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Summer 2018 will go down in history as the one where the weather was actually decent – but with early autumn on the horizon (admit it, you're looking forward to changing up your wardrobe) self-tan is the one to keep the holiday feeling alive.
ASOS staffer Sophie Holmes tests self-tan products

From gradual tanners to clever drops, and along with exfoliating sponges and genius sunscreen, ASOS's Assistant Buyer Sophie Holmes tries out the best (not all at once, obvs).
Bondi sands self tan

Just when I thought my summer tan was fading, along comes Bondi Sands to save the day. I applied the Dark shade with a tanning mitt about two hours before going to bed as I wanted it to develop overnight for the best possible tan. Instantly I could see that the colour was going to be fab and it was super-easy to apply. The next morning I showered off and voila, I’d just got back from a fortnight in the Caribbean. It was a gorgeous deep brown (no orange), with no streaks, and it smelt amazing. And the best bit – it lasted almost two weeks. Definitely my go-to for ever more. 

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam Dark, £14.99
Isle of Paradise self-tan

If you’re after a quick, natural, golden glow, look no further. I added about 3-4 drops into my moisturiser in the morning, washed my hands straight after (essential) and within about 20 minutes it was already taking effect. These drops have colour corrector in which helped to conceal some of my redness and brighten my dull skin. They’re also packed full of great ingredients like avocado and coconut oil to keep skin hydrated. My tan lasted about a week on my face, but I’ve heard the more drops, the deeper and longer lasting the tan. Bonus points… I didn’t break out! Trust me, once you drop, you can’t stop.

Isle Of Paradise Self Tanning Drops, £19.99
Vita Liberata self-tan

The best way to describe this product: an Instagram filter in a bottle. For those who have self-tan commitment issues, this is the product for you. Body Blur’s hydrating and softening formula with shea butter works like foundation for your body, to help blur and conceal while giving you a gorgeous tinted glow. I used the Latte shade and applied the product with my hands as it washes off really easily. I found rubbing the cream in circular motions helped me to achieve the most natural and even tan. It took about 10 minutes to dry and leaves you looking radiant. What’s not to love?

Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish, £29.95

Tan Luxe self-tan

I’ve tried many gradual tans and found that I’m always left with streaks and bits I’ve missed. If that sounds like you, then this is the one. I applied this like a normal moisturiser, making sure to cover my hands, elbows and toes properly. Within two hours I had a gorgeous natural-looking glow that kept developing throughout the day and left me looking like I’d just stepped off the beach. You can also use this product daily so no one will ever know it came from a bottle. In the words of the brand – no streaks. No smells. No drama.

Tan Luxe The Gradual Illuminating Tanning Lotion, £22
Foamie sponge

If you’ve been trying to fake it till you make it over the summer and can’t shift those annoying fake-tan blotches, then give this alternative exfoliator a whirl. Take it into the shower and let the sponge do the rest. There's a sneaky bar of cream cleanser inside the sponge so you just get it wet, give it a squeeze and scrub. I exfoliated my whole body and was left feeling silky smooth and nourished. I found it really kind on my skin as exfoliating fake tan can take its toll, but I wasn’t left with any redness after using Foamie. It’s also vegan-friendly for all you animal lovers out there!

Foamie Mocca Exfoliating Peel Soap & Sponge, £7.99


Pictures: ASOS

I can’t deny it – thanks to the best summer in the UK ever, I’ve taken every opportunity to get myself out in the sun to top up my fast-fading holiday tan. But after reading about how much the sun damages your skin and the risks that come with it, it’s got me scared that I’ll look 70 at the age of 25. In comes Ultrasun’s Anti-Age SPF 30. I just apply some in the morning under my makeup for that extra protection, or if I’m going makeup-free I just pop it in my handbag to keep reapplying throughout the day. I can also bust the myths that you won’t get a tan if you wear lots of sunscreen – I did (and the freckles that came with it). 

Ultrasun Anti-Age SPF 30 Face Sun Protection For Very Sensitive Skin, £20