St. Tropez performs one spray tan every minute and sells one product every fifteen seconds (according to their website), so they should be an authority on the topic of tanning. Their original formula, The Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, comes in shades Classic, Dark and Extra Dark, and supposedly adjusts according to your skin tone. It is also, allegedly, streak free, lightweight, quick-drying, non-sticky and no transfer with a “mood boosting” fragrance. Lea picked up the Dark version to test its many claims and hopefully add some color to Seattle’s long, gray winter.
Find it HERE
Tested March 2020
I truly believe everyone looks better after a little bit of sun. Unfortunately, most of us have jobs that take place during sunny hours and/or live in a place (like Seattle) that doesn’t get regular sun. Also, nobody looks good with wrinkles or even worse, skin cancer, so as far as this blogger is concerned tanning beds are out of vogue.
I previously tried the Classic shade of this foam and liked the formula but felt that for the amount of work it takes to get a great application (of any self tanner), the result wasn’t as pronounced as I wanted. The next time around and several subsequent buys later I’m loving the Dark shade. There are a few minor inconveniences and unfounded claims so I felt like I owed you a run down before recommending such a splurge.
The single most impressive thing about this brand is that the formula is green. As in dill pickle, broccoli green. Don’t worry though, that’s just the indicator and by the time you wash it off the result is the most natural looking bronze I’ve achieved using any brand of self tanner.
The Applicator Mitt is essential because this stuff stains. Even a second of the bronzing mousse on your palms and you can kiss keeping the faux glow secret goodbye. Fortunately, the mitt is only $7.50 and has lasted me through 3 bottles of tanner (after that the seams start to pull apart). I flip it over and am able to get that hard to reach spot in the middle of my back by using the mitt over the back of my hand.
In addition to being green, the formula’s performance is stellar; literally it is goof proof. Even if the indicator looks a little uneven I’ve never ended up with streaks after a final rinse. Most of the time I properly exfoliate a day before and moisturize regularly but sometimes I slather this on last minute and even then my tan still comes out even.
Now for the unfounded claims…there’s no way around it, this is sticky and smelly and inconvenient. In my opinion all self tanners are this way, even the professional airbrush tans leave me feeling kind of gross for a few hours. But honestly, what worthwhile beauty treatment is convenient? What I really wanted to test for you, and I’m so glad I did, is exactly how long I/you have to leave this on to get the desired effect. St. Tropez says “Allow four to eight hours before showering to reveal your developed tan.” The difference between 4 and 8 hours is huge when you’re wandering around your house naked trying to avoid splashing yourself with any water whatsoever. The results of the patch test I did in the photo below surprised me! I squirted 3 pumps onto my forearm and let them sit for 4, 6, and 8 hours respectively. I applied them all the same way, allowing the pump of foam to sit for a minute before blotting off any excess, and then I rinsed the indicator all off before snapping this picture.
If you’re thinking they all look the same, so am I! Prior to writing this post I would have told you I always leave this on the for the full 8 hours, but after seeing this, I’m changing my tune. For the full body test (in the before and after photo above), I allowed the formula to sit just 4 hours before I showered. I did, however, make sure to fully saturate my skin, no skimping to stretch this expensive product, which I admit is probably something I did before. St Tropez says to use just 2 pumps per arm; I used closer to 3 but I did adhere to the prescribed “long sweeping motions, starting at the ankles and working your way up.”
My mood is uplifted after seeing my stellar tan, but not by the scent of this- which is reminiscent of laundry detergent and does linger for a day. All in all, I love that this is cruelty free, noncomedogenic and formulated without parabens, sulfates, or phthalates. It’s not cheap but a bottle lasts half a dozen or so tans which, compared to the price of a professional faux tan, is a steal.