I used to be a complete utter tanphobe. I actually resented the peer pressure of having to fake tan whilst I was in college, simply because the Oompa Loompa look was never one that I was happy to sport. Years of special occasions and nights out looking tangoed a la L'Oreal Sublime Bronze (yeah- the one with the glitter tint so you can see where you'r2 applying it) took its toll on my patience. When I first tried Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan in December 2012, I was highly skeptical that we would get on- a tanning mousse on my dry, alabaster skin- to say I wasn't overly enthusiastic would be an understatement extraordinaire.
Which in hindsight now, is really quite ironic, because that first Cocoa Brown tanning experience was single handedly the biggest beauty revelation that I have encountered in my years on this planet. I HATED fake tanning and then this one product arrived and completely won me over, almost unbeknownst to myself. And for the last 18 odd months, I've quite simply been obsessed with Cocoa Brown- so from going to tan-phobia to rocking a regular fake tan user has been my journey so far. Since trying out the tan, I am definitely getting through a bottle a month- I probably apply it on a twice weekly basis- and I keep at least four back ups in my bathroom at all times, which is NUTS when you consider how much I despised the stuff for the last ten odd years. It has become an essential step, knocking the grey tone out of my incredibly pale skin and making me look golden (not orange) and feeling much healthier and in better spirits. Ah yes, the good vibrations and psychology of being gently tanned and healthy looking has infiltrated my brain. I'm a fake tan convert and I don't care who knows it. This is what I call the Cocoa Brown effect.
I've never gotten on with gradual tanners before- I've tried the Johnsons one, the Dove one, the Garnier one and even the St. Tropez offering- and none of them set off any fireworks. When I first spied on the Cocoa Brown Facebook page that Marissa Carter and co were launching three new products- one of which was a gradual bronzer 'Gentle Bronze', I was intrigued, and honestly probably not that excited- again I was going on my past experience, and when I FINALLY found something that worked so well for me, I didn't want to rock the boat. Well what I know now that I didn't know then is that the Cocoa Brown effect has taken hold again and I have a new favourite gradual tanner.
On paper, it's simples. It promises a silky body moisturiser that will hydrate skin whilst giving you a gentle bronzed glow. In person, it looks like Chocolate Whip, smells like Chocolate Whip, moisturises your skin like Chocolate Whip, and leaves a not-too-gentle bronze on your skin even from first use. The moisturiser feels quite thick once you start rubbing it into your skin first and as you rub, the cream looks like it turns from the chocolate brown colour to a milky white, before quickly sinking into your skin, leaving you with silky soft skin and absolutely no residue whatsoever. It smells like Tahitian Gardenia- which now and forever will be the Cocoa Brown scent- and it's rather pleasant, but over time the smell changes a smidge to the same colour as Cocoa Brown when it develops (as a sensitive nosed person, this is not offensive). It leaves gorgeously bronzed skin behind, and I am getting serious kicks about applying this in the evening after my shower and waking up sunkissed in the morning. Even though it is not expressly recommended or otherwise, I also apply a smidge of this to my face and it has not caused me any freaky facial issues. The colour payoff was more than I expected- but to be fair, it leaves a lovely golden glow, a bronze that's gentle and not *cough* Sublime (still traumatised). One coat of this leaves a decent glow, 2 coats is the equivalent of a full on Cocoa Brown session in my mind, and anything after that is just colour maintenance in my experience.
So when Cocoa Brown Original 1 Hour Tan is working so dandy for you, why veer away to Gentle Bronze? For me, it's a quick and easy timesaver- 2 steps become one. I appreciate that the good folks at Cocoa Brown appreciate that I am a busy gal and I don't often have them to moisturise and then apply my fake tan on top. If everything that Midas touched turned to gold, everything that Marissa touches turns to bronze (in pink packaging!). Will this replace my love the the original stuff in the pink bottles- no sirree bob. This is just going to supplement my Cocoa Brown ritual. And if that's not the Cocoa Brown effect, I don't know what is!!
This delight will set you back a mere €5.99 and is available in Boots/ Penneys/ Superdrug and pharmacies nationwide, as well as Cloud 10 Beauty on the interwebs.
Have you tried out the Gentle Bronze yet? How do you think it fares in comparison to the original Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan? Was anybody else bitten by the Cocoa Brown effect bug?