Famous Dave’s Luxury Tanning Mousse gold edition review

I’d never heard of Famous Dave’s self-tan before but as it turns out, it’s kinda big in the states and is getting lots of love in the UK from mags like Cosmo and Glamour. The brand recently set up an SA online shop* and were kind enough to send me a bottle of their Luxury Tanning Mousse Gold Edition, R324,55. It’s a new and improved version of their original best-selling formula and makes use of natural antioxidants like aloe vera juice, pomegranate extract and vitamin E as well as gentle wrinkle-buster retinyl palmitate. It’s also paraben-free and isn’t tested on animals.

I’d read online that some people thought Famous Dave’s self-tan wasn’t deep enough for their liking so I asked the rep to send me one of their darker shades. I first applied it to my arm to see just how dark it would go and was pleasantly surprised:

Famous Dave's self tan mousse swatch
Nice and dark, ne?

Clearly those who moaned must’ve used a different product to the mousse. I also see that the range is nice and broad and has products that promise to give you results that range from just a light tan to a deep believable-looking bronze.

Anyway, as it passed the patch test, I decided to go all the way with the mousse and was super impressed. Like really impressed. It was easy to apply with my hands as it glided across my skin and, as it’s tinted, I could be sure I was covering all my bits. Half way through, I then decided to give the tanning mitt a bash. I’ve been given tanning mitts before but have never bothered to use them. Somehow, I imagined they’d make things tricky but boy was I wrong. The mitt totally rocks and makes swiping the colour all over your bod an absolute breeze. I now feel super stupid for never having used it before. Seriously girls, get yourself a bloody mitt. The difference between non-mitt and mitt application is like chalk and cheese. You then don’t have to worry about stained palms afterwards. Awesome!

It gets better though… by the time I’d covered my whole bod, the tan was bone dry. So much so that I could climb into my clothes straight away and, if I’d wanted to, slip into bed without feeling gross and sticky between the sheets.

Colour-wise, as the mousse is tinted, I looked nice and brown from the get go. Then, when I hopped in the shower a few hours later, the tint washed away to reveal my ‘tan’ which was a very believable shade of ‘so I’ve just spent two weeks in Thailand’. No yellow, no orange, no weird strawberry-hue; just a very lekker bronze. (The moment I have time to take a shot of myself in a vest and it’s not bloody night time so I don’t have to use a flash, I’ll update the post with it.)

So, having said all this, I’m now happy to say that Famous Dave’s is my new favourite self-tan. I’ve currently got at least six different self-tanners sitting in my cupboard right now, all from different brands but, once I use them all up, I’ll use my own money to purchase more of Famous Dave’s’. In regards to the others, this is why it kicks ass; colour-wise, it’s just as good as Caribbean Tan and St. Tropez. (I like ModelCo’s Tan Mousse too, but have notice that sometimes it looks a bit yellow on my skin.)

Scent-wise, it’s amazing. It doesn’t have ANY weird biscuit-y self-tan smell to speak of. I could easily apply it minutes before a launch and walk out the door without having to worry that anyone would guess that I was busy gettin’ my tan on. In regards to the others; Caribbean Tan looks good but smells vile as it develops, ModelCo manages to disguise its very slight odour with a yummy caramel scent and St. Tropez is almost undetectable.

What makes me want to buy Dave’s over St. Tropez, however, is the price. While St. Tropez costs R375 for 120ml (R3,12 per ml), Dave’s is only R324,99 for 200ml making it just R1,60 per ml. That’s almost half the price!

In all, if you’ve been searching for the perfect penultimate self-tanner, Famous Dave’s’ might just be it.

Love, love


*I’m having issues creating a link to the store, God knows why. The addie is easy; www.famousdaves.co.za

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