Last year I reviewed the new 1 Hour self tan from Cocoa Brown* and it's still one of my most popular posts to date (clearly people want to check out reviews to avoid a terrible radioactive orange disaster!) This year I've been able to try out three new products from Cocoa Brown: the 1 Hour Dark Tan*, Lovely Legs* and Gentle Bronze*.
As I said in my review last year, I was never a fake tan aficionado and tended towards trying to tan naturally to avoid looking like I've been tangoed (so 2000s right?) but that all changed when I tried out Cocoa Brown last year. I was a little scared of orange peel elbows and terrible streaking, but there was none of that - just beautiful bronzed, natural-looking skin. So of course, I was keen to try out the new launches. I'll take them one at at time...
1 Hour Tan - Dark* (£6.99/100ml)
Seeing as I showed in my post last year how effective the normal Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan was (and you may well be familiar with how it looks on your skin), I thought I'd compare the new Dark version with the original version. The new dark version is said to be perfect for olive skinned ladies (who like a dark chocolate tan), medium toned ladies (who want to experiment with being more bronzed) and pale skinned ladies (who often need multiple layers of tan to get a proper colour)... so that looks like all bases are covered then!
All the details about how to apply are in my post from last year. The new Dark version smells the same as the original (the lovely fragrance of Tahitian gardenia) and although it does go through a slightly biscuity phase, it doesn't last very long (and it's not overpoweringly unpleasant). Application is also as easy as before - use a tanning mitt to cover everywhere you want to tan and you won't get any unsightly streaks.
To show the comparison, I did one side of my body with the original and one with the dark (similar to what I did in my Skinny Tan review last year). At first (after the three hours I initially left the tan on for before washing it off) I was a little disappointed that the dark wasn't darker - but the photo below shows how the tan looked the following day - and you can definitely see the difference between the dark and the original. I think next time I'll leave it on overnight to ensure that I get properly bronzed. Since I'm pretty fair skinned I'll probably stick to the original for the beginning of summer and as we approach July and August I'll move to the dark colour.
Lovely Legs* (£8.99/75ml)
Lovely Legs is a tanning make up that you spray directly onto your legs for an 'instant natural, bronzed Cocoa Brown tan'. Another bonus is that it's supposed to be water resistant - so no streaks if you're caught in the rain or you get a bit hot and sweaty in the summer (nice)! You apply it in much the same way as you would apply normal fake tan: spray it onto a tanning mitt and rub it into your legs. Now, this all sounds just grand - and having been a Rimmel instant tan user for most of my university years, I was really hopeful that this was going to be a new favourite. But sadly my skin is just not the right colour for this. I'm just too pale not to look like I drank too much Sunny Delight in the 90s and still have a hangover from it. It was good at not rubbing off in patches (like I've found the Rimmel one does) and I did try splashing myself with water and again it held up to that... so if you're naturally a few shades darker than alabaster, give it a go.
Gentle Bronze is a gradual tan moisturiser - which moisturises your skin at the same time as building a natural bronze glow if you apply it over the course of a few days. It has the same lovely fragrance as the other tanners in the range (and the same fleeting biscuit smell when it starts to react with the skin). I wanted to try this out for a few weeks before reviewing it, due to needing to use it over a few days. I'm afraid I don't have photos of it, but I can say that it's another hit from Cocoa Brown. If you don't want to look as tanned as you would with the 1 Hour tanner, but just want a bit of colour to take away the pasty hues of winter, then this is a great option. I've tried putting it on at night before bed, as well as using it in the morning. Both work well and a glow can be seen after a few hours. I also use it to top up my 1 Hour Tan as that starts to fade. You do have to be a bit careful to rub it in evenly, otherwise you can get strange lines. I wouldn't build it up over more than say three or four days, because elbows and ankles can start to look a bit messy.
For me, it's two successes out of the three products - and the third may have worked if I had a different skin tone. Cocoa Brown is consistently the tan I recommend to friends, particularly ones who have an aversion to fake tan. It's easy-to-use, effective, smells good and is really affordable.
Cocoa Brown products are available in Superdrug and Primark, as well as online from Superdrug.com and FeelUnique.com - there are currently some good save 1/3 offers in Superdrug!