It’s that time of year folks.
The first sunny weekend of the year has passed us by and bodies that haven’t seen the light of day for months were derobed — in all their milky white glory.
I love the spring and summer but never seem to be prepared for the arrival of warmer weather; it always seems to catch me on the hop.
Legs that have been encased in jeans for six months are suddenly given an airing and it’s not a pleasant sight; anaemic and in need of waxing, generally.
But this year I was prepared!
I’d been asked by the lovely people at St Tropez if I’d try out their Gradual One Minute Tan and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.
The Benefits of Sunshine in a Bottle
I love the sun — I really, really do — but I’m also fully aware that it’s the number one cause of premature ageing. And whilst I love it, I don’t love wrinkles.
I’m always on a mission to find the secret of youthful skin, and something that’s going to accelerate the ageing process is definitely something to avoid.
For the last decade (at least) I’ve worn a suncream with a high SPF, a huge brimmed hat and generally tried to sit in the shade, where possible, if I’m sitting outdoors when the sun is shining.
As a result, to achieve a healthy glow, I’ve been an advocate of self tanning products.
Although there have been some spectacular disasters over the years, that’s for sure; think orange knees and brown palms.
Thankfully, these days, there are some fantastic ‘fake tan’ options — or ‘sunshine in a bottle’ as I prefer to call it — and I’m happy to report that St Tropez Gradual One Minute Tan mousse falls into this category.
I used to be a huge fan of the old style St Tropez tan but — whilst I loved the end result — the application was definitely messy.
I have photographic evidence of my friends (wearing Marigold rubber gloves) smearing gravy-browning-esque liquid on to my limbs, in preparation for a holiday or wedding.
It would be like a military operation; and go a little like this;
Shower, exfoliate, moisturise (paying special attention to elbows, knees and ankles) gloves on, smear on, rub in well….
then — and I know you’re not supposed to do this, but I think everyone did (didn’t they?!) — wait for it to dry, before going to bed and sleeping in it overnight.
Next morning, voila.
I would wake up looking like Pocahontas, before showering the residue off.
And my sheets would look decidedly grubby; for want of a better word.
The St Tropez gradual tan in shower is a revelation!
My St Tropez Gradual One Minute Tan Review
It comes in a simple pump dispenser and the substance inside is a lovely, white mousse; kind of like shaving foam.
It also smells totally different.
There’s no weird chemical odour, sometimes associated with self tanning products. The St Tropez Gradual One Minute Tan is delicately perfumed — very, very nice — and not at all what I was expecting.
But better than any of those things, the application has totally and utterly changed.
No more Marigolds or gravy browning; you simply smooth the mousse onto your body — no gloves required!
I tend to do my legs first, followed by arms, torso, and my face last; wash my hands, wait for just one minute, then jump in the shower and wash it all off.
No waiting for it to dry. No odd smell. No tanned bedsheets.
Initially I was skeptical. Although I’m fairly olive skinned, my skin is sallow through the winter months, and I couldn’t see how it could possibly make a difference after just one minute of development time.
It isn’t at all like the old-style St Tropez — it doesn’t give rapid results — so for people who are wanting a deep, dark tan after the very first application, I’d suggest that this product perhaps isn’t for you.
That said, it does work — very gently, over time — to produce a fabulous and natural looking tan.
I was challenged to use St Tropez gradual tan in shower over the course of three days — and take a before and after photo.
Here are the results.
Pretty impressive, isn’t it?
I’m a total convert. That’s the result of just three days! The colour change is so gradual — and subtle — you don’t really notice it developing. With this in mind, I’d say it’s perfect for people with paler skin.
Particularly as, as you wash it off almost as soon as you’ve finished applying it, there were no streaks at all. Not one.
No brown palms or orange knees. Just a lovely even, natural looking tan.
Plus, at the end of the test, I’d still got stacks of product left in the tube — so it goes a long way.
One other point to mention — a week on, it has faded like a regular tan. It hasn’t gone patchy like many other self-tan preparations I’ve tried in the past.
So there we have it; my St Tropez Gradual One Minute Tan Review.
Would I recommend it?
YES! It’s super-quick to apply. No mess, no fuss and the results are pretty impressive.
Thanks to my St Tropez tan, I spent the sunniest May bank holiday weekend on record, in shorts, safe in the knowledge that I wasn’t blinding everyone with my pasty white legs! It truly is like sunshine in a bottle — without the ageing effects a real tan gives you.
Win, win, I’d say.
So nice to be bikini ready so early in the year!
If you want to see my three day test in a little more detail, pop over to Instagram to see my St Tropez story highlights.
Many thanks to the lovely team at St Tropez for sending the Gradual One Minute Tan for me to review. If you’d like to try it out for yourself, it’s available from their website or from all good high street stores including Boots and Superdrug.
This is a collaborative post but all thoughts, words and images — as ever — are entirely my own.