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Sister act Dublin sisters' business Biabelle Beauty goes from strength to strength during the tan-demic

Entrepreneurial and ambitious siblings Aoibhinn and Bláthnaid Murphy are ready to take on the world in the tanning and beauty industry

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Aoibhinn and Bláthnaid

Aoibhinn and Bláthnaid

Aoibhinn and Bláthnaid

The first thing I notice over a midday Zoom call with tan-trepreneurs Aoibhinn and Bláthnaid Murphy is their deep golden glow that belies a year in lockdown.

The sisters - who are all long lashes and chiselled cheekbones - are also razor sharp when it comes to business, so it makes sense that they've been dubbed the Irish Kardashians because they have just as much entrepreneurial flair.

In a year that has seen so many businesses close their doors, the dynamic duo are taking over the tanning industry, having launched their own tanning and beauty range, BiaBelle Beauty in 2017.

The sister act are now stocked in over 200 pharmacies nationwide and are intent on world domination.

"We are hoping to break out of the Republic and to hit the UK market next. Our real goal is for it to go worldwide, we want it to be everywhere and for everyone to know our brand," chorus the sisters from Terenure, Dublin.

"It wasn't easy building up the brand, looking back, there were days when we might not have even gotten a single order and we thought it might fail. Our kitchen table was our work office and we had a small table and that was our packaging station. We would take turns walking to the local post office to post off orders.

"Now we are just expanding more and more and have our own offices and warehouse. Persistence and passion is so important because that is what kept us going when we had no orders."

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Their BiaBelle Beauty range is designed for all skin types and tones

Their BiaBelle Beauty range is designed for all skin types and tones

Their BiaBelle Beauty range is designed for all skin types and tones

The social media stars perfected the much-loved tan over the course of two years but despite their business prowess, they admit they were sometimes underestimated.

"When we went into business meetings with men in their suits and ties and we were quite glam we might have gotten a funny look," says 27-year-old Aoibhinn.

"But once you talk to us about our business you know immediately that we are serious and we know what we are talking about, but some people might look at us and think otherwise.

"We have a strong team of women around us and our mam is the money woman, she taught us everything we know about business.

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"Our tan took us a year to make, normally you only get three goes when you make a product but ours took 20 goes with two different companies.

"We would never just stick our name on something. We have created high-end products at affordable prices." adds Bláthnaid (26).

With a combined social media following of close to 170k, the sisters also knew the campaign rollout they wanted around their Irish-made brand.

"We wanted it to be really real, even our pictures. We didn't want them to be heavily edited and we didn't want them to take out any stretch marks and cellulite.

"We want women to celebrate their bodies too, that's what our brand is about. We always want BiaBelle Beauty to be inclusive and it is really important to us to have real women in our campaigns and that's why we model in our campaigns too."

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Their BiaBelle Beauty range is designed for all skin types and tones

Their BiaBelle Beauty range is designed for all skin types and tones

Their BiaBelle Beauty range is designed for all skin types and tones

Inclusivity was especially important to Aoibhinn who admits to struggling with her body image during the pandemic.

"I have gained two stone during Covid. I tried not to let it get me down but what helped me was following body positivity pages and that's why it is so important that we have women of different shapes and sizes wearing our tan."

Navigating their business through a pandemic has been a learning curve for the double act who insist they wouldn't have survived without each other's guidance.

"We love working together. We always say that because we are sisters we never hold back and are really honest if something is wrong or isn't up to standard. We are never afraid to say 'that's crap'.

"Aoibhinn is very motherly, caring and really funny and fiery," says Bláthnaid, while Aoibhinn responds that: "Blá is hilarious, she always makes me laugh. She is also extremely determined and motivated and the creative one in the group.

"We keep ourselves grounded; if we were to ever get big-headed I know we would just tell each other, 'Who do you think you are?'

TOP TAN TIPS:
AFTER TANNING
While wearing the tan it is also vital to moisturise every day and after every shower to keep the tan looking fresh to guarantee an even fade. Our tan is enriched with Irish seaweed extracts and hyaluronic acid so is it extremely nourishing to the skin, which is why it wears so well on all skin types.

PREPARATION
Preparing is so vital and moisturising is key to a good tan. You'll get the best results from hydrated skin so exfoliating and moisturising in the days leading up to application is crucial. We've also been getting incredible customer reviews from people with different skin issues like psoriasis or eczema.

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