I was made for sunshine so I’m not even thinking about Autumn yet. There is still some Summer to be had! With that in mind I thought I would share some of the Summer skin products I have been trying out from Holland and Barrett.
The new tan from Karora, Express Bronzing Mousse, has a quick self-tan development time that allows you to decide how bronze you would like to be. US beauty editors recently referred to it as the “Versace of the tanning world”. With an endorsement like that I had to try it. Well that pic of the girl in their ad…wow, I would love that colour. I would also like that body but I fear it would cost me more than the price of a bottle of tan! :)
The velvety mousse is easy to apply with a tanning mitt and develops in an hour. Like all rapid tans you will get a better result the longer you leave it on but in one hour you will have a healthy glow. I like products like these since I detest the smell of fake-tan. This way I can rinse it off in rapid time and have the colour without 7 more hours of tan smelling skin. Leaving the product on for two hours gives you a hint more tint.
For a darker bronze it is recommended that you leave the mousse on for three hours. That was fine by me. I applied it in the evening time when I knew I was going out later on. I used a mitt to rub it in at 5pm, had my dinner, did my hair, makeup and chose my outfit. Then I rinsed the tan off at 8pm, applied some nicely scented moisturiser, got dressed and walked out the door and into a taxi by 8.30pm.
The tan is said to be custom colour so it suits your natural skin tone. It’s not orange, very important. If you have an Irish skin tone like me you will not look ridiculous this Autumn/Winter. The scent is quite delicate, nothing too over-powering. Like any tan worth it’s weight in gold it does have the usual dha smell whilst developing.
As far as application and developing time goes here are the recommendations:
1 hour: Light Tan
2 hours: Deeper tan
3 hours: Rich dark bronze
The tan also contains botanical extracts, aloe, acai berry, green tea, argan and bergamot oil to renew the skin and help improve your complexion.
The bottom line
I love it!! Sweet lamb of divine this is my new holy grail tan. It goes on better than any tan I have tried, pure luxury. Best of all you can’t possible mess up the application. It doesn’t dry too fast so you have time to blend with the mit. As I mentioned I left it on for three hours and showered it off and the colour was so beautiful! I couldn’t believe it. I had quite a few compliments on my tan too which is always good. I know you’re probably wondering how it lasts. Well for me it lasted 5-6 days before fading. I should point out that I shower twice a day and run regularly so I really put the tan to the test. I moisturise every day and exfoliate once a week so I didn’t change this step at all. Will I repurchase? 100% yes! I think my St Tropez Mousse affair may have finally come to an end.
In the interest of balance I’m trying to think of a downside. It’s definitely one of those tans that you apply at home and stay there until you wash it off. The tan developer needs to be fairly decent to product such a gorgeous colour in such a short time. Most tans need over-night application to get a tan this deep and well I just can’t stand the stink that long. You can also feel the product on your skin after application. For me that just means it’s rich which is necessary in a tan for those with any dry skin. Fast drying, tans tend to cling to me in the wrong sort of way. I’m re-applying this evening so I will start with an exfoliation, then apply, wear my shorts and tea-shirt around the house for 3 hours and rinse. Voila, done for another week.
A bottle costs €29.99 for 150ml. To me that’s a fairly decent price although I tend to compare all tan prices to my St Tropez Mousse which to me is splashing out. It’s available from Doc Morris, McCabes Sam McCauleys and pharmacies around Ireland. It is of course available worldwide.
Favourite tans at the moment?
I have made no secret of the fact that I love Xen-Tan. Their spray tan is the best I have tried and the lotion provides and amazing just-spent-a-week-at-the-beach-look, with zero tango-ness. They have recently launched a Luminous Gold Gel and Moroccan Tan which I was only too delighted to road test.
I have been enjoying my Elevease Shower Foot Rest for the past few weeks now. You may have heard me raving about it on Twitter and quite a few of you were asking to see it and for a full review.
