From orange stains on your wedding dress to a patchy finish when it comes to your honeymoon, bridal bronzing can feel like a tan-tastrophe waiting to happen. So we picked up with the experts at St. Tropez for their guide to getting the perfect tan for your big day.
The last thing you want to be worrying about on your wedding day is whether your tan’s going to ruin your photos. We picked up with Jayne Cooper, UK Tanning Expert at St. Tropez, for her top tips on getting your bridal bronze right.
Which Tan’s Right for Me?
Which tan to use is down to personal preference. Our wardrobe of choice offers a range tans to suit every skin tone. I always advise having a natural looking tan for a bride, remember there’ll be natural day light. Things to take into consideration are your skin tone, dress colour and time of the year. In the autumn and winter months, a sunkissed glow is a great option. For the warmer months you can go for a golden tan.
Gradual tans are a great option for a sunkissed glow, as you can build your tan to your desired colour. Our Gradual Tan 1 Minute Pre-Shower Mousse, is our quickest and most convenient way to tan when your busy doing your last minute wedding bits. Men love this product as well, so you can give your groom a glow. You simply apply, leave on for 1 minute (or up to 5 for a deeper glow) and then shower as normal. So easy!
If you want to achieve a golden tan in one application, Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water is the perfect product to achieve this. It has NO guide colour which means there’s no need to worry about any colour transfer, and what’s more it smells amazing. All you have to do with this one is apply with a mitt and you’ll see a tan in 8 hours.
When Should I Start Tanning?
I recommend doing a trial tan at least 6 weeks before the wedding. This will give you chance to have another trial if needed. Whether applying yourself, at home, or a spray tan, try and tie it in a couple of days before your makeup trial and dress fitting to get a true makeup finish and foundation match. This way you can see your tan in your dress, as light colours will bring out the tan more.
When it comes to preparing for your wedding day tan, you can begin your prep by exfoliating every 2–3 days in the weeks leading up to the wedding and moisturising daily. This ensures the skin is super hydrated ready for your chosen tan.
When it comes to applying your tan, my top tips are:
Exfoliate the day before your tan
Hair removal should be done 24 hours before and leave your skin free from any make up , deodorant, perfume, moisturiser and oils on the day of the tan
Just before you apply your tan, moisturise the dry areas, hands, elbows, knees and feet
If you’re using a gradual tan, you can start applying a few days before your wedding, depending on the depth of tan you want to achieve. You should work toward applying your last layer 1 – 2 days before the wedding.
If you’re going for a spray tan, or applying a tan other than a gradual, I always recommend following my 2 – 3 shower rule. This allows the tan to settle into the skin and ensure all guide colour has been washed off before the big day. So, if you’re getting married on the Saturday, I recommend to tan on the Thursday.
What Are Your Top Tips for a Flawless Tan?
After tanning wear loose dark clothing and avoid wearing a bra, especially if your dress is backless or strapless. You should also avoid getting the tan wet, or doing any exercise until the tan has developed. All tans except Self Tan Express, Gradual Tan Pre Shower and Gradual Tan In Shower should be left on the skin for 4 – 8 hours to develop, I always recommend leaving it for the full 8 hours.
To achieve the perfect hand application, as we know there will be a close up of the rings, make sure you moisturise before you apply tan. It’s also a good idea to only apply the excess tan to the hands. Claw your hands making sure the fingers are separated and gently glide tan over, ensuring you get in the creases. Wipe the finger nails and palms of the hands with a wet wipe. I always apply a small amount of moisturiser around the inside wrist areas to give a seamless finish.
For those finishing touches on the day, my favourite skin finish for brides is our Instant Tan Skin Finishing Gloss. Use a small amount on key areas that are on show, shoulders, collar bone, spine and shins, the skin will look beautiful and it look amazing on camera.
What About My Bridal Party?
Let’s talk bridal party, for Mother of the Bride, our Gradual Tan Plus range is perfect. It will gradually build a glow and has additional skin benefits to ensure beautiful glowing skin. For Bridesmaids I would also recommend Self Tan Purity, because of the fact it has no guide colour and smells amazing! Or our Gradual Tan Tinted Lotion for an instant hint of colour that they can build up. Just don’t forget to advise them on my 2 -3 shower rule too, if they’re using a self tan.
How Do I Keep My Glow for Honeymoon?
Aftercare is just as important, especially if you’re heading straight off on your honeymoon. Use an oil-free moisturiser daily and gently exfoliate every 2 – 3 days to give an even fade. If you’re off somewhere hot, don’t forget your SPF for protection!