You'll look back at your wedding day pictures for years to come, so it’s important to make sure you look the best version of yourself. Whilst we know fake tan has many stigmas around it, it’s now more simpler than ever. So whether you’re looking to add a little colour or going a couple of shades darker. There’s a formula to suit you from creams, serums, wipes, sprays, oils, waters, drops, mousses - tanning has come on heaps and bounds. Sophie Cullen speaks to the experts and gets the low down on how to perfect the ultimate bridal tan. And spoiler alert, doesn’t containing streaks!
So where to start? Preparing your skin before you tan is no different from prepping your face before make up or hair pre-styling; it gives the best, long lasting results and promises an even and subtle fade. Exfoliate first - this not only gets rid of any old tan but clears your pores of any build up, then wax/shave any unwanted hairs 24 hours prior to tanning. Amanda Harrington suggests ‘As we’re at home most of the time at the moment, enjoy a 30-minute bath the day before you tan to lift off any left-over tan and gently soften skin for a more effective scrub when you come to exfoliate.’ Or perhaps try a tanning remover, my current favourite and one that actually works is Tan-Luxe Glyco Water Tan Remover. Another genius tan remover is the Lusso Tan Remover Bath Bomb, simply pop in, let it fizz and relax for 30 minutes, your old tan literally slips off you. Gone are the days of scrubbing yourself raw.
Remember with fake tan, practise makes perfect. James Read advises ‘Always do a 4-week trial run with a spray tan or at home products to see what suits you best. At home products I would recommend going for a gradual tan that gives you colour but it’s very natural. Remember less is more.’
When applying your chosen tan, one thing to remember to avoid any deodorant or fragrance on skin as well as moisturisers that include oils; these break down the tanning ingredient causing it to separate and go patchy. Apply a barrier cream, before your tanning product, around your knees, wrists and ankles or anywhere that is dry to avoid streaks and patchiness. When choosing a colour, pick one that best suits your skin tone to create a glow that you might achieve naturally from the sun. Look for a tone that will deliver a glow - just you warmed up - that suits your natural skin tone meaning you can dial up or reduce re-application dependant on the level of tan you want.
James Read, Click & Glow If you’re just wanting to add a little colour to your face, this powerful formula is infused with antioxidants and Vitamin complexes combined with key anti-ageing skincare ingredients to gently brighten, smooth and tan your skin. Simply add three drops into your chosen moisturiser for a natural glow, for something a little deeper add six drops. When to use? I’d start applying a week before the big day to get used to the colour, then have a day off into between applications.
Amanda Harrington, The illuminating Bronzing Body Mousse Amanda Harrington aka the queen of tanning and also celeb favourite, she’s the lady responsible for Suki Waterhouse and Poppy Delevingne glow. The illuminating Bronzing Body Mousse is a non-drip, super-blendable soufflé formula. Infused with Hyaluronic Acid and Aloe Vera to deeply hydrate, CQ10 to firm and lift plus a boost of Green Tea extract to awaken and revive tired looking skin
Serums aren’t just for the face, they’re also now for tanning and whilst we know transparent formulas can seem daunting at first this couldn’t be simpler. Oh and the best bit? It won’t transfer onto your clothes, especially great for when wearing white. Marc Elrick, the founder of Tan Luxe recommends using the serum for natural glow. ‘Use all over the body for your base colour around two days in advance of your big day. Keep your tan maintained by adding our drops formula to your moisturiser – not only will this keep your skin hydrated, nourished and even, but the drops will also add that extra glow.’
Bondi Sands, Aero Aerated Tanning Foam This light-as-air mouse is extremely fast-drying, making it deal if you want to do the morning of your wedding. The non-sticky, ultra-moisturising formula is brimming with soothing jojoba and caster oil to prevent your skin from drying out.
Charlotte Tilbury, Supermodel Body If there's anyone who knows model tricks and tips to a "natural" tan it's celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury. A combination of the lotion's skin de-puffing agents and instant tan that washes off when you want it to, rest assured that if you need a golden glow for one night only, this is the pick for you.
Vita Liberata, Invisi Foaming Tan Water No one–even the most experienced self-tanner–enjoys an orange stained clothes from their tan. This clear formula is the perfect no-muss, no-fuss self-tanner—it's non-transferable so there's no worry involved after you've applied. Even better: your tan will last for about a week.
Guava & Gold, Paradise Found Shimmering Body Oil For a subtle shimmer and a glow that looks like you’ve been at the beach all day, opt for this golden oil. It brightens skin whilst nourishing it leaving it feeling silky smooth. The smell? Think macadamia, sweet almond, avocado and coconut oils all blended with delicately glistening golden sparkles.
Lusso Tan, Face & Hand Mist This lightweight tanning mist not only gives you a gorgeous golden glow, but it’s packed with vitamins A & E to help nourish skin and combat fine lines. We know sometimes mist can be little tricky, so do it the night before and blend with a mitt. For 20% all products use code Sophie20 at checkout.
St.Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Gel This self-tan is drenched in skin quenching Hyaluronic Acid and is super long lasting, meaning no touch ups! Hurrah. You can customise your tan by leaving it on for either 1, 2 or 3 hours before rinsing – the longer you leave the darker you’ll become.