Top positive review
2,744 people found this helpful
A hopefully most helpful, cohesive review
on July 9, 2012
When reviewing a self-tan product, I believe it's extremely important to introduce certain characteristics of the author in order for readers to determine whether the product should apply to them. Before I begin, I am 21 years old and extremely fair. As a child, I was decidedly ginger/strawberry blonde, so my skin WILL NOT tan - not then, not now. I've tried a lot of sunless tanners throughout my middle school/high school/collegiate struggle to be tan (or at least a normal, non-ghost shade). This ranges from L'Oreals Sublime Bronze lotions/sprays, to Model Co. products, to Xen Tan, and lots of other brands.
As of now, this Fake Bake Flawless is my favorite self-tan product I've ever used. I'd argue that, when used properly, this is the best sunless tanner. The color guard in combination with the mitt makes sure I get every single square inch of my body, no streaks. It dried in minutes, and I was able to dress quickly. The liquid develops into a wonderful brown (not orange!) color, and it was even and believable. HOWEVER... it must be used properly :)
There are a few reviews on here that have complaints about this product that I'm going to address here (mostly noting why they're silly complaints). The first major complaint is "bottle leakage" - the spray bottle that comes with the product is too long for the bottle. The natural solution I came up with was cutting down the straw to make it short enough to fit in the bottle and prevent leaks. CUT THE STRAW before you use and your Fake Bake won't leak! The second major complaint is about the application mitt. Some people say it leaves fuzzy stuff on them, some people say it should have velour on both sides, and some people think it won't last until the tanning product runs out. All of these are wrong. If you've shaved and don't press too hard, your mitt should NOT be leaving fuzzes on you. You're supposed to lightly buff the product on. If the mitt had velour on both sides, there would be risk for rubbing extra tanning solution in random places, most notably on your body where it can leave a streak. One of my biggest tips in using this product is WASH the mitt of all leftover tanning solution after each use. This will keep it in MUCH better shape.
To get the brown, amazing results that most reviewers gush about for this product... it's not hard. Here are some steps to follow.
Step 1: Shave and exfoliate with a Baiden mitten or a similar Turkish bath mitt. If you don't know what it is, promptly go purchase it and use it and be amazed. UPDATE 4/28/2014: Dry brushing thoroughly prior to entering the shower is also adequate exfoliation.
Step 2: Take some scissors and snip off a bit more than an inch of the spray bottle attachment that came with the product, and put the modified attachment onto the bottle. This WILL prevent all leaking.
Step 3: Rub body cream (I use Bliss Lemon & Sage body butter, the BEST cream EVER) into your elbows, knees, ankles, and knuckles. Let it dry.
Step 4: Apply sunless solution as per the directions, using the gloves and the mitt, spraying on the mitt and then LIGHTLY buffing the color all over (it's probably best to put a tiny dab of body lotion on your knees and elbows and ankles).
Step 5: This is my personal step that really helps me as an extremely pale person get a beautiful, even, brown tan. Everyone hates the tell-tale splotching on hands/feet that give away the fact that you're wearing a store bought tan. I highly recommend that every pale someone purchase a product called Xen Tan Blending Balm. Once you're done applying the tanner all over, including hands and feet, take your blending balm and go over your elbows, ankles, knuckles, sides of feet/hands, and wrists. I usually don't need Blending Balm on my knees when I use body butter. This will prevent the tan from developing into too-dark territory. UPDATE 7/25/2014: Xen Tan Blending Balm is almost impossible to find these days, but its first ingredient is petrolatum. Use some Vaseline instead if you can't find the Blending Balm. I also recommend using Smith's rosebud salve or any Badger balm.
OVERALL... The Fake Bake Flawless system is fantastic. It's well-priced and delivers beautiful results (even for gingers), and beats the inconvenience associated with going to the spray tan place. When the correct measures are taken, it looks great for a long time. If you're looking for a deep, dark tropical tan, you'll need to apply it a few nights in a row. My advice is BUY THIS NOW. And then order some Xen Tan Blending Balm and a Baiden mitten (both very important!) OR as per update 7/25/2014 you can also use a dry brush pre-shower instead of a bath mitt and Vaseline/Smith's rosebud salve/Badger balm instead of blending balm.
UPDATE: September 27, 2012
After finishing a whole bottle of Fake Bake, I'm happy to report that the velour mitten is still in tact. I'm adding this edit to emphasize how important it is to wash your mitten between uses. Washing the mitten also prevents leftover solution from becoming reactivated and leaving darker splotches in random places during application. Seriously yall, WASH YOUR MITTEN.
UPDATE: December 13, 2013
Something I never mentioned in this review which I should have... The color guard is GREAT. It's gorgeous and brown. But... It will streak when it rains, and wash off in the shower, and rub off on your sheets. Which, to me, is whatever. It's fine. But it's just good to know and plan around! For instance... I opted to use Jergens the night before Carolina Cup a couple years back because I knew it would be rainy and I didn't want everyone and their momma noting how streaky my tan seemed to get in the drizzle. Anyways, just wanted to give this little update. Happy tanning :)
UPDATE: April 28, 2014
Years later, I'm still obsessed with this tanning product :) However, like many people in the comments note, the product doesn't last as long as other sunless tanners without maintenence. Personally, I've found that this is a wonderful option when you need a light tan the day before a big event, such as a wedding or a horse race or a tailgate, and you don't have much time to devote to getting it perfect and you don't want to smell like you've been tanning. Fake Bake Flawless is also an ideal option for people who have never applied their own sunless tanner before, as it is basically idiot-proof.
UPDATE: July 25, 2014
A whole 3 years later, after 2 Fake Bake Flawless kits, I still have both velour mitts. I always use them when I tan. I don't always use the Flawless system anymore, as it doesn't develop dark enough to my liking. My top two tanning products are Tanwise mousse via Sally Beauty and St. Moriz self tanning spray in dark, which you can find at Ulta. Both always applied with gloves and mitt, after exfoliation, with the Xen Tan blending balm. Keep in mind that these are MY favorites, but I've been self tanning for more than a decade. If you've never had success with a self tan product, buy the Fake Bake Flawless.
Because of so many comments about how this product doesn't last, I'm going to recommend another option that I really love. For those of you who want a longer lasting tan, with a more difficult application, I recommend Tanwise Lotion or Mousse. The lotion stays on FOREVER. Tanwise is not a product for the faint of heart - it goes on VERY dark and stains your skin in streaks unless you blend QUICKLY. The other issue with the Tanwise is the bronzers WILL stain your hands, and the only way to get it off is with baking soda. I went to Charleston recently and applied this the morning of a very long day of bar crawling, and my arms were still tan at work a whole week later. You can find Tanwise products here on Amazon or at a Sally Beauty supply near you - but remember, they are NOT easy to apply correctly. The Fake Bake Flawless is still my absolute favorite product for a quick, easy, pretty, coconut-scented tan. I like to apply the Tanwise mousse with the gloves and mitt from my Fake Bake kit and it always works perfectly.