Greatest self-tanners gallery

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Simply Woman has given their right foot (and their left) to demonstrate the greatest self tanners in the market. Right foot contains all the “liquid” tanners, left foot the mousses.

We’ve gathered together 8 fantastic tanning brands – some you will have heard of – like Fake Bake and St Tropez – others are smaller, niche brands.  Within this feature I will demonstrate how they look on application – after first morning showering and after 5 days.  I’ve used my foot as it’s pretty pale and didn’t want stripes on my arms 🙂

So who do we have?

Left foot – the mousses

Right Foot – the liquids


Left foot – mousses

Right foot – liquids/lotions

So these are the colours on application.  With some, there’s no going anywhere once you’ve applied them!  With He-Shi’s Express Liquid tan you can dress within 2 minutes – the rest we wouldn’t advise wearing anything white that night!

But what about the DHA scare?

Following the claim this week that women who use fake tan could be placing themselves at an increased health risk, renowned and international tanning brand Fake Bake have made the below response:

‘Fake Bake make the health and satisfaction of our customers our primary goal. We have led the market in using Premium Quality European Manufactured DHA rather than lower cost forms of the DHA ingredient. All Fake Bake products are strictly manufactured in line with the FDA, European Cosmetic Directive and CTPA’s confirmation of Safety. Fake Bake have always endorsed the use of adequate ventilation and extraction when using a spray tan product in addition to using simple consumables such as face masks and goggles where applicable. We also concur with the SCCS findings and recommendations that the DHA ingredient is safe at a maximum ingredient content of 14% for Trade products and 10% for Retail home use products – as Fake Bake use the highest quality of Premium DHA ingredient, we need to use far less of a content percentage than lower cost options. This ensures that our formulations have a DHA content percentage far below the maximum safety guidelines. Fake Bake believe that the industry will need improved structured global standards as it continues to grow and the product utilisation and market saturation evolves. We would welcome the introduction of such a structure to ensure our high level of standards developed over the last 20 years are met throughout the industry.’

The next morning after showering;

Natural light
Right top to bottom (Xen-Tan, Baby B Browne, He-Shi, Fake Bake)
Left top to bottom (UTan, Dave’s, St Tropez, Abi O)

2 days later;

Indoor lights
Top to bottom (UTan, Dave’s, St Tropez, Abi O)

Top to bottom (Xen-Tan, Baby B Browne, He-Shi, Fake Bake)


5 days later…

Natural Light
Right top to bottom (Xen-Tan, Baby B Browne, He-Shi, Fake Bake)
Left top to bottom (UTan, Dave’s, St Tropez, Abi O)

So on review – firstly none of these products wore off on my sheets.  So I was rather pleased.  I think by day 3 all the brands look awesome – my favs being He-Shi, Fake Bake, Xen-Tan and Baby B Browne.  Although not sure if I would put up with the first day colour of a few of those!  Dave’s and St Tropez are a little dark for my tastes and the Abi O and UTan too light.  Odd though as I use St Tropez a fair amount on my already tanned arms and it looks great.  Think my feet are just uber pale.

The mousses;

UTan’s California Sun mousse -£25.50 – is idea if you want a light-ish tan that isn’t going to last for a week – for example you have an event to go to at the weekend and don’t want to walk into work on the Monday looking like you’ve spent a week in Marbella.  It’s perfect for tanning virgins, if you get it wrong it’s not that visible.  Ideal for girls with paler skin – although UTan does also make darker shades as well – their selling point is the fact you can choose your shade and whether you want a mousse or lotion.  Glamorous packaging and the promise of “contouring the body” makes this a great high end tanner.

Famous Dave’s – £23.95 – While developing into a natural-looking sunkissed glow, Famous Dave’s self tanning products bathe your skin in the rich natural emollients of Jojoba, Aloe Vera, Sesame, Vitamin E, natural extracts and antioxidants, which soften and add healthy moisture to your skin.  A very consistent colour, after showering was quite dark but wears off to a nice rich tan.  Dave’s also comes in wipes, lotion and spray and has won several beauty awards.  If you like a dark tan, Dave’s your man!

St Tropez Self Tan -£20.43 – Can’t beat a classic – St Tropez went on bold and stayed put for at least 5 days.  Reliable, readily available and comes in a multitude of applications including spray, extra dark, lotion. gel and natural.  The periferal products are excellent too.

Abi O Shimmer Tan Boost – £24.  Contains Aloe vera and natural mica for a shimmer upon application.  Once dried – there’s no shimmer so it’s just like the other tanners – don’t worry about glittering all the way to the beach!  Initial application looked great, faded a little quicker than the rest so a great product for a “weekend” tan or newbie to self tanning.

The lotions;

Xen-Tan – £28.99 – Credited with making Kate Middleton glow – Xen-Tan is a cult beauty “secret” – but not so much of a secret these days.  Xen Tan comes in dark, medium and “light and gradual” so you can pick the right shade and application type.  They also have a “Scent Secure” which stops the “biscuity smell” and a “Custom Blend” tanner that allows you to adjust the non tanning lotion and active tanning ingredient to your personal likes.  Xen-Tan was the most consistent of the lot – went on one colour and stayed that colour for about 4-5 days.

Baby B Browne -£14.95 – promises as close to a natural tan as possible.  As you can see it’s quite dark on the first morning.  After the three days it’s looking pretty golden and natural so as long as you don’t mind being a little dark for the first day – this one does create a really nice shade.  It’s also quite reasonably priced.

He-Shi – £20 – This also comes in mousse and gradual tan but we tried the “Express Liquid Tan” which tans instantly on contact.  This one is less of a lotion and much more a coloured liquid.  I guess the initial worry would be that it would soak in immediately and give a patchy look but it came out great.  However that was just on one spot on my foot – to do the whole body it would be worth watching their video on the website and the liquid should be applied with the mitt.  I think it looks quite golden – what are your thoughts?

Fake Bake Flawless – £22.95  I remember Fake Bake being one of the first tans I ever had done – in a salon.  Their passion fruit body polish remained with me for years – amazing smell!  It’s worth buying too as it’s one of the best body scrubs ever – so light and gentle but highly effective.  Fake Bake are giants in the self tanning world – they have a myriad of products so it’s easy to pick the right one for you.  Again – plenty of sprays, mousses and lotions in varying degrees of colour make finding your perfect self tanner that much easier.

This one went on quite dark again – but faded to a nuttier brown colour but still rich and golden.  If this Fake Bake isn’t right for you – it really is worth checking out the website as they have every kind and colour of tan imaginable -including body butters, anti-cellulite, sprays, gradual tanners, wash-off tans – it’s a great shop!

So here’s our recommendations;

Softest Tan – UTan California Sun

Darkest Tan – Dave’s Famous Tan and St Tropez

Longest lasting – Dave’s!  And not a single faded patch 🙂

Least patchy – all of them actually except on the very last day

Most flattering for paler skintones – UTan and Abi O

Best value – Baby B Browne

Most helpful – Fake Bake Flawless – comes with mitt and gloves and an instruction card.  The dog ate that.

Fastest Drying – He-Shi

Most natural – Xen-Tan

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