By providing organic, airbrush spray tanning, Courtenay Houston is offering something unique to the area that also leaves her and her customers feeling good when the session is over.
“People who have never tanned before can get tan and it is just the most amazing thing,” said Houston, who operates the new Boca Bronze business out of Elite Styles in Hillsville. “My philosophy is that all bodies are good bodies. It is so satisfying because regardless of whether clients are skinny, fat, young or old, people leave here so happy with their tans and I love it.”
At Boca Bronze, Houston offers organic, airbrush spray tanning in a choice of full body, half body, or face and neck applications that provide immediate results that last from seven to 10 days. Her custom-blended organic solutions eliminate the worry of looking orange and provide you with a “just off the beach color.”
Houston has 20 different solutions she mixes herself, allowing her the ability to match a tan to everyone’s skin color. New customers complete a questionnaire that tell her what kind of tan they want and what their skin tone naturally is, allowing her to pick the right mix to give them a “nice, healthy glow.”
“We have different solutions for those her burn easily and those who are naturally dark. The whole goal is to make sure people look natural,” Houston said. “For those who burn easily we give them a solution that doesn’t make you loos super tan because it just wouldn’t look right. It just makes you glow and people think, ‘You must have gotten a lot of sleep last night.’ People can tell something is different about you but they can’t quite tell what.”
Houston opened the new boutique in February after going to a massage therapist in Winston-Salem, N.C. who offered the service. In her mid-40s, she said she loves being tan but has had to cut back because of skin damage from the sun.
“They told me to come get a spray tan and I said, ‘No. I will look orange.’ She said, ‘I promise you won’t, and if you don’t like it you don’t have to pay for it.’ So I went down there and let her spray tan me and it was amazing,” Houston said. “However, I didn’t like the company they used because their product wasn’t organic. I want my tans to be healthy. Interestingly enough, I have developed a niche of clients who have had skin cancer and they have not been able to tan. They can’t lay in a tanning bed and they have to keep covered up. I have one woman who said, ‘This is the first time I have had any color to me in seven years.’ It is such a pleasure to do that.”
Houston noted the organic spray tans are slightly more expensive, costing $40 for a full-body, 20-minute session, $25 for a half-body session, or $10 for a 10-minute face and neck only session.
“The products are expensive but you get what you pay for. This tan is so natural because it is derived from beets and sugar cane,” she said. “There are only 13 ingredients in this. Most spray tan companies have 40 to 45 ingredients. I am not aware of any other salons in the area using organic products, or mixing custom solutions. That’s what makes my tans so natural looking. It makes you feel good to get a little bit of color.”
Boca Bronze is located inside Elite Styles at 159 South Main Street in Hillsville. It is open from 5-8 p..m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 3-8 p.m. on Fridays and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays. There are extended hours for prom and wedding season. It is by appointment only. You can find out more information or book on-line at www.bocabronze.com or by calling (276) 233-7929. Anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent of guardian with them for an organic spray tan at Boca Bronze.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN