I have to admit to being a little bit dubious when I went to meet Alyson Hogg, the founder of Irish tanning company Vita Liberata. Not because I have anything against fake tan, Hell no, I’m Scottish and ginger and have never had a tan in my life, unless it’s been fake, so for me fake tan is ones of Gods greatest gifts.
My reservations were more about the launch of the companies Liberation Day campaign – a competition to liberate women from their responsibilities for the day, to do anything they want for 24 hours.
Not that it’s not a great idea – just couldn’t imagine how fake tan and women’s liberation went together.
Having just spent a weeks holiday with the family, teens daughter obsession with the perfect tan had slightly worried me and no matter how much I told her “it’s fashionable to be pale,” she was determined to spend most of her holiday going the perfect shade of brown. I put this to Alyson and asked her as a mother (she has five kids), how she felt about young girls spending vast amounts of time trying to look good, rather than doing and learning stuff.
“That’s the whole point of Vita Liberata”, she said. “It’s about freedom. Its quick to apply and doesn’t require a whole long ritual, you just slap it on with a mitt and get on with doing something more interesting. That’s why we set up the hashtag #betterthanbaking on Instagram, so that women could upload pictures of what they were doing instead of lying in the sun, damaging their skin.”
Nice answer Alyson and exactly what I would expect from a woman whose previous professional life included broadcasting, academia, hospitality and politics – as Communications Director of the Women’s Coalition in Northern Ireland during the peace process. She thinks women can be liberated and look good – which is why she chose the name Vita Liberata, which means Free Life in Italian.
Alyson started Vita Liberata in 2003 as a skin care brand, as she felt it would be easier than trying to do a PHD and raise five children! After her (pale Irish) assistant begged her to make the perfect fake tan, she focused just on tanning products and has seen sales doubling year on year, across the UK and Ireland.
The Liberation campaign is her way of giving something back.
“Liberation Day is something very close to my heart. I remember a time when there was a real spike in women’s independence and I’m sad to say that I can see this could so subtly slip away.” she said. “Five decades after ‘Women’s Lib’ we want to know just how liberated women really have become. We want to understand how women live their daily life. From when they get up, to when they fall back into bed and all the details in between…… And then, we really want to know what they would do if they were given 24 hours free from worrying about any of their day to day responsibilities.”
To enter, you simply describe your average day and then your Liberation Day – If you could do anything, go anywhere, with anyone for 24 hours, what would you do? The winner will get to fulfill their Liberation Day and there will also be mini Liberation Day prizes every month – if you want to nominate a worthy friend.
What a nice idea – what would you do – I said I’d like to run the country for a day and get all the women in politics around the world together to have a cup of tea and sort things out, once and for all. Sadly it has to be something that could actually happen, but it was a nice thought!
While I had Alyson’s ear I just had to get some tips on non streaky self tanning for older women (well any women actually – age has nothing much to do with it).
“Exfoliating, moisturising and using a mitt are key”, she said “and don’t rub the lotion into your hands and feet, sweep the mitt over them, using any left over residue. Also wipe your knees and knuckles with a damp cloth.”
I tried the Phenomenal 3 Week Tan in medium, on my arms and legs and the Deep Face Untinted Self Tan Lotion, on my face. The 3 week tan is a mouse and tinted, therefore really easy to apply, as you can see how much you are putting on. The face tan is really more of a tint. Both gave me an even, healthy glow and had lots of people commenting on how healthy I looked – job done.
I will definately be buying more of this, as teen daughter already has her eye on it and came down stairs this morning looking suspiciously brown!