As someone who identifies as a pale girl—as in the kind of pale that veers toward translucent—finding a sunless tanner that will deliver bronzey color that doesn't look as though I've essentially, well, stained my Casper-white skin with a tan-colored formula is crucial. I've fallen victim to many streaky arms and white foot–tan ankle snafus that I'd almost thrown in the tanning towelette—that is, until I discovered St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse ($42).
I'd passed by the blue-and-white bottles a million times in Sephora, but I never mustered up the courage to actually take the plunge and purchase them—you could say I was experiencing a bit of PTSD (post-traumatic sunless disorder). Though, truth be told, I had seen the mousse in action on other women several times before and was always amazed at how natural it looked. Maybe there's hope for me after all, I thought. If it doesn't work out, I can always seek refuge in my apartment or wear a head-to-toe body suit in public. Either way, I wanted to shed my pale-girl shell this spring and look a little less… corpse-like. Anxiously, I armed myself with a bottle of mousse and the Tan Applicator Mitt ($7) and headed into my bathroom, hoping to emerge a bronzed goddess when I was done (or at the very least, not a streaky, human-sized carrot).
I slipped my hand through the mitt and pumped some mousse directly onto it. Yikes—that is DARK, I thought. I was scared it was going to look more like a wood stain than a tanning agent, but much to my extreme delight, as soon as I swiped it down my leg, my skin instantly had a natural-looking glow. I excitedly continued along the rest of my body, gave my hands a good rinse, and let it dry. The next day, I woke up to a back-from-the-beach tan. I was thrilled! No orange, no streaks, just a totally believable faux glow. A girl could get used to this.
As far as longevity goes, the tan lasted a few days and faded evenly. It also didn't rub off on my clothes or my entirely white bedding—a huge plus. So while the thought of having to reapply a few times a week makes my wallet ache, at least I know that I have an orange-free future ahead of me. Now excuse me while I order a whole case of it.
Do you have a favorite sunless tanner? Please tell us below!