Tan Talk: St Tropez

St TropezSt Tropez Classic Bronzing Mousse, 8oz for $42

I haven’t been quite as committed to sunless tanning this year as previous years. I’ve had less time to dedicate to beauty rituals in general! When I got a deluxe sample of St Tropez Classic Bronzing Mousse, I was a bit excited – it’s a self-tanning cult classic, after all. Beyond that, mousses tend dry faster than lotions…and patience is not one of my virtues.

After showering and doing the necessary prep (shaving, exfoliation, etc), I gave the little bottle a shake and grabbed my application mitt (ain’t nobody got time for orange palms).

Initial Reaction

Everyone, including me, is surprised by how markedly green the foam seems upon first dispensing the foamy mousse. It isn’t a true green, of course, but there’s definitely green pigment in the formula – the rationale is that it helps offset any orange hue that would otherwise result.

Is it… scented? Oh, no, why?! Research indicates it wasn’t always – but now it features fragrance notes of bergamot, green apple, lavender, rose, jasmine, tuberose, musk and wood. One of my requirements for a tanning product is that it does not have added fragrance. I discuss my, ‘requirements,’ and how, “self-tanner smell,” isn’t the product but the result of DHA reacting with skin in my old post about Million Dollar Tan.


I always use a mitt regardless of the type of product, but it isn’t optional with a mousse. This stuff dries fast. Almost too fast – if it’s your first time with a mousse, I’d say you have a 50/50 shot of getting it right the first time. I’ve even used a mousse product before, but St Tropez dries even faster than Vita Liberata.

Top Application Tip: Work in smaller areas than you would with a lotion. With a lotion, I’d do an entire leg or arm at a time. With mousse, do lower and upper separately.

As mentioned earlier, the product is pigmented – you have a color guide and can see where you have already applied. Whether you find this appealing or not is personal preference; I think it is vital in a mousse, but can be skipped in a lotion.

St Tropez does make a face formulation, but I haven’t used it. Instead, I combine some of the mousse with my Clinique Dramatically Different Gel moisturizer and apply it wish a brush or beautyblender.


You should leave the classic St Tropez mousse on for eight hours. By then, showering is fine and your color will continue to develop over the next day. Don’t sleep on white sheets, don’t towel off with white towels. Unfortunately, for the first hour or two, you may feel a bit sticky (ew).

I did find the fragrance to clash with basically everything. It doesn’t mask the smell from your skin reacting to the DHA…if anything, the smell is worse because your skin’s chemistry is playing with the fragrance, too.

Ultimately, it developed into a lovely, natural looking tan. I was not orange, and once I figured out how quickly I needed to apply to product, I wasn’t streaky either.


I felt like I needed to reapply after four days of wear. This isn’t unreasonable, and is just shy of how often I would reapply my MDT Cabana Tan lotion (regular, not Extreme) if I were being diligent or wanted the color to last.

It’s important to consider my habits, though, in assessing that wear/fade. I shower daily and use a Dove bar to wash with. It isn’t actual, “soap,” and it isn’t drying or particularly stripping of my skin. Two days after application, I use the Dove bar with scrubby shower gloves to encourage even exfoliation. I don’t use a body scrub (currently this one from Tree Hut) until immediately before reapplying. I would probably be able to go an extra few days if I used a rich, moisturizing body wash instead (Aveeno‘s is my favorite, but I’ve been trying to pare down on products).

After two weeks of use every four days, I noticed that I was needing to moisturize my body more often. That said, I’m fairly lax (read: lazy, sporadic) about general moisturizing. You should not have an issue if you are diligent to begin with.

The Bottom Line

Although the color is quite good, I’m not convinced Classic St Tropez mousse is my holy grail. Fragrance is always a major detractor for me. That does not mean I wouldn’t consider purchasing or using it – especially if I can find it at Costco. I would not pay full price for it, though. If you are not bothered by fragrance, give it a shot; it earned its cult status for a reason. St Tropez is fairly accessible; you can purchase it at Ulta, Sephora, Macy’s, Nordstrom, sometimes Costco, and elsewhere.