I was never a tanning product kind of girl, but recently I've been a bit curious.
I found out about this brand called Cocoa Brown Tan from Mariah (The Gal's Guide) and I decided to reach out to them to get more information about their product. Their marketing manager was super sweet and sent me an entire set to try (exfoliator, tanner, moisturizer, mitt) which was extremely generous.
I'd done tanning beds several years before just to try it out before everyone started realizing how horrible tanning beds were, I've had someone spray tan my naked body (awkward much) and I've used "tanning" type lotions that add some golden bronze to the skin. I hadn't ever used a true self tanner so I was a little scared and worried I wouldn't apply evenly.
Usually when you tan, you would need someone to help you (boyfriend, roommate, husband, etc.) so you can get all areas of your back evenly. If you're really flexible, you can reach all of the areas on your own. Fun fact: I am way more flexible in one arm so I can actually reach most of my back without help but for this first application I recruited the boyfriend to do an even layer on the back. If you can't tell, applying evenly is crucial. How many more times will I use the word even?
In terms of scent, this tanner is not unpleasant. It has a stronger scent the longer it stays on the skin, but it's not the gross oily or baking type of scent which people complain about with some tanners. When I applied, I tried to apply as evenly as possible (which is hard) and I knew I didn't get every corner but the tan settled evenly for how unevenly I applied. Make sense? The color lasted for about five (5) days which is pretty true to their marketing and product promise. It also wasn't an orange tan, but a nice bronze glow which is ideal.
The process of tanning does take a few steps. First, you'll need to exfoliate for several days before you plan to tan (I recommend at least two days.) Second, you will apply the tanner and as a side note if there's any dry patches on your skin, make sure to moisturize those areas before applying the tanner. Usually the longer you keep the tanner on, the darker you'll get. I kept this one on for about two hours (they say one hour for a lighter glow, two for medium and three for dark.) I didn't find that I turned into a Oompa Lompa so I figured this is a safe one and won't kill you if you leave it on a couple of extra minutes. Only leave tanners on for longer if you've used them before and know the range of results you'll get...I don't want to be responsible for an Oompa Lompa! Next you will shower and wash all of the tanner off. It's important to do a thorough job so you don't have insanely dark spots and then lighter spots. Lastly you'll moisture your body and voila you are a tanned goddess!
Here are the products I used:
One Hour Tan Mousse http://www.cocoabrown.ie/
Tough Stuff 3-in-1 Body Scrub http://www.cocoabrown.ie/
Chocolate Whip Oil-Free Body Moisturizer http://www.cocoabrown.ie/
Tanning Mitt http://www.cocoabrown.ie/
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