Battle of the Bronze - Budget Gradual Tans

Saturday 26 July 2014

I have been super lazy with my blog recently, I've got loads of things I could post about but have completely neglected to, oops. I've had this post in my drafts for the longest time and decided it was finally time to hit publish. I love to have a bit of a tan when the sun is brave enough to show his face (and just for a bit of a pamper anytime, really!) so naturally, I've collected a few tanning products along the way. I have a few high end and a few budget tanners so I thought I'd sum up the budget ones in this post.

FYI I tend to apply any tanner whether or not it's mousse, lotion, gradual or full on with a mitt. I always exfoliate and moisturise the morning before I apply any sort of tan at bedtime too, so it should give me fairly accurate comparisons.
 First up is the Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Natural Bronze. I like the fact that it has a pump so it's easier to control how much product comes out but it does make it a bit of a pain to store if you don't want to keep it out. It smells very similar to the Cocoa Butter when you first apply it but it soon fades to that pretty standard biscuit scent albeit with a hint of cocoa. It soaks in relatively quickly into the skin, I'd say within ten minutes you can put your clothes on/get in bed. I'd say it gives me a moderate tan on first application going slightly darker on the second and although it has a slightly more orange tint than I'd like, it's still a decent gradual tan and I love the fact that it smells that bit sweeter than other tans!  I do think it fades fairly streaky but with a bit of exfoliating and moisturising, it shouldn't give you too much trouble.

Garnier's Summer Body is actually the most recent addition to my collection and I think it's definitely my favourite. A lightweight lotion that sinks into the skin in a couple of minutes and giving me a natural, sunkissed glow upon first application and a deeper colour on the second, I don't feel the need to use more than two applications before I'm happy with the shade. It fades really well with no noticeable streaking and is my go-to for tanning at the moment.

Dove's Summer Glow didn't impress me too much in terms of packaging and fading - the bottle collapses in the middle as you use it making it a bit of a pain to squeeze the product out and it fades pretty patchy. I also got a few streaks when I applied it but that could be due to applying it haphazardly... It gives a nice, olive colour that's very natural looking but takes a while to sink in leaving you feeling sticky for a while and wafting eau de biscuit around for longer than I'd like.

Overall I'd say it's a close call between all of these three and probably boils down to personal preference! All cost around the £5 mark but can be frequently found on offer and all have the trademark biscuit scent and take a couple of applications on me to reach a colour I'm happy with but I do like to keep my tan fairly light so it will need more if you want a darker colour! Summer Body is my winner just because it's lightweight and gives me the colour that I'm looking for but the other two are definitely close runners up!

What are your favourite tanning products? Do you prefer building up your tan gradually or getting it instantly?


  1. I've been put off using gradual tanning products since about two years ago when I used Dove's Summer Glow - it took forever to sink into my skin and I was walking the dog one day and noticed something on my leg. I realised that it was the self tan! It had gone so incredibly streaky and was more orange than tanned and it looked like I had a disease. I was mortified and had to scrub it off as soon as I got home!
    I might have to try one of the other two you have mentioned :)

    - Taisie ♥ | Life by Taisie

  2. I love Dove summer glow. xx


  3. I am not a fan of gradula tanners, I have memories of the Dove gradual tanner smelling awfully biscuity ha!
    I am never moving from my St Tropez mousse <3 Love it!

    Nice post though, LondonBeautyxx


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