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Thursday, 26 April 2012

No7 Quick Dry Tinted Lotion - Self-tanner

Oh yes, it's that time of year again - tan time! I'm sick of looking at my pale winter skin so I'm now on a mission to find my new favourite self-tan, and the first one to undergo the test is No7 Quick Dry Tinted Lotion. I really do love the look of a healthy-looking tan, complimented nicely with some metallic eyes or brightly-coloured lips.

As far as I'm aware, this product has actually been around quite a while - 10+ years - but this is the first time I've ever come across it and seeing as Boots had a discount on tanning products (yay for discounts in Boots!), I decided to give it a try. I have my usual tanning products that I always come back to; St. Tropez is fail-safe, but I'm always willing to try new things I haven't seen before. I also liked the fact that this particular tanning lotion was suitable for the face as well as the body - most brands will have a separate product aimed specifically for use on the face, maybe it's because the skin on the face is different from the skin on the body, or maybe it's just a gimmick! Either way, I never bother with face-only tanners and therefore don't apply self-tanning lotions on my face (my boyfriend loves a tanned body and white face, ha ha!). Don't worry, I don't leave the house looking like that, I just apply a slightly darker foundation and a bit of bronzer!
My current favourite - Clinique True Bronze Pressed Powder Bronzer in Sunkissed

So, of course I did my usual pre-tanning routine, which basically consists of a good exfoliation with exfoliating gloves in the shower - I actually switch the shower off and spend a good 5 minutes doing it. I  generally don't bother with any moisturiser whatsoever, not even on my elbows, knees or feet as I don't tend to suffer from dry skin in these areas, plus the the fact that the product was a slightly tinted lotion/cream rather than a gel or spray made me think that it would probably provide some moisture anyway.

Now, me and this tanning lotion did not get on very well at first. I read the instructions, which told me to apply the lotion with either my hands or a cotton wool pad - I thought the cotton wool would be too fiddly so I applied it with my hands. BIG MISTAKE! As you'd expect, my hands were a mess the next day when I rinsed it off (more on that in a minute), they were so brown and dirty-looking in comparison to the rest of me and the tan sat in the cracks and crevasses of my skin, making them look far wrinklier than they are.

I applied it after showering and before bed so as to give it the best chance to develop, but you don't have to wait that long, apparently you can rinse it off after 2 hours (I'd imagine it wouldn't come out very dark though); I showered it off the next morning. The lotion itself is a bit unusual; it's slightly tinted, creamy and light but thick, if that makes sense. It's a dense consistency, but not a thick or heavy lotion. I know I'm not explaining that very well, it's hard to describe! The bottle has a pump that you push down to get the lotion out; this was a pain in the bum as it was a bit stiff and had no grip so my lotion-covered hands were slipping off it, plus it only dispensed a small amount of lotion per pump so it took quite a few pumps to get a substantial amount - but this is actually good for when you're doing the face as only a small amount is needed. I also found that it wasn't very dark - I got the medium to dark shade (it comes in light to medium too) - so that was a bit disappointing. I decided I'd be best to just let it wear off, as it says it does on the bottle, and try again the following week. But it faded off horribly and patchy, especially on my hands (my own fault, I should've known better), and I ended up scrubbing it off.

So round 2, and I was slightly better prepared - although not that well prepared as I intended to buy a tanning mitt to apply it with this time but I completely forgot! However, I did have latex gloves in my beauty kit, so on they went. This time I spent a bit more time massaging the product into the skin to make sure I didn't end up with any streaks or patchiness like last time. This and the latex gloves seemed to do the trick, as this time the tan came out a little bit darker, far more even and my hands weren't destroyed! I tried the wear-off test again and this time it did wear off evenly and gradually, so 3-4 days after applying it I still had a light but even, natural-looking glow. Even when my hands and face lost their colour (as they do - we wash these areas more!), it wasn't drastically noticeable.

So we ended up co-operating with each other and it worked out well. Like any relationship, just a bit of time and difference made a nice bit of difference! What I will say is, I'm not sure that I'd buy this product again - it was a bit of a pain to get the right result, and I've used products in the past that I've put a hell of a lot less effort into but got equally good or better results. So my mission continues, I've lots of products on my list - I'll be sure to test some more out and let you know how I get on!

Happy tanning!



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