Tan-Luxe The Gradual Review

Have had a bit of an issue in the self tanning department. All the classic problems, patchy under arms, stripey legs, blotchy feet and ankles. A proper streaky disaster. Which is annoying as I consider myself quite the self tan connoisseur.

Not in terms of skill level you understand, more volume of fake tan fails under my belt. Been there, done that, got the embarrassing Facebook pics to prove it. Now I know what works for me and generally I stick to it. St. Tropez Express Bronzing Mousse applied with a mitt and left on for precisely 1.5 hours. This is the system, no messing, no sneaking around with other products or brands.

But my head was turned. It started with the marvellous discovery that is the Solait Tan Boosting Facial Serum. These Superdrug gradual tanning drops are so good that it made me doubt myself, perhaps the self tan industry has seen great innovation in recent years and I am now behind the times. Then then I saw a deal, one of those cannot miss out steals, on QVC. A three piece set of gradual tanning products including this, the Tan-Luxe The Gradual.

Usually, gradual tanning body lotions are a bit underwhelming. Too much rubbing, not enough payoff. Not the case here. For a gradual tanning product, this has an awful lot of tan in it. Wasn’t expecting to see much difference after a single application, but this one packs a punch. In fact, it’s the full St. Tropez, nothing gradual about it. First impressions were great, it smells incredible, light and fruity plus the formula is very thin and quickly absorbed. Actually felt quite excited about it and the possibility of a new fave. Until the next morning and the streaks of doom.

So here we are, a tan catastrophe. And no idea where it went so wrong. Sure, I am a bit slapdash in application, but thought I had covered all areas evenly, though without a guide colour it can be hard to tell. It’s a proper mess too, not a situation that can be rectified with a good scrub of a flannel. Fortunately, there is nowhere to go and no one to see. (How novel, that being a good thing.) I shall fade gradually in the comfort of my own home, a raised eyebrow from my husband the only witness to my misadventure.

Fast forward four days, the streaks have faded and I am ready to give it another go. This is purely for review purposes, thought it would be remiss of me to review it after just one use. And I come bearing good news. This time I used a tanning mitt to apply it, as I would any proper self tan. (I use this St. Tropez Velvet Luxe one). I took care not to use too much product, to rub it in thoroughly. And the results are so much better.

I am still pretty tanned, The Gradual ain’t so gradual. But the colour is lovely and looks nice and natural everywhere except the shins and feet which are a bit of a giveaway. Issues are minimal, slight tide line on one wrist, feet and ankles look a bit muddy, but otherwise the second time’s a charm. The berry scent has become tinged with a hint of the traditional biscuity tan smell, but it is not unpleasant and there are no smudges on my white bed sheets.

I’d use it again you know. It’s so very easy to use, quick drying, no stickiness and no need to wash off. Moisturising too. Who’d have thought it? If it wasn’t for the Panny-D and the lockdown situation (wouldn’t that be a great name for a band?), not sure I would have ever picked it up again.

Tan-Luxe The Gradual, £18 at QVC, here.

Til next time,



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