As a Cypriot girl, I have a natural tanned complexion and I am lucky enough to tan very easily in the sun. But sun-tanning can be very damaging to our skin, especially if we do not wear sun-creams and moisturisers with a high SPF. An alternative to a natural tan, is self tanning or tanning in salons. But as an already naturally tanned girl, I really struggle to find products which give me a healthy, natural glow. I find products can either have no effect whatsoever on my skin colour or they will merely leave an orange tinge, which lets admit it, no one wants. As a quest to find tans which are suitable for those with darker skin tones, two lovely bloggers, LaaLaa who runs Dolce Vanity and Annie who runs Epiphannnie A, have put together a project called Tans for Women of Colour. You can find out all about Tans for Women of Colour here, as well as finding us on the Twitter hashtag #TFWOC.
The first tanning brand and products me and the girls on the project have been trying is from Abi-O who is the wonderfully lovely owner of BeauBronz. Abi has developed the brand to ensure that the BeauBronz products do not contain parabens and only contain the highest quality ingredients. They are also completely cruelty-free, hurrah! The packaging of BeauBronz products is a golden bronze and white, which to me makes them look luxurious and special. I have been testing out two products for this project from BeauBronz, the gradual tanner and the shimmer tan boost.
But what about before tanning? There are a few simple must-have steps to follow before using any tanning products. I follow two simple steps before tanning, but others have more steps that they also follow. A great guide to self-tanning and how to prepare, is written by the lovely Andy over on Pampered Prince, which you can read here.
Step one - Exfoliate
I exfoliate almost daily in the shower anyway, but before self-tanning or even salon tanning, it is a really important step to ensure your tan goes on and lasts as beautifully as possible. Exfoliating removes any oils, built up product and dead skin cells. Not only leaving your skin smoother, but allowing products to sink in easier, and work better. Usually I exfoliate after washing, but before tanning I will exfoliate first, then wash, just to make sure no oils from the exfoliator cling to my skin, which could prevent the tanning product from doing it's job!
Step two - Moisturise
This step is a must! If your skin is dry, it won't allow the product to sink in. So make sure you moisturise and that your skin isn't dehydrated, but instead soft and smooth. I prefer to use body butters opposed to body lotions as I find them more moisturising on my elbows, knees and feet. But either will work just as well. Ensure it is fully worked in and fully dry before applying the tanning product.
The gradual tanner from BeauBronz is specially formulated to help extend and protect your natural, sunless tan. You can use this product daily for a longer lasting tan. It is paraben free, cruelty free and contains rose hip oil which helps to moisturise. It also contains bio active aloe vera and uses EcoCert approved DHA whoch results in a more natural and eco-friendly self tan. It has a very light and subtle fragrance, none of that over-powering self tan smell here! It also sinks in to the skin quickly and easily and left my skin feeling silky smooth. I applied this for the first time in the morning, and as the day went on I could notice a natural tanned glow appearing on my skin. As the day went on, my skin looked like it had a lovely natural glow!
The shimmer tan boost from BeauBronz is marketed for tanned, brown or black skin. It is a light tanning product which contains bio active aloe vera and EcoCert approved DHA, as well as rose hip which moisturises. This product contains shimmer mica for a glistening gold appearance on the skin, enhancing any tan! Again there is no nasty over-powering scent here, just a beautiful, subtle scent of tanning. It goes on easily, leaving a lovely golden shimmer to your skin. I did end up with hands completely covered in gold shimmering glitter, but it washed off with no problems at all!
I've really enjoyed using both of these products. After just one day's application I saw a noticeable difference in the colour of my skin, giving me a healthy glow. After two days, the lovely glow progressed, looking more tanned. If I was to use this every day I am sure I would build up a really lovely natural-looking tan. And the shimmer tan boost is a lovely product, it made me feel as if I had a little bit of Katniss Everdeen in me! A lovely brand, which I look forward to exploring more and more.
You can find out all about BeauBronz on the official website here. You can also find out more about Abi, how BeauBronz began as well as dozens of very helpful tanning related videos on Abi's personal website, here. The two products I have been using are both trial sizes which are 50ml each and cost a very reasonable £8. The full sizes are 200ml each and cost £26 each.
The lovely Abi has also given me a discount code to share with you all! You could get a fab 25% off of all Abi-O BeauBronz products using the discount code 'LoveAbiO' at checkout! So snap up your perfect tanning products for a super bargain price now! Discount only available until October 31st.
Be sure to check out the #TFWOC hashtag, as well as LaaLaa's blog for more information on the project, which you can find here. There are 11 girls in total (including myself) taking part in the #TFWOC project and you can find their blogs and their reviews of BeauBronz (which will be up during the next week) below. Be sure to check them out and support all of the girls on our quest to find the perfect tan and tanning products for Women of Colour.
Other girls in the project
LaaLaa who runs Dolce Vanity / Annie who runs Epiphannie A / Grace who runs All That Slap / Safiyah who runs Frooti Beauty / Lola who runs LolaStar Hearts / Dija who runs Dija's World / Hafsa who runs Muslimah Beauty / Stephanie who runs Nerd About Town / Yinka who runs Vex in the City / Tass who runs Une Tasse
Don't forget you can get a generous 20% off of all Le Belle Skincare products throughout September using the discount code 'TEA'. You can find the Le Belle website, here. And don't forget to check out my September Lady Grey advertisers out; the lovely Yasmina from Yasmina Writes and the beautiful Laurie from My Blue Rinse.