For some reason tans and I do not get along, but it’s only because for some reason I just can’t tan…I burn. I went on vacation once to Florida and came back to Toronto with a golden tan; that tan left about a week upon my return. The point of this story is that I have not been able to successfully keep a tan, until now.

A faux tan newbie, KARORA's Gradual Tan seemed like the best option. KARORA is an award-winning custom skinwear collection. Using natural botanicals and formulas, their aim is to infuse a bit of that bronzy glow into your life! With their Gradual Tan I would be able to build a sun-kissed look, as I wanted to look as natural as possible.

With no prior experience to any self-tanning medium at all, this was a very interesting experience. One of the most pleasant things to note about KARORA’s Gradual Tan is its scent. It’s sweet (almost reminiscent of a citrus-y smell) and the formula is hydrating. Upon initial application, you’ll notice that the consistency is that of a lotion, with only the sheen as a guide to ensure there’s no overlap. I tried my best to apply it evenly; again this is my first time so I was unsure of what the results would be. After lathering it on for the “first coat” it left my skin with a sweet scent and there was a bit of glimmer where it was applied. I found that my skin looked dewy and hydrated –and in the dead of winter, I’m not going to complain about that.


Since it’s a gradual self-tanner, it takes about a few hours for the tan to kick in. I was very eager to have a tan show, so after a couple of hours, I reapplied the lotion again. The results were evident the next day. With my face looking extra tan and my skin having a bit of a glow to it –it was something I wasn’t used to. What I should’ve done was wait the full five to eight hours for the colour to kick in before anxiously reapplying the lotion again. My face was more tan than my body! I wanted to wait a few days before taking an “after” photo to show how the colour would progress given a few days.


(Before, no makeup)


(After, with makeup)

After day one, my skin seemed to have a glow without being too obvious. It’s not orange-y (as was my fear) and it gives off more of a sun-kissed shade.

As the days continued with no reapplication of the Gradual Tan, I found that my “tan” lasted about three to four days. The good thing about it is that it faded gradually so it wasn’t too obvious that I applied some sort of self-tanner. Before the “after” picture was taken and my ‘fake tan’ had faded, I reapplied it again the night before. I applied one coat of the Gradual Tan on my face and two on my body (which is very evident). I found that one coat on my face and neck was enough to give off a very nice “glow” and that was more than enough for me!


(See the difference in my hand vs the rest of my arm and face?)

Overall, I found my experience with KARORA’s Gradual Tan was mostly a positive one. It was an easy application, there was no weird smell, it kept my skin hydrated, and just as the tan itself was gradual, so was its departure. So the million-dollar question is would I use this product again? My answer? Absolutely! It’s easy enough to apply for a beginner and the colour looks natural! I’ll be using this as a pick-me-up for those cold bitter winters and to ease my way into the summer. It was pretty fun seeing a tan show up in the dead of winter, and this will certainly not be my last KARORA Gradual Tan experience.

*Photos taken by

Stephanie Lee

*I was gifted this item in the hopes that I would write a review. I would only write and support brands that I think my readers will be interested in.