Elevease is basically a ledge for your shower that you rest your foot on to apply false tan, shave your legs etc.
I can’t think of a person who wouldn’t benefit from this, especially fake-tanners. I also have to add that if you have a bump and find it harder to reach your feet this is fantastic for applying nail polish to your toes!
It fits in the corner of any shower at knee height. It also has a built-in slot to hold your razor, always handy. It comes with instructions and adhesive. I measured the height of mine with a ruler, marked the tiles with a pencil and applied the adhesive. You hold it in place for 3 minutes and then leave to try for 24 hours. Easy.
Love this one!
The illuminator comes in a few shades for to suit different skin tones – Rose, Gold and Violet. I have the Rose version which gives a pink pearlescent (maybe iridescent is a better description) glow. It actually reminds me of No7’s highlighting lotion.
Consistency wise it’s not greasy or oily. It goes on smooth and doesn’t contain any glitter or shimmer chunks, just soft iridescent particles.
You can buy it in all the usual places that stock St Tropez – Boots, pharmacies, department stores etc.
St Tropez have launched a new product for the face this season. If you’re like me and you’re paranoid about ageing but still want a light tan this one may be of interest to you.
I’ve been using SPF50 High Protection for Face with Tan Enhancer. According to the sales blurb it…
- offers UVA and UVB protection (three star rating) and is suitable for sunbathing
- contains Melanobronze which is said to stimulate melanin production – melanin is responsible for our tan
- is infused with Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant, Hyaluronic Acid and Raspberry Seed Oil to keep your skin nourished and supple.
My initial impression is that this seems far fancier than my usual Nivea sun cream. I love the packaging and I quite like that it comes in a box (fickle, fickle). It smells different to tradition sun protection products too. It’s quite fruity and smells almost like a fragrance without being over powering. Texture wise, it’s rich and creamy. Because of this I expected the product to just sit on my skin like most creams do on mine but I’m happy to report that it absorbs within a few minutes.
The absorption time is fine since you are supposed to wait for 15 minutes after application before going out in the sun anyway. My skin felt soft all day without feeling greasy and so far there’s no sign of a breakout. I’ll keep you updated.
I have been using the highest sun protection factor that they have available. If you don’t need as much protection as me it’s also available in SPF30.
The 50ml tube for the face is €19.95 and the larger 150ml body tube is €28.50. I’d love to try the SPF20 for the body, especially if it smells as gorgeous as this one. There is also an after-sun available which contains a touch of dha, sounds interesting.
What spf do you use during the Summer?
Review time! Today it’s Lancome Flash Bronzer Anti-Age, their first anti-aging self tanner for the face.
I know many a Flash Bronzer fan! I think this is because the colour seems to work well on Irish skin tones. I have one friend who has pretty much no pigmentation in her skin and no self tanners actually show up on her yet she loves the Flash Bronzer spray.
Press image used since Mother dearest has the bottle :)
I gave the anti-ageing self tanner a go last week. It felt moisturising without being greasy. My skin has recently returned to it’s normal/combination state, the dry skin is no more. If I had dry skin right now I think this bronzer would have suited me better but as it stands it’s a little rich. In the interest of fairness I passed it on to my mum who has dry skin and is concerned about ageing skin. It has to be said, she’s a little biased as she is a big Lancome fan anyway but she promised she would judge this bronzer based on it’s own merits.
- Contains SPF 15. Obviously this isn’t designed for sunbathing but at least it provides some environmental protection.
- Easy to apply
- Dries fast on dry skin
- Vitamin E provides protection and soft skin
- Contains Algusium C which is said to boost collagen production and provide hydration
- Didn’t streak
- Comes in two shades – Golden and Bronze
- My Mum liked it. She said her skin felt moisturised and that the colour was subtle without a hint of orange. Winner.
