Fake Tan Challenge!

Watch our Fake Tan Challenge video here! :)

It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of self-tanners...I definitely believe that natural always looks best and I have had my fair share of fake tan disasters in the past (see videos from summer 2009 for reference!).  However I do remember when I was about 18 I had a good experience with Johnson's Holiday Skin when it first came out (this was before they changed the formula) and I am pretty sure this has something to do with the fact that it is a gradual moisturising tan.  Gradual tanners seem to work best for me, so I decided to put Dove Summer Glow to the test last week as I had heard a lot of great things about it!

I actually purchased a bottle of this last summer but chickened out after about one application because it was coming up to my wedding and I certainly didn't want any mishaps!  Also last summer was considerably nicer than this one weather-wise and I developed a really good natural tan during the month of April...just from walking the dogs everyday and an occasional bask on my balcony!  

My skin has always gone super dark at even the hint of sunlight, as with all of my immediate family.  I don't burn...in fact I think I have probably only been burnt once in my life, and I always feel so much better when I have a tan.  But years of living in Ireland's grey and cloudy climate has meant that for the better half of the year, my skin is generally a pasty white.  :(  Blah.  This is NOT to say that pale skin is ugly, not at all.  I just personally find that with my skin tone I am one of those people who just looks better with a tan.

So I purchased two bottles of Dove Summer Glow (they are having a buy one get one in Dunnes Stores, if you're interested ;) for Normal to Dark Skin as I had read in reviews that this one works best.  I ended up using this every night before bed for 5 consecutive days. Jofus actually got so jealous of my tan that he wanted to try it out too!  So he used it for 2 days to build up a lighter colour.  This was his first time ever using any kind of self-tanner or gradual tanning moisturiser and he just wanted a subtle glow.  Here were the results!

My tan results -- 5 days later

Jofus' tan results -- 2 days later

The Process

First step for both of us was to exfoliate completely before application.  We used My Body Shop dry body brush in circular motions all over, then showered, exfoliated the face and dried off completely before applying the Dove Summer Glow.  We both did this at night before bed, as we didn't want to be sticky or for the tan to interfere with our clothes during the day.  Jofus' least favourite step was the exfoliation...he did NOT enjoy the experience at all, lol! 

We both used our hands to apply the product all over, then washed them afterwards.  I did my entire body as well as Jofus' back which he couldn't figure out how to do by himself...ha ha ha!  I then waited a couple of minutes before putting on my PJ's and getting into bed.  It is quite sticky but my arms & legs dried pretty quickly.  I should add that we also both used the Dove Summer Glow on our face (no break-outs!).

The next morning we washed it off in the shower.  I also moisturised afterwards with my regular moisturiser but Jofus didn't and neither of us experienced any patchiness or anything so...we had pretty much the same results.

The Pros
- The colour is very buildable which is great if you just want something very subtle.  I found that after 3 days of application it looked the best and most natural yet noticeable.
- It does not go on patchy or streaky at all and the colour is very even.  This is probably what I liked best about the product.
- If you wash your hands straight away, you will not get orange palms...yay!
- The original scent is quite fresh and nice, although the morning after smell is a little biscuit-y but if you shower that goes away.
- It is SUPER moisturising so even if you don't care about the tanning part, this will leave your skin feeling very soft and supple!
- It doesn't transfer onto clothes.  I did use it at night and after about 3 days you could see a faint orange tint to my PJ's but with my everyday clothes there wasn't a hint of colour and I wore a few white items!

The Cons
- Orange elbows.  Yes, my elbows were the only thing that turned slightly darker and although it wasn't extremely noticeable it irked me.  Jofus did not experience this after 2 days of application though!
- The "white glove" effect.  Probably the most annoying con but pretty unavoidable if you use your hands to apply.  My hands ended up being white and the tan just stops at my wrists which I hate because of course that is one of the tell-tale signs that your tan isn't real...however this was really only noticeable after Day 4.
- Watch out with your facial hair, if you have it!  Jofus had to be careful and apply a thinner layer to his beard as this has a tendency to go slightly orange.  Same with eyebrows and the hairline!  

So on the whole, I would recommend this product if you're looking for a gradual, easy-to-apply base tan.  Again I would say to use it for 3 consecutive days to get the best most natural results.  Now I have stopped using it everyday and am maintaining it every 3 days instead.  

I hope that this was helpful!  Please let me know your favourite fake-tan/gradual tanner and if you have any tanning tips or advice, I would be more than happy to hear from you! :)

Stay Stylish!  


  1. Hey Anna :)
    First of all: I looove your blog!
    Try using a tiny amount of self tan on the back of one freshly washed hand and rub it in with the back of your other hand. You can even go over the upper side of your fingers. That should do the trick :)
    Viele liebe Grüße aus Wien,

  2. I have found that St. Tropez (tanning lotion, not the place though it's great to get a tan there!) has always worked really well!!!

  3. Wonderful...... Dove is very good in summer I know that because I used dove in summers My skin is very oily in simmer and my friend she suggested me dove ,I apply this on my face now my skin is soft and smooth and thank you this product.

  4. Easy solution is to use a make-up brush such as a blusher brush to apply to the hands and blend around wrists, elbows, ankles and knees.

  5. I just started using Dove
    I'm in my 60s I was starting to look washed out pale I us to use Dove when it first came out
    So I decided to try again last night was my first night woke up this morning looked at my legs and arms
    Oh boy a little blotchy especially on small scares but I showed then moisterized again
    Will g
    Keep it going for five days as you did. I only hope I don't end up looking like a Halloween pumpkin lol
    Will keep you up too speed on my progress

  6. I tryed it and my knee's are slightly darker than the rest of my legs

  7. Did you exfoliate every time you applied? I’m wondering if you exfoliate, won’t it rub the tan off?

  8. Did you exfoliate every time before applying? I’m affraid of exfolitung he day after, it may rub it off, right ?


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