The best new bronzers for spring part two: Carlene K and Xen-Tan

To be completely honest, I think I am addicted to bronzers.  I am constantly collecting them, testing them, and looking for the latest and greatest to add to my arsenal.  Previously, I reviewed my top bronzer picks for spring in the categories of self tanner for body and bronzing liquid for the face.  Today, I am going to review my top picks for body bronzer (not self tanner, this is the stuff that washes off) and then a surprise product that is either a self tanner or a bronzer for the face and body – or both, if that’s what you choose.

My favorite new body bronzer is Carlene K. Shine Body Bronzer ($29.99).  From what I understand, this is quite a Hollywood mainstay – many of the people you see on the red carpet have that glowy, gorgeous tan thanks to Carlene K Carlene K. is a famous makeup artist who actually created this bronzer while working with the Pussycat Dolls.

The bronzer is just like body lotion.  It spreads evenly and quickly, and dries down super fast.  It’s very moisturizing, and is anti-aging because of the plant derived collagen and Vitamin C and E.    It also has pumpkin extract to help the skin retain elasticity and firmness.  I adore the color it gives – it looks extremely natural, no orange tones, and gives a fabulous glow.  You can see in the swatch above how there is golden shimmer in it, which isn’t obvious but it does give that wonderful luminosity.

Here are pics of my arm before Carlene K. Shine Body Bronzer, and then after.

Love the color, and I had no problems with the product transferring to my clothing.  It washes right off in the shower, and it has no discernible scent when applied.  If you are looking for a body bronzer that is easy to apply, easy to wash off, and gives a beautiful instant color, look no further!  You can buy the Shine Body Bronzer online and in various stores across the U.S., just check the website for locations.

My last favorite new product in the bronzing arena is by Xen-Tan.  This is a truly amazing product that you just have to check out.  Xen-Tan products are available online, at Norstrom, and at Ulta, to name just a few places.  They have a wide array of self tanning products, and I tried out the E! Live From the Red Carpet Perfect Blend ($43.00). 

I fell in love as soon as I opened the box and saw the gorgeous starlet – super cute packaging!!

This is an extremely unusual product.  It is a self tanner and it’s a bronzer, you can choose to do one or both based on how you place the dial on the bottle.  You can also decide the depth of the color you want.  The color is very natural looking, and the lotion smells nice, like cucumbers.  And, this bronzer/self tanner works great for both the body and the face.

You can see up at the top the different settings to choose from, from 100% self tanner to 100% bronzer.

Here I have it set to 100% self tanner.

And here is the 100% self tanner swatched.  It’s a light lotion that spreads easily.  I have used this tons of times and have never once gotten any streaks, which is unusual for a self tanner without a color guide. 

Now here is the bottle set to 100% bronzer.  Like the self tanner, the bronzer works for both the face and the body.  Here is a swatch:

The bronzer can be used on the face because it doesn’t have any shimmer to it.  Usually the ‘glowy’ body bronzers aren’t face appropriate because the ‘glow’ is too obvious.  This one gives a very pretty, deep tan look that works on any part of your body.

So here is the super cool part – 50/50!!  With this setting, you get the best of both worlds – your self tanner is working while the bronzer gives you immediate color.  Genius!!!!  

Here is a swatch of the 50/50.  How fun is that??

So many bronzers, so little time…and these are fabulous options that I think should be in everyone’s faux-tan arsenal.  – Lisa


  1. Meredith says:

    Wow-both of these bronzers look so amazing! I love the E! Live-want to try right now!!

  2. Serena says:

    Xen-Tan I am all over that!!!!!

  3. I don’t like self tanners but I also don’t like super white legs. I am going to try out the Carlene K., it looks like a great color and I like that I can wash it off.

  4. Holy cow these are both gorgeous. I think I want them both!!

  5. This sounds like bronzer heaven! I am going to look for both for sure. I have tried Xen-Tan products before and thought they were great, but I never tried this one. It looks fantastic.

  6. I don’t tend to need tanners, but that Xen-Tan sounds so innovative and cool! Kudos to them for making such a thoughtful product

  7. Harper says:

    The Xen Tan sounds so interesting. Very unique.

  8. They both look great, love how they are such different options.

  9. where can i order that bottle of carlene k bronzer? they only show the small bottle on the website.


  1. […] line because you never hear about it but you should. Reread my review to see why. 9.  Xen-Tan – This is the most clever self-tanner on the market. The dial makes for perfect color no […]