Get Tanned, not Tangoed

Georgina Heffernan tries the new long- lasting tan that's become the beauty worlds latest craze

They say the only safe tan is a fake tan - but in the wrong hands it can still be a disaster. Yes, we're talking mottled limbs, muddy knees, stained palms and faces so orange they glow in the dark. While we're all in favour of the healthy glow you can get from a self-tan, there's a fine line between a golden tan and the sort of OTT look that suggests you had a Marmite bath. But don't bin that bottle quite yet.

The latest product to shake up the beauty world is pHenomenal by Vita Liberata, the home-tan that looks natural, is chemical free – and lasts up three weeks. And there’s such a buzz surrounding the product that it has already won a legion of fans including; Kelly Brook, Yasmin Le bon, The Saturdays and Holly Valance. The pHenomenal tanning mousse claims to be the first home tan which looks as good and lasts for longer than a professional salon spray – but does it actually work?

Eager to see what all the fuss was about, I contacted the company and asked for a sample to road test. Here’s what I thought...

First Impressions: Almost three weeks ago, a little brown parcel was delivered by my postman and I was ready to start testing. The product was beautifully packaged and it came with a tanning for easy application (yippee! No more orange palms).

The Application: This comes in a lightweight mousse, which means that it’s easy to spread and doesn’t streak. It was awkward to try to reach places like my back and it also took some time to make sure that the colour was blended correctly on my legs but it was easier to apply than many of the products I’ve used in the past.

The Smell: The mousse dried almost instantly and was odourless. A welcome change from the sickly sweet ’biscuit’ smell normally associated with self-tans.

The Result: I’m happy with the colour, which is more of a golden brown than an orange glow. I used a little less on my face because I wanted the look to be natural and sun kissed. I can always add another layer of tan if I want a darker look.

Did it Last: Two weeks later and the colour was still there, although, not quite as strong. I moisturised my skin a lot, as this encourages any kind of a tan to stay put for longer, so that probably helped. By week three my tan was still visible but it was beginning to fade.

The Verdict: I loved it. Easy to apply and long lasting – everything I want from a self-tan. Although it may seem expensive at 47 euro, it’s not, because you get a big bottle and there’s enough for up to ten applications (depending on how much you use).

The Finished Result:

pHenomenal by Vita Liberata available at Boots and selected pharmacies nationwide.