Molton Brown Intoxicating Davana Blossom Foaming Bath Oil Review

Molton Brown Intoxicating Davana Blossom Foaming Bath Oil ($68.00) is a lovely way to relax away the day’s stresses and worries as you soak in a moisturizing bubble bath. It is lightly scented with a pleasing fragrance of raspberry and floral notes. I like that it has a lot of moisturizing properties (e.g. it is a bath oil), but it still foams and acts like a regular bubble bath. It sort of reminds me of a very grown-up, luxury bubble bath, because the packaging is sleek and solid and the price can make you think twice. The only consolation is that you do get 300ml of the bath oil, so it isn’t as if you are only getting an ounce.

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Self Tanners 2008 – Xen Tan Deep Bronze, Transform, Face Tanner

XEN-TAN is all about bringing you that gorgeous, bronzy tan in sunless form. I tried three stellar products from the line, and as someone who started off knowing just about nothing about the art of the self-tan… these products made it incredibly easy and pretty much foolproof. I was totally showing off my bronzy sun-goddess stomach and thighs to my boyfriend within an hour!

Deep Bronze ($23.00) gives you an intense deep bronze tan, and it is supposed to last for a full seven days. Unlike some self-tanners, this smells delightful–it says vanilla, but I swear it was a little chocolate-y, too! You’ll notice your skin instantly start to darken, and like most self-tanners, the color will fully develop within three hours. It contains shea butter to help moisturize while applying (since moisturizing beforehand can often disrupt results).

Transform Gradual Self Tanner ($17.00) is Xen-Tan’s answer to helping maintain your newly developed self-tan over the week or so that it lasts. I personally use gradual self tanners on areas of my body that are naturally darker (e.g. arms since they’re more often exposed to the sun). I also use this on my feet and hands so I can control the darkness and make sure to avoid any orange palm illnesses. What is great about this gradual self tanner is you can use it to get your initial tan and then re-apply daily to maintain that one. No funky self-tanner scent either!

Face Tanner ($16.00) works well on face, neck, and decollatege. As I’ve mentioned in our self-tanning guides, it is important to know what tanning products to use on your face–namely, never use a body product on your face without at least diluting it. I prefer to minimize mistakes by opting for a tanner specifically for the face (which works for neck/upper chest area, too — all delicate areas).

Xen-Tan self-tanning products are generally paraben-free and contain shea butter, aloe, green tea antioxidants, and ginko biloba leaf extract. The brand also offers mousse and spray tanning options for those so inclined, as well as airbrush products. Head over to or visit select Nordstrom’s to purchase.

Don’t forget our self-tanning guide: Part 1 – Preparation, Part 2 – Application, Part 3 – Maintaining

Get Ready: Tanning — Self-tanners, Part 3 Maintaining

Looking for product recommendations? Expect several reviews of self-tanning options from sprays to creams to gradual to intense over the coming weeks!

Maintain It | So you spend all this time and energy on creating the perfect faux tan, but how are you going to keep it looking good? Unfortunately, self-tanning does not give you a tan that will last you months, but you may be able to get a good three days with a few additional days of decent tan if you make sure you take the proper steps.

Moisturize daily! Because self-tanners dye the first layer of skin cells, as they dry and flake off, so will your tan!

Exfoliate sparingly, and when you do, lightly! As mentioned earlier, the self-tanner only affects the top layer of the skin, so body scrubs and exfoliants will cause the tan to flake off faster. It is important to exfoliate every two or three days, though, because it will help the tan to “fade” naturally.

Avoid chlorine and excessive baths/showers, because these can strip the top layer of the skin and limit the effectiveness of your tan and its lasting power.

Gradual self-tanners work really well to help minimize the fading effect of tans, and I have found that they can extend the life of my tan by two to four days, depending on how well moisturize my skin is.

Expect your tan to last a week or less. Most people will find that they will need to re-do their self-tan within a week, and even if you happen to go outside of that, ten days is pushing it. When the time comes to re-do, make sure you go through all the steps of prepartion and application all over again!

Part 1 — Preparation, Part 2 — Application

Feel free to share your tips, horror stories, and advice for self-tanning!

Get Ready: Tanning — Self-tanners, Part 2 The Application

Looking for product recommendations? Expect several reviews of self-tanning options from sprays to creams to gradual to intense over the coming weeks!

Applying Your Tan | After you’ve properly prepared you body to take on a self-tan, you’re eager to get to the tanning part, right? I want to preface this piece with the fact that I am new to self-tanning, I spent the past two weeks learning about self-tanners, application, etc., and for the most part, it’s really not as daunting as it may seem.

  • Wash hands frequently and vigorously with soap. You don’t want dark orange palms, so you can avoid this by washing your hands multiple times during the application to minimize any orange palm effect.
  • Make a mistake? Try toner, acetone, or hydrogen peroxide to help minimize or erase it.
  • Slow and steady wins the race. It is much better to give yourself time to apply the self-tanner and let it dry appropriately rather than hope it will all come together in fifteen minutes.
  • Dry land only for at least eight to twelve hours if you’re able to. Your self-tan should develop within three hours, but it may continue to darken for as long as twelve hours. Avoid sweating, exercising, bathing, etc., as all of these can lead to undesirable effects (streaking, fading, etc.).

1. Get everything you need together. Self-tanning will probably take you at least twenty minutes to apply from head to toe, plus additional drying time. I recommend the following products/items to gather: self-tanner of choice for body, self-tanner of choice for face, moisturizer (lightweight), hair tie, soap, back sponge, fingernail scrub brush, sink, dark towel/dark robe.

2. Extra dry skin? It is probably best for you to moisturize either as you go (diluting your self-tanner in the process) or applying a light amount to extra dry areas like ankles, toes, knees, elbows, etc. I would only recommend this for those who have really, really dry skin. It is better to dilute self-tanner with a moisturizer than applying moisturizer before the self-tanner.

3. Apply from bottom to top. You want to start applying your self-tanner to your feet and legs, being sure to apply sparingly on any dry parts (e.g. ankles) if you have them. If you’re using a lotion, be sure to squeeze it onto your fingers/palms, and then work it into your skin in circular motions. If you merely squeeze it onto your skin, you may end up with visible streaks from where it was squeezed! If you’re using a spray or aerosol tanner, make sure that you follow directions (usually says how far to hold it and not to exceed a certain distance).

4. Dry spots, joints, etc. may require diluted tanner. Judge your skin – if you have dry knees and luscious elbows or you’re like a sahara on both, know about it! You do a half-and-half combo with moisturizer with self-tanner or go a little heavier on the self-tanner, just depends on how dry you’re skin is. Nevertheless, go sparingly over these areas, because they tend to darken more heavily than other parts of the skin.

5. If you’re doing your entire body, some people want tan lines. If this is the case, make sure you’re wearing something that you can put the tanner right up against (e.g. a black bathing suit), as the tanner will stain light clothing. I personally hate tan lines, so self-tanning is totally up my alley and I just stand in the bathroom naked while applying. Back issues? If you can’t reach your back, try investing in a handled sponge to help you get those hard-to-reach areas.

6. Work your way up to your upper chest. Apply your self-tanner for body all over your body (arms, legs, etc.), but you may want to switch to a gradual tanner or your self-tanner for face. The neck tends to tan better and darker than the rest of your body (like the face). Otherwise, dilute your self-tanner with moisturizer when applying to the neck.
7. Switch to a self-tanner for face. I always recommend using a product targeted for the face to avoid getting an ultra dark or orange face. You can, of course, dilute your body self-tanner with moisturizer if you feel confident doing so. Make sure you apply your self-tanner up to your hair line and behind your ears (often missed spots).

8. Let it all hang out! Optimally, you’ve given yourself three hours of time before you need to get dressed. Realistically, you may only have an hour or two–don’t worry, you can probably get away with it. After you’ve done applying the self-tanner, let it dry for at least 15 minutes. If you’re able, walking around the house naked for awhile is a good move. Otherwise, slip on your dark robe or loosely tie a dark towel around your body and busy yourself for the next 45 minutes to an hour.

9. Your tan develops in 3 hours usually. This does mean that waiting three hours before putting on clothes is the best course of action, but waiting simply a half hour or so is usually enough. I like to put on some ratty, loose-fitting clothes after about 30-45 minutes. Even when I put regular clothes on, I opt for dark colors and nothing too tight.

10. Enjoy your new tan! You’ll want to check out part three of this guide, though, which will offer you some tips on making your sunless tan last longer and how to let it fade without looking like a molting bird.

Feel free to share your tips, horror stories, and advice for self-tanning!

Get Ready: Tanning — Self Tanners, Part 1

First, this guide is not about tanning beds, booths, nor laying out in the sun. This is a guide to self-tanners, which are proven to be much safer and less harmful than the aforementioned areas not covered in this guide. If you must tan, please take all the precautions you can, including use some sort of sunscreen and go out during hours where the sun is not as strong. Now that we are finished with our PSA, let’s get on to SELF-TANNING!

Get Yourself Ready to Tan | It is important that you appropriate prepare your body to undergo the self-tanning process to maximize the desired results and increase the wear-time of the self-tanner. Most self-tanners only dye the first layer of skin, which means that as cell turnover occurs, your tan will slough off after 3-5 days, depending on the product and the care you take in maintaining your self-tan.

1. Exfoliate in advance. It is important to regularly exfoliate both your face and your body (which I’m sure is often forgotten). A good body scrub is great to rid your skin of dead skin cells and allow newer cells to come to the surface. Several days before you’re ready to begin your self-tanning, it is a good idea to exfoliate every other day (or so).

2. Moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize again. Make sure that you are regularly moisturizing all known dry or rough spots on your body–common areas are places like feet, toes, ankles, knees, elbows, etc. Rougher skin means less surface evenness, and this means the self-tanner may get darker in these areas (which is not always a pretty sight). If you make sure that you are taking the time to keep these bits and pieces their softest, you’ll run into less tanning issues later on!

3. Shave. The more even the skin surface is, the better the self-tanner will apply, adhere, and eventually dye. You will minimize streaks and unevenness in your tan if you shave beforehand. I would recommend shaving shortly before you actually apply the self-tanner!

4. Exfoliate right before you apply. However, unlike exfoliating in the days leading up to application, make sure that you opt for a body scrub that is oil-free–just something simple that has jojoba beads or some sort of exfoliant that won’t leave your legs particularly oily or greasy, because it will interfere with the self-tanner.

5. Plan on at least 20 minutes to apply. You need at least twenty minutes to apply self-tanner from head to toe, and it may be more for those who are not as comfortable with self-tanning. It is a good idea to give yourself an hour or two before you have to leave the house, as I definitely recommend sitting around in ratty clothes while the tan develops (which it should be hour three). Some regular self-tanners prefer to do the whole ritual before bed and then wake up golden.