- The usual dha tanning smell, but hey, what self tan doesn’t
- It’s pricey at €35 but then again it’s a self tanner and anti-ageing product in one
- May not be suitable for oily or spot prone skin
Have you tried any of the Lancome Flash Bronzer collection? What do you think of them?
I was really excited about trying The Body Shop’s Honey Bronze Collection. Mainly because I love bronzing products this time of year. I thought I’d give you a little look at some of the products for the Summer.
I love the packaging, it’s so pretty and very appropriate considering the season. They’re also very sturdy, which is important when you’re a dropper, like me :)
Honey Bronze Lip Nectar – 01 Honey Bunch: I’m a fan of The Body Shop Lip Glosses anyway but this one is a little different to the pink shades I tend to go for. It will work so well with a tan. The gloss is creamy and rich without being too sticky. It also has good pigmentation. (€14.50)
Honey Bronze Bronzing Gel for Face – 01 Honey Glow: This face gel will get a blog post of it’s own later this week, maybe a review combined with a Face of the Day post. Let me just say that this is great stuff – not oily, not orange, not smelly. It’s lightweight, would suits most skin tones and gives an even and natural-looking honey-bronzed glow – it could also be used to enhance a natural tan, if you’re lucky enough to have one. (€18)
Honey Bronze Brilliance Powder – 02 Copper Shimmer: Brilliance Powder is one of those bronzers that stores loose powder in the bottom and has an integrated brush at the top. I’m never sure about these type of products as I like to control the amount of product I apply and often they pump out too much bronzer. This one doesn’t. The colour is soft and natural – I’ll follow up with some swatches. I like that I can throw this in my handbag. (€25.95)
Bronzing Powders – 02 Fair Matte, Medium Matte: I love matte bronzers but it can be hard for some girls to find one light enough for very fair skin. I’m delighted that The Body Shop offer one for fair skin. (€20.50)
Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil – 01 Honey Kissed: I am very excited about this one. It comes in a 100ml glass bottle. It smells distinctively floral. The scent is also quite strong. I have bought so many products like this over the years. Often they’re greasy or oily, this one is not!
Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil – 01 Honey Kissed
The downside is that it’s not great for travelling. I think I’ll be purchasing a small travel bottle in Boots and transferring some to bring away with me, problem solved. It gives skin a natural-looking beautifully bronzed shimmering glow, with a dry finish. It’s also long-lasting and streak-free. The oil contains Community Fair Trade honey from Ethiopia and beeswax from Cameroon – this makes me like it even more. (€25.95)
What do you think of the collection?
Another winner from Isa Dora. This time it’s Matte Bronzing Powder & Body Brush.
The best thing about this bronzer is the that it is matte. Bronzer fans will know only too well how hard it is to find a good matte bronzer that isn’t orange. As far as I’m aware, Isa Dora sell some other bronzers which have more sheen and shimmer too.
It’s pigmented but isn’t too over-powering for light coloured skins. It warms the complexion without adding ruddiness (yay!) and made me look healthy. I have been also using it as a contour powder, since it’s it’s matte it’s idea. I used to use Benefit Hoola for this purpose but the Isa Dora version is cheaper.
The brush is just fabulous. I was expecting it to be a little scratchy since most body kabuki’s are. I was very wrong. It feels so smooth and soft that I kept swiping it over my face repeatedly :) It’s very big and dense which makes it perfect for applying the bronzer to your body. I had my legs done (knee and under) in a couple of swipes. The brush costs €19.95, worth every cent if you use bronzers on your body.
To give you an idea of how absolutely humonous the bronzer palette is I took a picture of it next to a full size mascara.
The bronzer costs €25.95 which might seem a little steep but I’m getting an awful lot of product in comparison to other brands.
The packaging is quite sturdy – I dropped it when I first opened the lid, typical Amy, but it survived.
Quite a few of you were asking me where to get the Isa Dora glow stick and pink lipstick that I fell for. The products are on sale in pharmacies around Ireland.
What bronzer are you using at the moment?