Review: KARORA Express Bronzing Mousse

There are very few things I love more than being tan and ever since I quit baking in the sun several years ago, I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect, natural (but dark) looking fake tan ~ and it hasn’t been easy. I fell in love with Banana Boat’s Summer Color until it just stopped working on me (no clue why). Lately, I’ve been using Sun Labs which has been a long time favorite but they lost my loyalty when they tried to scam me .

Beauty Review: Karora Express Bronzing Mousse

Recently, I started using KARORA’S Express Bronzing Mousse and I really, truly love it!  It dispenses in mousse form which is different than any other self tanner I’ve used before. There’s a small hint of color in the mousse so you can see where you’re applying it, ensuring that you achieve a perfect streak-free application. Just make sure to pay attention because it is pretty subtle. The Express Bronzing Mousse spreads really easily and you don’t need much. I am usually able to cover the front side of my upper body in about 4-5 pumps.

I’ve been using Karora’s tanning glove (sold separately for $10) to apply the tanner, which I love! I’ve never used a tanning glove before so I can’t compare it to anything, but I’m hooked, I will never apply self tanner without one of these again. It’s so easy, it covers large areas quickly and the velour material feels like silk on your skin. The best part of the glove is that it completely protects the palms of your hands eliminating all evidence that your tan is fake.

Karora Tanning Glove

Drying Time/Transferring

The only downside to KARORA’S Express Bronzing Mousse is that it remains pretty sticky for quite a while (25-30 minutes) after you apply it. Because of this, I usually tan in the morning before I do my makeup and hair so by the time my morning routine is complete, my skin feels dry enough to get dressed. I’ve also noticed that because it remains quite tacky, the crease on my arm opposite of my elbow (what is this called??) is a shade or two lighter when the tan develops because when my arm is bent, it rubs the tan as it dries. I’ve had to become more aware of how much I bend my arm while it’s drying in order to prevent this. I have not noticed any transferring onto my clothing or sheets.

The Smell

It’s hard to describe the smell of the mousse when you’re applying the tanner. Personally I find it pleasant, it’s very light and tropically with just a hint of chemicals..  One of the best things about KARORA’S Express Bronzing Mousse is that after it dries, it does not leave that gross fake tan smell most self tanners have. In fact I wasn’t able to smell anything on my skin for the rest of the day. It’s great because you can use it anytime of the day without worrying about smelling nasty later.

The Color

I’m currently using the Medium/Dark shade and one coat of the tanner gives me a pretty, natural looking tan but personally, it’s not dark enough. I always apply a second coat which I find to be the perfect color. It’s deep and bronzy, not orange at all. I got a little crazy and tried a third coat and I ended up very dark, so it does have the power to deepen quite a bit.

Beauty Review: Karora Express Bronzing Mousse Before After

Longevity/Fading Process

After using KARORA’S Express Bronzing Mousse consistently for a few months, I’ve found the tans last approximately 6-7 days without reapplying which for self tanners, is a pretty long time. The color gradually lightens over the week but I still feel somewhat tan until the very end. One thing I hate about most fake tans is the fading process. Inevitably, you spend the last few days with splotchy patches all over your skin. The Express Bronzing Mousse fades very subtly and evenly although there is a tiny bit of speckling at the very end of the tan’s lifecycle, it’s not too noticeable and it exfoliates off very easily.  I have found that if I reapply the tanner more than 2 times, it does start to look splotchy as the old coat begins fading. For this reason, I recommend reapplying the tan no more than twice. Let it fade off completely, exfoliate, and then reapply on fresh, untanned skin.

KARORA’S Express Bronzing Mousse is my new favorite self-tanner. I’m going to be so sad when it runs out and I have to spend $40 to repurchase it.  I will though, because it’s just that good! 


Will it be Going in my Kit?

N/A as it would take too long to develop. I need instant results on set.

Cruelty Free?


Natural and/or Environmentally Friendly?

According to the brand, “Karora products are made using only organic and natural extracts and contain no parabens, artificial fragrances, synthetic colours or harsh chemical ingredients.” The product is not 100% plant based but for the most part, it does contain “low risk” ingredients. I recommend doing research on the individual ingredients if you are especially concerned about chemicals/toxins in your beauty products.

Even though they claim to have no synthetic colors, I see Yellow 5, Red 40, Green 5, and Blue 1 in the ingredients.


Aqua (Water/Eau), Dihydroxyacetone, Caramel, Alcohol, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol, Erythrulose, Centipeda Cunninghamii Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Terminalia Ferdinandiana Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Limon Peel Oil, Retinyl Palmitate, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, , Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Paullinia Cupana (Guarana) Seed Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Red 40 (CI 16035), Green 5 (CI 61570), Blue 1(CI 42090).


Disclaimer: This product was sent to me by the company. I pride myself in providing my readers with honest feedback of the products I am using. I will not recommend something I would not use personally or professionally. Sending me product does not guarantee a review and I accept no monetary compensation for in exchange for positive reviews.

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  • Reply Joanna February 24, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Well this stuff seems pretty nice.. But how does it hold up when you sweat? I exercise everyday and the self tanner I’m currently stuck with, Xen-Tan, practically melts off when I sweat. I’m definitely not impressed with the stuff.

    • Reply Lindsey February 27, 2016 at 9:38 am

      I use the Xen-Tan too and this holds up a little better, but not much though. I notice that it wears away quicker when I’m working out consistently. Especially near where my arms fold and anywhere there’s friction from clothing (like near my sports bra straps).

  • Reply Hannah April 11, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I haven’t tried the Karora bronzing moose. But I like the idea of using self-tanning glove that is sold separately.

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