Bellamianta directors Linda Stinson and Lisa McDermott tell Donegal Woman about their 'beautiful aspirations'
We’ve suffered enough with the effort of fake tanning. For too long, we have tried to ignore that smell and that scaly skin we have to deal with for the rest of the week after tanning.
We aspire to be golden goddesses when we tan – is it too much to ask that we and everyone around us don’t have to suffer the smell?
There are two women who believe they have solved our problems.
Bellamianta tan has become hugely popular across Donegal and the rest of Ireland this year as local women try to find a new way to get their glow without the stink.
Donegal Woman talked to Bellamianta creators Linda Stinson and Lisa McDermott to learn about the brand they began developing three years ago.
The brand name means beautiful aspirations, so we decided to find out how their own beautiful aspirations inspired the creation of a unique tan.
Linda, who is from Tyrone and Lisa, from Cork, are both qualified beauty therapists. They have 15 years of industry experience working as area managers with brands including Molton Brown, Benefit Cosmetics and Space NK.
The Tyrone-based company Bellamianta was born after Linda and Lisa saw a gap in the market for a clean, affordable and luxurious tan.
Since the launch last year, their range of lotions, mousses, oils and mitts have spread widely through the social media blogosphere and rose to the top of the saturated tanning market.
“It’s grown to what we wouldn’t believe,” Linda told Donegal Woman. “Up until six months ago we were packing boxes and running mad around the country making sales.”
Linda and Lisa are both busy working mothers, and are all about women pampering themselves in the simplest ways. They are also eager to help other women with big business ideas.
“We want to promote the idea of supporting other women and other brands,” Lisa said.
“The most important thing to us is family and the team we surround ourselves with.”
The shelves of chemists are already packed with brown bottles of various tanning brands – why is Bellamianta the top pick all over Ireland? Linda and Lisa pride their product on its clean ingredients, but it’s the smell that is its biggest benefit.
One of the natural ingredients of the tan is bergamot, which creates a spa-like aroma. Bellamianta, as they say, is ‘husband-proof’ as it doesn’t carry the usual repelling smell.
“There’s nothing worse than stinking out a bedroom. Our tan smells so good we made a candle out of it,” Linda said.
“Not only is this going to tan your skin, it’s also a treatment for your skin,” Linda said, citing a mix of fruit extracts and essential oils that rejuvenate and hydrate the skin.
The duo were incredibly particular about creating their formula – making 90 changes before they were happy. Linda and Lisa pride their ingredients on being ethically-sourced and they also have a vegan certification on the way.
“We literally went with exact bullet points for what we wanted. We were very hands-on in the lab, with the white coats on. We tested on a panel of women ranging from all ages and with all types of skin conditions. If one person wasn’t happy then it was back to the drawing board.”
Now, Lisa and Linda are proud to promote their creation and what makes it different.
“Packaging was a nightmare, we knew we had a good product but it was scary going into the market. For us, it was important to put our selling point on front of the box for new customers.”
Linda and Lisa’s experience in the Irish beauty industry gave them a platform to launch their dream design, but they encourage others to take the risk and do the same.
“We are just two normal working girls, if we can do it, anyone else can. You just need to be willing to put in the research and hard work,” said Lisa.
“You just have to find your niche in the market and go with it,” she advises, “and what you give out you get back.”
“It is scary going into it but anyone should just sink their teeth in. The most rewarding thing now is sitting back and seeing where we are today,” Linda said.