The Perfect (Fake) Summer Tan

Summer may be coming to an end but that doesn't have to mean that you lose your Summer color! In fact I expect to keep a tan all year round! Over the last few years a product that I've added consistently to my beauty routine is self tanner.  I use it year round, several times a week and almost nothing else gives me the same instant boost of self confidence. I get questions all of the time about what self tanner I use so today I'm sharing my favorite products. 

I've blogged about self tanner before, and I've generally stayed with my tried and true favorites for the last few years. You can read all about other products that I've loved and used here- but for the last few years I've mainly used two products from Tanwise. I love the Tanwise Dark Bronzing Sunless Mousse and Tanwise Self-Tanning Face Gel.

The mousse is one of the best products I've found because the color is so good. As you can see the foam comes out a green/black/brown color- not at all orange or red. You can instantly see a bronze as you apply and that color cures over the next 6-8 hours. You will see some wash off in the shower the next day, but much like a spray tan- it won't all wash off. The color builds up over days of repeated use. Beware of getting water on any area you've applied the mousse before it cures because it will wash off or leave streak marks. 

I use this tanning mitt to apply the mousse. I try to exfoliate in the shower before I apply but admittedly I don't do that every time. I do apply lotion all over my body after showering and before applying tanning mousse.  To apply the tanning solution I start with my calves and the top of my feet and work my way up. Usually one squirt covers each calf and two or three cover my thighs. Sometimes I only do my legs, arms and neck and other times I'll do my whole body. 

After I finish my body I'll apply the tanning gel to my face- usually after applying my moisturizer. The gel has a pleasant cherry-like smell and it's not greasy at all. I'll let my skin air dry for a few minutes all over and then carefully put my robe back on until the mousse soaks all of the way in. 

So a few questions you might have...

Does the tanning mousse get on your clothes?
Yes and no. It does run off to some extent on your under garments and anything white. But I've found it also washes out easily. And the longer you let it dry before getting dressed the better. Also if you only apply it to your arms and legs you can avoid that rub off.

Does the tanning mousse stain your sheets?
I have dark sheets so I don't notice a problem. I would expect it to discolor your sheets if they are white so be sure to apply in the morning, not before bed. The tanning mousse also will stain your toilet seat. This seems so silly but if you put mousse on your behind and you sit down to use the restroom before its totally try, your toilet seat pink. It will come clean with a magic eraser and bleach. Yes, I know this from personal experience. ;)

Is tanning mousse safe to use while pregnant? 
I believe it is. I've looked into it and asked my doctor and I'm not worried about it. I also paint my nails and color my hair while pregnant. 

Does the tan start to fake off or get splotchy?
It can. If I use it daily or almost daily after about two weeks I'll start to see some of it fading off. A good scrub with a washcloth or a loofah all over seems to work as a reset. 

Do you really apply this everyday?
Ideally yes. I don't, but I think I would like my color better if I did. If I use it four days a week I think my color stays pretty well. My face is the skin that loses the color the fastest which is why I love the gel for daily use. 

You can pick up both of these products at Sally's Beauty Supply or on Amazon. Let me know if you have any other questions I didn't answer and I'll try to add them in the post with answers!


  1. I use this same stuff and have white sheets. I do it at night to shower in the morning because the color it goes on is way to dark for me and the bronzer part washes right out of the sheets.

  2. I love this stuff too!! I bought a big box of latex gloves and just use those each time I apply so I can just toss them in the trash. Loved all your tips!

  3. Thanks for the tips! Can you tell me the color of the nail polish you're wearing in the photos?


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