Lucie Cave with her pro-tanner Jules
Anyone who has ever shared a lift with me at heat towers will testify that I usually smell of biscuits. That’s because I am officially a tanorexic. I LURVE a spray tan. So much so that I often lose sight of what’s an acceptable colour and have been known to use my skin guide as a satchel...
..a mahogany table...
or a creosote fence...
Thankfully, my friend and professional tanner Jules Heptonstall from St Tropez, who has worked with the likes of Blake Lively, Sienna Miller and Lily Allen to name but a few, is now on hand to keep a check on my addiction and in the run up to my wedding has insisted on doing a series of tests to ensure that when it comes to my wedding photos I’ll look more bronze goddess than oompa loompa. Here he shares his tips and trials…
“A spray-tan not only hides the endless sleepless nights but it removes that grey complexion your stressed out Bridezilla skin has suddenly adopted. Bridal tanning is quite the art – get it right and you achieve that all over healthy lifted skin tone, get it wrong and you risk ruining your pictures and scarring the memory for life.
So how, I hear you wonder, do I even begin to deal with my dear friend and ultimate tan addict: Lucie Cave? The answer is with patience, dedication and tan-trickery. To give you an insight as to what I have been dealing with, my first ever appointment with Lucie contained the following conversation:
Me: “So have you had tans before?”
Lucie: “Thousands…” [undressing as if her clothes were taped together with Velcro]
Me: “And what kind of shade do you like to go?”
Lucie: “The darkest shade you have – think 'TanMom'”
My jaw dropped. My reputation was at the risk of being in tatters. I took a deep breath, thought quickly and answered “Ok, if you’d like to get into the booth…”
Luckily having dark tans with St. Tropez doesn’t result in Lucie’s tan reference. The self-tan mist reacts with the individual amino acids and skin tone, as well as containing the active ingredient Vegetan Premium – a clever tanning wonder that matches with the skin tone to deliver a tan reflective of one that you would naturally achieve in the sun.
But bridal tans are a tad different, as much as you like to believe – it’s not all about you. Think of your partners complexion, the bridesmaids, your mother and dare I say your soon to be mother-in-law. Don’t go twelve shades darker than them, please. Keep it natural looking - with self-tanning, less is more.
For the purpose of this blog, Lucie and I have devised The Lucie Cave Tan Tone Reference Chart - so we could see the different shades and variations in colour to work out which tan was right for her… and what a process it’s been *pours gin*
The Lucie Cave Tan Tone Reference Chart
What’s a Tan Tone chart without a before shot? Here we see Miss Cave with no tan on at all. I think we all see the sadness in her eyes.
The Classic Tan
As seen on Kate Moss – this is the ultimate golden South Of France glow and is popular with many of my celebrity clients. Ideal for those wanting that natural warmth to their skin. I recommend having this two or three days before the big day.
The Dark Tan
Perfect for those wanting that deep, dark bronze. It’s important to remember your whole bridal party with this shade, especially when standing next to your groom and wearing white. However, this tan is also ideal for very fair-skinned brides who want to achieve a golden colour but can’t with the lighter shades due to it’s increased amount of active tanning ingredients. Dark tans usually last the longest, I’d recommend having one three days prior to your wedding.
The No-Time-To-Tan Tan
In a hurry? Need to get a haircut, lashes and nails done on the same day? Don’t worry – choose St. Tropez Self Tan Express – a brand new formula that allows you to shower after 1 hour for a light hint, 2 hours for a golden glow and 3 hours for a dark tan. Simply rinse the guide colour off with water, pat dry, moisturise and carry on your day as normal whilst the tan keeps developing. Depending on when you wash the guide colour off will depend on when you should have this tan, but I would suggest two days prior to your wedding.
Jules’ Top Tips for Bridal Tans
1. Know your tanner.
Don’t EVER walk into a random salon the day before your wedding and ask for a spray tan. Would you do that with your hair? No.
2. Have trials.
This is a tan for your wedding, not your birthday, not your hen, not your honey moon. Work out which colour is right for you. It’ll be worth it.
3. Always do your prep.
Conduct any hair removal and exfoliate the night before– exfoliating creates an even skin surface which results in a more uniform colour.
4. Make sure your therapist moisturises your hands, elbows, knees and feet before hand.
And if you’re fair-haired moisturise hairline and brows. This will stop the tan over absorbing into these areas.
5. After your spray, ensure your palms and nails are wiped.
And you rub a small amount of aloe vera based moisturiser into the inner wrist where your palm meets your forearm to stop the appearance of tanning sleeves.
6. Don’t do anything that makes you sweat whilst the tan is developing.
Sit and put a film on and don’t do the washing up. Let him do it. My gift to you. After you have showered off your guide colour moisturise with aloe vera based body moisturiser. It locks in hydration and tan colour.
7. Don’t go swimming or sit in a sauna...
...or have massages after you’ve had your spray tan. Chances are it will strip it.
Successfully weaned off the darker shades purely for bridal purposes, Lucie will be (if she likes it or not) opting for "The Classic Tan".
For more tanning tips, contact Jules on Twitter or Instagram at @julesvonhep