Although some reviewers complain that Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel is a bit expensive, many say that it is worth the cost due to its easy-to-use formula that produces natural-looking color. Like other self-tanning creams, Clarins' formula relies on dihydroxyacetone (DHA) to produce color within hours of application. It also contains erythrulose, which takes longer to develop but may help the tan last longer.
Experts consistently rate Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel as the best self tanner for its easy application. Editors at Allure magazine explain that you simply "massage a thin layer all over for a foolproof, almost immediate glow from head to toe." The formula works well on both the face and the body, but as with all self tanners, reviewers recommend exfoliating before using the tanner. Doing so virtually guarantees streak-free results, according to users at MakeupAlley.com. Some say it may take a couple of applications to reach the desired color, depending on your skin tone.
A few say that it doesn't layer well and that no subsequent application looks as smooth and even as the first, but many reviewers say the opposite: Clarins tanning is easy to use whether you are looking for subtle color or a deeper bronze. As with all sunless tanners, opinions will vary greatly by skin type and condition, natural skin tone and the skill of the user. All sunless tanners require a bit of practice to get the application technique right.
While a few users at MakeupAlley.com say that Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel leaves a sticky, greasy residue on the skin, most say that the lightweight formula absorbs into skin quickly leaving it smooth and hydrated. Paula Begoun says that the tanner has a "silky lotion base that doesn't feel thick or greasy." Furthermore, many users say that the odor is more tolerable than that of most self tanners and it fades quickly.
Manufacturers say Clarins tanning gel dries so quickly there's no need to wait before getting dressed, but Paula Begoun is skeptical. She says, "I'd play it safe and wait at least 30 minutes to avoid streaks and stained clothing." Several reviewers at MakeupAlley.com say that the formula dries very quickly -- only about 15 minutes.
Reviewers both for and against Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel agree that the initial application only provides subtle color. While some prefer a light hint of color, it may not satisfy those with darker skin tones. The formula can be applied daily in order to build up color, but some are not happy with subsequent results and others don't want the bother. Ultimately, its ability to deliver natural, even color with a lightweight, silky hand earns Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel our best reviewed sunless tanner.
Paula Begoun rates self-tanning lotions and creams in this comprehensive subscription-based database that's become a beauty-product bible for many. Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel is rated for its ingredients, ease of use and tanning results.
Review: Self Tanning Instant Gel by Clarins, Paula Begoun, Dec. 29, 2010
Allure editors choose Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel as one of the two best self tanners after testing thousands of products submitted by readers. No other information is given about any of the products.
Review: 2012 Reader's Choice Awards, Editors of and contributors to Allure magazine, Not dated
Readers of Elle magazine pick Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel as one of the top five self tanners, saying that it dries quickly and is "streak-proof." Products are not ranked, and no comparison information is provided.
Review: Beauty Top 5: Best Sunless Tanners, Editors of Elle magazine, April 30, 2010
User reviewers give Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel 4 out of 5 stars based on more than 200 reviews and say it imparts a natural-looking tan without streaking and with little to no odor.
Review: Clarins Gelee Auto Bronzant Express: Self-Tanning Instant Gel, Contributors to MakeupAlley.com
More than 700 consumers rate and review Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel at Sephora.com, giving it a high average rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Comments are similar to those found at MakeupAlley.com -- users say that it's easy to apply and creates a natural-looking tan with no streaks.
Review: Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel, Contributors to Sephora.com