Fake Tan Friday: Vita Liberata

We’re just a little obsessed with self-tanner (as the creator of Bronze Buffer Self-Tan Remover, we kind of have to be, right?), so we’re always on the lookout for the next big thing. Name it, we’ve probably tried it, and that includes mousses, sprays, gels and lotions—both gradual and fast acting. Truly innovative products are somewhat hard to come by, so when we first saw Vita Liberata’s claim that their pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse delivers color that can last up to 21 days, we were instantly intrigued.

We picked up a sample-size the last time we were at Sephora, and we couldn’t wait to give it a whirl. We were fresh out of the shower and all set to slather it on, and then we read the directions. To get this long-lasting color, you’re supposed to apply it three times. Frankly, we felt slightly scammed, because this didn’t feel oh-so revolutionary. It just felt repetitive.

But in the name of research, we complied, and we were actually pretty pleased with the results. The mousse glides on easily with the included velour mitt (which only covers four fingers instead of the whole hand), and its abbreviated size actually made it easier to use. The mousse itself is tinted so you can see what you’re doing (or rather what you’ve done), and we didn’t get the slightest whiff of self-tanner smell. We really liked how fast it dried, and it left absolutely no stickiness behind. We did the same thing the next day, and the next day. And after this extended effort, we had a lovely, natural looking, even tan—no streaks whatsoever. (We tried the medium shade, and next time we would definitely go for the dark.)

In terms of staying power, we can say that we didn’t even think about tanning our legs for at least a week after our first application, so that has to count for something. Although we do find the two-to-three week claim to be slightly exaggerated, we definitely weren’t running back for another tan a few days later. Our verdict: Start with a trial size because this product doesn’t come cheap ($54 for the full size), and you’ll want to make sure you choose the right shade before you invest. Oh, and when you do, make sure you have a Bronze Buffer on hand just in case!