Product Review: Fake Bake Self-Tanning Mousse

Fake Bake Self-Tanning Mousse

So, I originally had this product review slated for the new Sevin Nyne Tanning Mist created by Lindsay Lohan and her personal airbrush tanning guru. But unfortunately, that experiment was a complete bust. As directed, I shook the bottle and sprayed a line down my freshly exfoliated leg. The Sephora consultant who sold me on this sleek $35 bottle had suggested that I rub in each bronze-colored streak so I did just that, shook the bottle again and went in for my second spray. This time, the dispenser sputtered thick splotches all over my legs and tub and then promptly clogged.

No more spray tan in a bottle for me.

So with one half honey-colored leg and one naturally pale one, I rummaged through the Spa Girl closet until I came upon Fake Bake Self-Tanning Mousse. “Ah, save me Fake Bake,” I murmured to the little gold bottle. “Save me from this Lindsay Lohan disaster zone.”

Forgetting to review the directions, I shook the can and squirted a ball of the creamy foam into my hand. The formula literally looked like whipped chocolate mousse. I stifled my urge to eat it and briskly massaged it over the half-tanned leg. It soaked in quickly so I washed my hands and dug around under my sink for my self-tanning application gloves (yes, you can only imagine the mad scientist quality of my bathroom). Now properly geared up (the directions recommend the use of gloves I later read), I continued the process until my arms, legs and neck were covered in the cocoa-hued tanner.

The smell you ask? The formula has a fresh, pleasant scent that dissipates as it dries leaving a barely detectable hint of the chemical in all self-tanners. But here’s the one caveat about this product: Apply the Fake Bake self-tanner at night and rinse it off in the shower the next morning. The temporary color that helps you apply the product evenly is not water resistant so if you do have an encounter with water (I decided it was the perfect time to hose down the back porch. Duh. Not) you’ll end up looking like a giraffe. It doesn’t wash off the self-tanner, just the bronzer. Or, you can buff of the bronzer with a towel after it thoroughly dries. So after I showered later that day, the resulting color was natural — not orange — and no streaks in sight except for a slightly darker patch on one leg thanks to my brief encounter with Sevin Nyne. In the end, Fake Bake saved the day.

Fake Bake Self-Tanning Mousse is $22.50 and available at