Hi, My name’s Nikki, and I’m a Tan-aholic.
I spent most of my teenage years either in the backyard or in the tanning salon. Luckily, I grew up, and realized how bad that way of tanning was for my skin. Plus, the tanning industry adapted, offering a wide array of self tanners. I have tried many of them throughout the years, from gradual tanners to a spray tan in salon. I have made every application error you possibly can, from streaks to orange palms and feet. But! I’ve come a long way baby, and I thought I’d share with you what I have learned this far.
Below is a review of my 3 favorite self tanners; Including why I love them, when I use them, and tips for easy application.
Why do I love this one? It gives me a nice, even tan and is really easy to use. First things first, buy the mitt. It lasts for as long as you can keep it whole. Mine usually last about 7 applications before a finger pokes through it. I also use plastic gloves under the mitt, but you don’t necessarily need to. You can find gloves here or any pharmacy in the first aid section.
I personally use the dark mousse because – hello, I like to be tan. If you’re fair skinned or worried on your first go around, the regular tanning mousse still gets you a lovely shade of tan! I use St. Tropez when I want a dark tan that will last a week or so. If I plan to go to the beach or take some photos for Instagram, I will usually apply this the night before.
The Lowdown on St. Tropez:
- My all-around favorite.
- 4-5 full body applications per 8 oz bottle.
- Easy to apply and fades evenly, in around 5-7 days.
- It will fade faster at the beach (sand) or in the pool (chlorine).
- Will rub off SOME on your sheets and clothing after you apply (but only until you rinse off the next morning). I usually wear something dark to sleep in and sometimes sleep on a towel. It also may rub off on bras or tight clothing but it comes out in the wash.
Tips for easy application:
- Use a little (pea size) hand lotion on your palms before you put on the plastic gloves. This will help keep your palms from getting tan. Any regular hand lotion will work.
- Fill a medium bowl with water before you start. I place it in the shower and then once I’ve finished applying the tanner, just toss the mitt in there and wring it out in the morning. No worrying about water when you’re applying!
- Once I’ve finished with full body, I always pat the tanner left over on the mitt onto my face to tan it. I don’t buy the special face mitts.
- After you finish your face, toss the mitt in the water, remove gloves and wash hands. Apply a tiny amount of foam (about a pea size) onto the back of each hand and then rub the backs of hands and along fingers. This is the BEST way to not have too orange of hands or weird wrist lines. I share this after many failed attempts on my hands and I discovered it on accident, as I threw the mitt in the water too early and had to improvise.
This is your everyday tanning product. I use this when I need a little color boost. It’s fairly easy to apply and takes the least amount of time out of all my self tanners. You don’t really need any special application mitts but I still wear plastic gloves to make cleanup easier. The absolute BEST part about this one is it DOES NOT GET ON ANYTHING! I slept on white sheets the first time I used it and it didn’t leave a mark. I was shocked, I’ve never seen that before!
The down side to this one is you can’t see where you’ve put it on while you’re applying. Also, the way the bottle is designed, it makes it difficult to spray your own back while trying to keep the bottle right side up so the spray will work. But I love Coola because it is quick and pretty much foolproof to apply.
The Lowdown on Coola Dry Oil Mist:
- Doesn’t get on anything! No need to worry about clothing or sheets.
- 2-3 full body applications per 3.4 oz bottle.
- Fades evenly, in around 2-3 days.
- Hard to spray your back because of the nozzle design (needs to be right side up to spray).
- You can’t see where you’ve already applied it.
Tips for easy application:
- I spray in the shower so it doesn’t get everywhere.
- Use plastic gloves and rub in circles after you spray an area.
- After you are done with body, remove gloves and wash hands. Then spray the back of both hands and rub, back to back to get the hands tan without palms being orange.
I use this on my face every other day and I love it! It keeps my skin glowing and I can use little, to no foundation! In fact, I usually use this in conjunction with Coola Tinted BB Cream instead of foundation at all these days.
As someone who has struggled with acne and acne scaring for most of my life, I know having some color on my face helps it look better and this helps me do that without damaging my skin. It cannot be easier to apply. I get out of the shower and apply two pumps to my fingers and apply to face. Wash hands and done! I wait a bit before I apply any other creams or moisturizer so the tanning serum is fully dry.
The Lowdown on Coola Face Serum:
- If you like your face to be tan, use this.
- Countless applications per 1.7 oz bottle. I’m still using the same bottle 3 months later.
- Fades evenly, in a day or two, so apply often.
Tips for easy application:
- I have none, it’s that easy.