Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for review by St. Tropez Tan & Bold PR but by no means does this influence the outcome my review. What is written is my honest opinion of the product. If I felt negatively about what I was sent, I would simply not post a review.
When I saw the box from St. Tropez at my doorstep, I couldn’t wait to rip into in! I received numerous positive reviews from friends about how well the St. Tropez line of self tanners worked and was excited to try it out for myself. This particular product, Self Tan Dark, was literally just launched too (available as of May/June 2012) and is supposedly unlike any other self tanner on the market. The fact sheet that came with the product states: “The St. Tropez DARK range contains a ground-breaking patented ingredient, Vegetan Premium – the first active DHA on the market to contain allo-melanin, designed to mimic the skin’s natural melanin, ensuring the most natural, dark tan. Combined with other skin-enhancing ingredients and the latest technological advances, the new range offers a bespoke self tan that adapts to the individual to visibly improve the natural color of the tan.”
I couldn’t wait! I immediately ran to the shower to shave and exfoliate (a MUST prior to using any self tanner). After showering, I applied moisturizer to the rougher skin areas on my body (ankles, feet, elbows, knees, etc.) as this prevents over-saturation and prevents those areas from turning orange or darker than the rest of your body. Now I was set to tan!
I was sent the Tan Applicator Mitt to apply the lotion with, which I ignored (BIG mistake). I started applying the tanner with my bare hands (this lotion comes out of the bottle a dark greenish black color and is REALLY hard to scrub off the palms of your hands). Luckily I caught it before it got too bad, and was able to scrub my hands clean. I used the glove to finish. It helped to blend the product into my skin so much better than my hands did anyway so it does more than just protect your hands from staining, it also gives a more even tan. There is a reason they sent it to me, imagine that!
I started applying the lotion from my neck and worked my way down my body ensuring I was blending really well and wasn’t leaving any streaks or bare spots behind (my back was a little hard to get so you may want to ask for assistance when you do this yourself). I made sure every area was well covered paying close attention to my feet, knees, tops of my hands and my elbows. I also lifted my arms up and looked in the mirror to catch any streaks or spots there (Please note, this takes time so DO NOT rush through the process or you will be sorely disappointed). Once my body was completely covered and blended, I waited 10 minutes before putting clothes on (and I recommend putting on something very loose fitting when you do get dressed to prevent streaking). This tan takes approximately four hours to build to it’s full potential, so per the directions you are not suppose to sweat or get wet for that amount of time. Luckily I applied it in the late afternoon and didn’t have anything to do besides lounge around for the evening.
I’m not going to lie, when the four hours were up I was frustrated. My legs and feet looked orange and I had really high expectations of this product. I then remembered that an instant bronzer is added to the lotion and that was probably responsible for the oranginess I was seeing. I went and took a shower to wash that off then I applied a good moisturizer afterwards. WHAT A RELIEF! I was right! I was left with a very natural and gorgeous dark tan reminiscent of what you would come home with from a tropical vacation! Absolutely NO orange whatsoever. Even my boyfriend was impressed!
This is truly unlike any other self tanner, Mystic tan or spray tan I have ever used. I honestly didn’t think it was possible to obtain a REAL sun-tanned look out of a bottle. I know tanning beds are dangerous, but I used them anyway as there is nothing more hideous looking to me than a bad orange fake tan. I always said if I couldn’t tan I’d rather be pale and ghostly then spray tan and look like an oompa loompa. Well, I can honestly say that this worked wonders for me. It worked so well in fact, I’m canceling my tanning bed membership tomorrow. The ONLY drawback to this product for me, is that you need to have extra time on your hands when you use it. Do not try to apply this if you are in any kind of hurry or on the go. And I recommend doing your face too (the directions say to apply it to your face, but I chose not to). It looks weird now before I put my makeup and bronzer on because my head is drastically lighter than my body. I will be doing my face going forward so I match.
Here are my before and after photos (I am NOT excited about putting photos of my out-of-shape bikini clad body online – UGH, however I really wanted to show the difference and didn’t have a model available). The photos really do not do the tan any justice either. It is very noticeable in person but at least you can still get the gist.
St Tropez Dark also comes in a mousse and spray form (I think I would try the spray next to see if it saves on time). The review above is based only on the lotion version that I was sent. They also sent me their Self Tan Bronzing Mousse which I’ve yet to try (I’m going to try and review that one after this tan fades).
So there you have it. Go enjoy a golden, rich looking tan this summer without the use of those dangerous cancer (and wrinkle) causing tanning beds and breathe a sigh of relief – now you don’t have to look like this in another twenty years….
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