I am not a fake-tanner, generally speaking. Although I dabble with what I call ‘safe’ versions, the moisturisers that have gradual tanner within them, I only use those on rare days where I am exposing my legs at a premiere or wedding, or just when I happen to be particularly loathing of my translucent/vein showcasing white-ness.
I guess I see tanning as an extreme sport of the beauty world. It feels risky and very much out of my comfort zone. It presents too many ways to muck up…or so I have always thought till now.
I think I’ve just always felt that I’m pretty inept at doing the basic stuff when it comes to grooming and beautifying, so why complicate it and give myself more opportunities to make myself look worse when making an effort to try and improve my appearance.
I always like the ‘wow, look at your tan’ comments when you come back from a foreign holiday too. I like the transformation I can achieve, and that I feel and look like a different person, season to season. I genuinely look forward to summer and gaining my natural tan (although I understand that’s not the recommended or sensible way to bronze your skin). I do also try and embrace being pale and matte in winter, changing up my make up to suit and celebrate the demise of the summer tan I’ve earned. What I’m saying is that I’ve never felt it necessary to maintain a tan 12 months a year, so fake tanning has never been high on my agenda.
But due to ill health, efforts to save money, cancelled press trips and just general bad luck, I haven’t had a proper holiday in about two years now. Which I know isn’t long at all in the real world (don’t worry I haven’t completely lost perspective), but in the blogging world it makes you feel you’re absolutely failing at life if you don’t have a handful of travel adventures a year!
As we started a new business this year (and we all know you don’t tend to make a profit for quite a while) we don’t know when we will have our next trip away either. We are desperately grafting to try and make an adventure to LA happen in August, where Si is due to be a best man at his best mates wedding. But I am starting to think he may have to take the trip on his own. My point is that, with the lack of holidays, as well as the al fresco dinners and dips in the ocean, I’ve sincerely missed having my summer tan the last couple of years. So now is the time to put all my anxieties and nerves about tanning to the side, and just give it a bloody go.
The generous guys tom Sienna X Professional sent me a package of their tanning goodies last week, featuring a Gradual Self Tan Lotion (£16), the Self Tan Tinted Lotion (£24), the Self Tan Tinted Mist (£19.97), and the Self Tan Tinted Mousee (£25), along with one of their Luxury Self Tan Mitts (£3.95).
As I have had a bit of experience with lotion formulas, and they feel the safest of the bunch, I wanted to try something new and really challenge myself if while I’m at it. Go big or go home. Plus I figure if I get on with the Mousse and the Tinted Mist I feel confident I’d definitely be able to master using their lotions.
I love that the brand have their Secret Tan Primer to prep your skin for optimal tan application. Although regular home tanners have their everyday moisturisers they go to for these purposes, this gives you, and in particular a novice like me, some level of assurance because you have a product that is intended purely for this use.
In the ingredients list you’ll notice Aloe barbadensis leaf juice is listed , which most of us know as aloe vera. Although I’m sure you’ll all be aware of it’s credentials already, for those that don’t it’s a succulent plant which offers many benefits and is suited for all skin types, especially dry, damaged, broken, sensitive and irritated skin. It offers anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, humectant and soothing, anti-itch qualities for skin. It doesn’t take a scientist to tell you ( so this blogger will instead), that all these things will help make this lotion very effective at it’s role.
For my legs I decided I would use the 1 Hr Self Tan Mousse. Before applying I followed the instructions and applied the Tan Primer to my knees, and the elephant-like skin on my ankles. I am someone that is often working on the floor and kneeling (my varicose veins are evidence of that), so there’s very dry patches of skin on the outside of my feet, so I wondered how much this element of the process would help me personally to avoid a tanning disaster.
The Primer is pretty much odourless and applies beautifully. It soaks into the skin very quickly, and although you can tell which areas it has been applied to due to the skin looking shinier and smoother than before it isn’t moist enough to effect the application negatively.
(Within my pack of goodies there was also a mitt enclosed )
The instructions state to shake the can well, and then holding upright dispense a small amount onto the mitt. For me ‘small amount’ is a bit to vague of an instruction, as a first time user of tanning mousse I would have liked to have given a specific size guide. Either way due to an unfamiliarity with the strength of the pump the first amount was quite a generous, whether I liked it or not. I decided to go with it and try and spread it about as fast as possible over my legs. On the second pump I knew how hard to push and was able to create what I imagined would be deemed a ‘small amount’. Does the image below make anyone else crave Butterscotch Angel Delight, or is that just me?
The next revelation was the mitt. Although I don’t have a huge gallery of reference in terms of tanning mitts, I couldn’t believe how nice this was to use and how easy it made the application process. It’s so incredible soft, it feel it feel completely effortless to create an even spread of the mousse.
The product is very visible when you start to spread it on your skin, going from a pale beige straight from the pump to a warm brown colour once manipulated.
It doesn’t take long for it to blend into your existing skin colour, so seamless you almost can’t tell where you have applied it already, so try and do it in a methodical manner, and DON’T FORGET THE BACK OF THE LEGS!! By this part of the process I was feeling pretty confident that I would end up with an even tan, it was shockingly easy and nothing alarming had happened thus far. Maybe I’m a beauty guru after all…or maybe this is just a ruddy great product!
The well curated ingredients have much to do with the ease of application. I notice that it contains Babassu oil which is a clear light yellow vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the Babassu palm (Attalea speciosa), which grows in the Amazon region of South America. This oil has properties similar to coconut oil and is I guess is sued for the same reasons, one being that it It is an effective emollient.
