Last month, I was introduced to the world of Vita Liberata - the luxury self-tan experts who have some pretty nifty and innovative formulas. I've been testing out a mix of some of their bestsellers and new launches to give you an idea of what they have to offer.
A bit of background info to start with - Vita Liberata are a high-end brand based in Northern Ireland who have been around for over a decade now. During that time, they have fully honed their craft and have created some impressive 'world firsts' such as developing the first completely odourless tan back in 2007. They've also managed to fuse together the latest self-tanning technology with natural ingredients, offering consumers a non-toxic tan that uses organic Ecocert DHA. In addition to their range of products you can use at home, they're also prevalent in the spray tanning business which you can find in some of the world's top spas including the Ritz-Carlton, St Regis, Viceroy and George V Paris. Impressive stuff! As a firm fan of faking a tan, I eagerly tested out a whole bunch of their products to see what all the fuss was about.
Vita Liberata Phenomenal Tan Mousse* (125ml, £37.50, link)
One of the main bugbears many people have about self-tanning is that it's a lot of effort and sometimes the results just aren't long lasting enough. I've tried my fair share of fake tans that have faded within 2 days and it's annoying beyond belief! This Phenomenal Tan aims to give you a tan that lasts 2-3 weeks (4 times longer than the average tan) and I have to admit, I was hugely sceptical but I managed to get a full 2 weeks out of it before it started to fade evenly! I couldn't believe it and the colour was so lovely and natural looking.
There is a slight catch though to achieve this - you have to apply it 3 times, allowing the tan to develop 4-8 hours in between each application. I did it over a quiet weekend so it wasn't too bad, but you'd definitely have to schedule some major 'me time' to apply this in the right way or it just won't work or last that long. The mousse was a great consistency, it was easy to buff in with a mitt without any streaks although it does dry fast, it didn't smell like biscuits (there is a scent but it's mostly only noticeable when the tan is developing), and I loved the overall sunkissed colour. The only downside that I experienced was that it felt quite drying, but I managed to remedy this with some body butter once the applications were all done.
Vita Liberata Self-Tanning Night Moisture Mask* (65ml, £30, link)
I'm very religious about applying sunscreen on my face, so I always find that area is much lighter than the rest of my body which is a bit of a pain to match up when you self-tan. I've used James Reed's excellent Sleep Mask Tan in the past to fix this problem, and Vita Liberata's offering is equally as good. It's a gradual tanner that feels like a regular moisturiser - just apply it an hour or so before going to bed and when you wake up in the morning, you have a natural looking light tan. So easy! This Night Moisture Mask also contains lots of antioxidants and 'skincare' benefits, so you get the best of both worlds, and I didn't have any problems with transfer or staining of my pillows. Do I like this more than the James Reed? I'd say I like them both the same; this one gives me more colour and feels more hydrating, but the JR lasts longer on me and is cheaper, so it depends on what you're looking for.
Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish* (100ml, £30, link)
Body Blur is one of the new kids on the Vita Liberata block and is by far one of the best wash-off formulas that I've tried. It feels like a light body moisturiser when you're applying it and it instantly gives you a gorgeous natural colour so it's perfect for a quick fix before a night out - great for legs and can also be used on the face. The formula has tiny light-reflective particles in it which basically help to 'blur' away imperfections such as blemishes and bruises, so you have a really beautiful even, soft-focus esque finish on the skin. It lasted all day on my legs and arms with no transfer or rub off problems. I've tried it out a couple of times during this heatwave we've been having and I can definitely say it's sweat and water resistant! You will need to use a body puff to gently scrub this off but that's a small price to pay for such an awesome product - I just wish it was in a bigger tube!
Vita Liberata Self-Tanning Anti-Age Serum* (15ml, £29, link)
I've been using this for just over a month now and I have to say it's the only product out of this bunch that I've been a little disappointed with. Like the Night Moisture Mask, this serum offers good skincare benefits with a great self-tanner; to apply you just mix a few drops of it with your everyday face moisturiser and it develops into a subtle healthy looking glow. For a deeper colour, you can apply it directly to your face and this method does achieve a slightly darker tan. For me, whilst it worked, I just didn't see any of the skincare benefits (reduced fine lines, plumped up skin) and I much prefer the overall formula of the Night Moisture Mask instead. Not a bad product at all - simply more of an 'OK' product rather than an amazing one.
Vita Liberata Marula Dry Oil Self Tan SPF 50* (100ml, £39, link)
I love the intense moisturising properties of Marula Oil, so I was really excited to try out this new launch which is infused with it, plus it contains broad spectrum SPF 50 which is something I very rarely see in self-tanning formulas! It feels so good on the skin, develops into a stunning natural looking tan, and it lasted for about 7-8 days before starting to gradually fade evenly. Very easy to apply and blend (no streaks), smells surprisingly nice, but perhaps best of all for someone with dry skin like me, it feels really, really hydrating. I do find a lot of self-tanners to be on the drying side, but this one is completely different. Pure luxury in a pretty frosted bottle - I'm impressed!
Vita Liberata is available in selected Space NK, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer's and Boots stores, as well as direct from vitaliberata.co.uk
Have you tried anything from Vita Liberata?