Beauty · Lifestyle

Expensive vs cheap fake tan – which do you prefer?

Hi again girls!

Today’s post I am going to focus on whether it is worth paying the extra money for expensive tan, or whether the cheap alternative is just as good.

Now, anyone that knows me will know I am the palest of the pack, not able to tan when sunbathing or using sun beds, leaving me at the last resort – fake tan.

I have relied on fake tan for years now when I show a bit of flesh, I will apply tan the night before, just so I don’t horrify anyone by bearing my all white natural legs!

After trying sooo many different brands, I’ve come to learn a small few which are worth the money:

Rimmel London Sun Shimmer Self Tan Mousse – £7.99

This tan is the best value for money you will pick up for under £10. Because this is a mousse, applying it is a dream – making it very tricky to streak!

The colour of the tan shows instantly on your skin, so it is easy to see if you have missed a patch, unlike other brands, which may not start to develop for a couple of hours. We’ve all been there before, noticing an obvious white patch when it’s too late! 😩

Once you have applied this, it literally dries onto your skin within 2 minutes, meaning there is no risk of smudging and rubbing off everywhere, which is an added bonus.

The bottle does state that it has ‘no tan smell’ however, I must admit it is very hard to find a fake tan without that distinct smell of curry mixed with biscuits and whatever else?!

This isn’t the worst smelling tan in the world, as it does have a perfumed scent on the application, however after developing there is most definitely a fake tan smell. But for the price, it would be mad to complain.

From experience of using this tan, I have found it lasts around 5 days, gradually fading after showers, before it starts to go patchy on the skin and completely come off. So if you are in need of a long wearing tan that you don’t have to top up daily here is your answer.


  • Easy, even application.
  • Skin feels soft once dry.
  • Lasts up to 5 days.
  • Immediate development.
  • Affordable


  • Not complete with mit.
  • Sticky until fully dry.
  • Fake tan smell that is hard to shake.

Fake Bake Flawless DARKER – £25

I aren’t usually the type to blow £25 on a bottle of fake tan, but I guess I was feeling adventurous that day in Boots.

This is the only edition of the Fake Bake range I have tried, as I wanted a tan that would make me extra-dark. As this was ‘flawless darker’ and stated it gave a ‘luxurious deeper bronze’ I gathered this is my best bet.

For £25 you get your tan and a professional Fake Bake tanning mit with gloves.

This is a spray on tan, rather than a mousse, making it slightly trickier to get a flawless application. Once you spray this onto the skin, it needs to be rubbed in immediately, otherwise speckles of tan will remain where they landed after being sprayed.

This is super smooth and velvety after it has dried, which again takes a matter of minutes.

As for the ‘fake tan smell’ this is scented with a tropical scent, smelling like coconut and pineapple when applying it. Again, this does have a tinge of fake tan smell the day after when it is fully developed.

I expected this tan to last a while and it didn’t disappoint, again lasting around 5-7 days!


  • Complete with mitt and gloves.
  • Tropical scent.
  • Immediate development.
  • Lasts up to 7 days.
  • Leaves skin feeling velvety smooth.
  • Leaves skin incredibly dark.


  • Slightly over priced.
  • Occassionaly transfers onto sheets and clothes when developing.
RESULTS- Developed Fake Bake Tan

I will leave the comparison down to you to decide whether you wish to splash out on your fake tan, or whether to keep the cost at a minimum!

I’m going to end this post with a little fake tan disaster of my own when I was younger. When I was around 9 or 10, I decided to ‘clean’ my room. I picked up the nearest pack of wipes and started wiping down all my furniture.

This took me a little while as I was such a little person and my wardrobe seemed so big! I was so pleased with my new clean room, but very tired out. After a little nap I was horrified to notice the palms of my hands had mysteriously turned bright orange!

I quickly put on my gloves and didn’t tell my mum, who must of been very suspicious. After a while I thought I had best ask my mum what was wrong with me, as I was starting to worry. She knew straight away what was all over my hands by the smell and colour, and she found it bloody hilarious! I’d actually used tanning wipes to ‘clean’ my room instead of furniture wipes, so all I had actually achieved was turning my palms orange.

Of course, this didn’t wash off straight away and I was stuck with bright orange palms for what felt like an eternity, and gosh was it embarrassing. I was the only one who didn’t find it hilarious. 😩

On that note, always wear gloves and use a proper mitt when applying your tan! I haven’t gone near tanning wipes since that day and I don’t plan on it, do they even still exist??

Hope you have enjoyed this post, thanks for reading!

Love Katie X


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