Here’s another little idea for your Neiman Marcus Beauty Event shopping bag. In anticipation of spring, I’ve been test driving the newest Xen-Tan products. I was frankly already hooked (see here and here), but these guys made me fall even harder. What’s best, is you can really get a formula that best suits you with these two very different approaches to self-tanner.
First up, the Moroccan Weekly Medium Self-Tan is most like a traditional self-tanner in that the formula is pigmented. I mean really really pigmented. It comes out of the tube in a deep, rich chocolate. The consistency is thin and silky. While it takes some time to evenly apply the pigment, the immediate result is a beautiful bronze. The upside to the coloring is you can tell where you’ve applied the tanner.
After eight hours, I get a brown-based, rich but still medium color on my light skin. While it did dry quickly, I’d be very hesitant to wear light clothing until you shower just due to the coloring. As with all Xen-Tan products, the smell is completely pleasant with a tropical touch. Bonus points for the collagen building peptides to improve the look of skin.
Secondly (and probably my favorite) is Luminous Gold Gel Sparkle Weekly Medium Self-Tan. This totally clear, thin gel is a breeze to apply. While you don’t have the advantage of seeing where you’ve already applied product, I feel a little more carefree using the gel. It seems to work its way onto the skin a little easier. And you can absolutely put on any white or light clothing worry-free.
While you don’t get that immediate bronze glow, there is an iridescent gold shimmer that gives a dewy, glam look. This might be ideal for maintaining a tan – the gold accents existing bronze and you don’t need that immediate golden effect. Or you can add this to Moroccan Weekly Medium Self-Tan for a both shimmer and bronze look. Like Moroccan Weekly Medium Self-Tan, the final result was a brown-based, rich but still medium color.
Disclaimer: weird leg photo ahead (I do this for you, dear readers). On the left, Moroccan Weekly Medium Self-Tan and the right Luminous Gold Gel Sparkle Weekly Medium Self-Tan immediately after applying. After eight hours, they look exactly the same (same pigment as left). Second disclaimer, I am so so so so pale.
I am convinced that Hourglass Primers are a best of breed. While I love Smashbox and Laura Mercier, these Hourglass offerings have something a little extra. They are luxurious and nourishing performers, no matter your skin type.
Hourglass N° 28 Primer Serum is the work horse of the bunch. This primer is also serious skin care. You can use it at night or under makeup. It even works on the ends of your hair for conditioning and shine. This is geared for drier skin (jump to the next version if you are in the oily camp) with an oil-based hydrating formula. The silky consistency creates a natural moisture barrier with a refined surface for makeup. I love the luminous quality – it can modernize and transform a matte foundation. The “28” in the product’s name refers to the formula’s key ingredients, which include 14 essential oils, 10 lipid-rich plant oils, and four vitamins.
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15 is more of a dedicated primer. While it is designed for more combo/oily skin, I still keep it in my rotation. The milky white lotion finishes out to clean, satin canvas. The mineral-based formula absorbs excess oils while the light diffusing properties camouflage imperfections. Bonus that it contains an SPF.
Hourglass Solar Tan Self-Tanning Primer is the most unique primer I have come across. For those who want to maintain a bronzy glow in the winter, this is a great option. The primer develops into a natural glow with each application. You can use it up to five days until you get your desired intensity. I’ve noticed that I feel better if my complexion has a little warmth so I love having this close by.
A few weeks ago, I reviewed my favorite Self-tanning Towelettes. Towelettes are my new favorite way to tan because they give an easy, even color and are great for travelling. But I understand that towelettes aren’t for everyone. Many of you were skeptical about streaking. For those who want a lotion or spray, here are my favorites:
- Beautisol Summer Glow™: This stuff is a blogger favorite. The creamy lotion blends beautifully and gives a natural bronze color. It is tinted (which I prefer), so you know where you stand as far as blending and coverage. Also, it works great if you need some immediate color. And I literally cannot detect a scent with their Innovative Pure Scent odor eliminating fragrance technology. The pump bottle makes managing application and breeze. And the detailed application guide is tremendously helpful – it directs you how much product to use for each body part.
