Another item in the new Smittens mitt line from Tampa Bay Tan is a new Self Tanning product applicator mitt.

I previously discussed the Exfoliation Mitt HERE ,  part of the same product line.


Unlike the mitts currently on the market, this applicator mitt is both WATERPROOF, and thick and multi layered for durability.


I have used all the current mitts on the market, as well as many from the past few years. Every product  has its pros and cons, below are concerns I have with current applicator mitts on the market.

My Issues with current mitts:

  • Very thin material that tears after a few uses, and or lets solution product soak through onto hands (unless you wear a separate plastic glove)
  • Tears, separates, easily at seams after repeated uses or washing (single later foam mitts do this all the time)
  • One sided finish fabric, prevents mitt from being flipped in use, or easily switched from hand to hand – I am a flipper and switcher when applying products. I apply very fast, and am not “delicate” with my mitts. I want to apply and go. I have things to do people!
  • To tight a hand fit, creating difficulty in switching while using, or removing when finished. This also causes solution to be transferred to fingertips during removal, unless you also are wearing plastic gloves. (which you also must then remove without tearing, from sweaty hands….grrrrr)
  • To loose a hand fit, creating an item that “flops around”, falls off, or bunches up under the hand – causing streaks and missed spots
  • Plastic liners that crack with age and use, allowing solution leaks onto the hand. Or plastic liners that bunch, or just feel uncomfortable with use, or cause hands to perspire when used.
  • Or like a recent (other brand) applicator mitt I used, it had a plastic “bag” liner that was a loose fit inside the mitt. It was like the plastic diaper covers used to place over cloth diapers, but fitted inside the mitt body. I hated the feel of that mitt……reminded me to much of diaper changing days, before disposables were all the rage.


These issues (and more) were items I asked Tampa Bay To address when bringing in a new mitt product.

I based my personal recommendations on  what I loved and hated about products on the current market.

I pulled from my 23 years in the Industry, my years of experience working directly with product users (both Salon and home users), self-tanning company’s,  use of tanning products and tools, and years of experience as both a Skin Care and Self tanner consultant.

I also drew on my message board experience from working directly with the message board team, and thousands of users at the Self Tanning message board (now sadly gone and missed).

I am a very experienced home user of self tanning products, both machine and hand applied – as I have been applying products to myself at home for 20 plus years.

So bringing all that to the table, I provided a list of my “Gold Standard” expectations.

Tampa Bay Tan’s staff purchased a number of other popular mitts and tools on the market. They then used these items to help them grasp the pros and cons of current commercial mitt products.

Tampa Bay Tan also spoke with others in the Industry, both Home Users, and Salon owners, and their product evaluation team to pull in more view points. Products were distributed to users in the trenches for field tests in the real world, with their tanning products of choice.

The owner of Tampa Bay Tan, does not believe in doing anything “half way” though, so he then, of course, tweaked things even more, and added in some nifty extras to provide very nice Spa Quality mitt.

The result is indeed a really nifty and different product.

Though at first glance, this looks just like any of 100 other mitts, once you start working with tit , you see where they excel.  I received pre-production versions of both mitts,  (application and exfoliation sets) as we worked through this process of making the best dang mitt out there, and I now, happily, have the final versions in my hands. This is the same version available for purchase on the TBT site now, as part of their Smiitens Mitts Line. I have been using these for a few months now.

How It works for me, based on how “I” apply:

(your results may vary, depends on how YOU apply)

I personally, normally apply a professional strength self tanning liquid solution by hand for my normal daily wear tan. I have spray equipment, and can spray myself, and do from time to time.

But my preferred “goto” method is applying by hand with a trigger pump spray bottle, and an applicator pad or mitt. Its faster and more convenient for me. As noted earlier, I am all about, “lets get this applied and move on.” I am usually going 24/7 and though I do have a beauty regiment that takes time, I cut corners anywhere I can.

This mitt works well with liquid solutions,  and works equally well with gels, mousse, lotions, creams, and aerosol self tanning products. (I have tried with all)

I personally find, for me, the mitt works best if I prewet it with water and wring it out before spraying solution onto the mitt. This make the mitt more flexible, especially when its new. After a few uses, when the “new born baby” smell is gone, it tends to maintain its flexibility much easier. It also seems to mold around my body easier, and glides easier over the skin surface.

It is a big, thick bulky mitt. This is good and bad.  Depending on your preference and need. As such, you may need to adapt your application technique slightly, but the results will make it worth it.

Coverage suggestions (adjust basted on your needs)

It provides a hugh surface area, to maximize coverage and blending. But you do need to apply a decent amount of product to the surface to really get the best out of this applicator. Applying to little product, can lessen coverage, and create streaks.

When spraying the mitt, I always spray into the middle of the mitt, creating a wet “pool” of product, that should have a very wet look. This is then quickly  wiped onto the skin, and provides a nice smooth coverage.  (don’t rub into skin, just coat the surface)

I like to do at least two-three coats, from head to toe (liberally applied)- I apply a bit on the heavy size, as for me thats what “I” need.

Aim for about 2 ounces total of product use, for most average sized persons.

Yes, please measure it at first– many people apply to little, and get streaks. And when I ask them amount used, they always say “ oh  1-2 coats.”

But that does not tell you HOW MUCH product was used.

  • 1-2 coats for me is 2-3 ounce.
  • 1-2 coats for you may be 1 ounce.
  • 1-2 coats for someone else maybe 5 ounces.

It all depends on how much you pour on the mitt, how much you rub in etc.

