Thursday, August 25, 2011

Self Tanner Mega Review

I want to post the blog I wish I had read before buying (even if over many months) all of these self tanners. The idea is that maybe I will save some other fair skinned girl the trouble of finding the perfect self tanner.

For starters, I am very fair skinned and with no sun have a blueish tint to my skin. I self tan year round for fear of skin cancer and try to be as close to Malibu barbie brown as possible.

I am white as white can be, but ALWAYS purchase self tanner in the darkest color available because I am just that impatient. I usually self tan twice a week. Maybe my frequent applications are why I noticed no streaking with any of these products.

Victoria's Secret Beach Sexy Sunkissed Bronze Instant Self Tan Lotion with Tint
Available at Victoria's Secrets

A mouthful of a name. This is pretty, medium pigmented, and definitely delivers a brown color. It never looked orange. The smell was not self-tanner smelling, but more a Victoria's Secret fragrance that is a little to masculine for my liking. There is shimmer in it, but not so much that I couldn't slap some on my clean face before Summer classes this year. Slow to dry.

NOTE: I suppose most folks would break out from this on their face, considering the glitter and the consistency. I just don't break out easily.

Verdict: I kept this one because for what I paid for it, the product tends to be pretty long wearing. Not as dark of a color in one use as I would prefer, but given a few applications it was nice.

Neutrogena Micro Mist Airless Sunless Tan
Available at Walmart and pharmacies.

This amused me because it dries fast and applies quickly and neatly. Not deep enough color or enough payoff to make it really worth my while. If I have had a glass of wine and don't feel like rubbing down in self tanner but know that I will want to be pretty the next day, sometimes I can convince myself to spritz a little of this on.

It smells just like a perfume my Aunt Lissie wears, Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden. I love my Aunt, but not this smell.

Verdict: I keep this for nights I am too lazy to self tan for real. Light color (even in "deep") and wasn't too greasy to put on my face and apply makeup shortly after.

Hawaiian Tropic Island Radiance Creme Lotion Self Tanner
Walmart. ONCE.

I can't find this anymore. It goes on like whipped icing. It's heavy. I liked it and I thought it was nice but the can is deffective. I picked one up for myself and one up for Brit, obv. we have had a lot of self tanning ventures together. We have each other's backs, litterally! Pale backs are weird and my arms aren't long.

ANYHOW. It was nice but heavy and both Brit an mine's cans were deffective. It goes away quickly because of the pressured can (I think) too. I liked the color, it was warm and my skin looked nourished.

Verdict: If you can find it and have the cash, go for it. It was less than ten dollars and smelled nice. Good for dry skin!

Loreal Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion
Available at Walmart and pharmacies.

This was an old favorite of mine. I love it except for the smell and the glitter. Yeah, I said it glitter. We're talking 8th grade Bath and Body Works scented roll on glitter, glitter. The real chunky stuff.

Verdict: No longer in my collection, can't leave with it on. Glitters up sheets and takes a while to dry. Self Tanner smell comes gratis with the disco ball effect.

Loreal Sublime Bronze Self- Tanning Gelee. Yeah, two E's.
Available at Walmart and pharmacies

This doesn't smell great and takes a long time to dry but gives the best tan of the Loreal products. It has no color guide so nothing rubs off on your sheets and is oily in consistency so you can see where it has been applied in comparison to dried skin.

Verdict: Not my holy grail, but a good and affordable one that I keep in my beauty bin. It's my roommate, Brittany's, favorite.

Loreal Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Salon Airbrush Self-Tanning Mist (this one I could only find in Medium Natural Tan)
Available at Walmart and pharmacies.

I could hardly see this one either and has a similar scent, actually, to the Neutrogena one. Therefore it has met the same verdict exactly as the Neutrogena Micro Mist. For use on wine nights only.

Sun Labs Self Tanning Lotion Dark Sunsation Instantt Tint in Very Dark
I purchased on Amazon, otherwise couldn't afford it.

This is RAVED about in the Youtube beauty community. It is also paraben free, if you know about that or care, I don't on both counts. This goes on DARK and tans you DARK. I love this self tanner and my best friend Bailey does too. Has a greener tint to it that provides a super natural tan.

NOTE: About a week after I applied this, my skin was patchy white and tan. Even exfoliating and starting over looked odd.

Verdict: I use this in conjunction with other self tanners to avoid the lepracy look when it starts to fade. Always exfoliate like you mean it before you use this puppy.

Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning Mist Airbrush Color
Given to me by Roommate

One day in my lament over the Jtown Walmart being out of self tanner my roommate gave me this. She liked it. It's ok. The smell is rank, like lemon lysol but worse. It DOES dry fast and it does allow you to apply more than once in a day and says it will hold the second application of color. You don't read that much on self tanner bottles.

Brit and I both Saw minimal color but I hate to part with it since there's only a little left anyhow.

Verdict: I'm keeping it for emergency situations.

Toma's Total Tan
Available at Sally's Beauty Supply

This I read has a pleasent scent on Mine smells unplesant. In fact, it smells like something I maybe shouldn't put on my skin... but I do anyway. It gives a nice tan! It is vegan and paraben free, if you care. I don't. It has an organic color gaurd that washes off of anything you get it on. Yay for not scary looking sheets!

This has the green tint, like Sunlabs, without the price tag. I think it was $12.00 or so at Sally's. That's two margaritas, a pair of cute panties, or a floral print scarf I can spare every two months to have this. It only costs three or four more dollars than the Walmart tanners and I get it on sale with my Sally's card. Holler.

If you have time to apply, wait three hours, shower, apply again and shower, then this is the tan for you! The organic color gaurd washes away and leaves you with a barely noticable "base tan" according to the box, and I buy into that. The next layer gets you a nice tan and you're good to go for oh, four days.

Verdict: I use this when I have a a day off. I honestly don't give a rip what I look like about town and like the effect this gives. Cheap-ish too.

Xen Tan Premium Weekly Sunless Tan
Purchased on Amazon because on their site it's apprx. 1 million dollars.

This is it ya'll. This is my favorite self tanner. It's expensive as all get out, but I really do only use it once a week. This was my treat from the commission of a big Rolex sale. Ok? I'm guilty and I splurged for $25 on Amazon.

It has the green "olive" tint to it and smoothes on awesome. Dries fast and seriously lasts up to seven days. I use it on my face as well but it doesn't last as long because skin turns over there faster. It doesn't leave me patchy and it doesn't smell bad after it dries. It has a cherry almond smell. It's 8oz and I use it once a week. We're looking at $25-$32 every two months... to keep my white hiney out of a tanning bed I find this worth it. When I am a foxy grandma ya'll won't judge me as much for splurging when it's not really appropriate for me to do so. The end.

hope this helps someone!!



  1. Bath and Body Works has one that I use that works pretty well

  2. Claire you are my favorite. I think I might buy some of the last tanner! I miss you!!!

  3. @starvingartist15 , Can I do that here? Well, I tried the B$BW one, I try to avoid gradual tanners because, as I said, I am grossly impatient!! My roommates like it too though! Patience is a virtueQ