May 07, 2011

Review: Xen-Tan Transform Luxe

As mentioned on Wednesday, we met with Xen-Tan to find out more about their products as they establish a bigger presence here in Ireland. The tan I got to try was one from the "gradual range" called Transform Luxe. I actually think the tan I tested in the meeting was the Deep Bronze Luxe as I was sure it had an instantly dark hue on my skin and the Transform Luxe is just a white cream that dries clear but, that's no big deal!

I applied it two nights in a row which built up to just enough colour for my pale skintone to handle without looking ridiculously dark. Read on to find out about my first impressions, my results and my overall feelings on the product as someone who generally shuns fake tan.

First Impressions: Wednesday

Wednesday night or, rather early Thursday morning (literally, it was 1am), I decided that, instead of sleeping, I would give my first Xen-Tan application a go. Using the Xen-Tan Luxury Mitt, I set about coating myself in the (surprisingly) delicious-smelling lotion. Tranform Luxe claims to have a "fresh vanilla" scent which is totally true. (Note: All of the different Xen-Tan ranges have different scents which are all equally lovely.) Similarly, it also claims to contain shea butter which I could definitely tell. It's an extremely creamy product that takes very little rubbing in before it is dry and it leaves absolutely no residue on the skin.

As it was the middle of the night, there was no one around to help me with my back- doh! Undeterred, I decided to try out a trick Amy mentioned at the meeting which was to get a length of cling film, put a few dollops of tan on it and rub it across your back as you would do with a towel when drying off after a shower.

Day 1: Thursday

My lack of experience with fake tan was pretty evident on Thursday morning after I showered off. While there was no streaking, I had managed to completely avoid some areas of skin which meant stark white patches peppered my otherwise golden glow! I slapped some more tan on the white areas, hoping it would fill in the gaps as it developed over the next few hours. Thankfully, it did just that. About 3 hours later I looked as though I had just flown back from a month in the Bahamas with a naturally light golden colour- no orange here!

The only minor problem I could find come the evening of Day 1 was, once the yummy vanilla scent faded, there was the occasional whiff of your typical fake tan smell. However, this was nowhere near as sickening as other brands I have tried and nobody but me noticed it (I asked them!).

The cling film trick worked grand on my back. It wasn't a perfect, flawless result by any means but, it was acceptable and I would have gotten away with wearing a low-backed dress if I had been going somewhere.

Day 1:  Front of Arm (L) and Back of Arm (R)

Day 2: Friday

I reapplied on Thursday night and got some much-appreciated help with my back so, come Friday I was perfectly bronzed to a my-skin-but-better type shade. I had also used the tan lightly on my face and was complimented multiple times on how "healthy" and "glowy" I looked. I was pretty buoyed for the rest of the day as I felt that I looked better, as silly as that may sound! Despite now having two days of build-up, the light fake tan scent was still only obvious to me and it seemed to gradually fade to the point of nothingness by 
Friday night.

Day 2: Front of Arm (L) and Back of Arm (R)

Final Thoughts

As you can probably tell, I am quite impressed with the overall result of Transform Luxe. It was a no hassle means of tanning whereby I had coated my whole body in less than 5 minutes and was able to be in my pajamas and in bed in less than 10 minutes after starting the application thanks to the quick-drying nature of the product. 

I would say that this is a perfect tan for anyone who is pale like me as the colour is natural and bronze as opposed to being a tangerine mess which, I can only assume, is thanks to the olive undertones. It would also be an ideal product for anyone going to an event as you can control how built-up it gets over the few days prior and also fill in any missed bits (á la me!) as late as the morning/afternoon  of your wedding/debs/party. 

Finally, a quick word on the Luxury Mitt. I had never used a mitt to apply tan before so was not sure what to expect. The side you use for tanning is velvety soft which, while it felt lovely on the skin, did lead to some fluffy transference during the first use. That being said, it only lasts for a couple of strokes and you can easily pick the fluff off. I wholly attribute using this mitt to a 100% streak-free application; even by a novice like me!

You can find out more at


S x


  1. Brilliant review, love the subtle colour you got after two applications. It's really light and glowy with not a hint of orange in sight.

    I must remember that clingfilm tip for your back if I'm ever stuck for help doing my back.

  2. Thanks Paula! I'm really happy with the result and even after 4 showers the colour still looks great!

    It's a great tip- no substitute for hands but in a pinch it's fine!

  3. Great review! And fab tip for doing your back!!

  4. Hmm this has me seriously considering giving fake tan a try,I'm super pale with red hair so usually don't bother but this might make it possible to wear white without my skintone completely blending into my clothes! Is it expensive?

  5. @Katey Yep it's a handy tip alright! x

    @Ronaamal Absolutely give it a go. In terms of price, as far as I know the Irish prices have not yet been released but, they do stock the line in Debenhams so it would possibly be worth popping in for a look. x

  6. I think I may invest in some of this for summer, I probably have the same skin tone as you so that can be my reasoning. Haha


  7. Oooh it sounds amazing! I've never tried a fake tan, more becuase I'm mixed race, but very 'white' still, I'm anxious as to how bad it could go on me. Recently though I have been tempted to just try a fake tan, for curiosity purposes. I think I may have to give this one a go - it sounds fab!

    Steph x

  8. I have tried Xen Tan and it is nice, like the cling film trick, that's a winner in itself. My favourite has to be the "Unreal" tan though - weird name I know! I like their gradual tanner Body Bronze - have you tried that one yet? Only downside is you have to buy it from the UK don't seem to have anyone in Ireland selling it.

    Sarah xx

  9. No I haven't tried that one yet but, I'm sure it's great as most of their products seem impressive! x

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