If you're tired of buying friends the same old bath and body lotion sets every year, then perhaps consider giving them a gift that will make them glow (artificially that is!)

We’ve all been lacking sunshine on our skin this winter, and many of us will be looking for alternative ways to look less pasty for party nights out. It won’t be a white Christmas if we have anything to do with things!

There are some fabulous tanning gift sets out this year and they are such good value that you’ll probably want to get them for yourself too. We’ve reviewed some of the top picks.

Cocoa Brown

Rachel: Cocoa Brown have released The Goddess Collection for the girl who loves to glow. There are three face and body shimmering dry body oils in this set and you can pick it up in Penneys for €13 – a lovely stocking filler. Choose a different sparkle every night this Christmas, with the cool pearly Ice Goddess Oil, the on-trend Rose Gold Goddess Oil and the classic Golden Goddess Oil.

Apply this to the front of your legs and along your collar bone to shimmer beneath any light. Go easy on the face though! A tiny dab on the cheekbones is all you need to shine bright.

Marissa Carter gave Donegal Woman some excellent tanning tips, read them here.



Tantastic Mousse, approx €14.95

Tantastic Mousse, approx €14.95

Mary Kate: Tantastic is my ultimate ride or die tan. I am a fake tan addict and this is one I have been using since it first came out. In fact at one stage, while I lived in the UK I thought I was their only customer having to resort to buying it from Amazon or getting it sent over by my mammy!

Tantastic is a liquid tan that also comes in a mousse and a spray. They also have a leg gel, gradual tan and a lotion. I am a creature of habit so I rarely deviate from the dark liquid. What I love about this tan is that you can see exactly where it is going and the colour of it. The tan goes on smooth for me, every time. That includes if I have exfoliated and moisturised or not. It has never let me down.

The few downsides with this tan and this hurts me to say it. The smell is definitely that which you would associate with fake tan and DON’T sleep in white or light coloured sheets until you have had your rinse-off shower.

The colour pay off from Tantastic for me is always perfect, I am very pale and always apply two layers. I like a very dark tan and I find with two layers it achieves the right shade of mahogany for me. For me, this is a 10/10 tan that I won’t be parting with anytime soon.

Tantastic have a City Glam Bronzing Set for €18, available in pharmacies and online now.

Tantastic City Glam Bronzing Set €18

Tantastic City Glam Bronzing Set €18

NKD Skin by Vita Liberata  nkdskn1

Mary Kate: Vita Liberata is a world famous luxury tanning brand and NKD Skin is their more affordable offering. I have the liquid tan that comes in a spray bottle which is very handy. I chose the shade dark because let’s face it, we Irish girls prefer the darker look.

This is a tan I picked up because my local chemist was out of Tantastic and I was going out that night and needed a quick fix. I was really pleased with the result from this tan.

At the time of purchasing I didn’t know it was made by Vita Liberata, I bought it because it was similar in price to my usual tan and a liquid.

This liquid comes in a spray bottle which is handy for application and comes out a dark liquid. You know exactly what you are getting and where when applying the tan.

This tan has one very high point, there is no odour of tan whatsoever from NKD Skin and from a budget friendly tan that is incredible. The feel on the skin is also really nice.

You can really feel the quality of this tan. The colour pay off from this tan is also excellent. Again I chose the dark option and I was very happy with shade of brown. It also wears off like a dream. 8/10

Rachel: Vita Liberata is one of my all-time favourite tanning brands these days. The Victoria Secret Angles were bronzed with Vita Liberata this year, so if it’s good enough for them then it’s good enough for us Donegal ladies.

I tried out the Vita Liberata Fabulous Glow Luxury Tan Kit, which is a bargain in a bag! This comes with their bestselling Body Blur, which is an instant finish thick cream with excellent coverage. The shade of tan is a lovely warm tone. What I love about Body Blur is it masks over imperfections for a foundation-like finish. The set comes with an application mitt and self-tanning tinted lotion.

Treat yourself with this one for only €37.50 on Cloud 10 Beauty. Body Blur usually retails for around €30 on its own and all three items normally cost €82, and the makeup bag is a luxurious touch for the rose gold lovers.



Bellamianta Tanning Mitt €9.95

Bellamianta Tanning Mitt €9.95

Rachel: Bellamianta has been one of the hottest tanning brands of 2016. We’ve reviewed the products in detail here.

If you give someone this tan this Christmas you are giving them the gift of freedom from the horrible smell. This one smells great and you won’t wake up after a night of partying being overpowered by the smell.

The gift sets all come with Bellamianta’s stand-out mitt. It’s a rich velvety glove that will be a great treat for anyone who usually uses the scratchy alternatives.

The gift sets are decadently packaged and have full-sized items. It’s all the essentials for €34. For the girl who already has a stock pile of tan, there’s the Bella Show Time Shimmer and Shine set for €28, which is a body oil and tiny mitt.


Read our interview with the Bellamianta directors here.

st_moriz_instant_self_tanning_lotion_dark_200ml_1386586345St. Moriz Tan

Mary Kate: This might be a bit controversial but St.Moriz is just not a tan that I can warm to. I tried out the lotion version of this cult tan and I can honestly say that it just leaves me feeling sticky and dirty.

The liquid comes out for dark and tacky. I also find that if the bottle has any residue around the lid the tan seems to go green. Which isn’t a look I would like on my skin. I have tried this tan on a number of different occasions and each and every time it has failed me.

If you are a fan of St. Moriz, or know someone who loves the brand. There’s a Prep, Tan & Maintain Collection Gift Set (€19.20 on FeelUnique.com) which has an exfoliating mitt, exfoliating skin primer, tanning mousse – medium and moisturising tan enhancer.

St. Moriz Prep, Tan & Maintain Collection Gift Set €19.20

St. Moriz Prep, Tan & Maintain Collection Gift Set €19.20

Let our beauty columnist Kerry Harvey show you the perfect way to tan with her Skin 101 class here.

What’s your favourite tan? Let us know!