bondi sands 2


I love a bit of fake tan for my pasty skin and it’s no secret that my favourite brand of all time is Bondi Sands.  Not everyone wants the same thing from a tanner, so I’m giving you the low down on three different formulations and how best to apply them for a perfect result every time.

If you are new to self tanners or absolutely shit scared of stuffing it up, a gradual tan is your best option.  There are a whole bunch out there that stink like crap and turn your skin a jaundice-y shade of piss yellow, leaving you wondering why you even bothered in the first place.  The lovely thing about the Bondi Sands Gradual Tanning Milk, is that it smells like cocoa butter and develops the most subtle, natural looking tan that you simply can’t stuff up.  The absolute genius thing about it, is that it contains SPF, allowing you to go out safely in the sun, protect your skin and tan at the same time.  I love this product because it improves your skin immediately.  It moisturises like a dream, giving you instantly soothed and nourished skin, and although it doesn’t have a guide colour, you somehow magically appear more glowing.  This is my bike ride, beach, weekend go-to, as it takes no special skill or technique to apply, you just put it on like any other sunscreen.  I’ve never experienced streaks, patchiness or blatantly missed areas, even when applying it just to my arms and legs.  The subtlety of the colour allows the tanned skin to blend naturally with the untouched areas, so you’re not left with sharp ‘tan lines’. Being a gradual tan, don’t expect to be golden brown after one application.  It’s gradual, so will require repeated applications for consecutive days to achieve a tanned effect or it can also be used to prolong a darker tan, natural or otherwise.  If you don’t need the added SPF, it’s also available without, for both face and body.

If you can’t wait that long for a deep, natural looking tan, then you need to step up your product game.  If you’re still a beginner, I strongly recommend using something with an obvious guide colour.  The Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam is pretty close to foolproof, and I give a very thorough review of the Light shade, and ideal application technique here.  Since mastering the art of the foam application, I graduated to the Dark formulation and have some extra little tips for you.  When I use the dark foam, I wash it off after three hours.  I find that this is long enough for the product to develop and prevents ‘tandoori feet’ and that ‘I haven’t washed my knees or elbows ever‘ situation, and the ‘what the f*ck is going on with my armpits?’ conundrum.  A friend complimented my fresh tan recently and was surprised when I told her it was Bondi Sands.  She said she’d been hesitant to try it after always seeing her friend looking so orange from using it.  I put it down to the developing time.  Any time I’ve slept in a tan or let it stew on me for too long, it’s looked kind of fake and orangey.  So my hot tip is to cut down the time you’re in it to prevent looking overcooked or basted in curry powder.  Don’t freak out if you don’t look super tanned after washing off the guide colour, because in my experience, this tan kind of magically continues to deepen, even after showering.  You can always apply another coat if necessary, but remember that the further you stray from your natural colour, the faker it’s going to look.

In my original review, I gave the foam a 9.5 out of 10.  Even though I have remedied the dodgy feet and knee issues with better preparation, I have since moved the benchmark for perfection.  I now require my perfect tanning product to work within a much shorter time frame, so I can apply, develop and wash off between the time I put the kids and then myself to bed.  With the foam, I have to send the girls out with Husbo for a few hours so they don’t get their pokey little fingers all over my freshly bronzed skin.  I suffer from No Privacy Syndrome and find it difficult to perform personal tasks that require precision application and drying times.  Fortunately the deadset geniuses at Bondi Sands have come up with a solution for me and now I have no excuse not to be beautifully brown all summer long – winter can still go f*ck itself though, as I am not standing around in the nuddy for longer than 30 seconds, until I get my new ensuite with heated everything.  Anyway, enter Liquid F*cking Gold – well that’s what they should have called it, but they settled on just Liquid Gold, Self Tanning Dry Oil, and it’s amazing.

The product only launched last week, and of course I had to get my pasty white mitts on it.  I liked the idea of an oil with the promise of a one hour developing time, and being a product junkie, I had to get my fix.  I couldn’t be arsed shaving my legs or exfoliating last week, so I just tested it on my belly before jumping into bed.  At first I sprayed it directly onto my skin before rubbing it in with the Bondi Sands Mitt, but this made me nervous that I was going to create streaks, so I finished off by spraying it on to the mitt, and using that to apply it to my skin.  I got dressed straight away and with fingers crossed, jumped into bed with the lovely coconut smell sending me off to dream land.  In the morning I woke to a natural looking, brown tummy.  The patch test had been a success, and once I got around to shaving and exfoliating, I would be ready to take the full body tanning plunge.  That was last night, and once the kids were asleep, I headed to the bathroom.

After exfoliating with my Sportsgirl Scrub, I moisturised my feet, knees, elbows and face – good preparation is key, not only for getting a even application, but for preventing patchiness as the product fades away.  Once I was prepped, I said a little prayer to the tanning gods and got to work.  I sprayed the oil liberally onto the mitt and began buffing it into my body with smooth, controlled strokes.  I did my torso first – belly, boobs, chest, back and then used what was left on the mitt to tan my face and neck.  I then moved down my arms, but kept my hands clean until the end.  There is a very light guide colour, so I kept feeling my skin with my fingers, to make sure it was slightly damp from the product, as I didn’t want to miss bits.  Bum and thighs next with a quick sweep across my knees and then onto my lower legs.  I was feeling quite nervous at this point as it was all going on just a little bit too easily.  I had visions of waking up with tiger stripes all down my legs and having to wear my wetsuit to the beach, especially as I moved onto my feet.  I couldn’t really see where the oil was going or just how much was depositing on my skin, so I just kept rubbing it in, in the hope that I didn’t miss anywhere.  Once I’d finished, I washed my hands thoroughly and with whatever was left on the mitt, swept it over the back of my hands and buffed around my wrists.  The product didn’t dry as quickly as I’d hoped, but I think that might be due to the amount I used, as I was quite heavy handed with my spraying.  Anyway, I wrapped myself in a sarong, did some writing for an hour and then went to check myself out again in the bathroom mirror.  I was so nervous.  My intention was to wear the tan to bed, but it was developing fast and I freaked out about waking up with hi-vis skin and scaring my little girls.  So I jumped in the shower and washed it off.  I figured I’d try again the next day when I had more time.  I looked slightly darker than when I started, but certainly not tanned.  No harm done, so I went to bed.  Well, holy moly Christmas morning, you should have seen me when I woke up.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was brown.  And it was even, and beautiful, and my feet, knees and elbows were perfect.   I had hit the self tan jackpot.  It only took an hour and half to prep, apply, develop and wash off.  I woke up with the most amazing natural looking tan and I felt a million bucks.  10 out of 10!

From this extremely positive first impression, I just can’t find a fault with this product.  I’m hoping that it fades as naturally as the foam, but as I said earlier, I think a lot of that comes down to how you prep and maintain you skin afterwards.  If you would like any further advice on self tanning products and application techniques, please leave a comment here on the social medias.  I am more than happy to expand on this info, especially if you’re a fake tan virgin, nervous about your first time.

Kind Beauty Points : Bondi Sands is cruelty free.  You can buy the brand from Priceline through Shopnate, and help out your favourite charity.