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Review: Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse

Review: Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse


Since Spring is officially here, it’s time to bust out the self-tanners and get my pasty white body looking a bit more bronzed. Over the years, I have tried lots (and lots) of self-tanners, but recently I was introduced to a whole new selection of them via Susan Yara’s enviable beauty closet. So, in an effort to save you all the time and drama of another failed self-tanner, I’ll test them for you and give you my honest feedback.

First up on the self-tanner testing shelf is the Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse by Marissa Carter. I’m pretty excited to give this one a go because it’s won multiple beauty awards for its category since it launched in 2012. Plus, a bronzed body in one hour without the side effect of sun damage sounds like a good deal to me.


Before I go into my personal experience with the Cocoa Brown products, here’s what this product promises:

  • Bronzed skin after 1 hour.
  • An even darker tan if you wait to rinse after 3 hours.
  • No nasty self-tanner smell. Instead, you get their signature Tahitian Gardenia scent.
  • An easy application that isn’t sticky, dries fast, and fades evenly on the skin.
  • No orange skin.
  • Color that comes from a vegetable derived DHA. It has no parabens and is gentle enough for sensitive skin.
  • Results that stick around for 5-7 days.

Now that we know what is supposed to happen according to the brand, I am going to share my personal experience. First, I prepped my skin with Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff 3-1 Body Scrub. A good scrub down prior to a self-tanner application gets rid of dead skin and is key to an even tan.

Then, I applied two pumps of the tanning mousse to the pink tanning mitt (another self-tanning essential) and applied it to my skin in the circular motion. I started at my shoulders, working my way down my arm, and then lightly swept over the top of my hands. Applying this self-tanner was easy and mess-free, it dried fast and wasn’t sticky at all.

Now to what actually matters: did it give me bronzed skin? Yes and no.


By hour one, I had a little bit of a bronzed appearance on my arm (with the tattoo), but not enough to stop the tanning process. I needed more--hello, I am translucent!


By hour two, I was expecting something to wow me a little, but it still didn’t do much for me.


By hour three, I could definitely see some bronzing action going on, and I was pretty happy with the fact that my skin had more of an olive tone. Afterwards, I followed up with the Chocolate Whip Oil-Free Body Moisturizer. This is supposed to help your tan fade evenly, and I think it did.

Here’s the verdict:

The Positives

  • There was zero streaking or blotchiness with this product.
  • I think that the olive undertone is absolutely gorgeous.
  • It lived up to the 1 hour bronzing promise.
  • It’s perfect for someone with pale skin who dreams of being a bronzed goddess.

The Negatives

  • There was still a slight self-tanner smell. Not enough to scare people off though.
  • It only lasted about four days on me.
  • It’s not a good option for someone with medium to dark skin tones.

For those of you who just want to boost your natural color, the Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse might be perfect for you. If you have skin that just doesn’t tan, I would highly suggest giving this self-tanner a try. I naturally tan in the sun, so if I am going to do a self-tanner, I prefer it to be a tad darker on my skin. Next time, I’d like to give the 1 Hour Tan Dark from this brand a try. I think I’d love it because the olive-undertone is stunning.

Stay tuned for more of my self-tanner experiments to see what I like...and what I don’t!

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