Skip Nav
9 Summer Makeup Palettes You Can Get at Sephora — All Under $50
Beauty News
Here's a Sneak Peek at Maybelline's Upcoming Wonder Woman Makeup Collection!
The Key to Passing a Physics Exam? Hiding the Formulas Under Your Nails, Apparently

Product Review: Victoria's Secret Bare Bronze Gleaming Self-Tan Body Tint

Product Review: Victoria's Secret Bare Bronze Gleaming Self-Tan Body Tint

Even though there are hundreds (thousands?) of self-tanners out there, I’m pretty lazy about using them. It’s just so much work to exfoliate, wipe on the tanner, and wait for the tan to build. I want instant results, dangit.

More or less, that’s what Victoria’s Secret Bare Bronze Gleaming Self-Tan Body Tint ($18) provides. This self-tanner lotion provides a shimmery tint right away, all the while working on the actual faux tan as well. When it comes out of the tube, it’s a disarmingly artificial shade of deep bronze. Fortunately, though, it spreads out evenly and smoothly on skin, and then it’s subtle (even on very pale complexions).

To see a before-and-after photo,


I decided to “tan up” before the Sugar girls’ Sex and the City premiere party. But of course, because I didn’t exactly think ahead, I also used this opportunity to test the product. This means that I wound up having one naturally pale leg and another tan one. Sexy!

Here’s a really, really flattering photo of my untouched leg and my Bare Bronzed leg immediately after application. As you can see, the treated leg has a little bit more shimmer and just a hint of color.

And here’s my leg just three hours later, shot from an equally attractive angle. It isn't a super-deep tan yet, but I can tell it's deepening.

I like Bare Bronze because it gives immediate gratification, and the eventual tan color isn’t orangey. I’m not so crazy about the fragrance; like so many Victoria’s Secret products, this one’s scent is too strong. All in all, though, it’s a good choice if you want to take baby steps into the world of self-tanning — and if you want to see a difference right away.

See reader reviews of this product and add your own here!

Join The Conversation
gossipgirl782 gossipgirl782 9 years
I wondered about their self tanners. I really like Neutrogena Summer Glow-it is similar to the Jergens type but it does smell a smidge better and I really did see a difference within 2 days. I may have to try this one though. Thanks!!
jfellows1631 jfellows1631 9 years
I tried the Jergens one, for two weeks +, and never saw a difference!
paine paine 9 years
yeah the back part is always tough, how can you do it? only by asking help. from so many self tanners, which ones do actually work? cause I´m very pale.
karlorene karlorene 9 years
i'm not into the self tanner stuff because i always wonder... how am i supposed to get my back? and all of the parts of me I can't reach? lol
chiquita29 chiquita29 9 years
Thanks for reviewing this Bella! This is actually on my "things to try" list. Right now i'm using Clinique's Self-sun face/body SPF15 self-tanner. This one builds up color gradually as well. It says 100% fragrace free, but it does have that smell that all self-tanners have. It doesn't bother me much though.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I'll have to give this one a try for a little color in the summer. I'm super pale and I always come out orange. I like that it's instant so you know if the color works for you or not.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I've learned to embrace my pale skin. Smelling funky and having it stain clothing or bedding isn't worth it to me.
sagittarius sagittarius 9 years
Self tanners always appeal to me, even though I already do have a natural tan :S But I can never stick to using them because of the smell. I thought it was just the Jergens one at first but I realized it's all self tanning products, which is a shame...
oh-cecilia-baby oh-cecilia-baby 9 years
the smell of sunless tanners really kill it for me. i've tried so many but i can never follow through with the routine because i cannot stand that smell. i kinda wanna try this though :)
Brooklynbee Brooklynbee 9 years
I've never used a self tanner. I don't believe in trying to change one's skin color.
kahribar kahribar 9 years
Thanks for the pics, the color is perfect and sounds easy to use.
Beauty Beauty 9 years
Yeah, it has a vague self-tanner smell, but it's fragranced, so it doesn't smell awful. It's just stronger than I would like, but it's not an olfactory assault or anything. Thanks, Brittanyk. They are Chie Miharas that I got on sale (as I get everything on sale) a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, a catering waiter spilled cucumber soup on them and now they smell vaguely spa-ish like that. :/
okmaebe okmaebe 9 years
Check it out you guys. It's got a nicer smell than a lot of them. The fragrance is strong, but not bad.
brittanyk brittanyk 9 years
I like that this is instant. Also, it looks natural, I'm pretty pale so self tanner always looks fake on me. And on a completely unrelated note, I like your shoes.
emalove emalove 9 years
I only really care for those gradual self-tanners, like Jergen's Natural Glow. And I agree, JackieA, that self-tanners have a terrible smell. All of them do.
JackieA JackieA 9 years
Did you think it had a weird smell? Every self tanner I've ever used has smellled like Saltines or teriyaki chicken, but maybe this one is different. I'm curious to find out.
silly3 silly3 9 years
Thanks Bella! I've been thinking about self-tanner, having never used it before, but am worried about how weird it might look. Way to take one for the entire Sugar team and not only try this on one leg, but also take pictures!
Adriana Lima's Sexiest Victoria's Secret Moments
Elsa Hosk Bikini Instagrams
Adriana Lima's Abs Pictures
Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette
From Our Partners
Latest Beauty
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds