I'm not feeling so great about the way I look at the min so I decided to change what I can for now, and deal with the other stuff on an ongoing basis (hello, spare tyre!). I started with an instant boost for feeling slimmer and just feeling a little bit better, fake tan. Namely Xen Tan Dark lotion. I have used normal Xen Tan before and liked it as it's olive toned, not orange, so I went for the dark version.
It looks kind of scary in the bottle:
Application was easy, the lotion is really creamy, applies well and as shown above, the guide colour is nice and dark so you can see where you've applied. It smells nice too, like marzipan. I applied the tan using my bare hands, and thoroughly scrubbed my palms after each area to make sure I didn't have orange palms - using a glove is miles better for not getting orange palms but I find it hard to apply with gloves on. They recommend using their fake tan mitt so might try that in future. After application, the tan dried pretty quickly on my skin and actually left my skin feeling moisturised rather than sticky or coated.
The instructions said to wait at least 3 hours before showering or swimming - I'm sure this is miles quicker than other tans I've used? That's great if that's the case, no more having to sleep in my tan and getting the sheets all manky! But I left it on for about 8 hours as I applied on the Saturday morning to go out on the Saturday night. The tell-tale fake tan smell does turn up eventually as the tan develops, but it isn't as strong as other tans.
I was a bit worried as I got someone to help me do my back and they slapped on a LOT of product on my back and shoulders (and worryingly, whilst liberally applying product asked "does putting more tan on mean you go browner? Er...you're going to be brown if so."), but it turned out fine - a gorgeous, even olive colour with no streaks, and amazingly no tell-tale dark patches on my (extremely dry) elbows where the tan had stuck. I actually even used it on my face too and it looked ok.I had done a little test patch on the inside of my arm which you can see below, and this was the difference in colour to my skin - it looks much more golden in real life though!
Xen Tan, you have now become part of my new and improved beauty routine!