St Tropez Gradual Tanner Review

The latest gradual tanner to be subjected to my extensive testing process: St Tropez’s Everyday Moisturiser in Medium-Dark. This one comes with a caution, because I do find it very, very strong – if you get it wrong then it can streak or stain. This could be because I’m using the dark version rather than the light, but I have employed an extra tester with darker skin who had a similar mishap when she applied it without concentrating!

Now for me, the whole point of gradual tanners is that they’re foolproof, but I think for them to be foolproof, you still need to go through the same safety measures as you would with a fake tan. Exfoliate, especially dry patches on knees and feet and elbows. Put a little extra moisturiser (un-tinted) on the dry patches a few minutes before the gradual tanner. Make sure that you rub the gradual tanner in properly and wash your hands LOADS after application! If you follow the rules, you should get a glowy tint the following day. Or the same day in the case of this St Tropez! I saw a difference within a few hours.

I did have a few slip-ups with streaks on my lower legs and feet, but I had applied the lotion quite haphazardly – when done properly, it gives a really convincing, sexy tan. Tester 2 also gave this gradual tanner a big thumbs up! If you’re at all worried about patchiness, just make sure that you apply this to every little bit of skin – if you miss bits out it’ll look patchy, but it won’t matter if you go over the same area twice!

I get a little bit of that “tan” scent from this, but nothing distracting. There was also no transfer onto clothes or bedsheets – mind you, I did do my “tan dance” around the house for a bit before I went to bed! A few lunges and so on, just to speed up the drying process.

Sorry for that image there.

St Tropez Gradual Tan is £12.15 with free delivery from

FYI: St Tropez are on tour around the UK this summer. They are visiting Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin with a pop-up fake-tan paradise – expect complimentary beauty treatments and bespoke tanning services. For dates and more information, have a look at their Facebook Page.

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  1. June 19, 2012 / 6:45 am

    Is it bad to switch between self-tanner brands? Do you need to stick to just one? If you can switch between brands, are there any precautions or taboos? Is there a matter of all old self-tanned skin must be back to pasty self before starting anew? Can you use one then the other and go back and forth? (Not TOO-anxiety ridden about self- tanners still, am I!?) Thanks, Ruth!

    • Ruth
      June 19, 2012 / 9:22 am

      I can’t see the problem with switching back and forth, personally!

  2. Martina
    June 19, 2012 / 7:44 am

    I don’t get it. A gradual daily self tanner should be completely foolproof. Like Clinique self sun. If I have to worry every day about applying it properly with no streakes, I would rather using an “original” non-daily self tanner…

  3. Amanda
    June 19, 2012 / 7:54 am

    Excellent post, Ruth, however I may be controversial here and there might be gasps of pure astonishment coming my way but I don’t like the St Tropez brand – da, da, daaa!

    I’ve had flirtations with gradual tanners (and St Tropez products) and just didn’t get on with them – maybe they’ve changed since my dabblings?

    Admittedly I’m a lazy ass mofo and like instant results so slap on the ‘cheap as chips, St Moriz’ when I’m feeling perticularly pasty instead.

  4. Jo
    June 19, 2012 / 8:06 am

    Hi Ruth,
    I thought I would mention the spray version of the gradual tanner. I am very pale and also very very lazy :-)yet this gives me a glow and never ever streaks! Absolutely recommend! Would love to know if others think the same.
    Have a great day everyone :-)

  5. Dauré
    June 19, 2012 / 8:32 am

    I bought this when the sun first came out about a month ago and I needed to banish my pasty winter skin. I found it streaked and was very patchy on my legs but covered well everywhere else.
    No idea what it is about the patchy legs in particular, very random, especially as I took AGES exfoliating with scratchy gloves and moisturising before I applied it. I was really miffed.
    Last summer I usd the light/medium one and although it didn’t streak the colour was very, very subtle.
    I’m still not decided if I’d get better results from a cheaper brand.

  6. June 19, 2012 / 8:36 am

    You know, I love the colour of this tanner, but jumpin’ Jehoshaphat, I don’t half stink like I’ve been rolling around in treacle when it’s developed. Maybe that’s just a reaction with my skin, but I switched from this one to the Xen tan gradual tanner which I prefer; the colour isn’t as intense – although still more olive-based than pink-based – but the smell for me is just infinitely better

  7. UrielxXxEllen
    June 19, 2012 / 8:59 am

    I had a similar experience when using this gradual tanner the other week. My skin was prepped but I assumed that it would be like other gradual tanners i.e. you could just slap it on to a degree and boy was I wrong. My arms, thighs and stomach turned out lovely but my lower leg literally developed orange stripes like a tiger.
    When it works though, the colour is so lovely, so I am waiting for my stripes to disappear before trying again. This time, I might mix it with a normal moisturiser to tone it down a bit, what do you think?

    • Ruth
      June 19, 2012 / 9:20 am

      Maybe just apply a body lotion to your legs a few minutes beforehand – just a lightish one! x

  8. Lisa Fusco
    June 19, 2012 / 9:40 am

    I tried this tanner a few weeks ago ( I think you mentioned it in a video) and had the same patchy results near my ankles and it took a good couple of weeks to go!! I’m going to try again because I did lover the colour and as you say, it develops in a couple of hours!!

    Do you think it’s worth apply with a mitt?

    Lisa F x

    • Ruth
      June 19, 2012 / 10:20 am

      Yes, that’s not a bad idea, actually! And I think perhaps moisturise the lower leg area beforehand. I wouldn’t usually bother with a gradual tanner that needed extra effort, but I do love the honeyed-bronze colour that this gives me, so think it’s worth the effort! x

    • June 19, 2012 / 10:26 am

      Sorry to butt in… I use a mitt with this and it does work a lot better :) XX

      • Ruth
        June 19, 2012 / 10:47 am

        Thanks Frances, I’ll give that a try! x

  9. Natalie
    June 19, 2012 / 10:15 am

    I use this in the Med-Dark and I have fair skin and I love it! I find it really easy to use and smells ok too.

  10. June 19, 2012 / 10:25 am

    I use this and have had the same issues with streaking (picture a MASSIVE line down the middle of my arm, one side a lovely bronze, the other pasty white… niiice), but I agree that when it’s done well, it looks fabulous :) XX

  11. jennigui
    June 19, 2012 / 1:41 pm

    Good morning ruth,
    Actually I wanted to ask you about the omorovizca self tanner… I got it for free when I bought the deep cleansing mask months ago. Have you tried it? I have never used one in my life. I might take the plunge and try it, it looks so luxe and it’s just sitting there in my bathroom. Please tell me what you thought of it, if you’ve tried it.

    • Ruth
      June 20, 2012 / 4:25 pm

      I’m going to try it this week! Hope it’s good… yOu mean the Glam Glow, right? x

      • Jennigui
        June 21, 2012 / 4:41 am

        Yes! That’s the one. Btw love mr bear in the videos. Makes me miss my own kitty I used to have.

  12. June 19, 2012 / 10:49 pm

    never fake tanned before but if i did it’d definately be a gradual one. thanks for sharing!

  13. Taylor
    June 20, 2012 / 12:16 am

    I just picked this up, cant’t wait to try it. I apply regular body lotion to dry areas of skin before to thin out the product where it may accumulate. Love ur reviews!

  14. Nina
    June 22, 2012 / 10:15 pm

    I agree with several of the commenters that there is something strange with this particular version of St. Tropez. I was scrupulous in exfoliating and “prepping” my skin – and I still had streaks and blotchy areas. I am going to invest in the mitt and use the original brown St.Tropez lotion (which I have a generous sample bottle of) when I have some time. Love your blog, Ruth – your personality really comes through in your writing and of course your videos!

    • Ruth
      June 23, 2012 / 3:27 pm

      Thanks Nina! x

  15. Xenia Below
    December 9, 2013 / 7:58 pm

    Hi there, I know this post is kinda old but I’m a bit indecisive as if to get the dark or light version of this. I’m not very fair at all but would like to achieve a natural glow. Any thoughts? Thanks :)

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