Before I get on to the review, all I can say is EXFOLIATE, EXFOLIATE, EXFOLIATE!!! Fake tan needs a perfect canvas to be applied to, otherwise you're going to have a tan disaster!
It's a thick lotion in a rather alarming shade of orange with shimmer particles... I know what you're all thinking, it sounds horrendous, BUT if you stick to the traditional tan before bed, wash off in the morning principle, then it's alright. If you like to tan in the morning I advise you keep away from this as you will be like a walking Academy Award, try the mouse version as it has no shimmer and only a warm bronzed glow to it.
Moving on from the initial alarming colour, I apply this with a tanning mitt to already moisturised skin, use something that sinks in quickly but leaves your skin soft (I like The Righteous Butter by Soap and Glory) and this means that it applies evenly and does not cling to any dry patches. As this has a colour guide, it's easy to see where you're putting it, and I find as long as you cover everywhere it does not go streaky, i.e. only missed areas will show up, over application does not matter.
As I said before, I apply this before bed, which allows it plenty of time to develop before I wash it off, but I would say it needs between 4-6 hours for the colour to appear. It ends up as a warm, light tan, it is not orangey (if you exfoliate!) and does not cling badly to elbows and knees. If you're looking for a dark tan this is not for you, it does not look so good with multiple coats. One layer, every week is perfect for a summer glow, but it will not make you look like you've had three weeks in the Caribbean. It does however have a fake-tan smell, which is often unavoidable with most products. Although more often with high end products, there are no 'smell' issues, so when using this, I find it particularly noticeable! But if you can handle that then go for it! The mouse version does not smell so I think I'll stick to that in future.
All in all, I think this is a good tanning product for the price, I like the colour that it goes and the smell disappears when it's washed off. It's easy to apply and the colour guide is ideal for beginners.
Have you used this product before? Can your recommend other tans for me to try?! Let me know in the comments below.