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My Experiment with Self-Tanners

My Experiment with Self-Tanners

In this day and age, everyone wants to be tan– I mean it makes you look like you just went somewhere tropical, and it gives you a glow. It is especially useful for someone like me, who is half Norwegian, because I get white as a ghost in the dead of winter. This is the perfect time to purchase a self-tanner because most of your friends probably just went on Spring Break somewhere warm and come back with that natural glow that you, unfortunately, do not have. There are many pros to self tanner– you obviously get super bronzed (if done right), and it is a lot healthier than going to a tanning bed (which has direct correlations to Melanoma and wrinkles). The problem is that today, in our beautified society, there are too many self-tanners to even know which one works for you; but don’t worry, I’ve got you covered– here are the different brands that I have experimented with over the years and my opinions on them:


I started off with the most beginner self-tanner because I was scared to try one and turn orange (we all know those girls that do not know how to apply self-tanner). I bought the ‘medium to tan’ version because I have dark features and I do get dark in the summertime. When I first bought it, I was quite happy since it is sort of a two-in-one self-tanner and moisturizer, which is nice. When I first tried it, I woke up the next day with barely a difference, so I decided to layer it the next few nights in hopes that I would get darker– but, unfortunately, that was not the case and I just stayed the same color after like 5 layers. I think this self-tanner is a good purchase for individuals who have never tried self-tanning before, or who are looking for a cheap one that only shows a little difference in their natural color.


After I decided I wanted something a little bit darker, I bought this self-tanner. It is the same brand as the daily moisturizer, but it is a mousse instead, so its only job is to tan you, not to moisturize. I bought this in the ‘dark’ shade because I did not want to be unrecognizable. I also bought a cheap mitt from CVS with this because when using a mousse it makes for a better application. Just like the daily moisturizer, I put it on and the next day and did not really notice the best results. So, that night, again I tried another layer and woke up screaming– I legitimately woke up orange and streaky. The worst was that that afternoon, I had lacrosse practice and everyone was making fun of me for my orange legs. So, I really do not recommend this self-tanner, even though it is cheap, it made me quite orange and streaky. (Note: I do have some friends that use this, which is why I added it to the list, and the self-tanner does not make them orange on their skin.)


After my traumatizing experience with the Jergens Mousse, I stopped self-tanning for a while. However, I went back a few months later because I hated being so pale. I went online prior to look for cheap self-tanners that had good reviews– and everyone said this one. I was a little hesitant at first because it was a moisturizer and self-tanner in one, just like the Jergens one I tried. When I tried it, I put on two layers because I knew it wasn’t going to be as strong as a mousse. I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome– I was tan but not orange. It lasted longer than expected too. The one downside is that it has a very strong odor to it and it makes you sparkly the first few days because of the shimmer in it. Overall though, if you are looking for a cheap self-tanner that works, I would recommend this one.


After months of buying CVS brands of self-tanner, I got the self-tanner that all my friends used– St. Tropez. It definitely took a toll on my bank account, but everyone told me to buy it and I finally caved. What I really like about this brand is that it's vegan and completely organic, which is nice to know that you are not putting any chemicals on your skin. I tried it once and already got a better tan than I did with the Jergens. The one thing that I didn't really like about it was that it made my skin sort of oily and sticky for the first few days, but after that you’re golden (literally)! I do recommend this as one of my favorites to people who ask me.


I kept seeing ads all over the place for this self-tanner, it was almost like a sign for me. I finally did some research on it and realized it was cheaper than St. Tropez. Just like St. Tropez, it’s organic and has various self-tanning options on their website, like mousses, gradual, and bronze shimmer. I decided to buy it because my bank account was hurting from consistently purchsing St. Tropez. I bought the mouse in ‘ultra dark’, and I bought their mitt with it. Just after one layer of it, I was beyond happy. I was not orange at all. I did not smell like self-tanner. I was not streaky. I did not put chemicals on my body. I saved money. For me, this is my all-time favorite, holy grail self tanner. I can even put this brand on my face and I won’t break out (most of the time I won’t self-tan my face because I have sensitive skin). I would recommend this self-tanner to anyone; I even got all my friends to make the switch over!

Well, there ya go–  these are all the self-tanners that I have used over the years. I have had many ups and downs with them, but I have finally found the one that I love the best. Just remember though, sometimes one self-tanner that works for your friend might not always work best for you. It is always important to experiment with various brands to determine which one you like the most. I added all my past self-tanners because maybe the ones that I didn’t like the most might work for you! But I do believe that the better self-tanners are the ones that are a little bit more pricey–  like St. Tropez and Loving Tan– just because they are better for your body and have nicer ingredients in them.

Glow baby.


Nicole Svingen

Spa Night!

Spa Night!