That’s right guys, somehow I have survived 21 years on this earth as a pale girl without ever using fake tan. If I’m honest, this is actually because the idea of doing it sort of scared me. I’m a self-confessed perfectionist, and quite frankly, the prospect of having a streaky, patchy or all round dodgy tan was enough to put me off the process entirely and embrace my porcelain complexion. I mean, I have dabbled in the odd gradual tanner or tinted moisturiser before, but from the stories I’d heard from other people, the idea of doing a full body tan seemed like a lot more effort than it was worth.
However, as much as I try to love the skin I’m in, I can’t deny that age-old fact that you do just feel so much better when you’re tanned. Last month, after a three week holiday in Greece and some serious sun worshipping, my efforts were only mildly rewarded with a light tan and a 90% increase in freckles, and ultimately I was punished with some patchy sunburn. I must admit that sitting next to my effortlessly golden brown boyfriend only halfway into the holiday made me pretty envious. Since then, I have been tempted over to the dark side (quite literally).
But it wasn’t until I was contacted by a brand called Australis that I finally took the plunge. I was extremely lucky to be gifted a tanning kit from Australis containing some holy grail products! Developed in Australia, the brand refers to itself as the next generation of dark tanning, promising a purely vegan, long lasting, streak-free tan that will nourish your skin. Sounds pretty dreamy right? But the proof is in the pudding, so it was time for me to lose my tanning virginity, and I wanted to take you guys with me on the journey…
The kit they sent me included an application mitt, a foam tan, a dry oil tan, and some face tanning drops. So it’s pretty much everything you need to get a golden glow! I was really excited to try these products out, so I did a bit of research (aka asked my fellow tanners out there) to find out what to do. Because if there’s one thing I’ve observed, it’s that fake tanning is a process.
I started off by exfoliating my entire body in the morning to get rid of any dead skin, I then moisturised and allowed it to sink in during the day ready for application that evening!
I used the microfibre tanning mitt to apply the tan. I had heard that the quality of the mitt can make a big difference to the finish and this was certainly a great applicator! It made applying the tan super easy and streak-free. I rubbed in circular(ish) motions and found that this made the tan rub in really nicely. The glove is insulated so my hands didn’t come out stained with the tan and overall it made the experience really easy! I also like that it’s black because it doesn’t end up looking really grubby after using it.
As for the tan itself, I was sent the Ultimate Dark tan with the green base. This tan says it delivers an olive brown colour and is suitable for all skin types. This part is essential for a pale girl like myself because I would usually expect ‘ultra dark’ tans to only be suitable for darker skin and leave me looking like I’ve rolled in gravy granules…
As I said before this is a foam tan, and the foam is brown which I like because it means you don’t miss any patches. It applies very evenly on the skin and is super fast drying. In fact, I had to rub it in pretty quickly to avoid it drying before I had the chance to blend it! The formula isn’t sticky so you don’t feel like you have to stand in starfish mode for hours whilst it develops and most importantly, there is NO SMELL WHATSOEVER. The formula contains odour neutralising ingredients so you don’t get that infamous ‘fake tan’ smell that everyone hates. This was another one of the main things that worried me about tanning so I was SO happy that it didn’t smell!
After doing my body, I moved on to my face. I used about five of the face tanning drops mixed in with my normal moisturiser and applied it to my face using a brush. I then used my hands to rub in the excess after I had given it a good coat. It says for a gradual tan add 3-4 drops, and for a medium tan add 6-8, so I opted for somewhere in the middle. I could see the tan developing almost immediately after I rubbed it in and I really liked the way it looked! I much prefer this method to putting actual tan on your face because I feel like that can only end badly. This product gave my face a really natural, healthy glow! I feel like I could have even added more drops for a deeper tan, but you can easily top it up throughout the week as well because it fits in with your normal face routine!
So now it was time to let the tan develop. I put one coat over my whole body and left it to develop for about five hours. This photo was taken just after I had applied the tan:
That evening, I took a 1-minute, lukewarm shower as it recommends on the box, just to wash off the excess product. This photo was taken the next morning:
I absolutely love the colour that the tan turned out! It’s quite a dark brown but it still looks very natural! I checked my body thoroughly for patches, but I actually couldn’t find any! All parts of my skin looked very even and streak free, so it looks like the bathroom acrobatics I did in order to reach my back were worth it in the end.
Whilst the tan was developing, I had noticed a slight smell, similar to the smell of the Dove gradual tan I had used before. As it was, this was only a very faint smell, but after I had washed it off and the following morning, it completely disappeared which I was delighted about!
The tanning drops on my face had also developed nicely so my face, neck and chest had a consistent, even tan!
Last but not least, I used the Ultra Dark dry oil a few days later to top up my tan. One of the main reasons I love this product is because unlike a foam product, there’s no need to wash it off! You simply apply evenly all over and allow it to develop during the day! Once applied, it dries in just a couple of minutes and then you’re good to go! Like the foam tan, it’s not a sticky consistency, so you don’t need to worry about transfer onto your clothes which is a huge bonus. The oil also has a really nice scent to it and once again, there’s no sign of that classic fake tan smell!
Well guys, it looks like I’m officially a convert. I was hesitant at first, and I may not have taken the plunge without Australis sending me this lovely package, but I took it as a sign. I suppose you could say that I didn’t choose the tan life, rather the tan life chose me. I feel very lucky to have been gifted these products because I love being able to write reviews that help you guys out, and it’s amazing to be able to try out such great brands myself! I am super happy with all of the products they sent me and the results that they give. I guess turns out that tanning doesn’t have to be that stressful after all!
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What are your holy grail tanning products? Have you tried Australis tan before? Let me know in the comments below!