I asked you guys on Twitter to send me your tanning queries so that I could quiz celebrity tanner James Harknett. (above)
He has an impressive list of celeb clients under his belt and has worked for top tanning companys. He also helped make all the X factor contestants look gorgeous during the competition.
James has a fantastic bespoke service which includes an indepth consultation so that he can customize a tan to your requirements.
- Some brands advise to use moisturiser before tanning. What is the best pre-tanning routine and what products do you recommend?
Never use a moisturiser before tanning. This is the common mistake people make, and are still told to do so. Any moisturiser and body lotion will immediatley work as a barrier against the DHA reacting with the protiens on our skins. You only need a small amount applied to the hands, feet, wrists, eldows and knees.
I also recommend a gentle scrub before appling fake tan, and make sure any de fuzzing is done at least 24 hours before.
- You have worked alongside some big brands, which ones would you say have given the most natural results?
By far the best fake tan I have come across is the new Sunbelievable range. The golden colour lasts for well over a week ,and the product is virtually odorless. Also my clients in my salon love Xen Tan. It's also very natural and has a chocolate like fragrance, and is very hydrating on the skin.
- How do you avoid streaks?
By applying tan to a clear skin. The tan needs a clean base to grab, therfore avoid any oil based products in the shower and bath in the days running up to applying your fake tan. The remnents of these produts can sit on the skin, which will lead to streaks. Also take your time appling the product.
- Are there any products that have no/less smell than any other brands? (quite a few readers mentioned the smell puts them off)
The new Sunbelievable Tan range has no fragrance. This is peoples main grumble with fake tan. Sunbelievable smells like water on the skin !!
- What at home self tanning product works best? ie mousse, spray, wipes etc
A mousse is by far the easiest way to tan at home. You have total control has it slides across the skin leaving a matt finish. Sprays in cans are also very popular but lay a dark towel down first so that no flooring is stained.
- What do you do if you wake up the morning after application and you have streaks or patches?
If you are leving the house there and then. A wash off tanning product is best to smooth out and streaks. I use Lee Stafford's Fake My Tan range. It's instant, smells great and dries in minuites leaving an olive glow.
- What do you think of gradual tanners?
Gradual tanners are great for many skins. You must take care to ensure the area is covered as most gradual tans are a white cream that you gently rub into the skin. Xen Tans Transform Luxe leaves a suble glow on the skin and also help prolong natural tan from your hols.
- What do you advise using to apply tan and what would you use to remove stained hands?
When appling a Mousse or lotion at home I recommend using a foam mitt. This keeps the hands clean and leaves a natural dry finish on the skin. Also its much quicker and througher than using latex gloves, these can over rub your product off. If you do get stained hands, hot water and a salt scrub are best at fading it down fast.
- Is it ok to tan before going on holiday? will it react with chlorine?
Many peolpe fake tan before their hols. Swimming in the sea and chlorine in the pool will strip the tan fast, so take a top up mousse, and keep the skin moisturised daily.
- What should we do to maintain the tan and when should we re-apply?
Avoid hot baths and showers for the first few days. take them cool. Also moistuirise with an oil free moisturiser daily. I recommend Bliss Lemon and Sage Body Butter to keep your tan locked in your skin for days.
- Whats the most popular look you get requested? I can imagine the J-Lo glow is high up there.
At my Tanning Studio in BOB SOHO London, I have a menu of tans. However I can customise the application using the best spray tan equipment out there. I always discuss my clients tanning requirements first. What the tan is for? What will they be wearing, What make up they will be using? I can then give a bespoke colour to match their skin tone. People compliment me on the tans I give to Patsy Kensit and this years X Factor Contestants. But I think its someone like Jennifer Aniston who always has a gorgeous Californian glow, which is a speciality of mine.
- Is there any other pearls of wisdom you have for the GD7 readers?
Less is sometimes more when it comes to tanning. One coat is all you need a week and choose your powder Bronzer carefully. Dont go for anything remotely orange.
Many thanks to James for a brilliant insightful interview, I hope to get a lovely tan next time I'm in London.
For the best Bespoke Tan in London vist James Harknett at BOB SOHO, 36 Marshall St, W1 Tel 020 77342444
or visit www.jamesharknett.com
Has this answered your tanning questions?