Despite what is happening across the continent this year, it appears that we have been having a bit of a British summer – a few sunny spells, with a fair heap of cloud and rain. During one of those sunny spells recently, I went out into my garden, wearing Factor 30, and within twenty minutes I looked like a beetroot. My skin isn’t particularly fair, but any sign of sun now shows up all of the things I’d rather not highlight: pigmentation is not a friend of mine. All this from someone who has worked on a major sun safety campaign – perhaps not an epic fail, but not my finest beauty hour.
Self-tan has always been a trusted buddy, though, and I managed to catch up with a few friends of mine within the industry (I know I am very lucky!) to get some late-summer tanning tips.
First up: James Harknett. If I could name a list of people I think are super-stylish, from Patsy Kensit to David Gandy to Lady Amelia Spencer, then James has tanned them. However, most of his clients at the W Hotel in London are ordinary, mere mortals just like you and I, who bring a whole host of issues to their appointments with the couture king of tanning. Currently the Global Consultant for Three Warriors, a much-welcomed brand from Australia, which is certified organic, vegan and cruelty-free, as well as being packed full of skin-friendly ingredients, which really suit my own, often sensitive skin.
James, I’m not looking my best right now. My skin is dry, patchy, and dehydrated but the summer isn’t over yet. Can you help?
I know from our chats that you have reactive skin and it’s probably not too happy that it’s had a lobster moment – that leads to skin being inflamed and unsettled. Spend a few days taking gentle showers, and packing in hydrating moisturisers – they don’t have to be expensive ones. Once it has chilled out a bit, try our Three Warriors Exfoliating Tasmanian Sand Scrub (£32 for 150g) as its super-gentle ingredients including coconut oil and tasmanian sand remove dead skin cells and moisturise all at the same time. The brand uses zero microplastics which I really love, too.
If I want to go subtle for the summer, what are my options?
If you already have a little of your own glow, which most of us do have this time of year, Three Warriors Gradual Tan (£34.99 for 150mg) is the perfect way to even out skin tone and boost moisture levels. Infused with Tasmanian Olive Oil and camomile, its 100 percent organic DHA is deeply hydrating and can be built up over consecutive evenings so that you can get the subtle look you are after. Perfect for late summer occasions, parties, drinks or just for any day when you want to feel and look your best.
I am really lucky to have James on speed-dial. And not only is he good at tanning tips, his life advice is even better!
Next I caught up with Claire Lambert, who I have known for over a decade. The resident expert at Skinny Tan, Claire has built a name for herself in the industry because not only is she a perfectionist in everything she does, she is also one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet. I grilled Claire for the skinny (pardon the pun!) on getting the perfect late-summer glow.
Prepping is so important but is vital to the perfect late summer self-tan. Do you have any fantastic tips?
Always exfoliate prior to fake tanning – you would be surprised at how many people still don’t! This removes any shedding skin cells and will help to give you a flawless, and longer lasting result. I recommend our Skinny Tan Miracle Eraser (£19.99 for 200ml). Not only will this product exfoliate and remove any old fake tan, it will also remove any residues left over from shower gels, shaving products and shampoo and conditioners, it’s important to ensure these are also cleaned off the skin prior to tanning as they can alter the results of the tan.
Adding an oil-free moisturiser to your drier areas is also a key factor when prepping for fake tan application. Concentrate on ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and hands and anywhere any tighter clothing may rub, bra straps for example.
Tanning for a special occasion often involves a whole new outfit and you have a look you want to get right. Is it worth a trial run beforehand?
If you are trying a new fake tan for the first time, it would probably be a good idea to either do a trial application beforehand or at least a patch test. You want to make sure you have chosen a tan that works with your skin type and tone.
Late summer weddings – I know brides have a plan but is it worth it as a guest? My guess is yes, so if you have any tips on choosing the right tan for your skin tone that would be fab!)
