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James Talks Tan

If there’s ever a time that the palest complexion contemplated trying a self-tanner, it’s for her wedding. Normally the first thought is “I should try this out so there’s a contrast between my skin and dress!”

Many of us Brits have what’s known as a Fitzpatrick type 1 & 2. A pallet that’s pale and interesting, and that can burn rapidly when exposed to the sun. This is why I recommend tanning trials for brides. It gives you the opportunity not only to test the colour, but to see what day it looks its best on your skin. I advise all brides to take a picture of their skin in daylight, with perhaps their shoulders, arms and back exposed for 3 days simultaneously. This allows you to gage the colour and decide what day you feel the tan looks its absolute best.


Most brides decide that day two is perfect. In this time you have had around 3 cool showers on the tan, which ensures all guide colour has been washed away. This gives peace of mind that nothing will rub onto the inside of the wedding dress. Also having a day or two of gentle cleansing settles the colour on the face. I gently dust the face for brides -this gives the bride an opportunity to wear minimal make up. It’s a great idea to have a make-up trial a day or so after the tan and this really helps you gain confidence with the look you will have for the wedding.

Once the tan is on the skin, it’s your job then to cherish it. This will allow longevity and a natural fade off, as if it were real. So firstly avoid the bath and keep showering quick and with a cooler temperature than normal. Remember self-tan dyes our dead skin cells, so we need to keep them intact for the longest time possible. Hot water beating down on our skin will encourage it to wear away faster. Always gently dry the skin with a quick pat, then use your hair dryer on the cool setting.


Once the skin is dry, moisturise it generously twice a day. Fake Bake’s oil free moisturiser works wonders and leaves a sheen to the tan that looks beautiful in daylight reflecting the light onto the skin.

With regards to prepping before the big day, it’s said time and time again to ensure your hair removal is done well in advance. Not only does this allow the pores to close but it gives time for the skin to renew. Wax two to three days before the tan, shave 24 hours before.

In the few weeks leading up to the wedding, another good tip is to start to exfoliate the parts of the body where bra straps and sports bras dig in and are tight on the body. The reason is the skin gets compacted by the tightness of the fabrics against the body and can lead to the tan grabbing darker on bra strap lines and around the boobs leading up to the arm pit area.


On the day of your wedding tan have a gentle exfoliation, nothing too harsh - the Fake Bake coconut body polish is perfect. Rinse well and avoid any lotions, cream and make up. Wash deodorant off before application and stay cool and dry after the tan.

If you follow these tips, it’s super rare that anything can go wrong. However if you did have a darker patch or perhaps some tan got onto the palms or appeared heavy around the wrists - then fear not. Fake Bake’s new Tan Corrector & Eraser gently lifts the colour and fades away in minutes. The foaming mango scented water can be used on any part of the body to gently fade out tan mistakes, but it’s rare you will need to do this if you have trialled out the tan with your therapist.

If you are keen self-tanner and have your regime down to a fine art, then my advice is go for a colour that compliments your skin tone rather than something too dark. Ensure you have removed any older self-tan from the body first before the final wedding tan. If you are new to self-tanning and want to give it glow, then start with a tanner that contains a guide colour. A whipped mousse is always spot on and one to trust as you can see where it’s tanning which always instils confidence. Try Fake Bake’s 5 minute mousse that dries and settles in seconds.


Another reason the wedding tan comes in handy is having that base colour on the start of your honeymoon. There’s not that desire to sit out and potentially damage the skin in the first few days, but there are a few obstacles along the way to be mindful of.

First of all chlorine is a killer on the tan, especially in the states where the content can be high. Chlorine strips the skin which will peel away the tan. The ocean seems much better but wear flip flops or sandals on the sand as this quickly rubs out colour on the feet. Keep up the moisturising daily and pack an insect replant. If you get bitten and need to apply a cream, these creams eat away at the tan causing white patches around the bites.