The mousse also features Pomegranate Seed Oil, which is also packed with many wonderful gifts. It stimulates “keratinocytes”, the major cells found in the outer layer of the skin. This helps to reverse skin damage, revive skin and reveal a more youthful appearanc( and we all want that right?). It also contains a unique polyunsaturated oil called “punicic acid”, an omega 5 fatty acid, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties. The oil fends off free radicals to keep skin ageing at bay. It also provides protection against sun damage. Like most essential oil, pomegranate seed oil penetrates deeply into the skin, creating lasting and healthy moisture meaning that your skin will not only be browner, but more healthy and glossy after use. While your legs will look nourished, they won’t look greasy though as the oil absorbs deeply into the skin without leaving any residue behind. The oil is perfect for all skin types, including oily and acne prone skin. The oil is used in many products meant for oily skin, to control acne breakout, reduce scarring and soothe minor irritation.Pomegranate oil also contains a human compatible form of pro-estrogen, which supports hormonal balance in both men and women. This helps to improve the texture of the skin. Pomegranate seed oil is also often used for massaging which makes it perfect for a product that involves you to rubbing into skin, with the bonus that due to it’s ability to aid collagen production you may also end up with firmer skin.
As a first time user of this product I heeded their warnings and decided to just leave it on for an hour, but for confident users, or those craving a deeper and darker tan theres a handy table on the back to guide you as to how many hours your need to leave it on according to your particular skin shade.
While I waited for the mousse to do it’s thing, I decided to try the 1 Hour Self Tan Tinted Mist on my chest, stomach and arms.
Again I used to primer and made sure my elbows and dry knuckles were suitably softened and moistened before spraying.
After shaking well they recommend while holding the can upright spray evenly from a distance of 15-20cm. If your using it to bronze your face spray onto the mitt instead and apply lightly taking care to avoid eyes and mouth and allow to dry.
This it what the guide colours looks like immediately after spraying, but please don’t panic, work fast and you won’t have any problems whatsoever. Unfortunately for me I was trying to work my camera via the wifi on my phone (that’s what happens when you don’t have a insta/blogger hubby) and make sure I had all my review blog pictures covered, and probably left it longer than I should. This meant I had to work a bit harder with the mitt to even it out. It wasn’t really a problem though, and evened out again pretty sharpish.
I repeated the same process for my stomach, although worked faster this time to avoid any darker areas. I genuinely couldn’t believe how quick and easy it was to cover the surface area. It couldn’t have taken more than a minute.
After the hour was up I got in the shower and used the head to direct to the places I had tanned, rubbing my hand over the areas to make sure any excess product was washed off. I then gently patted dry with a towel to ensure I didn’t disturb any of the colour which may have been softened temporarily by the addition of hot water. I was surprised at how little brown colour washed down the plughole. This was another quick and easy process, and meant very little time spent cleaning up residue. Also parents and housemates will be pleased that there is less chance of porcelain and grouting staining, as there is very little mess.
I haven’t mentioned the smell yet, and I know that is a prominent aspect of self tanning, and an element that puts a lot of people off from doing it or being around others that do. Although there is definitely an aroma, it is less biscuity than the norm and it definitely becomes very faint after your have washed off the product. Any remaining smell is probably only detectable by the wearer of the tan, and someone properly going in for a sniff….hopefully for most of you that will be quite a select crowd. I really like the smell it has though, it’s very more-ish.
I intentionally wore white shorts during the process as so many of my avid tanning girl friends exist in a land of murky bed sheets that look constantly very suspect, and I wanted to see how this product would affect my whites. I couldn’t believe that at the end of the process there was only a slight tinge of brown on the waistband but that was it. And because of the fast development time (1hr in my case) it means you can apply before you go out and don’t have to do a lengthy or overnight jobby that would increase the opportunity for staining.
I am so pleased with the results of the mouse tan on my leg. It looks extremely natural, but enough of a difference that it’s worth the effort of waiting an hour for the results. I haven’t spotted any streaks or areas of unevenness, and it hasn’t clung to any of my dry areas either – and I have a lot of these as some one that neglects/doesn’t have a moisturising routine.
I came downstairs to show my parents the results, as they are the first to point out any flaws of this nature and are slightly opposed to what they call the reality TV aesthetic. But they were similarly impressed (and probably a bit annoyed they couldn’t find something to criticise).
I’d say that the results on chest and shoulders using the spray was a bit more subtle, but I’m actually equally pleased with the results. As I wear a lot of scrappy tops and v necks I would have been annoyed if I had overdone it on the first go. I like that my collar bone and shoulders look like they have been gently kissed by the suns rays. The overall complexion of my arms and décolletage just looks nicely warmed up. Again, there were no patchy or streaky spots to be found.
Before and After (using the Self Tan Tinted Mist)
I had heard great things about Sienna Professional, and by many bloggers I really trust about beauty products. However, I know how important it is to try skin products for yourself to truly know whether it’s a good fit for you and your skin, but also your particular lifestyle (and the time you may have to dedicate to such activities). We all vary in terms of skin texture, type, issues, colour, as well as our desired results, levels of expectations and daily schedules.
This is a brand that I would definitely say is worth giving a go though, novices and experts alike. While I can only confirm it worked great on my particular skin, I think the probability is high that it’d work for you too, and there will be a product in their line that suits your particular tanning needs, or preference in terms of formula/application.
Despite previous resistance, after todays foray I’m now fully converted, and as I continue through my vacationless summer I predict I will be taking a few minutes out weekly to apply a glow to my unseasonably creamy white skin.
The Sienna X Professional range is now available from Boots, are you tempted to give it a try??