Sunday, June 19, 2011

Beach Week Day 1 - St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Spray

To start this week off, I will return to one of my favorite sunless tanner lines, St. Tropez.  I have used St. Tropez for a very long time and so far has been the only tanner line that I have continued to return to year after year.  St. Tropez is a top contender in the tanner line and many people consider it to be the best that is available on the market today.  I have used both the mousse and the lotion from this line and have repurchased the mousse formula more times than I can count.  This time around, I was in a hurry when I went to Sephora to pick up more tanner and they were sold out of the mousse formula.  I decided to try out something new, hoping it would still have the same fantastic St. Tropez tanner formula.  I had never tried any type of tanning spray product before so this was a beauty adventure when I gave this product a try.

St. Tropez was founded over ten years ago in France and very quickly became one of the best selling and most loved line of tanners.  This line got its first claim to fame as being used on the Baywatch show and was later reported to be the top choice of many celebrities, including Jessica Simpson.  The products in this line are available for purchase to use in the privacy of your bathroom or used by professionals in top of the line salons.  I have never tried this product in a salon, I have found that these products are so easy to work with that I don't need the help of a professional to get a even, glowing tan.

The St. Tropez website provides a complete description of this product and several tips to help you use this product.  "This super-fine self tan spray delivers the ultra-even, ultra-smooth all-over tan you've always wanted.  Infused with conditioning aloe vera and long-lasting color, you'll have a perfectly natural looking tan in an instant.  With 360 degree spray technology.  Our innovative Aromaguard fragrance technology eliminates the tell-tale self tan aroma by a minimum of 70% and instead gives a beautiful subtle, yet refreshing fragrance." 

St. Tropez recommends the typical self tanning regimen; exfoliate, moisturize, and then apply the tanner itself.  They make all the products that are needed to accomplish this purpose and I have bought all of the products before.  After the usual exfoliating and hydrating, St. Tropez provides instructions that are unique to this type of product.  "Hold the nozzle about 6" away from your skin and spray all over.  Blend with your hand or mitt if necessary to make sure you're covered as it's only missed areas that can look patchy.  Once you've got even coverage, wait until you're touch-dry before getting dressed."  St. Tropez also recommends applying this product several times a week in order to both achieve and maintain your desired shade of tan.

I started out by doing the usual exfoliating and moisturizing before I applied this product for the first time.  It went on very easy and dried quite quickly, I was happy with the initial application.  I didn't find this product to be near as tinted as the other products in the line and therefore I couldn't really tell when I was making mistakes.  This formula is much more a shot in the dark.  I thought that this would be the eaasiest formula to apply since all I had to do was spray it on and let it dry.

Well, I found out when I woke up the next morning that I was completely, 100% wrong about the ease of application.  I missed some spots completely and definitely had some zebra stripes on my arms and legs.  My back and stomach were fine since I used a slightly finer mist action and was able to just spray the whole area without much moving around.  I was really bad at the areas of my arms and legs that required me to continually move the spray action.  This was one of my worst tans that I have ever done, especially since this formula provides such a deep tan on the first application.  I first tried it out in May so at least I wasn't wearing a bikini until I was able to begin fixing it.  The second time around, I focused on trying to fill in some of the white areas and even the tan out.  I did somewhat better but I could sstill pick out some areas that needed a third coat for evening.

It took my about half way through the bottle to figure out the best way to work with this formula.  It really helps me to spray it all over one area of my body and then to use the mitt to rub it in and try to smooth it out.  It went on best this way but then ended up taking much longer than my normal routine to get it applied and let it dry. 

I found the ease of use of this product to be very over-exaggerated.  This product was quite hard for me to get a handle on and I have been tanning for years, with all different types of formulations.  I also accidently sprayed my wall and I had to stop the process to quickly clean the area.  I considered trying this product in the shower (after the water is turned off ) so that I can quickly wipe the walls down.  However, then I wasn't totally dry since the shower was still humid and the drying time wasn't correct this time around.  I had to settle on using this product in my bathroom and just being as careful as I could with the application. 

This product may not be my top choice from this company but it still contained many of the aspects that I love of the St. Tropex tan formula.  The tan was rich and golden and looked lovely (once I got it all evened out - maybe by the fourth application).  All St. Tropez formulas are long-lasting and I only needed to apply this product twice a week instead of the three or four that I have had to do with other companies.  The Aromaguard added to this formula is such an improvement, the old formula smelled to high heaven and induced migraines in me when I tried to use it in very humid weather.  It didn't completely get rid of the fragrance of the DHA however it makes it very managable and I ignore it while I sleep now. 

This wasn't my favorite way to apply a tanner and I doubt that I will continue to work with sprays in the future.  I still love the St. Tropez formula and I know that I will continue to buy and recommend the mousee formula for a long time.  This is the tanner that is used by the crowd in the South of France and that makes it a top pick for me.

photo courtesy of St. Tropez

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