5 Minutes With ... Blair James, Bondi Sands

It all started in August 2012 when Australian self-tanning brand Bondi Sands launched. As it rolled out in to Priceline stores nationwide, I was introduced to Bondi Sands Self Tanning Lotion and fell in love. It was the perfect time of the year to transition from pale skin to bronzed hues in time for the warmer season. Having tried a number of frustrating formulas which did not work, I fell head-over-heels in love with the effective formula. With the recent launch of their Self Tanning Foam and new products in the pipeline, we were thrilled to chat with Blair James, the man behind Australia's best tanning brand...

Tell us about Bondi Sands and how the concept started... I owned a beauty salon for several years prior to Bondi Sands and spray tans were a huge part of the business, so much so that during the busy periods I had to turn customers away as we were fully booked. So I would suggest customers buy a self tanning product from the pharmacy, but the overwhelming response was that customers didn't trust the end result of self tanning products. So the answer was to produce a salon quality self tanning product and what better name than Bondi, the most famous beach in the world!

Bondi Sands tanning products smell like no other tanning product on the market. How long did it take to create and perfect this wonderful formula? The product has come a very long way from where it started. Originally our formula was a spray tan solution that we used in my salon, the solution took close to a year to produce, we then tested the spray solution in my salon for a year before converting the formula to the self tanning lotion. All up it took close to 3 years from initial idea to selling into retailers.

Bondi Sands covers all bases with cream lotions, foaming mousse and liquid sprays. Was it important to create a range of tans in different consistencies? It was always very important to offer a range of products to suit everyone. Our customers have varying results they wish to obtain from a tanning product as well as different preferences in relation to application. We have tried to make sure we have covered all bases with our current range and the new products which are not too away. 

Is Bondi Sands safe to use? Yes, Bondi Sands is definitely a safe alternative to laying in the sun for hours at a time.

Based in Melbourne yourself, why did you choose to make reference to beautiful Bondi beach? There were a number of factors why we chose to use refer to Bondi Beach. Firstly we were determined to make our brand 100% Australian owned and made, We wanted to portray the quintessential relaxed beach culture we enjoy in Australia and as we have aspirations to export to the world we needed an iconic Australian image - Bondi beach was a natural choice. 

Bondi Sands is actually my favourite tan ever! Will you continue to add new products and perfect the current range? Yes, we are currently working on expanding the range as we speak. Two gradual tanners were recently added, along with two instant wash off bronzers. Salon owners and spray tan fans will be glad to know we also have professional spray solution in production at the moment.

How exciting! Can you name one Bondi Sands product you can’t live without and why? I have been using the Gradual Tanning Milk (without SPF) everyday since the samples arrived and it smells great, has amazing colour and is a non greasy moisturiser. 

Ooh, can't wait to try it. What is your best tanning tip? My best tip is a combination of two very basic tips, Exfoliate thoroughly and use a product suited to you skin tone. Using an ultra dark self tanner on light or pale skin will result in obvious fake tan look, instead of a natural bronze glow.

If you could choose anyone to represent Bondi Sands, who would it be and why? When we think of the Bondi Sands image, we think the relaxed, carefree, natural, Australian beach girl. so the natural choice for us would be Miranda Kerr.

What can fans expect from the range in the future? We will be launching into beauty salons all across Australia this spring/summer with our new range of professional spray tan products. We will be continuing to develop self tanning products of salon quality at an affordable price while remaining Australian owned and made.

Finally Blair, what makes you feel SpoiltI have a bit of a secret obsession with new bed linen, so I feel Spoilt jumping into bed with fresh white sheets and plenty of pillows after a hot shower. 

Bondi Sands: Website | Facebook