Are Tanologist Drops or Water Better? Full Review

I prefer to be tan. I do. Sue me. I look better when I have a moderate tan. My eyes and teeth are brighter and I feel more confident. As evidenced by the slew of sunless tanners on the market, I don’t think I’m the only one either.

When I saw that my BFF Target had started carrying the new line Tanologist, I had to try it out. The line was started by UK-based makeup artist Lottie Tomlinson. I am biased but I really do think hair and makeup artists understand color on a different level so I had high hopes for these products.

I purchased the Tanologist Express Tan Self Tan Water and Tanologist Face + Body Drops, both in Light. I tried them each separately on different days.

I’ll be reviewing each product individually and comparing them to similar products from Isle of Paradise.

Tanologist Express Tan Self Tan Water

I really really didn’t like the last self tan water I tried. Before I ruled out “water” as a sunless tanning method all together, I wanted to give Tanologist’s version a go.


This is a non-aerosol spray pump that won’t spray out as well when not held upright. It dispenses an appropriate amount of product but you still need a tanning mitt to blend it out right away. I had no problems blending this with my mitt.

Dry Time

Tanologist Self Tan Water stayed sticky for at least 30 minutes and never fully dried down and I don’t feel like. I’m a sweaty person though, so who knows.

It says to wear it for 1-4 hours, so it’s not super express but nice that you don’t have to sleep in it if you don’t want to. I assure you; I never want to.


This has a fresh, non-tropical scent and a normal to less than average DHA scent. Every sunless tanner will have a scent as it develops but this is nothing horribly offensive.


The color Tanologist Self Tan Water delivered was very believable. Even my mom commented that the color looked really nice and realistic and I assure you; she’d be the first to let me know if it didn’t!

On my upper body, it looked great. However, on my legs, specifically my lower legs, the color simply did. not. take. Even when I applied 2 coats, it just didn’t stay.


It wore pretty well on my upper body. I didn’t see any weird streaks, patches or uneven fading.

However, as I mentioned, my legs looked basically like I hadn’t applied anything to them. It’s mainly my shins that are the problem. I think they’re made of wax paper or something.

Tanologist Face + Body Drops

I really love The Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops and I wanted to see how Tanologist’s version compared.


In general, I like the delivery method of drops vs. a water much better. These feel similar to the Isle of Paradise drops, perhaps a little thinner consistency. When mixed with a body butter or moisturizer on the face, it’s easy to apply.

Dry Time

Tanologist Face + Body Drops are less sticky than the tanning water for sure. The dry down time depends more on what you mix it with so as long as your moisturizer isn’t too heavy or sticky, this won’t be either.
Tip: Mix with aloe vera gel for the lightest texture possible in the hot months.


There’s a light, fresh scent, but it’s faint and not overpowering. Again, very similar to Isle of Paradise. I hardly notice any scent at all while the Tanologist Face + Body Drops develop so that’s awesome.


I definitely got better color on my legs from this vs. the tanning water. I don’t feel like the color is as pigmented or as realistic as Isle of Paradise.

It’s fine, and it takes the edge off, but I don’t prefer it to Isle of Paradise.


I think the wear is slightly below average. It doesn’t last long on my face so it’s something you’d need need to stay consistent with to maintain color. That’s to be expected though as we exfoliate and wash our faces more vigorously.

Do I recommend Tanologist products?

I use sunless tanners to mainly take the edge off my legs, and because the Self Tan Water didn’t work on my lower legs, it didn’t really serve it’s main purpose for me. I will probably continue to use it on my upper body, because the color really was nice, but will use a different on for my legs and wouldn’t repurchase.

The Face + Body Drops were definitely better but because they are only $9 less than a similar product that I like much better, I wouldn’t repurchase them either.

I like the clear format, fresh scent, availability at Target and that Tanologist is vegan and cruelty free, but I think there are better sunless tanners out there at this price point. I’m putting together a blog post about the best sunless tanners to highlight the ones that really do excel in all the aforementioned areas.

If you’re feeling risky and want to try one, I’d definitely go for the drops. That being said, I’d just get the Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops for $9 more. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my best sunless tanner post.

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