This post is for all the tanning beginners, the self-tan rookies and the fake bake newbies. I have naturally quite olivey skin and it really doesn't take much to turn "quite olivey" to tan. I spent a few days at the beach over New Year and that's given me enough colour to last the next few months. I am pretty new to fake tanning myself but I've always loved gradual tanners, I think they're are amazing! They're a great way to prolong your tan, they give a really natural looking colour and they're a great starting point for anyone with zero fake tanning experience. Here are some of my top gradual tanning picks.
Bondi Sands Gradual Tanning Milk ($17.99)
For the few times that I do decide to fake tan, Bondi Sands is my go-to brand. But for the rest of the year, the Gradual Tanning Milk is my number one choice. This has a really nice cocoa butter scent, although it doesn't completely mask the "fake tan" smell. It's not an immediately obvious smell but I do find that you can smell the tan smell on yourself during the day, it's not awful but it's definitely there. 2-3 days of using this gives me a beautiful bronzed glow that last for about a week and I really love how natural it looks. I also love how moisturising it is, you can completely skip body moisturiser on the days you use this.
If you're after a gradual tanner and don't want to spend a fortune, then the Le Tan Gradual Tan is an excellent choice. Like the Bondi Sands Tanning Milk, you can ditch body moisturiser and just use this for a few days. I find that 3-5 days of use gives a really nice colour that lasts very nicely. I don't find the fake tanning scent as strong with this one (it actually smells like butter cookies) but I like the formula of the Bondi Sands one better.
If you need to look bronzed fast then this is my pick. Unlike the Bondi Sands and Le Tan versions which are white, this is a shimmery bronze colour which means it's easier to make sure you don't miss any spots. I find that just one application gives a good glow but you can also mix a little of this with your regular moisturiser for a more subtle glow. This was my first foray into the world of self-tanning and it still remains a favourite.
Unlike the other three which are body tanners, the Sunless Tanner can be used on both face and body. I'm not saying the other three aren't, I'm just saying they aren't designed to be. This has a really pleasant orangey scent which unfortunately does fade to leave behind the good old fake tan smell. This is also a golden bronze colour so the first application will leave you with a bronzed glow. This is the least moisturising of the four and does require a little more effort to rub in but the results are long lasting.
I really love using gradual tanners, I think they are so easy to use and you don't have to start from scratch when your tan starts to fade, you can just top up with another few days of tanner. For best results though, you should exfoliate just as you would for a proper fake tan.
Do you have a favourite gradual tanner?
*These products were provided as PR samples but as always, my opinion is my own.