Few things can boost my self-confidence quicker than freshly applied self-tanner. There’s something about giving my skin a bit of a glow that gives me a pep in my step, especially when it comes to going on vacation! Long gone are the tanning bed days (anybody else shaking their head at their younger self?), so I lather up on sunscreen and rely on self-tanner for that sun-kissed look. We’re headed to Mexico soon, and I’ve always wanted to conduct a test to find the best self-tanner, so I figured there’s no time like the present!
I’ve been experimenting with self-tanners for years! I’m a sucker for buying a product, loving it, using it all up, and then wondering if there’s something even better out there. Then I buy something else, and the process continues. Maybe this means I’m afraid of commitment? Or it could be that I’m incredibly committed to finding the best of the best because I need my self-tanner to work overtime!
So we had some fun in the office testing seven of the most-used foaming tanners that I’ve used over the years. I give my full review of each tanner below, but we also wanted to illustrate how the colors compare side-by-side. Personally, I’m all about the tanning mousse. The application is so smooth, and it seems to develop more evenly than any lotion I’ve tried. So everything that we tested is a tanning mousse!
We were all SHOCKED to see the variation between each tanner during application. The coloring varied so much, and all of us office girls had our favorites picked out. But what we were really interested in seeing is how each one developed overnight.
What’s crazy is that although the colors were wildly different upon application, they all looked really similar after having time to develop fully. Obviously, some have warmer or pinker undertones, but color-wise, I think they’re all really similar, and it comes down to personal preference! Here are some of my thoughts.
Honestly, Coco & Eve is a tough one to beat. I keep trying other newer tanning mousse products, and I always come back to my tried and true. It smells delicious, applies evenly, hydrates my skin, and lasts for days! I prefer the dark, but you can see in the first picture that the coloring leans really green upon application. As it develops, it warms up but still has a bit of an olive undertone.
Seeing the overnight results of “ultra-dark” makes me question everything because, compared to the others, it might actually be the lightest shade.
I used this for years and years. As you can see from the pictures, the color is really, really brown and actually leans toward a reddish brown color, but this was definitely a team favorite!
The reason I stopped using it was that it wasn’t very hydrating and sort of dried me out. But I also tend to have pretty dry skin, so it could be the one for you!
St. Tropez was my OG tanning mousse. The reason I ended up switching is that it has more orange undertones. I also remember it being a bit splotchy after a couple of days.
From the test, it also looks a bit lighter and warmer than the other ones, which isn’t a bad thing!
I totally swiped up on this per another influencer’s recommendation. First of all, A+ for the beautiful packaging. The scent is “blood orange,” which smells interesting, but the color is my very favorite one. It’s very comparable to Coco & Eve but less green.
My only critique is that it comes off pretty easily. It looks incredible on days one and two, but by day three, you’re practically back to square one. In some ways, it’s also a good thing because you’re not left with weird splotchy areas that are too stubborn to rinse off.
We all gasped when we pumped this onto the applicator brush because it was greeeeeen. You can barely even tell it’s there when you apply, but it actually develops into a really lovely warm tan! Kind of shocking.
The real winner might be this Bondi Sands! It’s practically identical to Coco & Eve, for a fraction of the cost. I grabbed this at a convenience store in London when I ran out of my tried and true and fell in love with it.
I really wished it didn’t dry out my skin; otherwise, this would be such a good option for me!
I continue to love Coco & Eve, but seeing this side-by-side comparison is honestly making me rethink trying out Loving Tan again! I also really love Lux Unfiltered, but maybe I just need to embrace a more frequent application because the color is so good.
The tricky thing about self-tanner is the removal part. Even after a good exfoliation, it doesn’t always come off, so we actually tested this Bondi Sands Tan Eraser for the first time on all of the swatches. The right half of the arm where we applied definitely decreased by about 50%. It kind of looks like the light is catching it, but it’s been wiped off.
So it definitely works! The directions say to apply it after the tan has been on for 3-5 days, and this was applied the next day. But I’m definitely adding this to my tanning regimen so I can fully remove it before reapplying. If you’re wanting a step-by-step look at my tanning routine, check out this post, where I go into more detail on my exact regimen.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
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The next project we’re checking off our 2023 project list is the mudroom! This used to be the laundry room until we built out a much bigger, better laundry room upstairs. So, in the meantime, this space has been exclusively Cricket’s room. Cricket will still have a special space here, but we’re transforming this dingy […]
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