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 • Body  • Bodycare Reviews  • I Tested *That* Gatineau Gradual Tanner: Here is My Honest Review

I Tested *That* Gatineau Gradual Tanner: Here is My Honest Review

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Main image – Courtesy of writer

Not sure about you, but my feeds have been filled with the Gatineau Golden Glow Gradual Tan recently. Whether it’s a video of an influencer using it on TikTok or a picture of the impressively huge bottle on Instagram, I needed to try this product.

And yes, even despite the fact that gradual tanners really aren’t usually my thing. I’m more of an instant tanning mousse kind of girl. But if the influencers and reviewers are to be believed, this is the gradual tanner to watch. 

Find out what I thought of it and why users think it blows all other gradual tanners out of the water.


Gradual tanner – supersized 

Whilst this tanner does come in a 75ml or 200ml tube, you can also buy it in a larger 400ml bottle with a pump. Of course this is way more expensive (more on the price later). But there’s something about buying even a plain body moisturiser in bulk that I find so enjoyable.

For me, it’s because I can just slather it on without worrying that it’s going to run out after just one leg. I can just enjoy the feeling of knowing I’ve got loads left and that I can cover my entire body in it. 


Image – Gatineau


It’s a bit like when you’re eating a really good meal that relies heavily on the sauce, but the sauce is running out, so you have to focus on gathering even amounts of sauce with  each mouthful so that it is all equally tasty. Otherwise, it’s pointless. No? Just me? Anyway.

Being in a huge bottle – of course – doesn’t mean it won’t run out eventually, but at least you know it won’t whittle down too much, too quickly.

And the pump dispenser makes it beautifully slap dash too. The influencers I’ve watched using it make it all look so easy, which is what you want from a gradual tanner – simple to use and speedy. 



There is no set number of suggested pumps, just quickly get however much you want out and apply it like a normal body moisturiser. Yes, even though it has tan in it.  After all, apparently, this tanner doesn’t streak.

I opened it up and just went for it. My usual fake tan routine involves, first moisturising my drier areas, donning a tanning mitt and bracing myself to blend, blend, blend as fast as I can to avoid streaks. 



#gradualtan #tan #faketan #FlexEveryAngle

? Iced Coffee – Arthur Hill

But thanks to the videos I’d seen online, I felt happily relaxed with this one. Plus the fact that it’s gradual meant that even if it did streak, the lines wouldn’t be too noticeable after the first application anyway.

So, I applied it casually – first on each leg, then around my tummy, arms, chest and reaching as far down my back as possible. It is easy to massage in – nice and creamy.  And the fragrance?

I was more than pleasantly surprised. It’s a bit like a lovely after sun lotion – with only maybe 1% of tanner. The other 99% is like a really pretty body lotion. This is a big plus for me as it means I’ll continue using it, and it lingers – in a really good way – for hours afterwards too. Yum.


The results

The next day I woke up to a slight tint on my skin – nothing major but when it comes to gradual tanners, you’re not supposed to be English rose one day, mediterranean goddess the next. The clue is in the name.

I could just about smell the prettiness of the fragrance the next morning – trust me when I say, it does not smell like a normal fake tan – and my skin felt nice and soft. 


Image – Gatineau


I continued using it every evening for another week and, sure enough, I had a gorgeous golden tan by the end of it. No streaks, just a really even, hydrated glow that could easily pass as ‘there’s been a UK heatwave.’ 

You might want to wait a while before putting your clothes back on after application as it’s very moisturising so dries quite slowly as a result. But because I personally don’t have time to be wandering around naked for hours, I probably only waited around ten minutes before getting dressed and didn’t notice any transference onto my clothes or bed sheets.

The only issue I have with gradual tanners is that they really need to be applied daily – and consistently daily – to maintain a good colour. This is fine if you’re structured about your body care routine and moisturise daily anyway.

But – honestly? Sometimes all I want to do after a long day is get into my pyjamas and go straight to bed without the mini cardio of applying lotion all over my body. So I can’t promise I will be using this every day for eternity. 

What I can promise is that if I have something coming up – an event or holiday for example – I will happily commit to daily use in the week leading up to and after it. Its gorgeous smell, its mess-free, easy application and how soft and golden it leaves my skin will make sure of it.


What other users are saying

Others seem to find this self tanner really easy to use too. Louise L reviewed it for and said, “fabulous product, easy to apply and soaks in very quickly, my skin is a great colour with no streaks and no awful smell, I will definitely purchase again.” While Julie W says, “so easy to use with a fabulous lasting result. Everyone has been asking where I’ve been on holiday!”


Overall value for money

Ok, here’s where it stings a bit. The 400ml bottle is a whopping £55 (or $67.70 in the US). So it’s definitely an investment. The good news though is that there is a 200ml tube available costing £35 (or $48.30 in the US) and a 75ml tube available only in the UK and EU costing £20. I would say the 75ml tube is really only enough to take on holiday and to use and finish while you’re there. 

The 200ml tube is more like it for a good stint of use, particularly if you use it like me – only when there is a specific event coming up. £55 is a lot of money to spend on a gradual tanner, however if you love this product and want to use it daily for an entire summer, then you may want to consider it (and you will probably use all of it.)


The takeaway

So, whilst I usually shy away from a gradual tanner, this one really does stand out from the rest. I must say, the smell plays a huge part in that, as well as the lack of streaks. You can apply it as slap-dash as feels necessary and it’ll still result in an even tan.

I still wash my hands after using it, just in case, and I always try to do a full body scrub before applying any fake tan to avoid it going patchy. But overall the hydration and glow this one gives my skin and how fool-proof it is has got me hook, line and sinker. 


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Beauty Editor

The former Beauty Editor of Glamour UK, Philippa has been a beauty and lifestyle journalist for over 16 years, picking up countless tips and tricks from makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists and celebrities. In that time she’s written for names like Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery 29 and Byrdie. Philippa lives in the UK with her husband, two children and their hyperactive cockapoo, Paddy.

Expertise: Makeup, hair care
Education: Oxford Brookes University

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