, it was with glee then that I opted to be the office guinea pig for the new Self Tan Express Bronzing Face Sheet Mask from the experts at St Tropez – apparently a ‘global first’. The product is a one-use sachet (you get two for £15), in the form of a sheet mask. It's exactly like a sheet mask , except drenched in self tan lotion. The instructions say to apply it for five minutes if you want a light sunkissed glow, ten minutes for a medium golden glow and 15 minutes for a deeper golden tan. Since this was my first time I opted for eight minutes. As an experienced tanner, l felt I would be would be erring on the safe side.
The verdict? Weeelllllll I think it’s safe to say that this isn’t a product for fake tan first-timers, redheads or anyone who's extremely pale. Why? Because it really does make you go really very brown indeed - in fact right now, five hours in, I feel I’m giving Beyonce a run for her money. It’s not a bad colour (it’s really quite a fabulous bronze), it’s just that every single person at the school gates today commented on how brown I was - and now every time my husband enters the room he says "Wow!”, somewhat tactfully.
MORE GLOSS: 10 fake tan tips everyone needs to know
What I don’t understand is why the instructions say to leave it on for certain length of time, because no matter how long you leave the mask on your face, surely the same amount of residue is left on your skin, which btw is a LOT. I was worried when I took the mask off because it felt like my face was swimming in self-tan, so much so that I took it way down my neck and onto my décolletage. The instructions tell you to rub the remaining lotion into the eye and hair line so you’re not left with big white areas, which I did...but only around the eye area. I totally forgot to blend it into my hairline as you can see, below, which means I look extremely brown with a big white stripe around my head. Oops! I guess even pros make mistakes sometimes.
MORE GLOSS: When fake tan goes wrong and how to fix it
Would I buy it? While St Tropez is, in my opinion, still the best range of tanners in the world (their Gradual Tan Classic Body Lotion is better than any other on the market ), I feel this sheet mask version is unnecessary. It worries me that I can't control the amount of self tan I’m putting on my face and I might as well just use self tan out of a bottle as really what is the actual point of it being a mask (other than it being a new idea and a great way of scaring your kids). In my opinion, you would be better off trying their Gradual Tan Classic Face Cream (on offer right now at £9!) which contains about 20 applications, when for £15 with the sheet mask you only get two!
Now I’m just off to tan the rest of my body. As you can see from my hands, my collars and cuffs don’t match.
The St Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Face Sheet Mask, £15 for a pack of two is available at Boots and sttropeztan.co.uk
Follow Susannah Taylor on Instagram here