Thursday, 29 April 2010

Xen Tan - My TanTastic Review

Hey bronzed beauts
Those loveys who have been keen bean followers from the start will know fo-shoo that I am a mahooosive fake tan fan!!  have tried many of the well-known brands, from St Moritz, Fake Bake and St Tropez... I am constantly on ther hunt for the PERFECT fake tan, taking streakiness, smell, price and colour into consideration!
"Where are you aMAZing Belle Fake Tan...?"
And then, lo and behold, the golden goddesses at Xen Tan UK heard my cries and sent me some of their goodies to try out.

So let's have a look what popped through my letterbox:
Xen Tan Dark Lotion 236ml (£25.95)
Xen Tan Face Tanner Luxe 80ml (£18.95)
Xen Tan Body Scrub 236ml (£12.95)
Xen Tan Luxury Tanning Mitt (£3.50) like an excited puppy at Crufts, I whipped out these beauts and couldn't wait to slap them on and watch the magic happen!

From top left :-
Xen Tan Face Tanner Luxe
Xen Tan Body Scrub
Xen Tan Dark Lotion

Firstly, it is vital to exfoliate your skin before you apply any fake tan, so I reached for my body scrub and got a-scrubbing...

The moment I popped this bad boy open, I was overwhelmed by it's 'minty freshness' was a little bit like bathing in Colgate! That said, I think it was a blooming good exfoliator. Some exfoliators tend to be a tad abrasive and leave my skin looking a tad raw, but this one didn't. It certainly removed all traces of dead skin and left my skin feeling smooth and well conditioned, and minty fresh!! :)
I think the product is a tad pricey compared to other exfoliators on the market, but you do get 236ml and I only really needed to use 2-3 pumps each session, so it will last me yonks!
(Handy hint: I also used this as a hand wash after I had applied my fake tan. Worked wonders to avoid tangoed palms!)

So, now freshly scrubbed within an inch of my life, it was time to reach for the Creme de la Creme...the dark lotion!
As an 'experienced' tanner in search for the most bronzed look achievable, I was more than happy to be faced with the darkest of Xen Tan's fake tan. However, maybe if you are a newbie fake tanner, or are after a more subtle colour, then have a recky at their products for a lighter tan.
As you can see above, the lotion is VERY dark! Indeedy, tres scary! But please don't fear my little cupcakes, it really doesn't stay that dark as you rub it in. I personally prefer fake tanners that offer an instant colour so you can see exactly where you are applying the products, thus eliminating white bits or streaky patches.
The product rubbed in really smoothly, and I adored the consistency of it. I have always worked with mousses or mists, so was popping my fake tan lotion cherry for the very first time! I am definitely a fan. It is smooth and silky on the skin and you can feel it is also moisturising it too, and won't leave you with patchy dry skin in the next morning.
And OMG girlfriends...did I mention the smell?!
Holy guacamole, it IS divine. It is basically bottled bakewell tart!! Marzipanny heaveness!! Nom is lush! I am addicted... A lot of fake tanners I have tried either smell foul or just a bit blah, but to find one that actually smells like cake is just awesome! It makes me such a happy bunny to have found such a sweet smelling product. Yum! I applied one layer before beddy byes, wafted around like a zombified bakewell tart for a bit and when I arose, I was more than happy with the results. Firstly, NO streaks, absolutely nadda!
The colour was a gorgeous golden glow, not a pigment of ORANGEYNESS in sight! Amazing!
I examined my pores, as very often fake tanners can clog these up and make them look a bit ming, but again, I honestly could not find anything to make me feel dissatisfied!
I showered the layer off and was left feeling sun-kissed but not in a scary Jordan-esque way. This pleased me, and demonstrates that the Dark Lotion isn't that scary when applied correctly.
It is definitely buildable and I used it for 3 days in a row (showering in between) to build up a really dark, but natural, glowing and even tan...see exhibit A below...I was dead CHUFFED to say the least...
Exhibit A :)

The mitt was a bit blah for me.
I have never used a tanning mitt or glove before when applying my fake tan! Just call me a fake tan maverick! I have never found they allowed you to apply the tan quite as well as the naked palm! And because I apply my tan in stages, I always manage to wash my hands sufficiently in between applications, to avoid any tango palm situation surmounting.
However, always happy to embrace new experiences, I gave the mitt a go and it wasn't as traumatising as I thought it may be! It just didn't fill me with love and warm fluffy feelings like I thought it may!
I love the texture of the mitt, silky soft like little puppy's ears, and it did rub the product it quite well. But I felt I had to use more product that normal because a lot got left on the mitt.
Plus, due to my vigorous rubbing motions, it kept slipping off/twisting round, which was a bit infuriating.
I think if they changed the mitt to fit more snug on the hand OR made it into a glove, I would definitely be more of a fan!

