Sienna X unveils new line up of professional fake tan products
Ever wondered how Mollie King and Ola Jordan of The Saturdays and Strictly Come Dancing fame get their bronzed and glowing pins despite Britain’s dreary weather?
The answer is a brand called Sienna X.
Established in 2004 by Nicola Matthews, a former mobile spray tanner turned entrepreneur, in just 8 years the brand has reached golden heights and recently overtook St Tropez as the UK’s number one professional salon spray tan brand. Having started out as a salon-only brand, in recent years the range has grown to include a number of pre and post tanning products which are now sold online, in Sienna X salons and shortly on FeelUnique.com. In April 2012 and to coincide with the unveiling of its new branding and packaging, Sienna X announced its first Brand Ambassador, celebrity spray tan expert James Harknett, in a move which further demonstrates the ambition of the brand.
So in a crowded and fiercely competitive market, what’s been the secret to the brand’s success to date? A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the launch of Sienna X’s new range of products to find out.
The new collection features 8 products, including a pre-tan exfoliating scrub, a range of tanning products – including a Dark Glowing Self Tan (£23.95), a Gradual Glowing Self Tan (£15. 95), an Express Tanning Mist (£15.95) and a new Instant Bronzing Gel (£12.95) for times when you’ve not planned ahead – and a collection of post-tan lotions to help extend the life of your tan. The products come in a range of pretty pink and gold packaging and cost between £5 and £24.
First up for review was the Polishing Body Scrub (£11.95). According to Nicola, the key to achieving a lasting and even tan is good preparation; specifically, exfoliation. Unlike some other scrubs, the mildly scented scrub contains very finely milled pumice making this product gentle enough to use on face and body. This is one of my favourite products in the collection since it leaves skin incredibly soft and smooth.
The tanning products come in a variety of options to suit individual preference. My favourites include the Gradual Glowing Self Tan – a moisturising and non-greasy lotion which can be used to extend the life of a pre-existing tan, or be built up to achieve a subtle, golden hue – and the Dark Glowing Self Tan. This product is best applied with a mitt or latex gloves and helpfully includes a guide-colour, making it easy for users to see where the product has been applied. Users shouldn’t be alarmed by the word “Dark” in the product’s name or the highly pigmented guide colour; when washed off 8 hours later, even on paler skins the result is a subtle and natural looking tan, which works as well on the face as it does on the body. One word of caution though, for ankles and wrists do mix a little moisturising cream with the product to avoid an unsightly build-up in these areas.
The Dark Glowing Self Tan is a dark brown lotion and smells of chocolate making this product a bit of a treat to apply! However the pièce de résistance is the inoffensive scent of the product as it develops which is reminiscent of penny sweet classic, the candy necklace! I am a big fan of St Tropez’s whipped bronzing mousse, which for my skin, still has the slight edge in terms of the colour of the tan, but it really does smell awful. So bad in fact that it wakes me up throughout the night when I’ve applied and am waiting for it to develop! Another massive plus is that the paraben-free formulation is so light that unlike other fake tan products on the market, it doesn’t block pores which can lead to break-outs. St Tropez could learn a lot from Sienna X in both these respects.
On my relatively fair skin, I found that the colour looked best on day 2. Topped up with a little Gradual Tan you can expect your bronzed look to last a week. (Exfoliation, swimming and heavy gym going can shorten the longevity of the look - a great excuse to take a week off exercising!).
Sienna X’s new line also includes a daily Balance Body Wash and Radiance Body Balm (both £11.95) - an iridescent body lotion which leaves a beautiful, subtle sheen – to extend the life of the tan. For added sparkle, a Shimmer Spray (£4.95) is perfect for nights out.
At a fraction of the price of other leading professional tanning products, this is great value range with products to suit all tanning preferences. Indeed the pretty packaging and superior formulations which are kind to skin, don’t transfer onto clothes or bed sheets during development and above all, which smell good, mean that for me, this range has edged ahead of competitors to become my new favourite fake tan collection.
But with new product innovations on the horizon, including a bronzing mousse and face contour and highlighter compact (anticipated to launch in Autumn), we can expect to see a lot more yet from this brand. It might be pouring outside but the sun is certainly shining for Sienna X.
To purchase the new collection visit www.sienna-x.co.uk, or for special occasions, check out the Sienna X spray tan booth at London’s luxury W Hotel in Leicester Square. Telephone +44 (0) 207 758 1071 for reservations.