By Rita Kokshanian
Updated Feb 16, 2015 @ 3:28 pm
St. Tropez
Credit: Courtesy

While most self-tanners have to be left on for an extended amount of time, sometimes even overnight, to achieve sun-kissed results, St. Tropez's Express Bronzing Mousse promises a healthy glow in one hour flat---and a bronzed goddess appearance in three hours. Putting the product to the time-test, we asked Editorial Assistant Rita Kokshanian to try it out and see exactly how long it took to fake a natural-looking tan. Keep reading to see what she thought, and to find out if it worked!

I grew up in Los Angeles, and although I've lived on the East Coast for close to eight years, I still can’t get over the fact that I can’t maintain my year-round tan in the chilly New York temps. In college, that meant hitting up the tanning salon once or twice a week, but I’ve put that habit to rest in favor of self-tanners. My never-ending search for the perfect glow led me to St. Tropez’s Express Bronzing Mousse ($44; This product is cool because unlike other self-tanners, you rinse it off after a specified amount of time. One hour for a “healthy glow,” two for a “golden bronze” and three for a “deep tan.”

Not knowing how my skin would take to the product, I decided to go for the first option. After exfoliating in the shower (the packaging recommends using St. Tropez’s Tan Enhancing Body Polish, but I had Orlane Paris’ Aqua Svelte on hand so I used that instead) and moisturizing my elbows, knees, ankles, and feet, I used St. Tropez’s applicator mitt to apply the lightweight mousse, starting at my legs and working my way up to my neck, avoiding my face since my skin has the tendency to break out like a 15-year-old's. I immediately noticed the smell---it still smelled like self-tanner, but with a pleasant floral scent added in that made it more bearable. An hour later, I hopped back in the shower and rinsed with some soap.

Right away, my skin had a noticeable bronze to it, but the full results didn't appear until the next morning. To my surprise, I woke up to a darker, just-back-from-vacation tan. Even after showering again, the color remained, and two days later I’m still kind of shocked at my amazing glow.

Would I use the Express Bronzing Mousse again? One hundred percent, yes. In fact, I’m going to start using it on the reg.