Following the Life of the Tan.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own!

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'I'm a better person when I'm tan."

I read the funniest thing on Instagram this week - "I am a better person when I'm tan." Now I'm not going to speak for women at large, but I have to say, I DO feel better when I have a bit of a glow captured in my skin. Something about a good, golden flush just makes me feel confident and ladylike.

I know that every woman has her "thing", the grooming/cosmetic/beauty ritual that makes her feel like a million bucks (heck, some of us have several of these things... ;), I admit that I am a girl's girl at heart and I like treating myself to a few of these beautifying affinities when I'm able to. I'm thirty and unapologetic these days about things like this - I like hair and makeup and getting my nails did and while none of these things are necessities AT ALL, they do help me feel cared for and a bit pampered. Self care is so necessary! And goodness gracious, when I discovered an organic spray tan that made me feel like a million bucks WITHOUT the harm of the sun's damaging UV rays or toxic chemicals, I was immediately hooked. And you know what happens when a blogger finds something she loves? Yep - she tends to shout it from the rooftops. Guilty as charged, friends ;)

RAW Bronzing Studio is located just a stone's throw away from where I live in my suburb outside of Atlanta (they also have a location in the city). The first time I visited RAW was with my mom, of course, because she's always in the know on the latest natural-beauty craze. She treated me to my first bronzing session as a Happy Mother's Day gift, and I was so intrigued (almost dumbfounded, really) by this mesmerizing place. It's a secret utopia I've driven by dozens of times and never taken a moment to stop in and experience. And I just have to say, not only is the bronzing session amazing - formulated with organic ingredients and free of gross orange-y preservatives - but the studio itself is just so surprisingly warm and luxe, all at the same time. Imagine yourself stepping into an upscale resort boutique in Palm Beach; a true one-stop shop for an exotic, adventurous getaway. Everything you need for a beach trip can be found at RAW from organic sunscreen (that won't strip your spray tan color!) to beach hats, designer sunglasses and gorgeous woven bags, billowy cover ups and lush towels. Gang's all here!

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After spending some time gabbing with the amazing ladies at RAW, I decided to give you guys a peek at the life of a RAW Bronzing sunless tan. Some of you may have never even considered getting a spray tan before, or maybe you are a pro and it's one of your "things", but I just want to share my experience with you and give you the opportunity to have the same! I have loved my pampered bronzing sessions at RAW so very much and I'm excited to share it with you AND offer you a crazy discount on your first bronzing experience! See below :)

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before

skin clean of lotions, perfume and oil

Before the Session:

My olive skin takes on a green-ish tone in the winter, so I'm always up for a little color to even out the score.

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Before the Tan: Protocol
1. When you arrive to RAW, you want to make sure that you are freshly showered, shaved and that your skin is free of makeup, perfume, lotion and body oil. For those of you know me, this means no essential oils on my skin!

2. You also want to make sure to wear dark, loose-fitting clothes, because when you are done with your spray tan you want to give it time to set in without restrictive clothing. You wouldn't put on socks and shoes immediately after getting a pedicure, right? (P.S. - my outfit is not an ideal example of what you should wear, but I wore this so I could show you guys a little bit of skin without stripping down to my skivvies. And also, if I was wearing less I think my Dad might have a heart attack knowing his daughter wasn't wearing clothes on the Internet).

3. RAW provides hair ties, makeup remover and mesh undies, so you can get prepped for your bronzing experience with everything you need. And don't be nervous about stripping down - they are so professional and kind in the bronzing room. It's amazingly un-awkward.

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after!

Will continue to develop over the next 8-10 hours

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After the Tan: Protocol
1. The best way to care of the tan is to take quick, cool showers and avoid tight clothing or heavy lotions/oils.

2. Do not get wet or sweat for 8-10 hours after the session.

3. Don't plan to get a manicure/pedicure. Make sure to schedule those appointments before your bronzing session.

4. Once the tan has faded, RAW recommends proper exfoliation with a cleanser like Acure Body Wash with a bath mitt to completely remove the color before coming back in for another bronzing session.

Here is a Tips & Tricks guide that is super helpful for extending the life of the tan. In the past I've been able to extend my RAW bronze for 10 days or so. My face was the first to fade (since it gets washed probably the most frequently), but in the case that I felt like the color was significantly uneven, I could always go back in to get a face touch up! But I actually prefer my face to be a bit lighter than the rest of my skin because I think it looks more natural.

My tan is still going strong from this session last week! I'm on Day 6 and I still see a lot of pigment in my skin.


Following the tan throughout the week

I tracked the tan - get the play-by-play on my Instagram Story Highlights here!


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And while I'm talking about Instagram, I'm running a giveaway over on my account for a kit of bronzing must-have swag. You can enter here! These goodies are GOOD.

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RAW is generously offering my readers 25% off the price of a full-body bronzing service at the RAW South location with the code OYKRISTEN. I hope you give it a try! Please let me know if you have any questions about the experience - you can comment below or reach out on Instagram if you have specifics!

Happy bronzing to you, friends!

The Body Oil I'm Using Everyday (+ a Giveaway for you!)