The Face Tanner Luxe = Amaziballs!!
Before Xen Tan magically appeared in my life, I had always tanned my face but used the same fake tan I was using all over the bod, usually mixed with a bit of face moisturiser. It never really wowed me and left my face looking a bit ming and my pores exaggerated times a gazillion. But I felt this process was necessary to blend body and neck to face and make the whole tan look as natural as poss!
So I was more than giddy to try out this beaut.
I had to research what Xen Tan said about this product to confirm what my expectations should be...this is what they say...

"In response to the growing demand for nourishing facial tanners, we've developed FACE TANNER LUXE. New and advanced FACE TANNER LUXE delivers an instant olive colour for a healthy glow in seconds, whilst its skin-loving formula nourishes your skin.
FACE TANNER LUXE builds an intense olive tan with an extra boost of active tanning ingredient DHA, providing the ultimate natural-looking deep tan. With Vitamin E, Ginkgo Biloba, Shea butter and anti-oxidants, its gentle moisturising formula is ideal for everyday use."

All read and understood, I prepped and primped my face ready for application.
As you witnessed above, it does come out quite a gunky, murky greeny brown colour. But please don't be put off by this. Once slapped onto the face and neck area, it leaves a lovely olive (definitely not orange) glow to the skin. The colour develops overnight, much like a fake tan, and then I washed it off in the morning.
It really did leave my skin feeling incredible. Not only did it look good because it seemed like I had just returned from a long sunny weekend in the Costas, but my skin felt amazing. Because this product contains Shea Butter and other fancy sounding stuff, it really does nourish and moisturise the skin too! I use to have some dry patches on my chin that my normal moisturiser would never passify, but since using this for nearly 2 weeks, I can hand on heart say I have never had healthier, glowing skin! I feel plump and so moisturised and it doesn't leave nasty cloggy pores either!!
It is now such a staple in my evening facial routine, and is a product I would definitely repurchase! :)

(excuse the 'just back from the gym' grease slicked hair!)

So there we go honey bees! So sorry about the waffle, but this was my first 'real' review and wanted it to be precise, in depth and reflect my true feelings of the products.
I hope you have found it useful, and any questions or comments, please just tinkle me below and I'll get back to you.
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Sunday, 25 April 2010

Cinders shall go to the ball

I have just returned from London after supporting Rob run the London Marathon. Bless him, he did so magically well and I managed to high five him/heckle him, twice throughout the course and then meet him at the end! Was such a fabulous atmosphere as always, and I just adore the comradeship and dedication you observe everywhere you look...! Very heart warming. :)

Last night, I got my glad rags on and attended my hockey club's Annual Dinner & Dance. These ocassions are always so much fun and it's a chance for all members to convene and share our achievements over the last season and look forward to hopeful success during the next season, whilst also indulging in a cheeky drinkie or three and a wee boogie woogie...

So I thought I would give you a lickle twinkle twirl and show you all my look of last night...
Firstly..the dress...

This dress is rather ancient, I bought it from Debenhams about 3 years ago. I hadn't worn it for ages, so had one of those nervy moments..."would I still fit ma ass into this...?"
I breathed in and phew...all was ok!!

After this photo was taken, I decided I needed to bling the outfit up a tad so whipped this little jangly number out...

This necklace is from Accessorise and is so lovely and it jingle jangles when I boogie! I thought it tied in quite well with the Grecian Goddess look I was trying to pull off...!

MAC Studio Fix Fluid NC30
Benefit Erase Paste No.2
MAC MSF Natural Medium +
Benefit Coralista on ma cheekies
MAC Brow Pencil in Spiked

MAC Rubenesque Paint Pot
Benefit High Beam
Urban Decay Eyeliner in Zero
Maybelline Falsies Mascara

Lippies ~ MAC Colour Crafted + MAC Myth

The Barnet:
Those darlings who follow me on twitter will be aware of my barnet barney I've been having recently. If you refer back to my new brunette hair post about 3 weeks ago, we will witness nice, yummy chocolatey brown locks, achieved after hours of cleansing, bleaching and re-dying.
I went back last week to have the locks recolour because it had faded slightly, but to my horror, I had been reverted back to the near blacky brown colour I had before the whole cleansing process began!! The exact colour I was trying to bleach out and eliminate out of my life!
I was flabbergasted and cried...A LOT!!
Anyhooos, just so you can all sleep easy tonight, I will inform you that it is all being resolved this Friday!
For my hair last night, I just went kirby grip crazy and clipped it all up and pulled down some tousley bits around my face, to soften it up a bit!

