Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fake Bake "Flawless" Review

This is my own personal review of products that I have purchased. This review is not sponsored. The following is my personal opinion!

I like to use something repeatedly before I review it, so I'm now out of this product because I used the whole thing. And I'm ordering more. Yes, Fake Bake's "Flawless" is pretty awesome for a sunless tanner.


Fake Bake is a sunless tanner company that offers a wide range of various lotions, sprays, etc. I picked this company because they had a lot of great reviews and they're listed as cruelty-free. Their prices may be more than drugstore sunless tanners, but I figure if you're shelling out money for something frivolous like sunless tanner, you'd better add in a few extra bucks for a nice product.

In the past I've tried a variety of lotions, and did a spray tan once. Jergens Natural Glow (around $7) is probably the most popular sunless tanner, and I've gone through a few tubes of it in the past. It probably isn't the worst, but it smelled godawful and always turned me more orange than I'd like. It was also blotchy no matter how well I rubbed it in before bed. The spray tan I had, which I don't remember the name of, turned me very orange, and I ended up scrubbing it off asap. It cost $30.

I settled on Fake Bake's Flawless ($24.99 on their website) since it seemed to be the most hassle-free, and had the most consistent good reviews. In the box you get a bottle of the sunless tanner, an application mitt, the spray head for the bottle (the bottle comes with a standard cap), a set of gloves, and instructions.

The average color I kept with Fake Bake Flawless
Applying this was very easy. After a shower, just spray it onto the mitt, and rub it into your dry, clean skin. The colour guide can be a little faint sometimes, but shows you where you've applied it. It smells nice too--like coconuts. There is a little fake-tan smell under that, but it was never strong enough to bother me. Your bed is going to end up smelling like coconuts and faintly like fake tan though, so look forward to changing your sheets more often if the smell bothers you. I didn't have much of a problem with this coming off on my clothes or sheets. It seems to stay on my body, and just my body, after it dries properly (it dries very fast), but if you sweat it'll come off, or if you accidentally splash water on your skin it'll come off. So just be careful after application. If you rub heavily at it, it will come off, so it really is important that you do this right before bed as intended!

The absolute darkest I ever got the color--leaving the color guide on for photos

Now onto the color. If you rub this tanner on a paper towel, it looks brown, and seems to have a brown/red base. I'm very pleased with the color. It's the most natural looking FAKE tan I've seen. It still has a slight orange tone to it, but it has more of a brown tone than any other sunless tanner I've seen. If you use this every night for a week, you're going to look like you spent the weekend somewhere tropical. The first application is very light, but colors my skin enough that my darker foundation matches my skin. The next application is what makes it noticeable though, I think. The third application should definitely be making you darker. So by the end of about an application each night for a week, I had the tan color I wanted for gyaru style. This was to get a very tan look very quick though. It's more sane to use it every other night or every two nights for a medium to dark tan. Once or twice a week is good for a light tan. The color lasts anywhere from 4-7 days if you stop applying it, and will gradually fade, or you can scrub most of it off with a loofah in the shower.

The normal things that apply to self tanners apply to this as well... like you want to do a nice exfoliation before use, and try not to scrape your skin too much afterwards as it can make the color wear unevenly.
The rate at which you shed skin, and where will determine the wear of any self tanner. I tend to shed the colour first on my arms where the backs of my elbows are (aka, where the skin of my forearm meets the skin of my upperarm). Fake Bake Flawless lasts pretty well for me until the weather starts to get hot and humid, because sweating almost constantly wears the color away quickly, and I have to take more care with my skin.

Out of using this A LOT I've only had an application problem once where it just refused to cling onto my chest for some reason (might have been the soap I used?). The next night after a shower, I applied it to my chest again and didn't have a problem. One other weird thing I had happen was when I stopped applying it and it wore off unevenly and I was pretty splotchy for two days. Again, it was probably something I did or didn't do. Also worth mentioning, if you go to the beach with a tan built up from this, try not to rub your skin too much. I applied sunblock, went for a swim, got some sand stuck on me, and towel-dried myself, and the tanner came off in pretty gross rolls on my skin. Hello, natural exfoliation. Sorry if you were, like, eating or something and I just grossed you out. So really, exfoliation and moisturization is a big factor with self tanner so you'll have to find a system that works for your skin.

The included application mitt is both a wonder and a source of annoyance for me. It applies the product well. Circular motions=even color. But the mitt sheds fibers sometimes and made me worry that the color would be darker where the fibers clung to my skin. How to solve this: Just wait. Ignore the fibers. Apply the tanner. When you're done, if you still have fibers stuck to your skin, gently brush them off with your hands. I had the fibers stick to my face, especially, so I just rubbed the mit around until I didn't see them anymore. I think that helped make the color really even on my face anyway. But yeah, the mit annoys me, but doesn't actually pose any application/color problems.

Onto the comparison photos. 'Before' shots are taken with my natural skin color, and 'After' shots are after I applied Fake Bake Flawless, slept with it on my skin overnight, and washed the color guide off the next morning in the shower. I would also ask you to please pardon my old around-the-house flip flops. They're old and dirty, and yeah, sorry about that!

In natural light WITH flash
Natural light, no flash
natural light, no flash
You can see here how the color clung to my knuckles. Moisturize these places beforehand, use less product on them, and you won't have that problem.

natural light, no flash

With flash
I really do love this product because it does what I need it to. It gives me a quick sunless tan that isn't grossly orange (as you can see in the photos, it's still a little orange, but I believe it's less so in real life). It looks close enough to a natural tan that I don't worry. And when I need my natural skin color back, with some exfoliation and moisturization, I have it back in a few days. I use this specifically for gyaru style, and towards that end it achieves my goal, and I'm very happy with it.

Note: I am naturally pretty pale and usually take the lightest foundation color in most drugstore brands. I use Mac's NW20 which is actually a little darker than my natural tone. After using Fake Bake, I take the next color up in drugstore brands, sometimes the second color up.


  1. I used this exact self tanner all last summer! I really liked it too, I think fake bake has the most natural look out of all the self tanners I've tried. The issue I had with mine was that the mist got all over my white bathroom and stained it! And my bottle leaked. :( I ended up switching to the lotion, and I think I liked it a bit better than the spray. Great review!

    1. I think it has the most natural look too. Oh no! That sounds like a mess :/ I'm lucky I haven't had any staining issues (also my bathroom is a weird off white color, so that helps haha). I'd like to try the lotion, especially with cold weather now, so I'm glad to hear you like it! Thanks for reading!