Bare by Vogue: Lotion, Mousse & Instant Tan Review

God knows I did not need to buy more tan but sure look, I went ahead anyway and bought the Bare by Vogue range… all in aid of the blog of course :p

Let me start by saying that tan is like skincare, what might suit my skin, may not suit yours (and vice versa)! So before you splash out on a tan, get more than one opinion! Even better, see does any of your pals have it in their drawer and try it out first!

Tan Goals

Firstly, I think it’s important to tell you what I want from a tan before I get into my review. 

Colour: I much prefer a red undertone in a tan rather than olive. I find it better suits my pale Irish skin and looks much more realistic!

Shade: I like a medium to dark, natural looking tan. The dream is to look like I’ve just come back from holidays.

Formula: Although mousse is easier to apply, I prefer a lotion at the minute. 

Application: The tan must be easy to apply, not only because of the effort, but if it doesn’t blend easily… it will streak!

Lasting Power: I want to get at least 3 good washes out of my tan. 

Wear Off: It needs to wear off evenly. I can’t deal with it being stuck to random areas and I don’t want to have to scrub myself raw to get it off. 

Current Favourite Tan: SOSU Dripping Gold Lotion in Medium or Dark. Click here for a full review. 

Preparation & Application

It literally doesn’t matter what tan you buy, if you have not prepared your skin properly, it will not be nice. You can read all of my tips on how to prep for and apply the perfect tan here

Bare by Vogue: Dark Lotion

Price & Size

The lotion comes in a 200ml bottle, which is market average for a lotion, and it costs €22. It can be purchased in Penneys and pharmacies nationwide. 


The formula is a nice, creamy one. It’s not as buttery as the Dripping Gold lotion but that’s extra buttery in fairness. The scent is beautiful, very tropical but like all tans (all I’ve tried anyway!), it does develop a tan smell after a couple of hours (not strong). 


Due to the creamy nature of the formula, and the guide colour, the lotion blends really easily so it’s hard to streak! It’s sticky for a good few minutes after application but this doesn’t bother me for the following reasons. Usually, a sticky tan means it is enriched with moisturising ingredients, which I think is essential in a tan. Secondly, sticky tan is no longer a problem because I just lash my GlowDry on and I am dry instantly. Read more about my tanning hero here


The Bare by Vogue Dark Lotion definitely has a red undertone rather than a green one. It definitely gives me that “just back from holiday” look that I LOVE and it’s truly dark in colour. 

Lasting Power & Wear Off

It applied beautifully, lasted a good 3 washes and then washed off easily with no tan remover or scrubbing. 2 thumbs up. I really liked the lotion and would buy it again.

Bare by Vogue: Dark Foam

Price & Size

The foam comes in a 150ml bottle and costs €25 which is not cheap (but it’s worth it in my opinion). It can be purchased in Penneys and pharmacies nationwide. 


The Bare by Vogue Dark Foam formula is as close to perfect as a mousse tan can get. It smells tropical, like the whole range, but it does develop a tan like smell after a while (not too bad at all though!).


The foam has a gorgeous guide colour, and you could go out wearing it straight away if you needed to. It’s lightweight, absorbs and dries quickly, and it’s easy to apply and blend. It would be hard work to try streak this formula! Overall, the foam applied perfectly and I was really happy with it. In fact, I prefer the foam to the lotion and as I said at the start, I usually prefer a lotion!


The Dark Foam definitely has a red undertone rather than green (which is my preference) and so I find it looks quiet realistic! It’s truly dark but not too dark, it still looks natural. 

Lasting Power & Wear Off

This is where the foam seriously impressed me. I got a good week out of it and when it was time to wash it off, it came away easily with an exfoliating glove. I didn’t even have to use a tan remover. 

Bare by Vogue: Dark Instant Tan 

Price & Size

The Instant Tan is pricey in my opinion at €18 for 150mls. It can be purchased in Penneys and pharmacies nationwide. 


The formula is a really nice, creamy one and it almost looks like foundation. Yes, you guessed it, smells tropical and this one stays that way (doesn’t develop a tan like smell). It’s water-proof which is absolutely ideal in Ireland! Remember the times we use to lash on the Sun Shimmer, run out the door and get lashed on? I was left with stunning, speckled tan more nights than I care to remember!


I didn’t find the Dark Instant to be truly Dark whether judging it as a stand alone product, or comparing it to the lotion and the mousse; it was definitely a lot lighter than anticipated. If you like a medium tan, I recommend going for the Dark Instant Tan. If you like it dark, I would go for the Ultra Dark Instant.


It blends really well and dries quickly. I found it gave a fabulous glow to my skin, especially to my shin bones! The glowy finish was really impressive and I’d put that down to the hydrating ingredients in the formula. 

Lasting Power & Wear Off

The Instant Tan lasts up to 24 hours or until you wash it off.

It is a lovely instant tan overall but I would have liked it darker (it was VERY natural looking) and I wouldn’t pay €18 for it again over the likes of the Rimmel Sun Shimmer BB Tan (my favourite instant tan). Rimmel even do a waterproof Sun Shimmer now and it is a fraction of the price at about €8. 

To round up my thoughts then…

I really liked the lotion but I prefer Dripping Gold so I probably won’t buy that again. I LOVED the foam and would definitely repurchase! The Instant Tan definitely didn’t justify its price tag for me and I’ll be sticking with my beloved Sun Shimmer. 

I hope you found this helpful! Before you go, tell me, what is your favourite tan right now? You can read about some of my faves (and not so faves) here

Thanks for reading,


  1. Bernie
    July 8th, 2019 / 19:25

    Fantastic review Carly, Tried bare foam dark but went on my skin very patchy. Have been using the dripping in gold dark mousse since it launched and love it, goes on a dream and lasts 5 days on me and wears off evenly.

    • July 9th, 2019 / 19:25

      Ah Bernie thanks a million for reading! Love Dripping Gold! Xx

  2. Ruth
    July 7th, 2019 / 23:59

    I just don’t know if I’ll ever leave cocoa brown! I’ve tried Bellamiamta & Vita Librete (I know I’ve spent the wrong). Found Bella stank & the transfer to my bedsheets was ridiculous. Vita didn’t give good colour pay off, it advised apply two more layers giving 8hrs in between..ain’t no one got time for that! Never have transfer or smell with cocoa. Totally Affordable too. Would love to try so-sue & Bare but will wait until I’m gifted wouldn’t spent that money on tan with I’ve one I’m happy with already.

  3. Sinead
    July 7th, 2019 / 23:21

    Great review defo gonna try the foam x

    • July 8th, 2019 / 09:29

      Thanks for reading Sinead! Let us know how you get on xx

  4. July 7th, 2019 / 23:00

    Awesome review Carly loved it and deffo wanna try the dripping gold and nearly bought it for holidays but figured I should stick with what I know works for me.

    God bless Sun Shimmer do you remember the wear off one… best ever xx

  5. Tracey
    July 7th, 2019 / 22:50

    Good informative & honest review. Intrigued to know what green undertones look like though?? Any pics?

    • July 8th, 2019 / 09:29

      Hmmm best example I can think of is Cocoa Brown! Catwalk HQ also green undertone xx

  6. Eileen
    July 7th, 2019 / 22:17

    I’ve been waiting for this review! I was disappointed with the medium foam but friends are loving the dark foam so… I think I’ll be sticking with dripping gold for now! Same with the instant, didn’t find it was dark enough at all

    • July 8th, 2019 / 09:27

      I prefer Dripping Gold lotion too but I prefer the Bare foam in dark its fab! It’s not cheap though so stick with what you love xx

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