Sunday, 21 June 2015

St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower - worth the hype?

I think the most hyped body product of the summer has to be the St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower - when I first heard about this way back when, my interest was piqued, and I was lucky enough to pick some up late last month, and I've been using it consistently since. I've spoken to a few people about this tan and I really feel like it's one of those Marmite products- you either love what it does or you'll hate it. I have much to say on this tan so keep reading!

The USP of this tan is that you apply it in the shower after washing your body, wait three minutes and rinse off, and the colour will gradually develop. For those of us who suffer with sensitive nose syndrome and are allergic to fake tan stains on sheets, this sounds like manna from heaven. It is quite easy to be skeptical, and the reviews were divided- either hailing this the best thing since that proverbial sliced pan, or the biggest con on the tanning market. I was extremely extremely dubious when I first heard of this to be honest.

I have been wearing this tan for over two weeks now so I am going to speak to my findings. I purposefully took the time to review this thoroughly over a few weeks, so this may be a lengthy post as I have a lot of thoughts on it. I've been applying it almost daily and I stopped a few days back just to be able to inform you as to how it fades and wears off. 

The instructions tell you to wash your body as normal with whatever showering product that tickles your pickle and then rinse, turn off the water and apply this over your body, rinse your hands straight away, wait three minutes and rinse your whole body. Sounds foolproof. I followed the instructions to the tee. The actual product is not tinted but does lather so it's easy to see where you're applying it, it's easy to work with and it smells quite pleasant. Let me tell you, the first time I used the tan in the shower, I was absolutely frought with nerves. It seemed too easy to cock up and I was such a skeptical Sally. I have to say, I am baffled at how easy this is to apply on my upper body and arms especially. I read a lot of bad reviews about streaking but I only experienced streaks on my legs the first day I applied it- they were very faint- and washed off in the next shower. I think I splashed my legs when I was rinsing the product so carefully off my hands so I have to take some of the blame- also, my legs never ever take a tan, certainly not the way my arms do. I can't criticise the St Tropez In Shower Tan for this either because every other tan I have ever applied to my legs has never developed either- my legs are destined to be milky white forever. In at least 10 applications, I never once experienced any streaking on my upper body at all- no patches or dark spots around my hands, no bits that I forgot to tan, it was a flawless application. 

This does not smell bad at all. In the shower, it smells quite sweet, not heavily fragranced or perfumed, and not too sickening. It's meant to have the scent of Sweet Almond Oil but I don't really get an almondy smell from it. I did feel like it felt a bit 'fake tanny' the first day after I applied it the first time, but I think I was just hypersensitive as I didn't smell it anymore afterwards. My sheets or clothes did not smell of tan at all and neither did my ensuite bathroom.
Buildup of colour depth (against my ghastly white legs!)
Firstly, don't expect amazing colour payoff after the first use- the clue is in the name- gradual tan. It takes a while to build it up. The colour was most definitely a golden glow and not a faux bronze. It was incredibly hard to capture the colour on camera. It took about three attempts to build up the colour to where it was definitely noticeable. I'd say the colour did not develop or darken any more after about 5/6 uses, and applying the product thereafter was just colour maintenance. Some of my friends and work colleagues commented on how natural the colour was, and I have to admit, I loved the shade but as the weather got finer, I wish it would have gone a bit darker.  I think the colour is going to be the most polarising aspect to this tan- I'm ghastly pale and I appreciated having a glow to my skin to knock out the purple tone, but even with consistent applying over the course of 2 weeks, the colour did not get any darker than what is pictured above. For me, this was both good and bad- I wanted a darker colour for a night out and I couldn't build up the colour of the St Tropez tan enough, but at no stage was I ever afraid that I was going to look tangoed- it is impossible to look tangoed in my opinion.

