It’s that time of year again, where the thermals are off and I’m toying with the idea of wearing a skirt or *gasp* even a pair of shorts, so I start thinking about using some fake tan to take the edge off the glare of my pale, pale little legs. Of course I jumped at the chance to try out the Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse, and here’s the review.
It comes in a bright pink 150ml can, and it needs a good shake before dispensing. You need to use a tanning mitt for even application and to keep the product off your hands. It comes out of the can as a dense tinted mousse and it’s moderately spreadable, drying very quickly and not leaving a tacky finish. As it dries so quickly I wouldn’t recommend it to total fake tan newbies, just because you need to practice your technique first, but otherwise the speed is convenient as it allows you to get dressed sooner and get on with the rest of your day.
The tint makes it easy to see whether you’ve missed a spot or just applied too much. It also has a secondary function as an ‘instant tan’, so you could put some on just before going out to add a bit of quick instant colour to pale skin – I’d say this might be the most convenient thing about the product, in fact.
If you do apply too much then you can rub a little off with a tissue or cotton wool pad if you’re quick, or you can apply a bit of body lotion over the area to thin it out. I’d also recommend putting some lotion on knees and heels a few minutes before applying the tan, and a tiny amount on the tops of your feet, as this is where all fake tans tend to ‘grab’ onto the drier skin.
The instructions say you should leave the tanning mousse on for one, two or three hours to get the required level of colour, then wash it off. However, I didn’t find that it darkened much after the second hour, and it could probably even be kept all day without any further colour changes (although the brown guide colour could come off onto sheets so I wouldn’t recommend sleeping in it). The fragrance is allegedly Tahitian gardenia, but I found it to be light and generically ‘clean’ although there was a little bit of the usual ‘biscuit-y’ smell underneath.
It was a surprisingly non-irritating product, even though the mousse contains alcohol as its second ingredient. If you have dry or extra sensitive skin then you might want to do a patch test first, or follow it with some more moisturising body lotion after the tan’s developed, but I was impressed that it didn’t upset my sensitive skin.
After washing off, the tan underneath the guide colour was about three shades darker than my usual skin tone. It looked like a very light golden tan with yellow undertones, and it didn’t have that orangey appearance that’s the dead giveaway of many fake tans, especially if you’re very pale to begin with. It’s enough to take the edge off that post-winter bluey-whiteness some of us have, but not to give the effect of a few days on a tropical beach.
The makers say it can last for five to seven days, but I got three full days of wear out of it before deciding to top it up. Unless you’re fair skinned this product might not work well for you, although Cocoa Brown has added a Dark version to the range for a more intense colour so you could try that instead.
You can buy Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse from Feelunique and Superdrug, where the standard price is £7.99 for 150ml. Look out for regular multi-buy offers and reductions at Superdrug for extra savings.
Full disclosure: Product sample provided by promoter, all words and comments my own.