Last updated on Nov 4th, 2015 at 08:53 am

A while back, when I was freelancing for a magazine, my eye caught sight of a bunch of Xen-Tan goodies in their beauty cupboard and I wondered what they were about. As it turns out, Xen-Tanâ??s an award-winning American self-tanning range with celebrity fans that includes Lady Gaga and Anna Kournikova. The brand’s main differentiator is that, while many other self-tanning products have an orange undertone, Xen-Tan promises a natural-looking, long-lasting olivey type of tan thanks to a special â??time-releaseâ?? ingredient. 

Going for gold
Just the other day I was given a few Xen-Tan products to test and, of the bunch, I most enjoyed using Xen-Tan Moroccan Tan weekly self-tan with Moroccan oil (R380).
Itâ??s a tinted gel formulated with hydrating argan oil and collagen-encouraging peptides that promises a deep â??two weeks in the Medâ?? type of tan. It also smells absolutely delish, like coconut with a hint of Zoo biscuit!

Application-wise, youâ??re doing yourself a disservice if you arenâ??t using a self-tanning mitt. Xen-Tan gave me their Luxury Tanning Mitt (R56) and itâ??s great. All you have to do is apply a little self-tan to your skin and then spread it around with the mitt. Aside from protecting your palms and fingernails from staining it halves your application time as it spreads the product around your body in a flash and makes for a much more even-looking tan. Xen-Tan also offer an innovative Hard To Reach applicator (R165) that makes spreading the colour across the middle of your back a total breeze.
The applicator comes with replaceable pads so that once you’ve used one to the point where you feel it’s saturated to death with product, you can simply pop in another.
Getting a great results

Initially I was a bit nervy about how my tan would turn out as, despite using the mitt, I didnâ??t manage to get the tint to look 100% even; it tends to look darkest where it first hits your skin. This made me worry that, after Iâ??d washed it off, my tan would be uneven. Fortunately, the tint is almost â??separateâ?? to the active tanning ingredient and merely acts as a guide to ensure you cover all your bits. Having a little excess tint, provided itâ??s just a smear or two, doesnâ??t mean your tanâ??s going to be darker-looking in a certain spot.
Also, donâ??t be scared by how dark you look after youâ??ve first put it on. While wearing the tint I looked like a chocolate Lindt bunny but the moment I hit the shower a few hours later it disappeared down the drain to reveal a gorgeous, natural-looking, even faux glow. In fact, when I got complemented on my tan and told people it was fake almost everybodyâ??s first reaction was â??No, youâ??re lying! Seriously?!â??

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Blend baby, blend
Another Xen-Tan goodie I liked was their Blending Balm (R170).
Itâ??s a giant stick of body balm that youâ??re to apply it to any areas you donâ??t want to tan before applying your self-tan or for use afterwards to blend and soften in areas where your skin tends to suck up more colour; think wrists, knuckles, knees and ankles.
At first, I first thought it was a slightly superfluous product as Iâ??ve always just used plain old body butter to â??blockâ?? or â??fadeâ??. However, having tried Blending Balm, which contains vitamin E, aloe vera and jojoba oil, Iâ??m hooked. I love the way it smells (again, yummy yummy coconut!) and using something that looks like a giant Chapstick on your bod is just plain old fun. Why donâ??t more moisturisers create a giant, easy-to-use stick variant? Iâ??ve now been using it on my elbows, knees and toes regardless of whether Iâ??m â??tanningâ?? or not. 

In all, I think once more women try Xen-Tan goodies, better known brands like Caribbean Tan and St Tropez are going to have some serious competition. Iâ??m now very keen to buy and try Xen-Tanâ??s mousse as thatâ??s always been my formula of choice as it tends to look nice and dark and is super easy to spread.

Keen to try Xen-Tan yourself? Check out their local website over here. The stockists page will help you find a salon or spa in your area that sells the range. Alternatively you can order Xen-Tan products online. They’re offering free delivery on all orders over R1 000.