Wednesday, July 10, 2013

No Longer a Walking Halogen Bulb

I have a love/hate relationship with summer. I love the warmer weather, but I hate wearing clothes that show off more skin than I am comfortable with. I am pretty self conscious about my body to begin with so add that insecurity with my "I am so white I look like a walking glow stick" insecurity and you have a big pasty emotional mess on your hands.

A few weeks back I asked you all on facebook what self tanner you recommend. I have tried so many self tanners with little to no success. They would either:
• Make me orange
• Streak really bad
• Look awesome, but then "Sweat off" in a day
• Leave me feeling gooey
• Smell really terrible
• Be a huge messy disaster (any spray-tans had to be done in my shower so my walls didn't end up orange)
• Need to re-apply all day erry day
• Work great, but would be really expensive.

I asked you guys what you recommend because I know you'll be straight up with me. You'll give me your honest opinion and hopefully not steer me in the wrong direction and give me the deadly disease "oompah-lompha-itis". One person wrote on my status that the best self tanner they use is "sunlight". Now as much as I would love to be able to naturally tan I just can't. My skin just doesn't do the "tanning" thing, and even if I did tan I wouldn't want to expose my skin to that much sunlight due to other not-so-fun things that can happen to your skin when its exposed to too much sun.

A few of you guys recommend that I try Xen-tan. One of the people who recommended that I try Xen-tan was one of their representatives, Bethany. Bethany contacted me over email to see if I was interested in reviewing their tanning product. Before saying yes I did some research and read other's reviews of Xen-tan. Each review was positive and hopeful. I figured Bethany must be pretty confident in this product as well if she uses it herself AND is willing to let me review it using my own opinions.

 before and after

 before and after

The Results; Why I Would Totally Use it Again:

• Smells fruity when you first slap it on ya.

• The lotion is tinted so you know exactly where you are applying it on your body. (don't let the dark brown color scare you. It freaked the shiz atta me too but once you rub it in it becomes way more transparent and blends in with your existing skin color, girl scouts honor)

• Wasn't streaky since I was able to see where the lotion was going on my body.

• If you happen to apply the lotion unevenly use the balm to help blend in areas that are blotchy, uneven or too dark (I used the balm along my jaw line, knees and ankles. It's like the mr.clean magic eraser but for your body. Its actually did help blend in my goof-ups)

• I didn't feel sticky, slimy or "ooey" like when I use other lotions or tanners. The lotion absorbed nicely into my skin and didn't "lay on top of" my skin.

• I started to see results ASAP. This was big for me because I noticed in the past I had to keep building up a base coat for a few days before I was happy with the color. This is great if I get invited to a last minute event and want to look a little "glow-y" beforehand.

• The color is natural since it has olive undertones.

• You can adjust the color to your liking by either adding more or less lotion in between coats. I did 2 coats of lotion for my base layer and the color held up for 3 days with out fading. After that I just needed to do one layer of lotion for upkeep (That's not to say by day 3 I was white, I still had tanner on me but I noticed it wasn't as dark. I would personally apply ever 3 to 4 days to maintain a constant nice glow. You might have to do more or less depending how often you shower. I shower every day)

• I used the scent secure gold lotion to touch up my face. Its a lotion with flecks of gold in it to help maintain your self tanner in between applications. I see myself using the scent secure gold lotion in the winter time to give myself a healthy glow since I won't have to be applying tanner to my entire body. (let's be real, aint nobody seeing my legs in -20* weather. I dub NY winters as "no leg shaving" season) (sorry Bub)
• I got a few comments at work from people saying I looked good and wanted to know what I did differently. I was happy to hear that people noticed "something" was different about me but it wasn't super obvious that I had self tanner on. I just said I got a hair cut ;)

Helpful Tips:

• My only slight issue (which isn't even a HUGE deal) is that the mitt they supplied to prevent the tanner from staining your hands did leave some lint residue on my body while using it. To eliminate this I would recommend running a damp paper towel over the mitt to pick up any loose pieces of lint before hand. Again, the mitt is optional and doesn't affect the tanner at all. Once I did that I was good to go and have no had a problem since then.

• The fruity scent did wear away after a while and the familiar "self tanner smell" did creep in but with that said it wasn't a strong self tanner smell and the other lotion (scent secure gold) that they supplied helps mitigate that scent.

• Do not use the mitt to apply the tanner to your face. Since the mitt is so big its hard to rub it in evenly, I suggest using your hands and washing them ASAP right afterwards.

• Do not shower right away after applying the tanner. I showered first, applied the tanner, and waited a few hours before putting on "real" clothes (ya know, clothes that are acceptable for public viewing) (I'm talking  to you oversized yoga pants and that free t-shirt you scored at the company picnic that hasn't been washed in a week) but again this goes for pretty much any self tanner you use.

• Avoid loofas or exfoliators, but this is common sense with any self tanners. You're just going to scrub off the tanner and look blotchy. Also avoid chlorine. I took a dip in my hot tub and my self tanner came off, again not Xen-tans fault it was my own fault for exposing my tanner to chemicals.

• I used an old towel that I cut into a 5" width strip to do my back. I applied the tanner to the towel and then "shimmied" it back and forth across my back like as if I was drying myself off (but instead I was applying tanner) it worked really well.

• Make sure to do your neck and jaw line! I see so many people with tan faces and white necks.

Wanna Give it a Try?

Bethany has graciously given you all a 35% coupon code to use! Enter "YELLOWHEART35" at check out. You can buy Xen-Tan over here! The code is only good for US Residents only.

In case 35% off your Xen-Tan order wasn't awesome enough Xen-Tan is also giving away a Tanning Goodie Bag that includes their Dark Lotion, Scent Secure Gold, Blending Balm and their Deluxe Tanning Mitt. This goodie bag retails for over $101. 

Do the Rafflecopter Prompts below to be entered to win! Xen-Tan was awesome enough to give you guys a prize pack worth over $100, so we do make sure every entry is valid :) Opened to U.S. Residents only please!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm like you -- really really white! I need something to give my pale legs some color!

  2. Awesome!! I've been looking for a good self-tanner ever since I started working in a dermatology lab... I think I'm a little scared of the sun now haha. Thanks for giving such a detailed review!

  3. I just started using Xen Tan this summer, too, and I love it! Would love to win the set of goodies!

  4. It's too hot to tan outside here in Texas so this would be perfect! :)

  5. I have some Xen Tan too and love it! It's good stuff!

  6. this looks amazing! always on the hunt for a good self-tanner!

  7. Thank you for offering such a wonderful giveaway! My legs are so white they could guide ships. No kidding! I have a sun allergy (weird, I know) so I am always looking for self tanners that with give me a little color without making me look like an Oompa Loompa.


  8. I'm in the military and stuck wearing pants and long sleeves every day, so this would be an awesome way for me to get some color!

  9. Excited to try this out!! I'm always on a hunt for a new self-tanner, especially one that the husband doesn't complain that it smells like permed tuna (he's dramatic).

  10. I love your after pic :). It really does look natural.

  11. "I shower every day." I've said it before, but you crack me up! Glad the self-tanner worked for you. I get a little color, but not much. Maybe I'll check it out. ;-)

  12. I would definitely recommend their back applicator. That thing is the bomb.

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  14. I'm a glowstick too! This might be perfect for me!

  15. Sometimes I could be mistaken for a vampire... minus the whole pointy teeth thing. Red head with fair skin over here. A little color would be nice! It looks fabulous on you!

  16. You look great! I'd love to try it!


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