So there we go sweetcheeks, that was my lickle look of the night! The ball was such a blast and when my pumpkin arrived at midnight...I just didn't want to leave! :(
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Saturday, 3 April 2010

Dying to be Brunette

So, the hair saga continues! Those who have followed me from the start will know I have had quite an extensive hair history! This time last year I had long, blonde locks! Have a recky at my hair history post from January to witness the evidence or if you don't believe me! :)
Then I had it all chopped and dyed almost black!! Yar, rather drastic! But I definitely prefer it darker now, but recently, it had got to the stage where the black colour was just a bit blah and was washing me out and making me feel a tad ghostly.
So off to hairdressers I skipped, and told them I was aiming for a warmer, yummier chocolatey brown colour. Because my hair was so dark and heavily saturated with every bottled colourant under the sun...the 'cleansing' process began! I like the way my hairdressers refer to this process as 'cleansing'! It made it sound so delicate and soothing, when, in actually fact, my hair was being coated in some toxic concotion that was stripping all life and colour out of it within an inch of its life!
20 minutes later...I had actually orange hair. To say I resembled Krusty the Clown would be an understatement. It was hideous and mildly mortifying as the other customers I'm sure thought I had voluntarily opte for this rather ravishing shade of orange!!
Anyhooo, 4 hours later of entering the barnet brigade, I left feeling slightly less orange and rather chuffed with my new chocolatey locks. How it is now isn't the final result I'm after. In 2 weeks once my hair has had time to recover from its ordeal, I need to go back and have another colour put on which will make it richer and more luscious and chocolatey. But for the time being, I am rather pleased! But stay tuned, my hair is constantly a working progress...! I will never be satiated...

So what the hell, once I had my pose and pout on, there was no stopping me, so I thought I'll do a quick FOTD and OOTD for you lovelies...

MAC Strobe Cream
MAC Studio Fix Fluid NC30
MAC MSFN Medium+
Benefit Dallas to bronze
Benefit Coralista on the cheekies
MAC Rhapsody in Two Duo to highlight
MAC eyebrow pencil in Spiked
A pink and a gold eyeshadow from Benefit
{sorry I am really lame but they are from a Benefit palette and they don't have the names of the eyeshadows!}
Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Zero
Maybelline Falsies mascara
MAC Ever Hip lippie (from their new Liberty of London collection)
See below for a whole lippie love post! :)

Pearls...obviously ~ River Island
Peach smock top ~ Topshop
Jeggings ~ Topshop
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Liberty of London

Sorry I have a been a bit MIA on my blog this week. My laptop charger decided to die earlier this week...and ironically, I could only get a replacement by "ordering online"! Ha!
And annoyingly, this week I have been drowning with inspiration on blog posts, so meh! Going to have to be a busy blogger and catch up with my gazillion posts!

So firstly, I thought I would show you all my goodies from the Give Me Liberty of London MAC collection. This launched in stores on Thursday and is online next Tuesday (or is it Thursday...) ? I don't quite know but I was lucky enough to receive these lippies on Monday from a little USA fairy. She sent them over for me along with an international swapsies we were doing. So I have had them for nearly a week and been dying to post about them...!

  From left ~  right 
Peachstock, Petals & Peacocks, Blooming Lovely, Ever Hip

As many of you are aware, I am a super lipstick junkie. They are the one product I get most excited about and when I saw the collection on Temptalia, I knew I had to just get all of them!

I think the packaging for this collection is just adorable. Some people I know aren't keen on it at all, but I think it is super cute.
Here are some ickle swatches for you...

Peachstock - A satin finish that is definitely more brown than peachy! Already available as a pro product. I am still a little bit undecided about this one. I love my nudes and peachy lippies, and thought this would follow suit...but it is a definite orangey/brown. Reminds me of Revlon's Nude Attitude which I detest. However, I am finding this more wearable and think with a nude lipgloss over the top like Florabundance, it looks really flattering.

Petals & Peacocks - Eeek, probably the one I was most excited about getting. It is a Amplified finish and is a gorgeous bright, vibrant fuschia, pinky purple. It instantly reminded me of Show Orchid by MAC. Even though Show Orchid has a richer, bluer undertone to it, they could be comparable. So I whipped out Show Orchid to show you of their similarities...

Ever Hip - Cremesheen finish, this lippie is a gorgeous peachy, muted-orange colour. Quite a nice subtle coral finish to the lips. Has a lovely, shiny smooth finish and is easily buildable. Me likey a lot :)

Blooming Lovely - Amplified finish, a lovely glossy, mauve lilac-type colour. Really pretty on the lips. Much more muted than snob, but looks super yummy with a bright gloss over the top. I never managed to get my hands on Lavender Whip from MAC, so I am overjoyed to have a lilacy lippie in my collection.

So pumpkins, that's my little Liberty of London Haul :)
What do you think of the collection? Have you purchased anything from it yet...or what have you got your eye on when it is released online?
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