The product: Beautisol Medium Self-Tanning Mousse; $39/8-oz. bottle. Available through the Beautisol website (purchase here). Get 15% off through 8/15/14 with the code “BBLOGGER”.
The claim: Get a flawless faux tan in a single day with this lightweight, quick-drying mousse. Low-odor and tinted so you can see where you’ve applied. Paraben- and propylene glycol-free. Vegan.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua) Dihydroxyacetone, Ethoxydiglycol, Caramel, Glycerin, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Fragrance (Parfum) Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Yellow 6 (CI 15985) Red 40 (CI 16035) Green 5 (CI 61570).
I tried it: If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know that last summer I tried out an almost identical product from Beautisol. For a fun throwback, remember how dark I got with that tanner?
This one gave my legs a nice glow but it was a teense less dark; I also think it had a bit less of a “tanner” smell. Otherwise, they’re practically identical in formula, so I was really able to fine-tune my application techniques this time around to get an even better tan.
One of the biggest things you’ll quickly realize when using a mousse is that it is 100% unforgiving, as opposed to a lotion formula, which usually gives you at least a little leeway for errors. You cannot skip any of the prep steps: exfoliating all over with an oil-free scrub, shaving, and applying a light body lotion to the really rough areas (ankles, elbows) so the tan doesn’t soak up and turn splotchy in those areas. (If you’ve ever skipped this with a lotion and though “no biggie”–you can’t do it with the mousse. It’ll soak up quicker than you can say “spots”.) I’ll apply the mousse itself with an applicator mitt like this one to avoid getting the dreaded orange palms. I would absolutely not recommend that you go bare-handed with this stuff; it is much more staining than a lotion, and you will regret it!
Here’s the other major thing I’ve realized about mousse: while the super-quick absorption means it dries in a snap, it also means drier skin types will have to do extra prep and maintenance to avoid streaks or patchiness later on. Take your time with the application and go lightly on the feet, hands, and face, so you don’t wind up with dark patches; it’s best if you use the leftover mousse on the mitt to do those areas, rather than using a whole blob of mousse, which can turn too dark. I do think the mousse requires extra buffing, since it can be difficult to blend into the skin; I kept a clean mitt on hand to buff any spots that looked too dark, which really helped even things out.
Finally, don’t skimp on application; work on one body part at a time (calf, thigh, arm, stomach, etc.) and use a large blob for each area so you get full coverage before moving on to the next. I would recommend you set aside at least 30-45 minutes to do your whole body, especially if you plan to contour the legs or any other areas. I should point out here that if you’re interested in contouring, I find it much easier to do with a mousse than with any other formula–just be sure to blend the edges.
Once you’ve showered off the guide color, slather on a super-rich body cream or even pure coconut oil (my fave) to really hydrate the skin and keep your color from fading in patches. Continue to use a rich moisturizer on the days you don’t tan. I find that exfoliating every few days (be sure to do it evenly) and moisturizing well will keep the color looking healthy for several days, so unless you want to go darker, you probably won’t have to reapply more than once a week. I did need to do touch-ups on my face, but that’s the norm for me with any tanning product.
Now I’m ready for summer and can wear my favorite brights without looking translucent. Even Max approves of my 100% safe and sun-free tan.
My final review: 9/10. Overall, I still think this mousse requires a lot of work, but it also delivers the most natural-looking tan this pale girl has ever encountered. I think it really just boils down to how much work you want to do to get that tan; if you don’t mind spending a lot of time on it, then you’ll love this stuff. If you’re more of the quick and easy type of person, you’ll probably want to stick with gradual tanning lotions, since they’re more forgiving (though they also give much lighter results).