First signs of colour fading was the strip directly under my watch.
Fading after four days around the usual offenders- wrists, side of hands etc.
Even though I have been loving this tan and the colour, I decided to forego applications for the latter part of this week so I can see how it faded - this to me is one of the most important features of any tan I try. There are so many tans that I found a dream to apply, developed a beautiful colour but then completely disappointed me in the fading stakes. I have to say, I'm 50/50. It has not faded badly, but has faded patchily, particularly around my hands. The patch under my watch was the first to fade away completely- this is a common feature in my tan endeavours, followed by more colour around my hands and then in my inner arm opposite my elbow. I began to feel paler after the second shower without applying the product, and it's now four days since my last application and I am gagging to apply it again and look healthy once more. It definitely is not the worst fader and it hasn't been so awful that I've had to take to the shower with an industrial scrub to scrub away a layer of tan/skin. 

Anything else?
The price is not bad at all at €19.99 but I did use up a whole bottle over the two weeks. I believe it's currently on special in Boots for €13.33- if I see it, I'll defo pick up another few bottles!

I was nervous that this would stain or leave a residue on my shower tray but it didn't- it washed away completely and left no mess whatsoever in my shower. 

Three minutes sounds like an eternity but it's not really, I apply a hairmask to my hair and clip it up on top of my head so it's not dripping down my back causing streakage, and I literally apply the product all over in circular motions, rinse my hands and count out 180 seconds. I haven't found this to be a hardship at all, I've counted in Irish, French, German and Japanese to keep the brain muscles ticking over. I wouldn't recommend leaving it on for any longer because it doesn't develop in the shower, it develops once you get out of the shower. 

You don't have to be terribly gentle about patting yourself dry- I was a bit reckless drying myself on a few occasions after my shower and experienced no streaking or patchiness as a result. 

The product leaves your skin feeling quite moisturised and soft- I got a sunburn scalding a few years back and my arms are very dry and I was worried that this product might exacerbate that but it did not at all. 

I didn't apply body moisturisers over this but I have applied SPF on a few occasions and it did not disturb the tan at all.

I did apply this to my face a few times and I got a breakout on my cheek (which I never normally get). I don't know if this is related or not but I didn't apply to my face anymore and I didn't really miss it tbh. 

There was absolutely no staining of my nightwear or bedclothes from using this product.

This product looked completely natural and amazing on my hands- no knuckle patches, no hideous lines or white patches between the fingers, no dirty looking palms. This is hands down (geddit) the best tanning product I have ever applied to my hands. 

The Bottom Line
I know for a fact that people will either love or loathe this product. I have to admit, based on a thorough two weeks of trying and making a point to examine it, I really like this and I will continue to use it for sure as I feel like it has given me a bit of life. I may try another tan now- I'm absolutely obsessed with Australian tans at the moment and have a new Bondi Sands Gradual Tanner crying out to me to be used- but I will definitely come back to this one. The criticism that this has got for streaking is not deserved in my opinion - I followed the instructions to the tee and got no streaking where I paid attention- when I didn't pay attention and accidentally splashed my legs whilst rinsing my hands, they did streak a bit, but this was easily removed the next day in the shower with a loofah and ordinary shower gel. I took my time trialling and reviewing this because I wanted to give the honest, most balanced review possible. I found this foolproof and this product has made me feel healthy and glowy for the last two weeks with minimal effort to be fair. I think huge props have to be given to St Tropez also for thinking outside the box and creating an innovative product- hopefully more brands will follow suit soon and revolutionise our tanning ways.

So- I'm dying to know what you all think of this tan! If you have tried it, let me know below what you think of it? If you are curious, let me know below why you have not tried it yet. If you are afraid of this, let us know below what your concerns are.



  1. Fantastic review, I think you've answered every possible question one could ask about this! I don't think it's for me, the Cocoa Brown gradual one works for me so I'll stick with it x

  2. I don't self tan often but I love reviews like this that go into such details. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. I was curious about this thanks for such a thorough review Aisling, I might give it a road test myself if I see it on offer

  4. I found that site very usefull and this survey is very cirious, I ' ve never seen a blog that demand a survey for this actions, very curious... What Is the Average Length of a Shower Curtain


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