A little bit of sun with Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam

I’ll be honest, self tanners have never really been my thing. My skin takes the sun really well. I also spend a great deal of time out side so even with sunblock on, I get pretty dark, pretty fast each summer. Well, parts of me get pretty dark each summer. My face, neck and arms suck in the summer sun.

Because I tend to wear loose light pants in the summer or longer loose skirts, my legs tend to stay pretty pale. when I do wear shorts of a shorter skirt, my legs often look like they belong to another person. The difference simply becomes more dramatic as the summer wears on.

This year, several subscription boxes included self-tanning lotions, sprays or foams. At first I thought, why bother, and then I thought of my very pale legs and how it would be nice to wear a summer dress with a shorter skirt and not look like I stole someone else’s legs for the afternoon. So I picked one of the samples and decided to give it a try.

I decided to try the Bondi Sands Self-tanning Foam. I believe it came in a Birchbox earlier this summer. I mostly chose it because it came with a tanning mitt and I figured foam might be more manageable. It turns out it was quite manageable. The foam dispensed from the pump easily on to the mitt. The foam was substantial enough that it stood on the fabric well and was easily distributed over my legs. the mitt was quite helpful and quite honestly I would have hated to try to apply it with out it. However, I had to be careful to keep the mitt from sliding off of my hand.

The only issue with the sliding was really getting the product on my wrists and hands. While some did get on there, I rinsed it off fairly easily.

The self-tanning foam I received in my box was labeled dark and considering the color disparity between my arms and my legs, I figured it was a good choice. I was just hoping that it didn’t turn my legs orange. I really hat that orange tan look. So I applied it and crossed my fingers that I would not have to conceal oompa loompa legs.

I went with my thigh as it sees the least sun. Before is on the left and after is on the right

After applying I was impressed with the rapid drying. My legs were a little damp for a minute or two and then they were fine. Perhaps that was the mitt clearing away any product that didn’t absorb, but it meant that I could pull on loose pants after letting it dry for a moment without worrying about the product transferring to the cloth. I actually had no transfer to the cloth for which i am grateful.

The scent is coconut and it certainly smelled tropical. the scent did linger as well. It wasn’t unpleasant, in fact I quite liked it. But the scent was substantial and it does linger.

I will admit, I was initially disappointed as it looked as though there was no change. In fact I kept checking my legs every little while. I thought they might be getting a little darker, but i couldn’t tell. I went to bed feeling as though it was a failed experiment. However the next morning, the tan on my legs was substantial.

I was actually quite impressed with the look of the tan. It isn’t orange and it did make my leg look like they belonged to my body. The picture there shows the contrast between my suntanned arm and my self tanned leg. it isn’t a perfect match, but it doesn’t look all that bad. and as I don’t generally walk around with my arm pressed to my leg, it wasn’t a problem.

Arm over self-tanned leg

But how long did it last?

I got about three days before it looked like it was faded back to my pale, pale white. Admittedly I avoided using any body scrubs and I shaved my legs just before applying the self- tanning foam. On the third day I really needed to shave my legs again so i did. My shaving lotion is usually white and it turned a bit brown, which actually startled me a bit. I initially thought, ‘how could my leg have gotten that dirty?’ And tried to remember if I was doing garden chores that day. Then I remembered the self-tan. The razor took the last of it off along with my leg stubble.

I actually really ended up enjoying this self tanner. The color was nice and the foam was easy to apply. My legs will never get the same layer of sun exposure that my arms and face do and I can easily see myself reaching for this self-tanner on days when I know I am going to wear a shorter skirt or shorts. I just need to shave my legs and exfoliate well before applying it, apply the self tanner the day before and know that it will last no more than three days, and that only if I baby it. I suspect if I used a body scrub or shaved my legs earlier, then it wouldn’t have lasted as long. I suspect that if I tried repeated applications, I could get the tan darker. Personally even though it isn’t as dark as my arm, I was happy with the level of darkness, plus I wanted to see what a single application would do and hw long it would last.

I will never reach for a self tanner for everyday use. I just don’t feel the need. However, I can see myself picking up a bottle of this to keep around to help balance out my natural tan so that all of me sort of blends together. On my own I don’t think I would have ever tried a self-tanner. It is one of the things I really like about subscription boxes, getting to try things I wouldn’t have picked up on my own. While I wouldn’t have picked this up on my own, I am happy I tried it. And yes I would buy the Bondi Sands Self-tanning foam again.


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