Sponsored Post: St Tropez Express Tan Bronzing Face Sheet Mask

Professional paleface Sali Hughes takes the expressway to a golden complexion, and finds herself seriously impressed


It’s a well documented fact that tanning is not really my bag. I have been white-on-the-verge-of-blue for my entire life, and I’m used to it. When it’s time to get bare-legged, I bronze with wash-off tans, but leave the rest of my body mostly untouched because, well, I can’t really be bothered with the faff of scrubs, creams, lotions, gels, stained towels and the chemical smell. So I was surprised when St Tropez asked me to try their brand new Express Tan Bronzing Face Sheet Mask (£15 for two) and by their confidence that I’d approve. Here, the information pack assured me, was the very first-to-market bronzing sheet mask which, after just five minutes’ wear, would impart a subtle, even, golden glow to my complexion, developing fully over the next eight hours. For a more pronounced “tan”, I was to leave it on for 10 minutes, and for a proper, deep bronze, a quarter of an hour. I may not crave a tan, but I do love glow, and so opting for level one was a no-brainer.

Like any wet sheet mask, the St Tropez comes in a hygienic foil packet and is unfolded and placed over cleansed and exfoliated skin, adjusted a bit to avoid eyes and mouth, while smoothing out any air bubbles (that could cause patchiness) with fingertips. It’s a 20-second job at most. Here, I want to say to any fellow dry skin sufferers, was the first pleasing thing about the mask: I didn’t feel bereft of my serum, which I’d normally have to slap on in abundance immediately after cleansing, just to prevent soreness. No, the mask was moist enough (it contains hyaluronic acid for this reason) to keep everything super comfy, hydrated and plumped up for the duration of the treatment and beyond. The paper stays securely in place, but I got horizontal anyway because well, why would anyone avoid the opportunity for a nice lie down with a good podcast? (The Savage Lovecast. Trust me.) My second surprise was the smell. There’s not even a whiff of damp biscuits from the mask which, given that it sits right under one’s nose, is quite something.

There’s heaps of product in the mask, which caused me mild anxiety that I’d turn orange and not have any foundation to suit, but I needn’t have worried. I took off the mask after exactly five minutes, noted than my skin looked lovely, massaged in the excess St Tropez serum, including around my eyes (no stinging, no ski goggle tidemarks), into my nose creases and onto my ears and neck (no one wants a two-tone face) and went about my business sans moisturiser (I know, it’s unprecedented). Instead of washing my fingertips, as always directed by self tan brands, I slathered them in greasy hand cream and wiped on a paper towel, as always directed by, erm, me (the oiliness lifts the active ingredients better than soap and water, in my view). The whole treatment was beyond easy, to the point where I felt slightly robbed of the R&R time associated with less speedy, more complicated masks. My skin looked instantly brighter and plumper, and within two hours, I could see the full, glowy effect, which was basically that I appeared to be wearing a beautiful tinted moisturiser and concealer just one or two shades darker than my own. Makeup (in this case, only a cream blush and some undereye corrector) went straight over the top with no impact on the evenness of the bronzing and as soon as the colour had developed fully to a golden (not tangerine) glow, I slapped on a load of sunblock and went out (I shouldn’t have to remind anyone that having a bronzed face does not mean it’s better protected in the sun. It absolutely doesn’t). I was pleasantly surprised to find I loved the novelty of looking sunkissed with so little effort and makeup. It gave a casual, healthy and outdoorsy look as opposed to my usual high maintenance vampiric vibe. It blended in my dark patches of melasma, and looked very pretty as a base for my Dior pinky bronzer on the cheeks.

Hardcore tanners or those naturally darker of skin will find the five minute treatment insufficient, and should opt for either 10 or 15 minutes, according to taste. The colour certainly deepens with longer treatments though interestingly, the staying power is about the same, regardless of treatment time. I got three days and a natural looking, rather than patchy, fade-out. Those less religious in their twice-daily hot cloth cleansing and thrice-weekly liquid AHA-ing, may get an even longer lasting colour.

St Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Face Sheet Mask is £15 for two masks and is available here

If you fancy being in with a chance of winning one of 50 St Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Face Sheet Masks, leave a comment on the thread on the forum by Weds 28th June. Winners will be chosen at random. Good luck!

The SHB promise: This is a very carefully chosen sponsored post. We routinely turn down any offers of sponsorship from brands looking to promote a product we don’t believe in, because we will never say we love something when we don’t. We will never fail to declare advertising or editorial sponsorship. We never engage in “immersive” coverage, where favourable reviews for commercial gain are integrated into editorial reviews of other, non-commercially considered products. There will be no exceptions to these, our self-imposed rules of conduct, ever.

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