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After years of trying self-tanners, I gave up. Whether it was cheap or expensive, it never quite looked right. The pharmacy brands were always orange, and don’t even get me started on the scent. On the opposite end, I paid a pretty penny to be professionally tanned and contoured, and the required six-hour waiting period […]

After years of trying self-tanners, I gave up. Whether it was cheap or expensive, it never quite looked right. The pharmacy brands were always orange, and don’t even get me started on the scent. On the opposite end, I paid a pretty penny to be professionally tanned and contoured, and the required six-hour waiting period before taking a shower was brutal. I was covered in little dots, and the smell was like I had tried covering up a heavy workout with cheap body spray. The color was still fake. So I embraced my very white skin and figured you can’t win them all.

Fast forward a few years to this past Christmas. My husband’s cousin was visiting from the University of Missouri, and she walks in showing off a gorgeous, enviable tan that left me wondering, is Missouri a tropical place I’ve been wrong about my whole life? Nope, it was St. Tropez, the self-tanner.

Image via St. Tropez Tan.

 

The next thing I knew I was standing at Sephora looking at the pretty white and blue bottles. The brand boasts that is has an Aromaguard technology that eliminates 70 percent of the self-tanner smell, and it claims to leave a light fresh scent. I bought the Self-Tan Express Bronzing Mousse, which instructed me to leave it on for one hour for a light tint, two hours for medium, and three hours for a dark glow. The regular Bronzing Mousse instructs you to leave it on for a minimum of six hours and…ain’t nobody got time for that.

I opted for the one-hour light tan. The directions say once you wash off the mousse the tan will activate and deepen over the next eight hours. To my delight, it did. I woke up the next day with a pretty, healthy glow. I was careful to moisturize my knees, ankles and feet before application, and I was happy to see it was golden, even and not fake. Here’s the only thing: while the scent is light, and I can still smell it faintly. It’s the best I’ve tried, though. Also, be sure to wear long leggings and sleeves to bed if you have light sheets.

Will I use it again? Absolutely. It’s $44. Do it!

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