We solve your wedding tanning troubles

The top tanning experts solve your wedding day bronzing issues

We solve your wedding tanning troubles
Wedding tanning dilemmas solved. Image: Eva, Eddy K

Not naturally blessed with gorgeous tanned wedding day skin? Us neither. If you’re embracing your natural skin tone with confidence – you go girl! If not, the other option is to turn to tanning...

With tonnes of products out there and a wealth of disaster stories, nailing that golden glow may seem like an impossible feat, but our three tanning pros are here to answer those tricky questions once and for all.

The expert panel:
James Harknett
A Pro Tanning Expert and the Global Creative Consultant for FakeBake based at the W London Hotel.
Ultimate buy: Fair Gradual Tan, Fake Bake £24.95 “Ideal for fair-skinned ladies, this super-subtle tan will give you a really natural finish.”


James Read A Professional Spray Tan Artist with his own tanning product line.
Ultimate buy: Sleep Mask Tan Face, James Read £25 “Perfect for busy brides, this product gives you a gorgeous glow while you get your beauty sleep!”

Emma Kotch A Tanning and Skin Finishing Expert at St. Tropez.
Ultimate buy: Tan Enhancing Body Polish, St. Tropez £10 “The key to a flawless tan is in the prep – this exfoliator will leave your skin silky-smooth and ready to be bronzed.” 

What’s better – a salon spray tan or a DIY fake tan? 
James Harknett: If you are a tanning novice, an in-salon spray tan is your best bet – that way you’re leaving it in the hands of the professionals and are less likely to encounter any problems. 

What’s the key to blending my hands and feet seamlessly?
Emma Kotch: Don’t add any additional product when tanning your hands and feet – just use the residue left on the mitt. This will ensure you don’t end up with bright orange ankles and streaky hands!

Should I tan my face as well as my body?
James Read: Yes, I’d say so – especially if you’re planning on going make-up free on honeymoon. Just make sure you find a product that’s kind to your skin as well as good at giving you a lovely glow. 

How do I prepare my skin before I start tanning?
James Harknett: Make sure you wax or shave at least 48 hours before you are planning on tanning to avoid unsightly speckles on your legs from your open pores. Gently exfoliate in the morning, rinsing with cold water if you can. Finally, don’t put on any deodorant or fragrance before application. 

Image: Adela, Eddy K

How can I get a streak-free, flawless application?
Emma Kotch: Always apply the product using an applicator mitt to ensure an even finish. Also, sweeping motions work much better than circular ones as they distribute the product more evenly. 

Is it okay to re-apply tan when it hasn’t all worn off yet?
James Harknett: Well, you’ll get the best results if you have a blank canvas for your next tan, but you can speed the fading process up by taking a long hot soak and exfoliating regularly. 

What’s the best way to avoid looking orange?
James Read: Less is more! You can always build colour, but you can’t take it away once it’s there. So, if you are self-tanning, apply one light layer and see if you like that shade first before slathering more on.

How do I stop the tan coming off on my wedding dress?
James Read: My top tip to stop any fake-tan transfer is to rub talcum powder on any areas of the dress that are in direct contact with the skin – like your underarms and neckline. This will stop any orange patches showing up throughout the day and causing a dress disaster!


Should I have a tanning trial before the big day?
James Harknett: Definitely! I’d book in for one (or maybe even two) trials before your wedding. Also, it’s a good idea to take a picture of yourself each day after to see how it looks when it sets in. This will help you decide what exact day to have your tan on before your big day. 

How do I make my tan last?
James Read: Moisturising daily is the key to making your tan last as long as possible. Another top tip, if you’re going straight on honeymoon, is to use a waterproof SPF as this will stop the salt from the sea and the chlorine from the pool stripping your tan. 

How far in advance will I need to tan for my wedding?
Emma Kotch: I’d suggest tanning two days before the big day – so if you’re getting married on a Saturday, tan on the Thursday as this will give the colour enough time to settle. 

What’s the best way to erase tanning mistakes?
James Harknett: If you’ve got very dark patches (the palms are often the biggest culprit) or a big streak, then simply use a slice of lime and a gentle exfoliator to buff the tan away – this will take down the shade a little and the gorgeous citrus scent is a plus! 

Want more? Here are 10 questions to ask your make-up artist and the ultimate hacks for glowing wedding day skin

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