I met the lovely tanning expert and industry favourite James Read- in actual real life- at the launch of his new signature self tanning brand at The Agua Spa within The Sanderson Hotel, London. The Brits are obsessed with sun, and our lack of it, so it’s no surprise that unlike us, the self tanning market is extremely hot right now.
I think James has told me absolutely everything anyone needs to know about how to self- tan.
“Self Tanning has developed over the last 5 years and become much more fashionable. It is no longer seen as a seasonal thing but instead, used all year round as part of peoples beauty regime. Going out with your hair or make up done, that’s the same attitude many now have towards self tanning.
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.”
James Read’s Golden Rules for at home Tanning
“Wax 48 and shave 24 hours before tanning
Exfoliate 24 hours before to remove any dead skin and unwanted self tan, you want your skin to be fresh.
Moisturise your hands, feet, elbows, knees and any dry areas on the body.
Moisturise daily to prolong your self tan, use a thick moisturiser such as Sisley body cream.
Exfoliate 3 days after tanning, so that your tan fades evenly.
Rub a ice cube over your face before you apply your self tan, this will stop your pores from blocking.
Once you’ve applied your tan, rub a wet wipe over your neck, arm pits, writs, ankles, this will get rid of any excess that that is not visible to the naked eye.”
Getting the right shade. What ‘Tantone’ are you?
“When using self tan at home, be sure you’re using the correct shade for your skintone so that it looks natural, I advise you test products first to see if they’re the right match.
Light Tantone. Go for a gradual Tanner or mix self tan with your daily moisturiser
Medium Tantone. Go for a mousse, Liquid, spray or gel based products.
Dark Tantone. Go for a lotion tan as these are the darkest’s and will suit dark skintones.”
Layering. “Layer your tan up in fine layers, this will make your tan last longer and also fade more evenly so treat your application like a real tan, allow it to build up rather than going straight to a dark colour. I suggest ‘Gradual Tan‘ for this.”
Mitt Application – “For the perfect application apply your liquid tan (I’ve developed Liquid Tan with this in mind) with a mitt which you glide down your skin-do not over rub- as your tan may be applied unevenly”.
By Hand – “Applying your tan by hand can sometimes be the best way to apply self tan as it allows you to really work the product into your skin but make sure you wash off immediately after application and then tan the outer parts of your hands by rubbing them together.”
Latex Gloves – “Make sure when you are using Latex gloves that you don’t over rub product and also apply with your palms and fingers together. If your hands are all over the place this will cause streaks on your skin.”
New Tanning techniques for 2011/2012
‘The Flicker Technique‘ “This is similar to the layering but this is finer and will stop product falling down onto the feet. Spray on your body using flickering motions, doing half circles onto your body. This will help your tan fade evenly but also allowing you to have a lighter tan.”
‘The Body Con Technique‘ “This is all about using products to sculpt the body, reflect the light and highlight areas of skin that are on show for a flawless appearance. We have seen a trend in America of celebrities toning-up in a way that reminds me of Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 (Cameron Diaz, Demi Moore and Gwyneth Paltrow, for example). To achieve this look, I apply a small amount of Gradual Tan, Sally Hanson‘s ‘Airbrush Legs’ and moisturiser then massage this mixture into the body using my fingers. This also encourages blood to come to the surface, boosting radiance. Follow with a self-tan mist, spraying down the areas of the body that will reflect the light, such as fronts of the legs, down the side of arms (hone in on those triceps), and décolleté.”
James Read’s Tanning predictions
“Skin Illuminating products are going be big, it’s all about enhancing your skin tone and using self tan. The ‘Tone on Tan’ will be big, working with you skin tone to enhance it but not over power it. My BB Gradual Tan Pen for the face can also be used to accentuate and contour areas of the body.”
“Tanning Technology is going to get more advanced with brands coming out with more and more products including ways to prolong your self tan, tans that work with all skin tones and products that don’t have the tell-tale tan smell. At the moment every brand on the market has the smell of DHA even if they state they don’t and DHA works differently with each person.”
Bespoke Tanning Salons
“Salons will be looking at tanning in a different way, creating a concept of it being about having a tan as a whole experience, the way the tan is applied, offering different styles of bespoke tans. It’s about working out what product works well with each person to create the perfect natural tan. I also think that salons will help create a complete look, someone will get a tan, nails and hair at the same destination.”
Sun kissed beauty icons Grace Kelly, Marisa Berenson, Lauren Hutton, Farrah Fawcett, Catherine Deneuve, Brigitte Bardot, Brooke Shields.
Follow James on twitter here
See his website ‘The Tantalist‘ here