Gradual Self Tan - Xen-Tan Transform, Rockstar Tan Entourage


My penchant for self tanning is no secret to regular readers, but as the skies grow increasingly dark and cloudy, even tan fanatics begin to tire of the upkeep.  What’s the point when it’s covered up 75% of the time?  It’s approaching the time of year when I revert to gradual and instant tanners and today I’m focusing on gradual tans.

I must admit that while familiar with Xen-Tan Dark Lotion I had NO idea of the range of tanning products the company produces, and while the former wasn’t for me, I’ve found something that most definitely is. 

Xen-Tan Transform
Transform is one of Xen-Tan’s gradual tanners. They also produce Xen-Tan Luxe, which apparently produces a deeper colour on first use. I haven’t tried it, but must admit that Transform produces a much deeper colour than most gradual tanners I’ve tried in the past – and for me, that’s a good thing!

I know some resort to gradual tanners as they are self-tan wary – and I’ll tell you about the perfect product for you in a moment.
Xen-Tan comes in quite a glamorous, generously sized tube, but the first thing I noticed about it was the smell.  it smells D.I.V.I.N.E. As you can see above, it’s described as citrus melon. To me it smells more like caramel, honey & melon all one plate.  I wanted to lick my skin after applying it (don’t worry, I didn’t).
Xen-Tan Transform
Transform is pearly white on application, but don’t panic about no colour guide. There is one, but it’s white too! Sounds crazy I know but just look at how it appears when I start to rub it in… the white guide really works – and no colour to rub off on clothes when you dress afterwards = bonus.
Transform's white colour guide
An ingredient list including shea butter, vitamin E and antioxidants mean leave your skin feeling deeply moisturised and nourished with a subtle sheen.
Transform, just applied
I don’t really feel comfortable posting the following pic taken  several hours later as a. the tan hasn’t fully developed, b. the sun was much brighter so the colour appears lighter than it actually is and c. I normally use two coats. So you’ll have to take my word for it – the results are a deep golden shade that I have been completely WOWed by.
Transform several hours later, starting to develop
I promise to take further pics and edit this tomorrow to prove my point, so please do check back for the results!

As promised, Transform morning after results... the difference isn't dramatic and like I said, I normally use two coats for a slightly deeper shade, but I hope you can see that the colour is a very natural golden tone. 
Xen-Tan Transform - morning after application
Xen-Tan Transform - morning after application

Rockstar Tan – Entourage Gradual Tan
Rockstar Tan Entourage Gradual Tan
I am one of Rockstar Tan’s biggest fans and have raved about them on here and on Twitter. While this isn’t my favourite of their products I know of numerous others who love it and you may well turn out to be one of them.

I would describe Entourage Gradual Tan as the perfect gradual tan for three different groups of people:
1. Slap & Go Girls (& Boys!) – you want to apply a luxurious body moisturiser daily without having to worry about being too careful or worrying about streaks etc, with the added bonus of gaining a slight glow as a result.
2. Self-tan Scaredy Cats – you’ve never used self tan before; you’ve used it and had horrific results and vowed never again or you’re genuinely scared of ending up tangoed.
3. The Pale & Interesting – you don’t tan easily; you have gorgeous porcelain skin which would look ridiculous anything other than a lighter shade of pale.

I imagine quite a few people fit into at least one of these categories – and if you’re one of them, believe me you will LOVE Entourage.
Entourage ingredients
The ingredients list is an impressive cocktail of aloe vera, essential oils, vitamins and fruit extracts, which results in a fruity-fresh fragrance and beautifully moisturised skin.
Rockstar Entourage Gradual Tan
The product is white, sinks in quickly leaving very little stickiness (though waiting 10 mins before dressing is advised) and leaves a lovely sheen on the skin.
Entourage just rubbed in
I’m not including an after pic for two reasons: 1. it made very little difference to my skin colour even after two applications and 2. I tested it on my tummy as it was the only un-tanned skin at the time – and I’d rather spare you that image.

Like all skincare products, self tan works differently on all skins, so while this was my experience, I can’t guarantee that the same products will produce identical results for you. If you do try one of these, I really hope you like it and would love to hear how you get on!

Personally I love gradual tanners in colder months when I wouldn’t naturally have a deep tan, but my new found discovery is how amazing they are to top up and maintain a natural or fake tan – genius!

My favourite off the shelf gradual tanner is Dove or Garnier, both of which produce excellent, natural results on my skin.  Tesco Finest did an amazing one that was cheap as cheaps, but now sadly been discontinued.

What’s your favourite gradual tanner and do Transform or Entourage appeal to you?

*samples provided for review ~ opinions 100% genuine*


  1. such great and informative reviews :)

  2. I tried self tan only once and i tanned my self orange :) Never tried it again.. But yours looks amazing..

  3. Im an Entourage fan big time but only discovered it recently! Love it and also St Tropez Everyday...two classics in my books!

  4. Is it an instant or gradual tan?
    Nic x

  5. I've never heard of Famous Dave, Daniella. Thought you wrote 'Dove' first time I read this.
    Nic x

  6. I just bought an Xen Tan face product from a blogsale but it is very dark on my hand where I tested it.

  7. I'm a fan of St tropez gradual tan however the facial one just doesn't work for me! I've recently started using Famous Dave's gradual tan and so far I really like it!

  8. they both look great on you skin! I'm a st tropez girl, my favouite is st tropez everday; the gradual moisturiser but I can rarely be bothered to self tan these days xx

  9. Thanks Kat, you mean you bought a St Tropez wash off? I can't believe that a tan fanatic like me still hasn't tried St Tropez! I'll be reviewing instant/wash off tans next!
    Nic x

  10. Cat, beautyblogbycat12 September 2011 at 20:59

    I keep meaning to try Xen-Tan! I rarely see it on sale though, so I ten to use St. Tropez :) I bought some of their wash-off one in Superdrug for £6 a couple of weeks ago, which is great for me. I don't sunbathe, so suddenly having a deep longlasting tan would look odd! Great review & pics :) x

  11. The Rockstar Tan sounds perfect for me but I might just buy a bronzer for a little lift. Self tan scares me plus the upkeep is off putting! Really good reviews xx


Please leave a comment - I love to read them & hear what you think! Nic x

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