The Best Body Bronzers – Reader Review

Finally, summer is well and truly knocking on our door and with that comes the inevitable baring of skin. While our skin has felt the teasing flecks of sunlight from spring (that we have diligent protected ourselves from with SPF), we need to turn it up a notch for summer - the safe way, of course. Hello, bronzer. Of course, a light dust of bronzer on the face is a sure-fire way to instant golden glow; but it’s important to remember the rest of your body, too. Using a lotion or gel formula is best for covering larger areas of skin, so fair skinned Beauticater Lucy Searle (who knows all about a faux glow)put the best liquid body bronzers to the test to bring you her edit. If you’re feeling a little underprepared for baring skin, read on…

Beauticate loves this image by Olivia Malone

Beauticate loves this image by Olivia Malone

Best For: Lasting Effect

Lancôme Flash Bronzer

“I’m all for instant results. I’ve never been one for gradual tanners, so you can imagine my delight when colour starts developing within hours of applying the very natural looking colour. It doesn’t have that typical “fake tan” smell – you know, the smell that takes you back to high school days of sporting a patchy, orange glow? The Flash Bronzer is transfer resistant too, so it doesn’t leave a mark on my clothes, my sheets or my towels and lasts a good few days on my skin without getting patchy.”


Best For: Instant Results

Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel

“This product has a special place in my heart because I once traipsed all over Bali looking for it when I was on holiday and forgot a much-needed bronzer. It takes a lot to make my pale skin look like its sporting a natural tan, but this does the trick. The gel glides onto my skin smoothly and is absorbed easily so I don’t have any residual stickiness. For the best results (and as with any body bronzer), I recommend a thorough body scrub all over, particularly on the knees and elbows to avoid patchiness.”  


Best For: Easy Application

Clinique Self Sun Body Tinted Lotion

“This delivers a fabulously natural looking finish. I find this lotion very easy to apply – it blends really smoothly into my skin and the tint allows me to see where I’ve applied so no missed bits. This is perfect for last minute application because the bronze colour is instantly visible and the tan develops over a couple of days. I need colour before a night out and this worked a treat.”


Best For: Hydrating Skin

Trilogy Instant Bronzing Gel

“The gel formula contains all natural ingredients including a nourishing vitamin E that keeps my skin super hydrated. This one lasts a good week on my skin, giving mea light bronze colour and before developing into a natural looking golden colour with a hint of shimmer. I reapply every 2-3 days to build on the colour and it gives me a deeper colour as I go. I don’t love the smell, but I find the colour and texture of the product to be spot on.” 


Best For: Streak-Free Result

Model Co Instant Tan Self-Tan Lotion

“I admit I am a little scared when I see how dark this body bronzer comes out…However after successfully working it into my skin, I fall very quickly in love with the sun-kissed glow my legs have taken on. This non-greasy, lightweight lotion smells of coconut and paradise and glides onto skin evenly, no streakiness in sight. While this is an instant tan, I build on the tan with more applications to reach my desired level of ‘beach babe’.” 


“This amazing body bronzer smells delicious and washes off easily with soap and water after 24 hours. I use the light/medium on my fair skin, which provides the perfect amount of colour for me - I highly recommend this for those of us who are not big on self-tanners but still want a sun-kissed look. This is the perfect glam addition to my beauty routine before a night out, and although it’s such a temporary tan, it doesn’t fade off before I remove it in the shower.” 


Best For: A Natural Glow

J Bronze Instant Tanning Cream

“With this product, I get as close as I’m going to get to achieving Jen Hawkins’ enviable colour. Personally, I much prefer a cream to a mousse and this one ticks all the boxes for my pale English skin. I particularly like that the cream is visible upon application, and the colour develops very evenly over my skin, resulting in a healthy, sun-kissed glow. Another added bonus with this little beauty is that it doesn’t have a particular scent, meaning no dead giveaways that I’ve just lathered myself in fake tan.” 


“For those a bit more serious about their tanning, this is the one for you. Fake Bake comes in a spray can and creates a deep “I’ve just spent a week in the Maldives” look, with a pleasant citrus fragrance. I really like that this tan dries quickly and creates an even tan all over. However, I would definitely recommend this product for more advanced fake tan users - the spray application gets a little messy, so I’m sure to lay down towels while I apply. I don’t spray too close to the skin as a distinctive brown line that happens if I do, and I make use of the application gloves to avoid blotchy patches. The colour lasts a good 4-5 days and I definitely plan on using it again for a special occasion when a professional-looking tan is called for.” 


Review by Lucy Searle