Are you looking for a review of the New Summer 2014 range from Cocoa Brown? Take a look here!
First of all, a quick story. I tried out Cocoa Brown's 1 Hour Tan last week - and, like you do when you're fake tanning, I was wandering around completely clothes-less so as to avoid strange lines. What I had forgotten was that the previous day I had given the keys to my flat to the electricians to finish off some work. I had intended to be out. But I wasn't... and they didn't really leave quite enough time between knocking on and opening the front door for me to put on sufficient clothing. #awkward
Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan and Tough Stuff
A couple of weeks ago I went to the UK launch of Cocoa Brown's 1 Hour Tan fake tan. I should say first that I've never been a fake tan girl - I have used Rimmel's instant tan that you can wash off, but I've never gone in for the stuff you put on and let it develop overnight: I've always been far too worried that I'll end up looking radioactive. However, after meeting Marissa Carter, creator of Cocoa Brown, and hearing about what she set out to do with her own brand of fake tan, my curiosity was suitably piqued. She asked clients at her Irish salon, Carter Beauty, what they most wanted in a fake tan and their answers were threefold: 1) no biscuity smell, 2) quick and 3) natural colour (not orange!) And with this tan, Marissa set out to make sure that those three bases were covered. The tell-tale fake tan biscuit smell is due to the DHA (the active tanning ingredient) reacting with the surface layers of the skin, but there are accelerating ingredients in Cocoa Brown that mean that the DHA doesn't stay on the skin's surface so long.
The day before application, I used Cocoa Brown's Tough Stuff body scrub to prepare my skin. The smell is absolutely delicious - apparently Tahitian Gardenia - but I thought it was more like raspberries. The packet does say it's best for the rough areas of your body, like hands, knees, elbows, ankles and feet - but I went for all over and it didn't seem to do too much damage (though I was lighter when rubbing my legs and arms etc). It comes in a 50ml sachet and you can certainly get more than one use out of it, but I'd like to see it coming in a pink tub to match the fake tan package so it's not so messy.
The bright pink Tough Stuff
There are some very handy tips on the bottle for tan virgins like me - like putting on nail varnish to protect nails and using oil free moisturiser on particularly dry areas (feet, ankles, knees and hands) which are prone to absorbing fake tan rather too much! Cocoa Brown's formula is a light brown coloured mousse. It applies really smoothly (with the CB tanning mitt) and because of the colour you can see where you've put it. I found I had to do a bit of careful rubbing in to avoid streaks - I was also a little paranoid since this was my first experience of fake tanning! Once it was on, I let it dry and waited... then there was the electrician interlude... and 2.5 hours later I rinsed it all off in the shower.
For my first experience with fake tan, I was really impressed. I felt I had a really healthy, natural glow once I'd washed it off (though it did seem to keep developing actually - I was darker by the evening). My wrists, hands and ankles did look a bit of a mess, but I'll blame that on my own lack of experience (next time I'll do the moisturising a bit more thoroughly). So those things Marissa set out to achieve? 1) The biscuity smell - not at first, but by the evening I could definitely smell Rich Teas following me around! 2) definitely quick and 3) natural colour - yes! Four days after applying the tan, I still felt like I had some colour on my skin - by 7 days I reckon it'll be time for reapplying... and you can bet I will be!
Cocoa Brown is available in selected Boots and Primark stores, as well as on FeelUnique. The 1 Hour Tan is £7.99, the tanning mitt £2.99 (it's washable) and Tough Stuff is £4.50 for 2 sachets.