- Victoria’s Secret Beach Sexy Tinted Self-tan Body Spray: As much as it reminds me of being 14 years old, Victoria’s Secret Bath and Body products have come a long way. Spray dispensers are fabulous for getting to those hard to reach places. And this formula gives deep, rich color. Achieving even application with spray product is easier, but I still highly highly suggest blending with gloved hands (see tip below) after spraying on the body.
- Xen-Tan Deep Bronzer Luxe: Okay, I know I sound like a broken record because I am ALWAYS talking about Xen-tan, but it really is a fabulous product. You can use this on the face and body. It has a instant color so you can see where you have blended and applied. The final tan is natural looking and olive-based. And the vanilla scent is yummy. The formula hydrates and smooths with shea butter, Vitamin E, green tea and antioxidants.
- St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse: If you are looking for something long-lasting, I think this might be the ticket. Plus, there are loads of benefits to a mousse. The lightweight formula makes it easy to get even, streak-free color. And it dries immediately. I haven’t had any issues with transfer. The scent is slightly more detectable than the other products I’ve mentioned, but it still doesn’t bother me. The color is a lighter, bronzy glow that looks incredibly natural.
And a new tip that basically changed my self-tanning world. Why didn’t I think of this earlier? I have to credit the beautiful Sinead Norenius, founder of Beautisol. She suggested latex gloves for application. This allows you to blend thoroughly and layer without fear of yellow hands. You can also use a mitt (this one by Xen-tan), but I prefer gloved hands as they can get in between toes and underarms easier. When you are finished, just wipe the back of your hands as you remove your gloves and toss!
The best way I’ve found to tan streak-free and on the go this summer is using the self-tanner towelettes. Two brands have become my favorite and they are ever so slightly different. But I will definitely be keeping both of em close by over the summer. That and loads of SPF.
Kate Somerville Somerville360°Tanning Towelettes and Somerville360° Face Tanning are champions at a quick and even tan. They have a lighter, natural looking glow that appears in about 2-4 hours. You can go deeper in color with another application. But their subtlety makes them perfect for those on the fairer side. They are so simple to use. I wear latex gloves when handling the towelette to keep my hands from being overly tanned. Just swipe the back of hands right as you finish application. Give yourself 10 minutes to let the product soak in and then you are ready to go. The paraben-free formula contains:
- Anti-bacterial Melaleuca Alternigolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil
- Calming Cucumber Fruit Extract
- Soothing Vitamin C and E antioxidants
The face tanning pads are just as easy to use. Place two fingers in the sleeve of the self tanning pad. Peel off the seal to expose product. Using circular motions, gently apply to clean, dry face and neck. The effect is also natural and just sun-kissed. The formula works with your skin’s own proteins to cater a perfect color. It also has anti-aging properties (peptides that can diminish fine lines). I’ve found that the color is on the lighter side, again ideal for the fairer complexions. You can deepen the color with a second application.
Exfoliation always improves self-tanning results. Try ExfoliKate for the body and face before using the Somerville 360.
Now, at Neiman Marcus you can receive Two 360 Tanning Towelettes and ExfoliKate, 0.5oz with any $150 Kate Somerville purchase.
I’m equally smitten with Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta® Glow Pads and Glow Pads For Body With Active Vitamin D. These pads deliver slightly more color than Somerville 360. I use the same application technique with latex gloves. Both the body and face pads contain Active Vitamin D, which helps in absorption of other anti-aging and anti-oxidant ingredients. The pads exfoliate with Alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids, tightening pores, eliminating blackheads, and fading existing sunspots. Microencapsulated DHA and soy proteins deliver color deep into the skin to prevent fading. And believe it or not, these pads contain Capislo™ which can reduce the need to shave by minimizing hair texture, length, and growth. The final result is a deeper and very even tan.
This product is gentle enough for all skin types, vegan, and cruelty-free. And slightly more affordable of the two options.