Thursday, 12 July 2012

The holy grail of fake tans?

You can take the girl out of the high street but you can't take the high street from the girl and if a product is not usually available in Boots or Superdrug I usually don't want to hear about it. I've never been a fan of 'glossy box' subscriptions services either as I would hate to fall in love with an expensive product and then not being able to afford the full size version. But something happened about a year ago (this review is a bit late, much?) which made me tip my toes in the world of premium beauty products: Xen-Tan, an upmarket brand of fake tan released a sample of one of their products in a glossy box. I had heard lots of praise about Xen-Tan products before but I never went ahead to buy some Xen Tan for three reasons:

1) For years I've made do with a £8 fake tan product from L’OrĂ©al which gave me a streak free natural looking tan. Why spend more?
2) I only had read praise about Xen-Tan through beauty blogs and hadn't heard of anybody using it in the 'real world'. What if all the xen tan which was blogged about came from samples from the PR? 
3) If you hadn't already guessed, I am a bit of cheapskate really.

Thanks a very generous friend on twitter who was not too fussed about her glossy miniature sample, I soon became the proud owner of a Xen-Tan Deep Bronze Luxe', (30ml trial tube) and couldn't wait to see for myself if it lived up to its hype and more importantly to its £28.99 price tag for its full size version.


Don't ask me how they've done it but Xen tan managed to tame the god awful stinky beast of the DHA (the tanning ingredient) to create a product which hardly smell of fake tan. How on earth is that possible I've got no idea. Not only the smell of fake tan is barely noticeable but they added a delicate soft scent of vanilla on top. I had never experienced that before.

I usually apply my fake tan at night and sleep in it. I usually feel so sticky that I feel the need to quickly blast a hair dryer on my body to make it dry faster. Not with this: the product applied very smoothly and was super quickly absorbed. The colour is a bit unusual: like chocolate brown mixed with .. erm greeny bird poo but I was so impressed so far, I really wasn't bothered the slightest.



The following morning I woke up to the most gorgeous and natural looking tan which gave me lots of compliments. No orange tint in sight, no streaks, I was darker, a lovely shade of darker. I was scared before application that I would become too dark, this was after the 'dark' version but it was just perfect. I had never looked so tanned (from a tube/bottle) before. I was blown away, not realising that the best was yet to come…

There's more? Oh yes there is. I feel the ultimate strength of the xen tan deep bronze luxe is how it lives, lasts and evolves on your skin. I have never experienced a product which fades away so amazingly well. Usually when I apply a fake tan product, by day 5 {if it has lasted that long} I can't wait to give my skin a good scrub and start again. St Tropez, which I have also been able to try thanks to a friend, gives me a beautiful colour at first, but becomes patchy city towards the end of its 5-day life on me. For me, Xen tan blows St Tropez - and any other fake tan brands  - out of the water: I am able to get a good seven days out of my application and the products fades out very evenly. 


Any negative points at all? Yes. The first time I applied the fake tan, I underestimated how fast it would take to be absorbed by the skin so I spent too long rubbing the product in and it created some mini bobbles on top the skin.So my piece of advice for anyone who was new to xen tan deep bronze luxe and wanted to try it is to trust the product, trust that you've blended it enough, and resist the temptation to overblend and play with the product too much. No need to rush it, take your time to apply it, blend it but don’t overblend: leave it alone and let it do its magic. Also, I don't find Xen Tan easily accessible: I can't run to my nearest Boots or Superdrug to buy it and, if there isn't a fake tan salon near you who offers professional tans using Xen Tan, the only place to buy it, to my knowledge, is online.

How does the cheapskate in me reconcile with the fact that the product is £28.99 for a full size version? 30 quid man, that’s a lot of money! I didn't think I would ever say this but it doesn't phase me. Well, I did wait 6 months to buy it at a whopping 30% off, on the official website, (since Buyapowa would never list it!) but I was happy to spend the money as the product is of outstanding quality. Could I go back to buying a cheapo tan? No way. Now that I've experienced a practically scent free fake tan, with all the bonus perks, I don't want to go back. Hands down, this is the best fake tan product I have ever tried and it's going to take an exceptionally good product to beat it – if that is even possible.

What: Xen Tan Deep Bronze Luxe (Weekly Self Tan)
How much: £28.99 for 236 ml
Where: Xen Tan online store
Disclosure: the travel size (30ml) was gifted to be by Georgie on twitter and I bought the big fat one you see on the photos with my own money.


Annette said...

I use their Dark Lotion and always order from as shipping is free and i live in France. I think it's the cheapest site to purchase from :-)

Tracey said...

Hi just to let you know I was surprised to see this in my local boots the other day. It is quite a large store though so prob wouldn't find in the smaller stores.

Lucy - Beauty and the Blogger said...

Ah I've got this to try out, been using the dark lotion up until now, excited to give this a go!

CherrySue said...

I haven't tried the Luxe but Xen-Tan Gradual Daily Facial Tanner is my all time favourite. My skin is so bronzed and natural with it. Believe it or not I actually like the scent. Unheard of with Fake Tans!
I always chuckle when you ask for a word on twitter but then turn around and write some of the most articulate beauty posts of anyone I know.
Keep up the great work Schweetie x

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