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The New Loving Tan? Ulta Self Tanning Mousse Review & Comparison

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Self tanner is my best frenemy in the summer months. It’s a b*tch to deal with, but I feel like a whole new woman with a fresh self tan glow. I know you feel me on that. If you saw my recent blog post where I share all my tips & tricks for self tanner application, you know that Loving Tan has been my go to self tanner for years!

Buttt that doesn’t mean I’m not in the market to test out new self tanners… especially ones that are $47 cheaper than Loving Tan! (That’s $47 more towards my weekend wine fund so I’ll take it thank you very much). So when I discovered the Ulta Self Tanning Express Tan Tinted Mousse I knew I needed to test it out ASAP.

Based on the packaging alone, it looks like this is Ulta’s version of the Loving Tan 2 Hr Express. It claims that you will develop a light tan with 1 hour of wear, a medium tan with 2 hours of wear, and a deep tan with 3+ hours of wear.

You already know I went for the deep tan.

My First Attempt

The first time I tested this mousse out I decided to just apply it before bed and sleep in it. BOY was that a mistake. I felt like I was crawling out of my skin for the first 2-3 days. It was SO itchy. Like I’m itchy just thinking about it itchy. The color was also much deeper than I was expecting- which don’t get me wrong, is a good thing, but also my hands & feet looked like Flamin Hot Cheetos. Not my best look.

Lesson learned: Don’t wear for 8+ hours. Don’t sleep in it. Use a ton of lotion to moisturize and prevent itchiness.

My Second Attempt

I had to test it out again because this self tanner is so cheap. $12.99 for 6.7 fl oz?! Insane. Plus they frequently run deals on Ulta brand like BOGO 50% off. This time I chilled out and wore the mousse for 4 hours. I washed it off and immediately applied lotion. Then in the morning, I applied lotion again because I felt slightly itchy (not nearly as bad as the first time). After that second layer of moisture in the AM, I was good to go! No crazy itchiness, and the color developed perfectly.

Let’s talk ratings. As an FYI, a 5/5 means perfection- there’s no improvements needed. When it comes to fake tan, a 5/5 is one that: applies and blends easily, builds up to a deep color, has no orangey hue (I’ve never tried a self tanning product that isn’t slightly orange tbh), doesn’t have a noticeable smell after showering for the first time, is comfortable to wear, lasts for a week (also almost impossible I know lol), and fades evenly without splotchiness.

High standards? Obviously. Here we go.

Here’s how I’d rate the Ulta Self Tanning Express Mousse Overall:

  • Easy Application & Blend-ability: 5/5
  • Builds to a Deep Color: 5/5
  • No Orangey Hue: 3.5/5
  • No Lasting Smell: 5/5
  • Comfortability Alone: 0/5 (no drama just honesty)
  • Comfortability with Lotion: 4/5
  • Lasting Power: 4/5
  • Fades Nicely: 5/5

Compared to how I’d rate Loving Tan:

  • Easy Application & Blend-ability: 5/5
  • Builds to a Deep Color: 5/5
  • No Orangey Hue: 4.5/5
  • No Lasting Smell: 5/5
  • Comfortability Alone: 4/5
  • Comfortability with Lotion: 5/5
  • Lasting Power: 4/5
  • Fades Nicely: 4.5/5

Final Thoughts:

I was really surprised to find that there wasn’t a huge difference between the two products! If I can save $47+ on self tanner and just have to worry about applying lotion more frequently than normal, I’m all about it. Ulta’s Self Tanning Mousse is going to be my new go-to for an average weekend where I just feel like looking more tan, and Loving Tan will be saved for special occasions!

Throughout the week while wearing this self tanner I was very liberal with lotion and applied it twice a day (which I normally don’t need to do with Loving Tan) because I would start to feel a little bit of itchiness creeping up in the AM and PM. But after that, it felt totally comfortable on my skin.

What do you think? Are you going to test this product out? Let me know in the comments below!

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This entry was posted in: Beauty


Abbey Yung is the Creator of the platform Ask Abbey- a Blog, Podcast & YouTube Channel. She is also the Creator of the E-Book series called The Healthy Lifestyle Project. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, wellness, makeup & skincare. Anything that can make us feel our best & look our best, she's all for. She loves researching, testing out what she finds & sharing only the best of the best. Growing up, she wishes she would've had a one stop shop to ask questions & find answers on these topics, so that's why she created Ask Abbey. You ask, she'll answer. xx

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