Black Stockings was a product that I stumbled upon accidentally after winning a handful of Lush goodies in an eBay listing a few months back. When the petite bronze heart fell out of the box, I was rather confused but equally intrigued by the strange object, and quickly got to work at finding out what it could do for me.
Described as a body tint bar, this is not a product I would be immediately drawn to. Despite being naturally really pale, I don't do much in the way of adding colour to my skin, and I certainly stay away from bronzers and self-tanning products. I just know that if I was given free-reign of bronzer-type products, I would end up looking like I'd lost a fight against a truck of paint.
Presented as a solid block, this bar doesn't contain any of the nasty synthetic ingredients that you would expect to find in shop-brought liquid alternatives. In fact, this bar boasts the inclusion of both cocoa butter and shea butter, which helps to soften and moisturise the skin whilst you're wearing it.
Black Stockings also has an array of oils - orange, pimento and cinnamon, which give this bar a gentle and rather pleasant fragrance. However, I don't think the scent of this bar is all that important given that the product is designed to give your skin a healthy glow and add a little colour where it's needed. I read somewhere that this bar is geared towards people with darker skin, so I was really worried that I'd end up looking like I'd baked myself in an oven after application. Despite my initial fears, my experience was very positive and I ended up falling in love with this little block of bronze.
Lush say that to use it, you should rub it across the areas of your body you wish to add a little colour to. When I did this, my skin was instantly painted with quite a thick layer of gold and I had to massage it with my hands to even out the coverage. The bronzer was a little stubborn when trying to spread it with your hands so I found with practice that it's better to gently shade your skin, rather than press the bar down and drag it aggressively across an area. When you press a little lighter, you don't get so much build up in a single area and it's easier to get the desired effect without rubbing your body until it's sore.
While Lush claim that it's for the whole body, I found that this bar took a long time to cover every area and it's much easier when you use a liquid alternative. Secondly, the size of the bar means that you won't get many full-body uses out of it. I only used the bar twice to do this and found that it had shrunk considerably afterwards. Finally, Black Stockings has a habit of rubbing off on your clothes, which is rather annoying and not something that would make me try it again.
Despite my bad experience using it on my body, I found it was fantastic when used on my face. At times I have used this as a contouring device and it was very easy to apply; I've also used it to give my whole face a little colour and I was able to massage it across my face to get even coverage. I particularly like using it under my eyes to reduce the appearance of bags and put some colour back into my cheeks.
When used in this way, the small 30g bar lasts ages - it would probably take me close to a year to use one of these up. My face didn't look too dark or overdone - instead giving me a nice, natural looking glow that got me lots of compliments from my work colleagues.
The only bad aspect about this is that it feels quite heavy on the skin, so I wouldn't recommend using it every day. However, I have found every other bronzer to be equally as heavy so this must be something that comes as standard with body tints.
Overall, I was very impressed with what this bar did to my face and I have continued to use it ever since I initially discovered it. It's a great product to carry around with me so I can top up throughout the day and one that I would recommend to people of every skin type - I'm as pale as can be and this still works for me!
Quantitative Ingredients: Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Perfume, Cinnamon Leaf Oil, Sweet Orange Oil, Pimento Berry Oil, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Cinnamal, Eugenol, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Linalool, Alumina, Tin Oxide, Colour 77891, Colour 77019, Colour 77491.
2016 Price: £7.95 for 30g.