St. Tropez is top-shelf when it comes to self-tanners. And if the rumors are true, and Kate Middleton is a fan, her streak-free faux glow is a true representation of why this brand is the go-to for an at-home self-tanning experience that's as close to professional quality as you can get.
As an avid self-tanner and Allure editor, I've tried so many self-tanning formulas I've lost count. But the results I get from St. Tropez are always what I hope for: natural-looking, good-smelling, long-lasting, and easy to apply. And now, with St. Tropez’s newest innovation — the Purity Mousse — I’m adding a clean formula to my checklist.
The Purity Mousse is one of their newer faux-glow formulas (it launched this year) and it’s also one of their purest (hence the name). It's not only vegan-friendly, (which most of their iconic products are), but it's also made from 100 percent naturally-derived ingredients like hibiscus flower extract, which helps protect the skin from irritants, and green mandarin water, which helps make your skin glowy. These ingredients also help the self-tanning mouse smell less sour than other at-home formulas I’ve used.
On top of its ingredients and lack of offputting scent, what is ultimately different about this mouse is that the formula is completely clear, making it one of few on the market with this feature. This has a couple of benefits. First, you don’t need to wash it off after a certain amount of time. Now, this may sound like a disaster waiting to happen but has someone who thought that and was proven wrong by waking up with clean sheets, I'm glad I took the risk.
Here's exactly how I used the mousse: Before going to bed, I showered, making sure to shave my legs and exfoliate my entire body with Kiehl’s Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub in Grapefruit. I patted my skin dry with my towel and then for the next 15 minutes, sat around my apartment in a T-shirt and underwear waiting for my skin to fully dry. Normally right out of the shower, I would apply moisturizer, but if I'm using self-tanner, I skip this step (which is hard, because I love the feeling of re-hydrating after getting clean). That being said, definitely check for any dry areas, especially your elbows, knees, ankles, and hands, and put on just a tiny bit of moisturizer wherever you need. I like to use the B. Witching Bath Co. Royal Lavender Body Lotion.
Now, starting with my legs and working my way up, I used about one-to-two pumps per area and just smoothed it on in circular motions — and yes, I used the tanning mitt that comes with it. The fact that it's clear and doesn't have a guide color (which is what formulators call the brown, bronze, or slightly green color you see in most self-tanners) doesn't really change the application process. Sure, you can't see the color going on your body (and it takes a while for the bronze to develop), but you can feel the mousse as it glides over your skin and hydrates it. The mitt is really key to avoiding streaks, whether your self-tanner has a guide color or not.