St Tropez Purity Water Review
Beauty Skincare

Fake Tanning Waters – What Are They & Do They Work?

June 17, 2018

I’d say I was a bit of an expert when it comes to fake tanning, considering I’ve been doing it since I was about 15. No judgement here now, but I’d say I actually was addicted to false tanning. I have always felt so pale, so when I don’t have tan on, I definitely feel less confident – crazy I know, and you know what sometimes I won’t wear a dress even if it’s sunny unless I have fake tan on my legs. It’s a mindset for sure and now my addiction has been uncovered let’s get down to the review.

Fake tan has come a long way since I first started using it, the tans are more natural and easier to apply than ever before and there are so many new tans being released recently, everything from fake tanning sheet masks to in-shower tans, St Tropez has got you covered for both of those. So when I saw the release of a whole load of new tanning waters, it confused me a little. These don’t have a colour guide, which quite frankly fills me with dread. Why would I want to apply tan and then wait overnight to see what I look like in the morning, in the hope that I don’t have white patches or streaks? I like the knowing and I feel like these are effectively going backwards in the tanning world, so I decided to put them to the test myself and see if I could prove myself wrong.

I tried out St Tropez Self Tan Purity Mousse, Tan Luxe Hydrating Tan Mousse, Tan Luxe Wonder Oil and Vita Liberata Invisi Foaming Tan Water. The reason for these being clear is they have natural ingredients so don’t have any of the chemical nasties that usually create the guide colour, they also are great if you like to tan overnight, so your sheets and clothes don’t get colour on them, but was that enough to convert me? Let’s find out.

St Tropez Purity Water Review

St Tropez Self Tan Purity Mousse £31

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comes in one shade and has green mandarin water infused with natural tanning actives as well as antioxidant properties of hibiscus extract to shield the skin from free radicals. The idea like most of these tans is so you apply day or night, so you could apply morning and pop on your clothes and head straight out without ruining the clothes, or similarly at night with your bedding and pyjamas. Although not sure I’d head out in the morning and wait for the development not knowing the certainty of it. They also have a matching in this range which works similarly.


St Tropez describe this as an ultra-lightweight foaming mousse and that it is, I found this very easy to apply. I used a mitt and just worked it onto my skin as I would with a mousse that has a colour guide, hoping I’d covered every bit as it dries in straight away so there isn’t much way to tell if you have missed any bits. It has a sweet tropical scent, which I really liked and not like your regular tan smell. I found this one slightly stickier than the others in the beginning, but it dried down quickly and not sticky after that.


This one takes 8 hours to fully develop, so I left it overnight and in the morning we had a result. First of all it looked very natural, so if you like a natural looking colour this is for you. For me personally I liked the colour, it was golden and not orange, but I would need another layer or maybe two for more of a bronzed look. There weren’t any streaks so that was good, but I had missed a bit around my neckline which didn’t look great and my hands seemed to take the colour a little too well.

Overall I think this would be ideal for first time tanners and for those who like a light natural golden tan, with no mess and no fake tan smell. For me I actually prefer their new , which has a colour guide and has a fantastic darker colour result.

Tan Luxe Hydra Foam Review

Tan Luxe Hydrating Tan Mousse £37

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Designed to hydrate the skin, has natural tanning ingredients including vitamin B5, C and E and raspberry seed oil. I really love Tan Luxe face tan drops so I was excited to try this one. Often I find tan mousse very drying on the skin, so the fact this has such hydrating ingredients was a winner.


Just like the others I tried, it was easy to apply and I just made sure to cover each area fully as much as I could. It felt hydrating on the skin and spread out easily. It didn’t have any off-putting smell and dried in quickly, so no stickiness.


This one develops in 4-6 hours so as there was not going to be any transfer to my bedding I again left this overnight. I loved the colour in the morning, it seemed to be the best colour for me. Very natural, like I’d really had a week or two in the sun and an obvious colour too, in that it was dark enough. I used the Light/Medium which I’m glad I did as it was dark enough for me. It also comes in Medium/Dark which I’d normally go for, so glad I had the lighter shade. It did go a little off around the hands, but I think when I apply again I’ll be more careful on that area.

