Smooth Operator: St. Tropez Applicator Mitt - Beauty Addict

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Smooth Operator: St. Tropez Applicator Mitt

Even though I'm a major self-tanner aficionado, I've always steered clear of gloves, mitts, or other devices that purported to provide an even application without messing up your hands. Gloves were always too big, and mitts didn't provide enough precise control, so I just opted to dirty up my hands and scrub them later (faves in this category: St. Tropez Tan Remover and ModelCo Tan Remover).

But when St. Tropez offered to send me their Applicator Mitt, I had to say yes. I love everything I've tried from the brand so far. Maybe it was possible I'd been missing out on something?

Well, in a word...yep.

This $6 wonder protects your hands and makes it ridiculously easy to blend your tanner. If you use a tinted formula, you know how easy it is for your fingers to create streaks. But with the soft surface of the mitt, harsh edges and streaks blend away in a jiffy.

The Applicator Mitt is made of soft foam on one side, with an interior backed with a water-resistant barrier. Slip your hand in, squeeze your tanner directly onto the foam pad (I used St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse) and apply normally. Afterward, just rinse the mitt in water, squeeze out the excess, and lay flat to dry.

I was surprised at how easy it was to manipulate the mitt. The key is to fight the urge to keep your fingers stiff; if you try to forget you're wearing it, and just apply normally, your hand will move more naturally. Just remember to adjust it if it starts creeping forward and your fingers aren't all the way in.

I really like that the mitt covers a larger surface area than your hand alone; it speeds up the application process considerably. And with the mitt, both the initial tint and the resulting tan were perfectly even, with no streaks, dark spots, or missed spots.

Quibble -- just one: it's slightly annoying to have to switch the mitt from one hand to the other several times during the process. I used to be able to use my right hand to cover nearly everything but my right arm, but since breaking my wrist a few years ago, that arm (especially the elbow) doesn't really have the range of motion and flexibility it used to. Oddly, tanner application is the only time I ever notice this! Anyhow, I need to switch hands a few times, especially to cover my back, and it's a little bit of a nuisance. I suppose I could solve this problem by wearing mitts on both hands; I'd just have to make sure only to use tanners with a pump, as operating a squeeze tube this way would be nearly impossible!

Overall, I was really, truly, pleasantly surprised with the Applicator Mitt, and will definitely be using it again. Totally worth shelling out a few bucks!