Summer's trend for sleek and shimmering fashion in the palest of hues might fill some of us with dread, but perfect pins and bronzed limbs can be yours if you hit the bottle - the self-tan bottle that is.
James Harknett is a celebrity tanning expert with a portfolio of famous clients and an ambassador for salon tanning brand Sienna X, now available to buy at M&S. His knowledge and experience make him just the person to help you get that summer glow, so read on for his step-by-step tanning tips and top product picks to make home-tanning dramas a thing of the past.
1. When it comes to hair removal, wax 48 hours or shave 24 hours before the tanning. Remove any traces of old self tan by using ingrown eliminating pads or an alcohol-based wet wipe (baby oil and a good soak in the bath also works well to remove old tan).
2. Exfoliate and prepare a smooth base for your tan. A gentle scrub is sufficient. Try the Sienna X Polishing Body Scrub to get rid of dead skin cells and leave the skin silky smooth for tanning.
3. Before you start, make sure your underarms are deodorant-free. Avoid using any oil-based products in the days leading up to your tan, as they can leave traces on the skin that can cause streaking.
4. Use moisturiser to act as a barrier on tan tell-tale areas. Apply carefully and sparingly to the feet, back of the heel, elbows, cuticles and hands. Then, using a cotton bud, apply a small amount of moisturiser to your eyebrows, and hairline if you are fair skinned.
Self Tan Products
The Dark Glowing Self Tan offers a deep holiday glow while the Instant Bronzing Gel blends easily into a flawless tan.
1. Wear a tanning mitt or Sienna X latex free gloves. This lets you smooth the product onto the skin effortlessly. Pump a small amount of product onto your hand and smooth onto your skin, starting with the arms. Repeat until the area is covered. Apply the product from the shoulder downwards, using long even strokes.
2. Chest and torso next. Sweep your hand across your stomach, using an arched motion. This gives a slimming effect. When applying the product to your back, use a circular motion to ensure the whole area is covered. You may need to get help from a partner or friend to ensure the back is fully covered.
3. Now for your legs, hands and feet. Start from the inner thigh, sweeping down towards the ankle. For hands and feet, mix your product with a bit of moisturiser. This thins out the product, making sure it doesn’t 'grab' too hard on dry areas such as knuckles and toes. Don’t forget to wipe your finger/toe nails with a cleansing wipe.
4. Finally, your face – glide your hand over your forehead, and then bring it down the sides of your face, blending onto the neck. Tan the nose and around the mouth and chin. Using a dry mitt or flannel, gently rub over your body.
1. Wear dark loose clothing after you have finished or go straight to bed, and wash off the colour guide the following morning.
2. Try and keep showers or baths cool as hot water can stimulate the tan to break up faster (you could try the Sienna X PH Balanced Shower Wash to ensure you don't strip the tan prematurely).
3. Then don’t forget to moisturise the tan twice a day to lock in hydration and help your tan to fade naturally.
4. Enhance your tan and features by applying a matte powder Bronzer to the face using light dusting motions with a bronzer brush.
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