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    I Wore Three Top-Rated Fake Tanners And Here's What Happened

    I finally found a natural-looking self-tanner!

    Hi, I'm Krista, and for obvious reasons — like cancer, sunburns, and wrinkles — I try to avoid and protect myself from the sun as much as I can.

    However, I do like pretending that I've actually been in the sun, which is where self-tanners come in. This summer, I've been on the hunt for one that doesn't turn me orange and doesn't leave a ton of streaks.

    So I found three products within my budget ($35 each or less) that have good ratings on Google: St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse, Tanologist Face + Body Drops, and Cocoa Brown 1-Hour Tan Mousse. Here's my honest review based on color, coverage, smell, and number of days they last.

    Photo of the three self tanners.
    Cocoa Brown Tan text

    This is a mousse that you rub on, let it sit for about an hour (or until the desired color is developed), then rinse off in the shower.

    Photo of the tan bottle and what it looks like, which is foamy and brown.

    Since the bottle said this was an EXTRA-DARK shade, I was nervous that it would be way too dark. But it actually ended up being pretty subtle!

    Before and after of Krista with fake tan on.

    Overall, I LOVED that this product did not have that nasty fake-tan smell! It gave pretty good coverage, too. The only downfall was that in some lighting, it did look kind of orange.

    Selfie of Krista in mirror with the tan on.
    Tanologist text

    These are liquid drops that you mix together with your own lotion and then rub in. (The directions did not state how long you had to wait before getting wet, so I didn't for 24 hours.)

    Photo of tanning drops with lotion.

    The after photo was taken the day after I applied the tan. I used an ample number of drops but didn't really see a significant difference in my coloring.

    Before and after of Krista with fake tan on – not much difference.

    The tan ended up developing more throughout the second day, leaving a slightly darker hue. But I ended up seeing a lot more patchy and streaky areas than I wanted, despite mixing it with the lotion and blending it thoroughly on my skin.

    Photo of patchy areas on Krista's hands and feet.
    St. Tropez text.

    This mousse was a little more watery than I expected and it didn't smell bad, but out of the three, it was probably the least pleasant smelling. That being said, it was the easiest one to rub on evenly. (The instructions on this one said to wait four to eight hours before getting wet.)

    Photo of self tan bottle and the product which was watery and foamy.

    The tan developed pretty quickly — after about three hours — and I loved it. To me, the color of this one seemed closest to my natural tan.

    Before and after of Krista with fake tan on.

    Overall, I thought the color on this one was the right shade for my skin. It was decently dark but still looked natural. It also lasted the longest.

    Photos of Krista's tan lines from the tanner.
    Final Thoughts: St. Tropez was Krista's favorite, but Cocoa Brown also gives you a good value for your money.

    Do you have any self-tanners that you love?! Let us know in the comments!