Wednesday 16 March 2016

Fuss free fake tan - Madame LA LA review

I'm what you might call an English rose. I have the complexion of Snow White. Or, if you're not being tactful, I'm a milk bottle.

Pale (and I like to think interesting). Rarely changing colour, other than to go a few shades of pink if I sit in the sun too long.

I've tried in the past to fake tan, with questionable results. Sure, it looks great the day after you've first applied it, but how about a few days in, when it's started going patchy?

I don't really mind being pale - I've  certainly not bothered enough to apply fiddly fake tan regularly - but whenever I have had some colour, whether naturally acquired or out of a bottle, I have liked the look.

On my face in particular, I feel I look healthier and a tan helps even out my skin tone.

My main issues with fake tan in general are:

- It's messy
- It's hard to apply
- It can develop to be patchy, or become patchy after a few days
- It can stain - your hands, clothes, bedding
- It has that biscuit smell to it, as it develops
- It feels uncomfortable to wear, particularly when it's warm
- It takes commitment to keep on top of the tan
- It doesn't always look natural

So, you may wonder why I was keen to try a new fake tan product - Madame LALA - just launched at Superdrug.

Well, I was told that this fake tan was different. And with two weddings coming up this summer, where I will be bridesmaid / Maid of Honour, with one dress being a pale pink, and both dates being just four days apart, I want to see if I can find a tanning option to add a bit of colour and to be easy enough to maintain between the two events.

Anything is worth a try and I was intrigued to see if this could be a fake tan that I could get on with.

Madame LA LA​ is a​n​ organic​ anti-ageing​ tanning and skincare brand. It was launched in London​​ in 2014​ by beauty entrepreneur Nicole Dash Jones​ and is now available at Superdrug as of last month. 

They contain lots of skin-loving ingredients, such as coco water & aloe for built-in hydration, and they claim to offer a natural fade and a streak free LA glow, all year round. The quick dry formula is designed for lighter skin tones and both products have a faint smell of coconuts.

I was kindly sent the West Coast Face Bronzing Serum (RRP £25 for 100ml, currently available with 1/3 off), a year round skincare product infused with tanning agent, to try out as well as the Self Tan Mousse (£29.99 for 200ml - also currently on offer), both in light to suit my skin tone.

First of all, I applied the face serum. You only need a pea sized amount, although I actually used a bit less the first time as it's very dark and a little seems to go a long way and absorbs fast.

After exfoliating and using a rich body moisturiser, particularly on dry areas like my elbows, I then applied the mousse. This time around, I focused on just my neck, arms and chest, leaving my lower body and legs as I have patches of psoriasis and won't be showing off my pins any time soon.

Top photos - before, with and without make up, Bottom photos - after applying the serum and the body mousse (no filters applied)

Again, the mousse was incredibly quick to apply and I was impressed with how easy it was to smooth on my skin. Because you can see the mousse have an immediate colour change effect on your skin, you can easily blend the colour and see if you have areas you might have missed.

You have to work quick though!

I didn't have any gloves or a mitt but I recommend that you try applying the mousse with one of these if you can. I had dark brown hands within just five minutes of applying the mousse on my body, and after scrubbing with minimal success, I found a useful tip online to say using bicarbonate of soda mixed with a little warm water to form a paste does the trick. And it did! After washing away the product build up on my hands, I applied hand cream and a small amount of the face serum mixed together to the tops and sides of my hands first, to try and ensure an even colour result.

And that was it. There was no sticky feeling to my skin, the scent was still subtle and more like coconuts than anything and I was ready to get on with the rest of my evening.

The advice says to avoid showering for at least 10 hours, and that the tan would last for 10 days.

Here's how I looked the next day:

So, you probably don't think I look particularly tanned but trust me, this is me with a light tan!

I'd certainly apply a little more next time of reapply the day after, to be sure the colour looks natural, but the results I saw and how easy it all was has me seriously impressed.

Having been a fake tan sceptic, here's my verdict on Madame LA LA against each of the key areas:

* APPLICATION - easy, quick to blend, fast drying and no sticky feeling (just use a mitt!), 5/5

* FEEL / SMELL - feels light on the skin and the smell starts of faint and as the colour develops, it does get stronger and slightly like biscuits, but really a lot fainter than other fake tans I have tried. 3/5

* TAN RESULT - really soft and natural, seems to be good to build up so you can be safe and not overdo it. 5/5

* TAN LONGEVITY - I've had no staining and the colour looks even a few days later. So far so good! 4/5

* OVERALL VERDICT? I was really impressed by Madame LA LA and liked the soft feel of the serum and quick to blend and dry application of the mousse. You don't need to use a lot of product each time you tan, so I expect that both products will last quite some time, depending on how often you top up (perhaps all summer long) making them a good investment. 

All opinions my own - thank you to Madame La La for the opportunity to review these new products. I may be a fake tan convert after all!



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