August 1, 2011

Review: Xen-Tan Dark Lotion Absolute Luxe

After weeks of gloomy rainy cold weather, the sun is back in my little corner of the world (but for how long?) So of course, I'm taking this opportunity to wear my summer dresses, which means I once more need to fake tan my pasty white legs - and so it's the perfect occasion to buy a new product!

Xen-Tan has launched this new fake tan this Spring and the product description sounded extremely promising:

New to the range, Dark Lotion Absolute Luxe has been four years in the making. During that time we've perfected our darkest, richest and most luxurious tan to date; one that offers a tan that will last longer than any other fake-tan product.
To create this ultimate dark, long-lasting tan, we've included more DHA active tanning agent than ever before. Because DHA is what causes the traditional 'fake tan smell', we've also included Scent Secure - a revolutionary new ingredient that locks out any chemical odours. So you can enjoy incredible natural-looking results for up to 10 days that leave you feeling fabulous.
Ten days of fake tan and no smell: what more could I want?  I had to try this little wonder!

Well, I haven't had to say that about any Xen-Tan product but this one is a huge disappointment. 

The product smells divinely and has a slight olive tint to it so you can see where you apply. It's a bit thicker than the regular Dark Lotion, but the tint is much lighter. So far, so good.
However, when you start blending it, it gets white then disappears, and I found it thicker and harder to blend than the lotion. Not having as much color guide was making things harder, too. It took me about 10 minutes to do my full legs, which I do find time consuming. But I thought that if my tan was going to last over a week, it was worth the effort.

The product description stated that 'Thanks to Xen-Tan's expert formula it dries incredibly quickly. Your tan will start to develop immediately and will be fully developed within approximately 8 hours'
Half an hour after I had finished applying, my legs still didn't feel dry. I know I didn't apply too much, as I had used a small amount and blended a lot like I always do, so that's not the problem. I just felt sticky. Good thing I had applied this at night because I couldn't have gotten dressed up to go out any time soon.

On the next day, I had a nice olive tan, but it wasn't as intense as I had expected - something close to a few layers of progressive fake tan, maybe. My body wasn't really smelling of fake tan but my hands, even though I had washed them carefully, were definitely smelly, and slightly tinted as well. Not nice.

When I showered for the first time, I didn't use any soap nor shower gel as it's what Xen-Tan recommends on their website. I did notice some color going away with the water, which was probably the color guide residue.

Now we're 3 days after application and my legs are a patchy disaster. The tan has faded a lot, not completely disappeared, but I don't see how it could last up to another 7 days. And I do really notice patches that I'll need to exfoliate, but that definitely proves that the color is already fading a lot. I'll probably need to reapply tomorrow.

So, all in all, this is more complicated to apply than the regular dark lotion, more expensive, not lasting longer at all, not quick to dry, and not completely smell-free if you apply a lot. Disappointing, and not worth £39.99 at all in my opinion, especially as you can get the regular dark lotion for £28.99 - nothing justifies that difference when it comes to the results.


  1. That's disapointing. I love their dark lotion and actually love the smell.

  2. How disappointing! Thanks for saving me some money, I'm definitely not going to try this one...


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