Having a fabulous fake tan always boosts a person’s confidence, so you want to make sure you’re feeling your best for any special event. When choosing a tan that’s right for you, consider your skin type, desired level of colour and ease of application when selecting a product. If you have a fairer skin tone then choose a light/ medium shade, and for someone with a darker complexion try a medium/ dark shade of tanner. There are also so many types of formulas to choose from, from serums to mousse, to whips and oils! Whichever type you choose apply with a clean application mitt, the one from skinny tan is dual sided! Which means it’s perfect for applying the tan and then using the reverse side to buff it in to ensure a full flawless application.
The Skinny Tan Tan & Tone Wonder Serum (£31.99 for 145ml) is a super-luxury tanner, is packed with hydrators and antioxidant Q10, which really helps cool and soothe skin at this time of year.
You are now so experienced in all things self-tan. Is there a real gem you can share with us on getting your tan to look as natural as possible?
After you’ve found the right shade of tan for you, it’s really all about the application! A clean tanning application mitt is vital. The Skinny Tan Dual Sided Mitt (£7.99) is fabulous, as you use one side to apply the tan, and then flip it over and use the reverse side to buff over the area to ensure you’ve covered everywhere evenly. Use this alongside one of Skinny Tan’s amazing application brushes too! I love the body buffing brush! It has seriously changed the tanning game! It allows you to fully buff in the tan around the trickier areas like wrists and ankles to reveal a super natural, even result every time!
And finally, someone who isn’t a personal friend but considering he does Kim Kardasian’s flawless red carpet glow, I am not sure I am on his radar right now.
However, his self-tanning range is certainly on mine! Sunless by Jimmy Coco is just making its debut in the UK, in time for all of us who want to stretch out the sunshine. Jimmy is known simply as The Tan Guru, and his new range is all about bringing skincare to self-tanning. Choosing a shade is easy – his range goes from ID1 to ID5, so you get to choose exactly what suits you.
I was lucky enough to try out some of Jimmy’s new range and this accomplished expert – whose clients also include Heidi Klum and Ariane Grande – has created the gold standard in tanning ranges. From the five grades of shade in the Jimmy Coco ID3 Tinted Tan Souffle Light Face and Body (£28.89 for 200 ml) as I wanted a dusting of a sunkissed glow. Packed full of hyaluronic acid, which my dehydrated skin welcomed, this lightweight easy-to-glide formula has Jimmy’s unique Pentavitin moisture-locking formula. Applied with the Jimmy Coco Buff & Glow Mitt (£9.98) I was left with an absolutely seamless tan. When I want something more defined I will definitely move up a notch I will try ID4. This is the best mitt I have ever tried – it has two levels of exfoliation on one side, and the other has a soft formula for applying your tan, so it’s a little wonder.
And finally, my little secret weapon. After two decades of tanning I still struggle with hands and feet. The Tandi Luxury Tanning Brush (£19.99) has densely packed, soft bristles which allows you to gently buff your tan for your hands and feet and is also a whizz for applying a facial tanner. I have had mine a while now and it washes beautifully so it is well worth the investment.
That’s me sorted then. No more excuses, no more red faces and no more patchy legs that are more Madge from Benidorm than Jennifer Aniston, I feel like I can face the end of the summer with healthy looking skin that lightly glimmers.
And you know I am always willing to try something new. One of my closest friends Alex is marrying her very own Carrie in a few weeks and I am determined to look my very best.
Do I fancy being a Kardashian for the day? You bet I do. I only have one problem left.
What am I going to wear?!
The Three Warriors Tanning Range is available here:
The full Skinny Tan range can be viewed here:
The brand new Jimmy Coco Sunless range is here:
The Tandi range is here:
Follow James Harknett on Instagram:
Follow Claire on Instagram:
Jimmy Coco is on Insta here:
About the author: Nancy Buckland Kirk is a writer with a keen interest in fashion and beauty and a career which has spanned modelling, teaching and spreading the word about leading beauty brands. You may also enjoy: As Fake Bake returns to the UK, Nancy Buckland Kirk shares her self-tan favourites to keep you glowing through autumn & Nancy Buckland Kirk’s Summer Essentials