Hello I’m Grainne McGarvey and welcome to my column which spots local hidden gems from the world of beauty, health, fashion, tourism and hospitality. I will have my nose to the ground (quite literally) to keep you up to date about the new or interesting products and services from our neck of the woods. If you know one – get in touch on twitter @pulseprni or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How terrible is the weather? I have definitely been dreaming about sitting on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean. Unfortunately I have no holidays planned yet, but I was able to make myself feel better by trying the next best thing, well sort of –He-Shi self-tanning.
The self-tanning market is huge – I can easily name ten companies off the top of my head and I have probably tried all of them over the years.
Being a strong supporter of local brands, I was very happy to try out He-Shi, which has a head office based in Carryduff, and is available in salons across the world. Ok, because of this some of you may not feel it is a ‘hidden gem’ as celebrities from Christine Bleakley to Caroline Flack and Millie Mackintosh have tried it, but as the small team have maintained their local roots, it’s a real winner in my book.
He-Shi was created in 2004 by local businesswoman, Hilary McMurray and her daughter, Shelley Martin. In April 1997, Hilary established a home tanning business that soon grew and diversified into other areas such as; cosmetics, health, waxing, and manicure & pedicure treatments. In 2004, Hilary was joined by Shelley, and responding to what they felt was a gap in the tanning market, successfully researched, formulated and launched He-Shi.
Fast forward almost ten years and customers can now access He-Shi products through some of the world’s best known beauty retailers and thousands of professional beauty salons across the UK and Ireland. Last year it became Harvey Nichols’ best selling tanning brand and is available across Europe, the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
The company has sold well over half a million units of its hero Express Liquid Tan since it hit the shelves, which is equivalent to tanning 4.5 million bodies. Well this is an extra body to add to the list, as I have now tried the Gold Foaming Mousse – here are my thoughts:
• I would recommend using a mitt to apply, with gloves – you can usually pick these up in a chemist. Don’t put too much on the mitt – just a little bit at a time.
• It doesn’t have a strong tan smell – there is a smell, but it isn’t overpowering.
• Definitely make sure you prepare the skin beforehand, focusing on the problem areas (elbows, ankles, and knees) – this is where I initially went wrong, but after exfoliating it was fine.
• Leave it a couple of minutes before you put on your clothes and wait at least 6-8 hours before washing off
• Moisturise afterwards to prolong the tanning effect
Most importantly – what were the end results?
Well I definitely felt better with a tan and my friends said I looked healthier. The tan lasted a good few days, but I topped it up to keep the colour looking fresh. My first experience of He-Shi has been a positive one, all I need now is a cocktail and some party music and I could be sitting in sunny Barbados rather than rainy Belfast!
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