Review: Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 week tan mousse in medium

A while back I attended the launch of Vita Liberata, a range of organic self-tanning products that’s now available via selected salons in South Africa as well as a local website. The range hails from Northern Ireland and is proudly 80% organic. The self-tanners also promise not to smell while they develop, fade naturally, offer more hydration that other self-tanners and are packed with ‘good for you’ natural extracts like seaweed, pomegranate and licorice.

Vita Liberata’s mooi self-tan model.

While at the launch, I put two of their self-tanners on my arm but now, as it was so long ago and I’ve since lost my notes, I can’t remember which was which. Eek! Fortunately, both of them turned out to look pretty much the same shade. One was supposed to be ever so slightly more olivey-looking but, on my skin, I literally couldn’t tell the difference between the two. Both colours were a very natural shade of ‘tan’; no ‘orange’ or ‘mud’ in the mix at all.

In this shot the colour on the left looks more ‘golden’ and the one on the right seems more ‘olive’ but this would shift depending on what type of light you were in. Any ‘visible’ difference between the two was incredibly subtle.

I was also given a small pHenomenal 2-3 week tan mousse in medium (It’s R965 fo the full-size) to try at home and wore it just the other day to the 5 for Change charity ball on both my face, chest and legs. (My dress had a killer slit in it!) I applied it that morning using a few sweeps of my tanning mitt* and hit the shops. Being tinted, it was super easy to see where it was going. Then, as it developed I didn’t smell a thing. If anything, it was like I was wearing a lightly floral-scented body lotion.

Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 week tan mousse, R965.

By evening, I had a very natural-looking, even, medium tan. I liked that when I hit the shower, the top coat didn’t wash off to reveal a disappointing ‘much lighter than’-type of tan, as if often the case. My skin also didn’t feel drier for having under gone the process, another potential self-tan negative. But I really didn’t expect it; I mean, for heaven’s sake, the mousse’s first listed ingredient is aloe vera leaf water. Lovely stuff.

Who would've thought that earlier on that day my chest was the colour of my friend Mark's shirt.
Who would’ve thought that just earlier on that day my chest was literally the colour of my friend Mark’s** shirt.

Thanks to something Vita Liberata are calling pHen02 technology (I have no clue what that is and am too busy to Google it), they reckon their self-tanner will ‘last up to four times longer’ than your normal tan. I’m not sure if they mean normal self-tanner or a normal tan but either way, this did last a little longer than other self-tanners I use in that, seven days later, the colour on my chest, where I applied it twice, is still visible. The colour on my arms, legs and face, however, is almost gone but the fade out is incredibly natural looking.

Anyway, I really liked the look of my tan as well as the process. For me, the experience was on par with using St. Tropez self-tanning mousse, the self-tanner I usually reach for when I want a light, natural-looking tan. (Famous Dave’s is my go to for when a bikini holiday is looking and I want to look dark.) In fact, if Vita Liberata was the same price as St. Tropez, I’d probably be torn between the two and maybe VL would win as I see it’s also available in ‘dark’. But the fact is, I simply can’t afford to blow almost a grand on a self-tan and using ‘organic’ beauty products has never been important to me. Still, if you have deeper pockets than I do and feel strongly about making almost all-natural beauty choices, then chances are you’re going to fall in love with Vita Liberata.

Love, love


*If you don’t have one of these you have to make a plan, girls. Application becomes a dream!

**Poor Mark looks terrified in that shot ‘cos I’d literally just told him I was going to pee on his leg. My bloody Spanks were crazy tight and almost impossible to get on and off so I refused to go the loo the entire evening and walked around like a nasty old hot water bottle just waiting to explode. Now let’s count the seconds until my sister reads this and lambastes me via What’s Apps for being utterly devoid of class and how I’ll never find a husband and die all alone (but very evenly tanned) in my flat…

4 thoughts on “Review: Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 week tan mousse in medium

  1. Looking pretty and tanned! Might need to try although it’s hard to deal with self-tanners when you got a chihuahua that loooooves to lick anything that smells nice (body lotion, soap, lipgloss… You name it). How long does it take for to dry up and how long before the tan is fully developed? I hate being pale. Winter needs to stop. Just stop. Haha.
    X Sofie

    1. Thank you! I could put clothes on within five minutes (the tanning mitt spreads it REALLY thin and evenly so it dries nice and fast). I didn’t really watch the colour develop as I was all bundled up in this hideous cold but when I showered off the top coat about seven hours later I was all done.

      1. Thanks – that does sound good! I usually have to wait 10 min and then walk around in loose fitting clothes for like 5 hours before I feel ‘safe’ haha

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