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.
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?
It’s that time of year again – I embraced my fair skin all Winter but now that it’s Spring I’m starting to think about a little bit of colour. I can’t stress the ‘little bit’ enough.
I have been trying out St Tropez’s new Dark Instant Glow Body Lotion for the past couple of weeks.
The blurb: A deep tan minus the commitment, the new Dark Instant Glow Body Lotion is designed to deliver an instant glow and flawless finish.
Before I share my thoughts, I will give you a look at what it looks like on my skin.
After one application (tan applied to top arm)…
And after two applications….
Before I apply this product I prepare my skin as if I was using a tan that develops. I exfoliate my skin, focusing on my elbows and knees. Moisturising is essential for me before I apply tan (particularly instant products) as I have dry skin. Chunks of tan stuck to dry skin is not as good look. I wait until my moisturiser has been absorbed, then I apply the product.
I always apply tan to my body using a mit. I buy mine from my local pharmacy. I think this gives the best finish and you don’t have to worry about staining hands.
Other methods of application I’ve tried:
Rubber gloves – the smell of latex makes me gag. The worst thing about it is that you can smell it off your skin all night. You can buy latex free gloves but I find that it’s harder to work into my skin that the mit and even the small size gloves move around on my hands.
Bare hands – I hate when tan sticks to the palms of your hands. I usually wash my hands with soap and warm water for 2 minutes but I sometimes have to resort to scrubbing – not convenient if you’re in a rush.
St Tropez Back Applicator -I just couldn’t manage it.
Sponge – I use a sponge to apply tan to my fingers. I have also used the St Tropez Sponge face applicator in the past, I wasn’t a huge fan. This was mainly down to its shape – long and flat, very hard to use on your face.
I’ll be sticking to my mit :)
I like that you can achieve a rich dark glow which can be removed with soap and water at the end of the night. It didn’t move in light rain, it didn’t even budge after an few hours of dancing. The colour stayed put until I showered the following morning.
The best part for me is the colour – deep and olive toned. There is not a hint of orange in sight. Another thing I love is that there is no ‘developing tan’ smell. You know that smell, the one so many describe as digestive biscuity :)
It’s easy to apply blends well and dries rapidly. I’m glad to say goodbye to the days I used to walk around my bedroom like a robot trying to dry tan.
You can also highlight and contour the areas you want to help sculpt your body (that would take way too much time for the likes of me). I once read that you should use a slightly darker shade of tan on your legs.
It goes without saying that if you don’t exfoliate or moisturise than you can’t really expect this product to look good. Every tan requires a bit of maintenance. In this case, it’s well worth it.
Would I repurchase?
As far as where to buy – St Tropez is widely available around the world. In Ireland you can find it in Brown Thomas and pharmacies for €17.40.
What tan are you using right now? Do you use instant tan?
So I have already blogged about my Xen Spray Tan so I thought it was a good time to review the home version. I bought the Xen Dark Lotion for €23 online, there is no way I’m paying House of Fraser prices. I also do a little comparison between the lotion and the salon spray, enjoy!
Thanks for watching :)
What’s your favourite tan?
*I bought this product myself.
I know it’s Autumn but as I explain in the start of this video, this is the time of year that I actually use a bit of tan. I have been using St Tropex Wash Off for a few weeks now so I thought that it was time for a video review. I always included a little arm application so you could see the colour. I hope you enjoy!
What is the best instant tan you have used?
I had my very first spray tan a few weeks ago. The fact that a beauty blogger has never tried one seems strange to people. To be honest I never gave it a second thought.I have been experimenting with tan since I was sixteen and I like to think that I can now apply it properly. This is the main reason I never saw the point in me having a spray tan done. Why pay to have it applied when you can apply it as well yourself? I couldn’t have been more wrong!
I had a Xen spray tan in LA Make-up Academy on Chatham Street. A lovely girl called Lorna looked after the application that day.I was expecting it to be an uncomfortable experience, as most experiences are when one is standing almost naked on front of a stranger. Not so.
Lorna was very friendly and explained everything to me like the spray tanning newbie that I am. The tanning room itself was calming and pretty. There were candles lighting and hot cloths at the ready for make-up removal if I so wished.
I was informed that I could leave my make-up on as the tan can be sprayed on top and still develops. I held on to my own underwear bottoms and passed on the paper thong, I just couldn’t.
The application took about 5 minutes during which I was required to place myself in certain poses to ensure even coverage. Ok, I felt like an eejit, but they see this all the time!
I dried myself off for a few minuted using the air from the compressor and got dressed. I choose an old dress that I was happy to ruin in the name of a good tan. It was also loose so it wouldn’t leave any lines or marks. I was also told to avoid water and exercise that would cause perspiration until I could shower the tan off in the morning.
I left the building a deeply bronzed yet tacky (as in sticky) woman. It was an extremely humid day in Dublin and the sun was shinning. This didn’t bode well for the no perspiration rule. I made a quick dash for the car.
I have to say that I was a little tanned to begin with. I had the tan applied about 4 weeks after I came back from holiday. I was amazed by the colour. It was olive based rather than golden or orangey and it lasted about six days with daily moisturisation.
I have recently tried the Xen bottle tan (more on this tomorrow) but it’s nothing like the spray tan result.
I will definitely get another one for any events of holidays coming up.
What has been your experience with spray tans?