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As many of you know, I've been on a green beauty journey over the past 6 months or so. I've been testing everything from mascara and shampoo to serums and toners. It's a lot to take on at once! But I've just gotten to the point where I want to decrease the toxic load in my home (and on my body!), so the research and trial-and-error is all worth it. While I've found some face oils that I am loving lately (which I will include in a separate post, because I didn't want to overwhelm with too much information here), I kept striking out when I was looking for a premium body oil. I wanted it to smell good (duh), be super moisturizing but not greasy, free of toxic ingredients and instead made with safe botanicals and essential oils. You all know how much I love my Doterra oils... so, the bar for a stellar-performing body oil was set rather high.

Which brings me to Little Barn Apothecary.

The Discovery.
I discovered Little Barn when I was celebrating my 30th birthday at Serenbe this past September. They have locations at Serenbe, Westside Provisions in Atlanta and down in Watersound, Florida at The Hub on 30A. Shannon took great care of me in the store, explaining the LBA philosophy (which totally resounds with me) and proceeded to load me up with some incredible samples. I went home to try the body oil and I was honestly overwhelmed. I had found the one! I ran out of this remarkable sample oil in like 3 days because I couldn't stop basically bathing in it. Even Stevie came home from work and said, "Whoa, you smell really good. Like really, really good... what is that?" I tried to pass it off as my naturally alluring scent, but we've known each other far too long for that to work on him. He was like, "no for real - what is that??"

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So let me just tell you a little about this heavenly Honeysuckle + Grapefruit Body Oil. Formulated for all skin types, this oil is best used just after you get out of the shower, when your skin is still damp. It is a daily moisturizer that is non-greasy and quickly absorbs into the skin to give you an all-day glow. It also smells super indulgent, like you've been bathing inside the nectar of a flower and then spritzed with a squeeze of citrus juice. Which is #lifegoals, am I right? I imagine this is what Tinker Bell smelled like, that lucky lass.

I love that Little Barn Apothecary believes in the power and healing of all-natural ingredients, centering each of their products around the simple focus of being a safe, pure alternative to the chemical-laden self care products in today’s market. This has been my mission with my Green Beauty Trials, to find companies just like this one! Score!

The Story Behind the Brand.
Little Barn Apothecary founders Joshua and Brad started the brand in their kitchen after realizing there was a void in the market for handmade, uncomplicated self-care products. The beauty market is flooded with chemical-laden products that wreak havoc on the body, and they were passionate about creating alternatives. After sharing some of the items with friends and family, they were met with enthusiastic requests for more and decided to expand their line. In 2015, Little Barn Apothecary was debuted to the public with the promise that the product line is “simply simple”, meaning that the botanical ingredients in each product is 100% natural and selected by hand. All products are hand crafted in small-batch apothecary tradition and sold in recycled glass bottles with minimal packaging. Every product is 100% vegan and organic, containing wild-harvested ingredients whenever possible. All the products are free of synthetic ingredients, artificial colors, parabens or any sort of “fillers”. Little Barn takes inspiration from the earth to provide hand made formulations designed to evoke a simple feeling of well-being.

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Discount for YOU!
Well, whatever they're doing, it's working. Stevie keeps trying to steal my body oil, that rascal. If you want to snag your own, you can shop here and receive 15% off any purchase by using the code KRISTENH at checkout. Stock up on Christmas gifts, my friends! I am also a huge fan of the Ginger + Rosemary Hand and Body Wash and the Lavender + Frankincense Original Oil (amazing essential oils for supporting overall skin health!) I love dropping an extra drop or two of my Doterra essential oils in these products for added potency. Hurray for all the oils!

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Giveaway!
I'm super excited to partner with LBA to give away a "Glow For It" kit to one of you! This amazing set contains contains my beloved Honeysuckle + Grapefruit Body Oil, the Sweetgrass + Lavender soap and the Jasmine + Geranium Polishing Scrub. Jump over to my Instagram (@oykristen) for your chance to enter! Winner will be selected and notified on 11/22, Thanksgiving eve!

More about the Kit:
The “Glow For It” Body Kit comes in a limited edition box, complete with three items to help you achieve a natural, healthy glow, even in the dead of winter. First, cleanse skin with the Sweetgrass + Lavender Soap Bar, an organic, gentle soap made for all over body cleansing with essential oils to create the perfect aroma in your shower. Next, exfoliate with the Jasmine + Geranium Polishing Body Scrub, perfect for dry skin. This scrub uses pure, organic cane sugar and organic, skin loving oils to scrub away dead skin and reveal a softer, more youthful glow. After stepping out of the shower, pump a small amount of the Honeysuckle + Grapefruit Body Oil, and massage over still damp skin. This luxurious daily moisturizer is non-greasy and formulated for all skin types. It quickly absorbs deep into the skin to give you an all-day, glistening glow while sending you on an indulgent journey of sun-drenched blossoms, lightly kissed by delicate pink citrus. The “Glow For It” Body Kit is priced at $70 with a retail value of $80 and is available online at littlebarnapothecary.com and at select retailers.