Tan expert James Read
Summer might feel like a lifetime ago and your tan might have dwindled away back in October, but with the festive party season in full swing a bronzed glow has never been so coveted.
Achieving that smooth, silky golden finish on yourself is a tricky skill to master though, so to ease the stress of streaky self-tan the Sanderson Hotel’s tan guru, James Read, is on hand with his top ten tips.
1. What Tan To Use?
If you have fair skin go for a gradual tan or mix self-tan with a moisturiser. Medium and olive skin tones should opt for a mousse, liquid or gel, while dark skin tones should choose a lotion as they are available in a wider variety of dark shade.
2. Essential Prep
All forms of hair removal should be done at least 24 hours beforehand (waxing should be 48 hours prior) and skin should be exfoliated and thoroughly moisturised.
3. Plan Of Action
Don’t attempt to achieve your dream shade in just one go, instead treat your application like a real tan and build up fine layers over a couple of weeks for a natural look.
4. Where To Start?
When applying your tan map out your body in stages so you don’t miss bits. Start from the face and work down your body, leave your hands and feet until last. Also, cover your toenails with eight-hour cream to prevent discolouring.
5. How To Apply?
Using your hand to apply the self-tan is the best way as it allows you to really work the product into your skin. Although if you’re using a mousse formula, a tanning mitt is sometimes easier, but always glide downwards for a smooth finish.
6. Face & Hair
Before tanning apply moisturiser onto your face and neck, focusing on the hairline to ensure a natural finish and avoid tell-tale tan lines. Don’t forget to seal your pores by running an ice cube over your face to prevent breaks outs.
7. How To Reach The Tricky Area
The back is one of the hardest places to get it right. Apply the product onto some cling-film and then rub over your back, this will allow you to get to the hard to reach areas. Otherwise ask a friend.
8. Tanning Your Hands
Apply the product to your hands last, working the excess down from your arms so you achieve a natural fade. Wipe your palms once you have finished using a face wipe and rub a small amount of moisturiser around the sides and in between your fingers as these areas don’t usually tan. Also, try not to wash your hands for eight-hours.
9. Making Your Tan Last
Although it’s recommended that your leave your tan on for 8-12 hours, sleeping with your tan on will give you the best results. If you want an AW11 glow though wash off after 4-5 hours. Moisturising is essential and exfoliate 3-4 days later, before starting the tanning process again.
10. Finishing Touches
To give your tan an extra lift, add a small amount of self-tan into your moisturiser and use a bronzer to highlight areas on your body to provide definition.
If doing it yourself seems like too much hassle, James is available for spray tans at the Sanderson’s Agua from £35.
Text by Victoria Hall