Pour some in a glass measuring cup, and measure it before placing into your spray bottle.  You can even mark ounce measurements on the outside of your spray bottle with a black indelible marker pen.

Applying to little product, could create very light color, or some streaks, just because you do not have enough product on the mitt.

See picture of how the mitt looks when I have sprayed a tanning solution onto it, then I just wipe onto my skin.  You can of course apply to a larger mitt surface area, if that suits you better. This is just what works for me, with the best product control. (this is a liquid tanning solution made for use in a spray tan machine)

mitt w solution

This mitt looks brand new, its actually a few months old, used  1-2 times weekly, and it has been washed twice in a washing machine (and dried in a dryer)  at the time of this photo.

If you prefer, you can spray product onto your skin in the shower, and blend on the skin. This will also create a nice tan finish, but you may use more product, so add that into your “use” figures, as product may spray onto shower surfaces. And please spray shower walls with a surface cleaner and clean well after tanning, to prevent staining on grout or tile.

The Mini Mitt:

The mini mitt is small, and works well on hands feet, face etc.  It is thick, if you find it does not get into tiny areas, (around nose folds) try a soft dense many bristled Kabuki makeup application brush on the face.  Just spray into the middle of the brush, and swirl around with overlapping motions, covering all areas, and blending down under chin and jaw line.

Close-up portrait of young beautiful woman with brush for make-up

Steps above are not the only way to apply, just what works for me. I am 5’2”, junior size 9/10 very curvy, and impatient. I like to apply my product quickly, and move on to other things. I can normally apply 2-3 coats back to back in about 5-10 minutes.



The mitt is what I would classify as generous sized (think x large), it will fit a variety of hands sizes from average women’s, up to a means average hand sized. My hand is on the smaller size, and though bulky, it works fine.  It is quite easy to slide my hand in and out for switching hand, but does not fall off easily. I do spread my fingers out inside the mitt during application.

The length is very long, covering wrist area to protect the wrist area from excess solution smearing onto wrists.

The seams are a flat finish, double stitched seaming, that appear very durable, and are not scratchy on the skin.

The soft microfiber pile is applied to both the outside and inside of the mitt, so all you feel is a soft plush microfiber material. (no plasticy feel). This is a bamboo material used for its soft finish, and is naturally  antibacterial, anti fungal and odor resistant fiber, through multiple washing.

So even though my mitt may be “damp” from my last use, I can still use it confidently, because of the materials ability to limit bacterial growth. Though I do of course recommend regular washing, and hang drying to keep fresh. (discussed more later in this article)

The Bamboo material is biodegradable in the environment; natural, renewable, sustainability sourced, and considered eco- friendly.

Way is this thing so thick? Is it bullet proof, or something?

This is a multi-layer item, which is what creates its “thickness”.  It is waterproof and washable. Its thick because of the layers below, which is what differentiates it from other current mitts on the market.

The layers consist of:

TPU Layer: Sort of a rubber type stuff, that prevents solution or other tanning products from entering the inner mitt layers, and provides the waterproof effect. This is a flexible, washable water proof covering. This is on both sides of the sponge, so creates 2 layers of protection.

5 mm Sponge: A squishy spongy layer in the middle of the mitt.  Allows hand to press firmly against mitt, to push mitt (and tanning product) into body curves and contours. Helps prevent tanning product from missing concave, or depressed body areas. You can curve hand and mitt around all body areas to cover curvy areas easily (legs, shoulders,, calves)

Weft Microfiber plush fabrics on inner and outer surfaces: This is the bamboo material (also on outside of the mitt). Creates a soft smooth feel on the hand. Works well to blend your self tanning products during application. Sort of like a  very soft high quality plush hotel towel, with a shorter pile.





A mitt SHOULD be able to be washed regularly (depending on environment and need) in a washing machine, or by hand easily. It should not fall apart, because you choose to wash it.

Mitt Care, my experience:

The body mitt has a hang loop for in shower drying.

If your bathroom has limited ventilation, or your area is very humid, or very wet, you may need longer dry time. In these cases, I recommend more frequent machine washing to prevent bacteria overgrowth. Use your judgment based on your location and use rate.

If ether mitt smells a bit sour, I just place them In a laundry bag and machine wash them both together. The package recommends not to machine dry to prevent damage. But I have machine washed and dried all my mitts, but please use your best judgement, as the manufacturer does not recommend this. It may limit product lifespan, though my mitts have held up very well so far.

On normal use, I use it to apply my tanner, then place it in a plastic open bin under my sink. I use it once or twice a week. Its ether dry or a bit damp when I reuse it (depending on time of year and humidity levels). I have never noticed any bacterial or mold growth, or sour smell. I do occasionally machine wash it, just because it seems like a good idea. By occasionally, think once every few months, to once or twice a year.

Prestige Type Retail Packaging for sale to your clients:

Both mitts come is a nice Retail box that would look great in a Salon or spa. The box has a plastic tray, in which the mitts can be stored after they are dry.  The retail box is packaged in a plastic sleeve, and sealed with a clear tag to maintain cleanliness.

If you like to apply products at home, this is a product you should consider.

For retail Salons and Spas, this is a great add on item for you Spray tan clients to use to maintain their tan between salon visits, or to use on vacation.

For the clients that prefer not to spend the money to be professionally tanned weekly – they can purchase a take home kit from you. Pair this with a bottle of mousse, the Aerosol Tanning Solution, or a pump bottle of your professional solution and they are happy clients.


Products available for sale HERE

Exfoliation Mitt article HERE: