My colleagues think my golden tan is too convincing to be fake—but it's all down to this exceptional product

I've kept it under wraps for years

Coco & Eve Bali Bronzing Foam
(Image credit: Shannon Lawlor)

Let me start by saying that I am no fake tan expert. I find myself leaning on fake tan formulas only a handful of times a year. It's not that I don't absolutely adore the result, but more that I find the whole act of fake tanning a total chore. Clear tanning waters simply aren't foolproof enough for people as unexperienced as me (meaning I'm usually left with streaks) and gradual tanners always leave me orange-palmed. If I'm going to fake tan, I'm going to go whole hog and use the most effective foams and mousses, complete with guide colour to avoid streaks. And the single best fake tan I've ever encountered? Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam.

I've been a fan of the brand's tanning products for years now. The tropical scent pleases my fussy nose, the formulas are hydrating, and I'm never left with streaks or patching. The single most exceptional thing about Bali Bronzing Foam, however, is the bronzed, glowing result. I have never, in all my years of testing fake tans, found one that has results as convincing. And, for the most part, I have kept Bali Bronzing Foam a secret. After all, the thing that ruins a great fake tan, I have found, is the moment people cotton onto the fact it's not real. And this Coco & Eve formula has never made anyone question the legitimacy of my tan—so I simply haven't felt the need to let them know it's not the real deal.

It is such a convincing tan that when I stepped into the office earlier this week after my latest application, every single one of my colleagues had something to say about my tan. They assumed I had spent the weekend lapping up sun rays on warmer shores. And when I told them it was out of a bottle? Well, half of them didn't believe me and the other half ordered one for themselves on the spot.

So, what makes it so great? Here's what you should know...

Coco & Eve Bali Bronzing Foam, Reviewed By A Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor after using Coco & Eve fake tan

(Image credit: Shannon Lawlor)

Coco & Eve Bali Bronzing Foam comes in three different shades: Medium, Dark and Ultra Dark. I wear medium, which delivers a deep bronze to my olive skin. So, first of all, it's worth mentioning that those with very pale skin might find Medium relatively dark. My advice? If you do have very fair skin, max out your leave-on time at the two or three hour mark.

The product has a 'foam' consistency—it is bubble-filled and thick on the mitt, but it blends onto the skin like a watery liquid. It does also have a guide colour, meaning it's super easy to apply and see where any streaks might occur (thus you can blend things out before it develops). What I really like about the guide colour is that, unlike so many others out there, the guide itself is wearable and free from any noticeable green tones. It's the sort of fake tan you could apply in the morning and wear out while it develops thanks to its golden guide colour and fast-absorbing nature.

Oh, and in terms of development time I also have good news. The tan you see above was only left to develop for around three and a half hours. Whereas most of the fake tans in my collection require a minimum of a four or five-hour development time (with the exception of express formulas), this one states that you will start to see a colour shift after just two hours—and I can confirm you most certainly do.

Shannon Lawlor immediately after applying Coco & Eve Bali Bronzing Foam

(Image credit: Shannon Lawlor)

The scent is lovely – like a tropical cocktail – but I would say that, as with any fake tan worth its weight in gold, you can expect skin to smell like biscuity DHA for a short while after you have rinsed it off.

But, above all, I want to talk about the results of this masterpiece of a fake tan. Not only is the colour absolute perfect (the formula contains 100% natural DHA with a grey-green base to deliver a very convincing bronzed finish), but it also leaves the skin looking glowing and fresh-out-the-sun. It does that by incorporating a number of hydrating skincare ingredients into the formula. Lotus extract, mango, fig and cocoa deliver antioxidant protection (and supercharged glow), while raw virgin coconut hydrate and firms skin for a glossy radiance. Not only does this impressive formula minimise chances of patches and streaks, it also means that just one coat of Bali Bronzing Foam makes skin look more radiant and healthy.

Not only does everyone tell me I look better for using this tan (seriously, every single person I've encountered this week has mentioned my glow) but I feel better for it, too. And that, to me, is worth every bit of faff that fake tan application brings with it.

Shop more Coco & Eve tanning products

Shannon Lawlor
Executive Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is the Executive Beauty Editor at Marie Claire. With nearly a decade of experience working for some of the beauty industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear, Glamour UK, Stylist and Refinery29, Shannon’s aim is to make the conversation around beauty as open, relatable and honest as possible. As a self-confessed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for hard-working perfumes, fool-proof make-up products and does-it-all skincare.