Sisley Self Tanning Hydrating Facial Skin Care

When it comes to fake tan, I’m picky. I don’t want orange, I don’t want patchiness, and I definitely don’t want that post-tan smell.

Skincare - Tan

Here’s a claim for you. This may be the most expensive fake tan out there – alternative contenders welcome. It’s certainly the priciest I’ve come across and hope I ever will. I’m talking about the Sisley Self Tanning Hydrating Facial Skin Care, aka the only fake tan I continuously re-purchase.

For US$145/AUD$180/£97, I have to really like a product. Actually, I have to need it, as in, it makes a difference to how I feel, look, has an overflowing ‘pro’ list and an empty ‘con’ list.  It also has to be unavailable in a more affordable alternative. Most commonly, it’s an Augustinus Bader or La Prairie situation where, as much as I might like it, I can find something else to do the job for significantly less (Sorry Augustinus fans). The Sisley Self Tanning Hydrating Facial Skin Care is a different beast altogether. I’ve even stopped looking for anything better. It has my devout loyalty.

We’re talking fake tan – for the face no less. This is a tough category to compete in. I don’t want smell, I don’t want breakouts, I don’t want orange. Add in the high price and my expectations grow; now I want a little luxury. This is how Sisley comes out on top:

My number one priority – actually there’s two – when it comes to self tan are colour and smell. I’ve tried plenty of great tans but the horrid after-tan smell is so bad that they remain in my cupboard unused for years. I’ve also had plenty of tans that don’t smell as bad, but the colour is either too orange, too patchy, or simply doesn’t last long enough – leaving an undesirable snake skin effect down my legs. Getting the colour and smell to tick the boxes is evidently not an easy task. The Sisley Self Tanning Hydrating Facial Skin Care smashes it.

This facial self tan is foolproof to apply. Forget mitts, forget mixing droplets of tan liquid to your moisturisers and serums like you’re performing a chemistry experiment. I smooth this luxurious cream over my face like a night cream and come morning I’m golden, sun-kissed – but no oompah loompah in site. It commands a “You look, healthy” kind of glow on my fair skin. “Caught the sun?” Yes, I did. The colour is on the natural end of the spectrum from one application, but I prefer not to go heavy all at once. If you’re a lot deeper than my pale self, and want a two-weeks-in-Fiji tan overnight, you’ll probably find this too subtle. It’s certainly lighter than a slather of St Tropez. But forget patches of tell-tale white skin and streaks. Not once have I woken up to discover an area of my forehead or neck I apparently missed. I can blend this haphazardly down my neck and décolleté without any obvious end-line, and wake up feeling so perked up I forgo foundation or tinted moisturiser altogether. Win. 

You could go heavier with the application amount for more colour straight out, without much fear of a tanning disaster. I personally prefer to do it gradually and re-apply every few days. When it comes to tanning the face, I know many people who just say no. Their bodies are a completely different colour to their face, preferring to even things out with makeup and bronzers than bring pore-clogging fake tan into the mix. Of all the facial tanning products I’ve tried from mists, mousses and drops, almost all of them result in unwanted skin issues like blackheads, increased oiliness in some and dryness in others. 

The Sisley Self Tan is unique; no blackheads, no tightness. It feels like skincare. The cream itself is a beautiful nourishing consistency, with plenty of slip that it blends over the skin beautifully. There’s a noticeable Sisley fragrance straight out of the tube, which I find pleasant, and only the faintest hint of a tan smell in the few hours after application as the colour develops. And I mean faint.

The number one reason I stop using a fake tan product is the after-smell. What is worse than waking up to bed linen and clothing that smells of biscuits, as some call it? I have it on good authority that the significant others in our lives are not fans either. Even if a product’s colour isn’t giving the game away, the smell definitely is. I love that I can apply the Sisley self tan – morning or evening – without fear of wafting that smell around.

I don’t write about a product as expensive as this lightly. The fact is, I just haven’t found anything else that can compete on the same level. Put simply, the Sisley Hydrating Facial Skin Care the only facial tan I’ve found worthy of a re-purchase. When something is marketed at a higher price it often generates the question; is it worth it? As with all beauty products, you don’t need this if it’s out of your financial reach or you’re satisfied with your current product. I know plenty of people who will say that no fake tan is worth that. But if facial tanning is a priority for you and your budget permits, this is a glorious product. I’ll go as far as to say, I do need this. My new tube has just arrived and guess what – I’ll be tanning tonight.  

Find Sisley at Selfridges, Space NK, David Jones, and Sisley