Sunday, May 15, 2011

Xen-Tan Perfect Blend review

Let me tell you a little story.  I am covered in moles, head to toe and even still, managed to get sunburned many many times throughout my life.  I've always kept an eye on the moles and a couple of years ago, when one on my shoulder looked dodgy, my GP referred me to see a dermatologist in Beaumont.  Let me just tell you that I've never been a patient in a hospital, other than when I was 6 and had to get my tonsils out, so I wasn't sure what to expect, a chat and a look at the mole surely?  Anyway, I went in and showed the doctor my shoulder.  She assessed it and then asked me to remove my clothes so she could check the rest of them.  I nearly went in to cardiac arrest.  Not only had I not shaved my legs or anything, but no, I was wearing manky undies too.  I was mortified and just cringed my way through the examination, I mean, come on now Flossy, I just wanted you to look at my shoulder! 
Anyway, she asked me if I'd ever used sunbeds and I told them the truth and said "no".  She asked me if I was sure, if I'd even had one sunbed exposure and at this point I had The Rage and told her "No mrs, now feck off and let me slink away quietly in my mismatching undies and gorilla legs".  I didn't actually say the last part.  But it annoyed me that she didn't believe that I'd never used a sunbed.  I've heard the bad things and read the articles on them and now that I work in a dermatology unit myself, I know more about the dangers of them but I also know what to look out for with moles and any changes in size/colour/shape and would encourage everybody out there to do the same.

Anyway, that was a long intro!  So since we don't get much sun in Ireland and I don't use sunbeds, where am I gonna get a tan?  A hollier in Spain won't do.  And this leads me on to my next point.  I am afraid of fake tanning.  Yep.  I think we've all seen the bad tan jobs out there and we won't even get started on the smell.  I've tried a few fake tanners out there and still the fear remains!

Last week a few of us wee bloggers went to meet up with Amy from Xen-Tan to learn about some of their products.  I first heard about them from the amazing Lollipop26 so I was excited to learn more about them.  Amy showed us the Perfect Blend custom self-tan, Transform Luxe gradual tanner, the Dark Lotion and Scent Secure.  We had a sniff of the products and there was nary a biscuity smell to be smelled!  

I was kindly given the Perfect Blend to try at home and here's why.  I am a total rookie/novice/blue pale person and really don't want to look like an Oráiste Páiste (the Irish girls will get that one!)

This product is bloody brilliant, hands down.  It has a dual chamber system that separates the bronzer from the self tanner, but they can be used together and separately.  The first time I used it last weekend, I turned the dial all the way to the self-tan end.  I was using it at night and wasn't going anywhere, so I figured there's no point in putting the bronzer on.  Amy shared a great tip for anyone using this product and that was to apply the self tanner part on first, and then when it develops, to use the bronzer part to contour, so put it on your shins, shoulders, collarbone.  I loved the idea of that especially for going out at night.


Above you can see how you can adjust the dial to one of 11 different options from 100% full self-tan to 100% bronzer.

Here you can see the two products coming out together.  The self-tanner is the white product on the left and the bronzer is on the right.  If you click the photo, you'll see a bigger photo that shows the shimmer that's in the bronzer.  It's so subtle which is good because who wants to look like a big glitterball?!  You can also see the velour mitt that is part of the Xen-Tan range.  Be warned, the first time I used the mitt, it shed a bit, but once the tan dried, it rubbed off no problem.  Anyway, I applied one full pump of 100% self-tanner to each arm and that was the perfect amount to get a lovely suble colour.  Of course, I didn't pay proper attention to my hands and forgot to do one and didn't rub it in properly to the other one hehe  I told you, I'm still learning!  It gave me a gorgeous subtle colour and you know what?  I could have applied a second coat the following day and still not been self conscious.

I think the joy of this product is if you're in a rush going out, or don't have the time to self-tan properly, then the bronzer is what you need.  Lash a couple of coats on and you're sorted.  If you do have the time, then you can play around with the dial and find what balance of the two products works best for you.  The Perfect Blend custom self-tan retails at €40 and is sold in Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser and Debenhams to name a few (pst if you buy it in Debenhams, make sure you use your Beauty Card and get beauty points!)

Another product Amy showed us really made me sit up and go "hmm!"  It was their Scent Secure oil free moisturiser that retails at €30. 

Now, before I go any further, Amy explained that it's important to use an oil free scrub and an oil free moisturiser when self tanning, because it's the oil in body washes,scrubs and moisturisers that causes your self tan to go patchy.  Totally filed that in my things to remember to tell all my friends part of the brain.  This Scent Secure oil free moisturiser smells gorgeous, like melon and cucumber, really fresh and lovely :)  So if your favourite self-tanner has a bit of the digestive biscuit smell, lash this on top of it and it seals the smell it, so it's boyfriend friendly hehe  Genius!

If you want to read a review on the Transform Luxe gradual tanner, head over to Sinead's review on VivaAdonis!  I have my eye on the Dark Lotion to try next, Amy tried it on one of my arms last week and it left me with a gorgeous colour.  As I use the Perfect Blend more and more, I'm hoping to get the courage to go for something like the Dark Lotion!

If you want to find out any more about Xen-Tan, pop over to and have a read :)  Thanks again to Amy and Shirley who were lovely and kept trying to make us biscuits, I tell ya though, those were the only things smelling of biscuits :)


  1. Great review hon! You must have read my mind because I've been meaning to ask you about this very thing :o)

  2. wow sounds great... great reading it ... i love the sound of the scent secure...i HATE THE SMELL OF FALSE TAN

  3. Thanks for the review. It was very interesting to read.

    Let me know when you want to upgrade to something a little deeper and darker.

    Amy @ Xen-Tan UK

  4. @Eileen - great minds and all that! This would be great for you on the stage :)

    @Actionmags - the scent secure is gorge, I would deffo get some if I used another self tanner but don't need it with the Perfect Blend

    @Amy - glad you enjoyed the review, I'm hoping to get decent before and after photos to add to the post when I can get nice daylight :)

  5. That tan looks very interesting, love that you can adjust it to what you need on a particular day.
    I had no idea that it was the oil in moisturiser that made tan go patchy, that's really interesting. I must check out the ingredients in my moisturisers, thanks for the great tip :)

  6. Great review!
    Don't be scared of the dark lotion, with the color guide it's very easy to use and if you use a little bit and blend well (which is what we should always do with self-tanners) you'll look perfect, it's a great product (and the name "dark" isn't really accurate)


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