This one faded so nice, that it would be so easy to apply another coat and it lasted a week if not more.

Tan Luxe Wonder Oil Review

Tan Luxe Wonder Oil £45

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I was probably the most excited to try this tan from . It’s not a tanning water, but a tanning oil. Now any tanning oils I have tried in the past haven’t been the best so I had high hopes for this one. It comes in a rollerball packaging for easy application and is designed to be extra hydrating for the skin with a blend of six pure, plant and omega oils including Jojoba, Argan, & Raspberry Seed Oil. It comes in two shades light/medium and medium/dark.


With this you use the rollerball and apply it on the skin, they suggest using your hands which I did, but very much regret as even though I washed my hands straight after applying, I ended up with tanned palms, so I would recommend using gloves for this or maybe a mitt but I haven’t tried that yet. It spread easily like an oil does and I was pretty sure I covered my whole legs. Be careful when applying as if you lean on it with your arm and don’t realise you will end up with a partly tanned arm. It didn’t quite dry down quickly, it wasn’t sticky but never felt fully dry.


I left this overnight and by morning my tan had appeared. It wasn’t the best application, which I totally blame myself for, but I’m not sure I’d be willing to try it again. It just seemed too patchy, like some parts of my leg hadn’t taken the colour and then on my thighs it really had and was much darker. The feet also just took too much colour. I would definitely go down a shade as I used medium/dark and I think light/medium would have been much better for me. I wasn’t too keen on this one and found it hard to remove.

I had high hopes for the oil as I would love a hydrating tan like this, but I was a bit disappointed in the overall finish and colour compared to the hydra-mousse and at £45 it just seems too pricey for me.

Tanning Water Review

Vita Liberata Invisi Foaming Tan Water £25

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This one intrigued me the most as I’d seen a lot of influencers doing adverts for it, so I really wanted to put this to the test and try it myself to see if it lived up to the hype. comes in three different shades, light/medium, medium/dark and super dark. I oped for medium/dark, I normally use a dark tan when it has a colour guide so this is why I chose this one. Again Vita Liberata tan is organic and has the similar idea of apply and go.


This was easy to apply just like my other tan mousse formulas, it went on well with a mitt and felt hydrating on the skin. It doesn’t have a fake tan smell which is a bonus and again won’t stain clothing or sheets. I seemed to have a leaky bottle, no matter how much I tightened the top it kept leaking, which was annoying as I had to make sure the tan didn’t go anywhere.


This develops in 4-8 hours, I left mine overnight but before bed I could already see the colour showing up and it looked lovely and golden. By morning it was bronzed and looked great on my legs. There was no streaks and the colour was well-distributed. The only downside was the feet, but after a shower this did fade and they looked slightly better. One thing to note is there is no colour guide to wash off, you could simply apply and go and you don’t need to rinse anything off. I did notice after a shower the colour changed slightly, but for the better. Bar the feet, I liked the result of this one and it seemed to last for a week, without too much fading. it faded nicely and made it easy to reapply.

Am I Converted?

Something I noticed about these tans is that they seem to fade well and you can reapply easily without the old tan being patchy. They all looked natural and the colours were some of the best I’ve seen from fake tans. It’s hard to choose a favourite as I liked them all for different reasons, whether it be a great price or the colour, can we combine them all for the perfect tan? If I had to choose I’d probably pick to use the Tan Luxe Hydra Foam, mainly for the colour being the best on me and how natural it looked.

After trying these, I wouldn’t say I’m converted, I do prefer a tan with a colour guide so there are no surprises, but if that doesn’t bother you and you love the idea of no transfer on your bedding or clothes and the natural ingredients then these definitely do the job.

Have you tried any of these?

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