Despite being the male equivalent of an English Rose in many aspects, one thing I do not like is being pale. I always feel happier, and more confident with a tan, and people always comment how healthy I look with a bit of colour.
Sadly I cannot jet off to Cannes every week to top up my tan (as would be ideal!), and sun can be virtually non existent in England, so sporadically I hit the bottle tan (well it’s healthier than a real one I guess!). …and who doesn’t want to look like they’ve just got back from a weekend in the Italian Rivera? I cannot believe I confess these things with you, a boy is supposed to have his secrets after all, and it is about making it look effortless, or something along those lines.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with pale skin, some people really suit it – but I just feel washed out when I don’t have a glow. At the same time though I must point out I am not so much a fan of the Essex orange tan – I like a natural tan; a sun kissed glow.
I have tried various fake tans over the years (even had a few spray tans!) from the likes of St. Tropez to the bargain that is St. Moriz. I tend to prefer mousse as I find the application easier, however I am open to trying new things so I thought I would try one of Xen-Tan’s products. I bought Xen-Tan’s Transform Luxe Daily Self-Tan.
The reason I thought I would try it is because it contains shea butter, vitamin E, and anti-oxidant mumbo jumbo (I’m so technical I know). So not only will it give colour, it will supposedly moisturise, and care for the skin – a lot of fake tans can be drying, this one theoretically shouldn’t be.
Unlike a lot of fake tans it does not have that god awful biscuit smell however it has a strong vanilla smell to mask the biscuit smell. Whilst this smell isn’t awful, it isn’t desirable for me personally – smelling like I’ve been rolling around in vanilla isn’t for me but by no means is it a negative smell.
It does not have a colour guide when you apply it which can make applying it difficult, especially if you are used to your fake tans having one. It comes out as a creamy white moisturiser, which means you do have to take care that you apply it evenly, and do not miss a spot. Despite this application is fairly simple, and it goes on well. You simply apply it with circular movements, and wash your hands afterwards with soap (very important as orange hands is definitely not a good look).
It says you should wait three hours before showering, or swimming – however with products like this I always leave it longer, and tend to put them on before bed (just make sure you have dark bedding!). You should also avoid anything that may cause you to sweat as that could make the tan streaky. Another precaution is to not wear light clothing in case it stains, or tight in case it rubs off, and blondes should avoid getting it in their hair.
It is not too sticky, and dries quickly so you could apply it, get dressed, and go out without having to worry about it. It does not leave your skin looking ‘muddy’ like some, and it has a time release ingredient – so it is gradual.
The tan that develops has lovely olive undertones to it which make it look really natural, and it really does give a nice natural looking tan. If you want it darker reapply the next day, and so on, however if you want it really dark I wouldn’t suggest this fake tan as it is more of a light natural colour. Xen-Tan do a really dark one I believe, but I have not tried it.
The bottle is 8 oz/236 ml, which providing used sensibly, and as advised should last a fairly long time. I bought mine at Harvey Nichols Birmingham in the Beyond Beauty concession, it cost me £25.00. So the price is not bad, but at the same time it is not exactly a bargain.
Cost: 3/5 – reasonable, but no bargain!
Application: 4/5 – relatively no fuss, would be better if it had a colour guide
Colour: 3/5 – a natural olive tan, could be a little bit darker
Longevity: 4/5 – lasts up to a week, and doesn’t seem to fade patchy
Overall I’d give this product 3.5 out of 5, I would use it again, and buy it again, but personally I prefer mousses, and a colour guide would have been useful. The smell wasn’t unbearable however I would have preferred a more neutral scent that was not so strong.