MY SELF TAN JOURNEY - hits and misses

MY SELF TAN JOURNEY - hits and misses
So y’all know.. I LIVE IN SELF TANNER and I was DETERMINED to find my favorite. 
Spoiler - there is no fav bc DIFF STROKES FOR DIFF FOLKS but i def paid very intense attention to every and ALL detail. I will describe their color, smell, longevity, and wear. YOU ARE WELCOME.
Before we get started, a few little TIPS AND TRICKS for at home self-tanning. If you are a first timer, these are some things u should KNOW. Not going to lie I definitely do not do the exfoliating or the lotion to the feet tips every time bc I just am lazy and self tan every few days… butttt just feel the need to share some basic knowledge.

  1. Most Self Tanners smell - sorry but it is true unless you are Globox Tan. I personally have gotten use to the smell but it can be shocking to a lot of people lol. My boyfriend literally thinks I smell like a burnt cheezit but THE THINGS WE DO. There is a specific chemical that comes from apples when they interact with oxygen which BROWNS them, and that chemical is what helps develop your tanner on your skin and shocker…. Makes you smell. So, just a little FYI. I think this is so cool am I the only one ?!!! lmao (I learned this from my amazing spray tanning bestie Tyler).
  2. Most Self Tanners will get on your sheets - unless you are a clear formula like my fav bondi sands. Staining sheets really doesn't bother me because they ALL wash out. easy peazy lemon squeeeezy. I’ve never met one that doesn't. If you do, sorry in advance lmao.
    1. I sleep in most my self tanners after application (will apply at like 8 pm get in bed around 9 or whatever) and try to wear long sleeves just incase but the initial bronzing will run off and then IF you sweat (i do HAHA) while you sleep sometimes it’ll stain in a rainbow color… kinda cute tho right?! MY HOT TIP**** get some white sheets and bleach that ish. But seriously - it all comes out so who cares. 
  3. Most Self Tanner makes your pits smell like shit - IT’S ABOUT TIME SOMEONE SAID IT.
    1. I’ve heard but have not tried so DON’T SUE ME *** that you can buy summer’s eve or some sort of PH balancing wash to use on ur pits post self tan. Someone let me know if this worked for them bccccc..... I smell lol.
  4. MOST****** Self Tanners have immediate color, and then a color that develops underneath on the skin. 
    2. Some tanners require 8-10 hours of wear before you shower, some are “rapid” or “fast developing” so 2ish hours, and some DO NOT have immediate color so their solutions are clear and develop on you as time goes. 
    1. The more often you replace or clean the better. It’s like makeup brushes. Pain in the ARSE but the cleaner the mit the better the smell and the better the application. TRUST ME. I like getting mine from amazon or walgreens. 
  6. You can tan your face lol
    1. I normally use the remainder of what’s on mit at the end and kinda contour my face (check my highlights) OR get a mist like the St. Tropez facial mist. It’s AMAZING.
  7. Your self tanner will look weird on hands, feet, knees and elbows if u don’t lotion it
    1. I make this mistake every time. Take like a dime size amount of lotion on your fingers and rub it on all the weird crevices before you self tan! Especially in between fingers and the ball of ur hand.. Like near the wrist?! That way it wont give away ur self tanning secrets. Lol. Biggest self tan giveaway - Cheeto fingers HAHHA.
  8. Before you tan, exfoliate in shower and SHAVE!!!!!!
    1. Whether it’s an exfoliating shower scrub, a dry brush, or using your bath towel on dry skin after you shower - do something to make sure all the dead skin is off before you tan! Think…… fresh baby seal prior to self tan. If you tan and then shave ur legs, you’ll shave ur tan off :,)
    2. Also, exfoliating after with ur dry towel post shower helps scrubs all the crusty self tan parts off when ur like 6 days deep in a self tan. Thats what i do!
  9. Lastly, if you have fresh self tanner on and HAVE NOT SHOWERED YET, IT WILL RUN OFF OR SPOT OR STREAK if you interact with water or sweat. 
    1. I’m talking… go to gym, streaks off. Or go out with it and get rained on, STREAKS OFF. 
    2. Most self tanners (MOST) have an immediate color (can be greeny, brown, redy etc,) and that WASHES OFF after the time period the bottle instructs. READ THE BOTTLE. Once that is washed off, you will not streak. 
    3. my current routine - apply mousse at night post shower. sleep in it. wash off in morning!! that way you avoid. :) if you try to apply in morning and wear through day, be STRATEGIC about your activities so you don't sweat!!!

Now that all that jazz is out of the way, ONTO THE TEA. starting brash !!!!

Least fav - Tan Luxe Mousse

This one was pretty orange on me, and wore weird. It felt like a REALLY intense orange stain. Got extra crusty on my knees, so much that my DAD noticed. If a man can notice, that’s when you know.n There’s better ones on the market. THAT BEING SAID, apparently their drops are AMAZING - people LIVE for their drops. 

Linking their drops here - you add these (4,6,8 drops depending on level of tan desired) into your own lotion and create your own gradual lotion for the body which people swear by for a nice natural tan.

Best Drugstore Option - Bondi Sands.

I used to rotate between this and St Tropez. It’s amazing quality. I like 3 of their products! The Aero formula specifically, which is a buttery aerated formula. More WHIPPED. I love the Ultra Dark, the 1 Hour Express, and the Liquid Gold. 

Ultra Dark $29 - good for light/medium skin and gets you pretty dark. Green undertones to help cancel orange out for the tan. Smells like coconut, and then develops into the classic tanning smell but honestly… I LIKE THE SMELL. Sue me. I think this one wears really well like 3-4 days and doesnt come off terribly. This one you can apply at night and sleep in for ultimate darkness.

1 Hour Express $29 - this one is SO good for color in a pinch. Same from above applies except you can put it on in the morning, have coffee clean house, check emails whatever and shower it off as early as one hour and get good color! The longer you leave on the more color you get.

Liquid Gold $18 - COULDN’T FIND LINK TO MOUSSE, but try the foam. this one is SICK because it comes out clear - no initial color. Great for a natural soft tan. I find I can put this one on in the morning and wear it out and you don’t have to worry about it getting on clothes or looking insanely dark ya know? WON’T COME OFF ON SHEETS EITHER and won’t streak if you sweat, or get rained on in HAHA. It’s pretty awesome.

Best All Around Line - St Tropez Classic Bronzing Mousse

Ok - this formula used to be my RIDE OR DIE, but also sparked my interest in finding options that weren’t ASSS green as this formula. I like the two below formulas - very specific and different.

Classic Bronzing Mousse $42 - This one is… classic but more of a foam than mousse to me? Like above, good for light/medium skin tones that want a TAN BABY. Green undertone. Smells what you would imagine a self tanner to smell like. Not the best, but not absolutely terrible. For St. Tropez, I think all around it's a great choice. The price is good for 8 oz bottle, color is good, fade is good, last ability is good, smell is eh. ALL AROUND ITS FINE. Is it the best in the business?!!! No but it works and is stable. Like a healthy relationship ya know. Lmao jk but it is very RELIABLE.

Ashley Graham Limited Edition Glow Kit $55 - this one includes a mousse and a mit. Personally, think it’s a little expensive bc a mit costs like 2 bucks but hey gotta support the COLLAB MOMENT. I like this one because it has RED BROWN undertones. Compared to their classic green. It really is a pretty color. Smells like…. Papaya (lmao??) coming out and then just smells like classic self tanner - not the best. Wear is the same. I think St. Tropez has great longevity formulas. RELIABLE. Sooo if you use St Tropez normally and think.. TOO GREEN, then try this one!

Best COLOR / Undertone - Loving Tan 

Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse - Ultra Dark $40 - Ok guys… hate to say it but Loving Tan’s color is SO GORG. Smells terrible though - tbh. Like bad but the color is worth it. But - if you are similar color to me and you like to have a TANNNNN (like if u used St tropez or bondi) then you HAVE to get Ultra Dark - PERIODT.

Great thing here is if you don’t want to be insanely dark, or you are more PALE and want a more natural 1-2 shades darker look, then shade Dark of the 2-hour express is a great option.

Sadly, I went through a bottle really fast. It’s only 4 oz compared to 8 oz for St. Tropez or bondi… so 40 for 4 oz vs. 42 for 8 oz st tropez. U can do the MATH.

Regardless, the color is what keeps me coming back to it. It’s really beautiful. You can layer too so say you get Dark 2 hour express and want to be DARK - do two coats! But you will run out fast so yeah.


Globox Self Tanning Mousse in Vivacious $38 - u heard that right. NO SMELL. Also, has the most incredible red/brown undertones. Gives you such natural color, develops QUICKLY (1-2 hours max) and DOES NOT SMELLLLLL. So - if u hate all self tanners for the smell U NEED THIS. Legit can throw it on, put on an outfit and leave. It’s insane. 

The owner of this small business sent me a bottle to try and i FREAKED OUT. posted them on my story, sold her out!! AHH. Fast forward, she gave me a 10% code for y’all! We post her restock, SELLS OUT AGAIN. Great news is she is restocking 500 units this week and WE GOTTA SELL HER OUT AGAIN. SUPPORT SMALL and try this solution. It’s so freaking good you guys.




Best most NATURAL TAN (especially for beach trips) for PALE GIRLIES - Undressed Tans by Jess Southern (this one is UNREALLLLLL and what's what I layered over my airbrush tan in Miami!!!)

Undressed Tans The Nudist - Dark Mousse $35 Ok so u know all my miami pictures?! THE MOST NATURAL TAN is from this solution by Undressed Tan. I can’t handle the tone of this formula. The only solution I have found with a purple brown undertone. The best part about this solution is it is SOO buildable and does not look orange in the sun! 

If you are extremely pale, try one layer and see how amazing it is. If you like to get DARK like me, try two coats so apply one and wait like 5 mins then apply a second layer. The color is UNREAL. Smell is ok! Not bad, not amazing but not TOO strong which I like. I just love that you can wear this on a beach vacation and not worry about weird splotches or an orange undertone in a swim suit. Wears really well and lasts long while looking like a natural bronzed beach goddess. 

It is SO NATURAL and of such good quality. If y’all like it as much as I do, maybe a code will come soon ;)

OK THAT IS IT FOR NOW. Still trying new ones!!!!

Don’t forget, oil will break down self tanner so try using a moisturizer that is NOT oil based to keep your skin hydrated!!! Enjoy my little tan bbbs LOVE YALL!!




  • A tip I’ve learned throughout my tanning journey 😂 is if I don’t shave my armpit when I apply the tan and wait til the morning shower that they don’t smell as bad! I think it’s cause the solution doesn’t sink into the pores? Who knows 🤷🏼‍♀️But I’ve definitely noticed a difference!

  • Thank you love it. I am still on the hunt for one with a purple undertone. Still nothing is ever the same to me as a fresh airbrush 😫. But the st tropes has been doing the job. Def gonna try loving after this

  • Love this, so helpful!! Do you have fav tan products for your face &/or tips for face application?

  • Thank u for doing the lords work 🙌🏼

  • First of all… i am fucking here for all of the millennial jargon in this blog post. I loled the whole way through. Second, this is kind of embarrassing, but I caved and bought the tanceuticals brand after I saw Joelle Fletcher do an ad and I fully expected it to be terrible but… like… it’s amazing? It goes on like lotion, doesn’t smell disgusting, and the color is really natural. (They also have a mousse but I have yet to try so cannot speak to that.) Also pro tip use latex gloves instead of the mitt and then only use to the mitt to blend certain areas and chefs kiss you’re golden (quite literally).


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