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I’ve Tried Every Self-Tan at MECCA – These Are My Favourites

January 1 | 3 minute read

Memo Trying Every Tan At Mecca Hero 16x9

As told to Samantha Brigden

Originally published on | January 2

Self-tan has come a long way. No longer are we stuck with one too-dark, orange-toned foam; with everything from self-tanning drops to mists, moisturisers and mousses, there are more options on our shelves than ever. 

As someone with a ghost-like glow (and a 25-year relationship with SPF), I find the countless options a bit intimidating. But when the weather warms up and my skin emerges from hibernation under winter layers, I understand the appeal. 

So, when I heard MECCA Social Media Specialist Makenzie Anderson state that she had tried “every single self-tan at MECCA”, I was intrigued. I had to know – which ones make the cut as her personal ‘best of the best’? And, which ones work for everyone from the beginner (aka me) to the expert (aka her)?

“This is one of my favourite self-tanning brands. I recommend Luna Bronze to anyone that’s new to self-tanning – and those with sensitive skin or a preference for plant-derived ingredients!

“Their Glow Gradual Tanning Moisturiser is the perfect option for those who want a more subtle, natural look. Buildable and hydrating, it’s easy to apply and super forgiving.

“You can also use this to extend the life of your self-tan; I love using it between applications of the Total Eclipse Express Tanning Mousse.”

For the seasoned self-tanner... 


“This is the one I turn to before a big event! This tan is super versatile – it’s designed to be layered depending on the desired depth of your tan. Apply one layer for a golden glow or up to three for a post-Euro summer bronze!

“Like with any self-tan, prep is the most important step. ELEFFECT’s The Exfoliating Mitt is my absolute number-one accessory. I use this the night before tanning to ensure my skin is exfoliated and any remaining tan is removed.”

Read our full guide to self-tan prep here.

“Add this to your summer skincare routine ASAP! Because I’m so careful to protect my face from the sun every day (SPF, always!), it tends to be a bit lighter than my body. Adding a few drops of this into my moisturiser gives my complexion a glow to match my body, which is great for makeup-free days.

“What makes Isle of Paradise so special is their colour-correcting formulas, designed to be customised for different skin tones. Their body line is the same – and even better, their clear formulas don’t transfer onto clothes or sheets.

“One important note: make sure to wash your hands after using this to avoid staining your palms (its colourless nature can sometimes lull you into a false sense of security!). Plus, if you have blonde eyebrows – or have recently tinted them – you should also avoid that area.”

For when you’re in a rush…

James Read Tan Glow20 Express Tan Mousse

“This was one of the very first tans I tried, and it holds a special place in my heart. An express tan is a great alternative for anyone short on time, or if you prefer not to sleep in your tan (especially if you’ve invested in expensive bedding!).

“This product dries on the skin quickly and doesn’t leave you feeling sticky, while still giving you enough time to apply evenly. In just 20 minutes, you can achieve a light bronze – ideal for last-minute plans or when you don’t have a spare second in your busy social calendar.”

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