To tan or not to tan…

My favourite thing about my job is converting people who would never have thought a spray tan would be for them, only to realise it really isn’t ‘cheap’ or ‘fake,’ like we have previously been led to believe…

I had my first spray tan for my 19th b’day and it was (what I thought would be!) a once-and-never-again experience. Not only did I have to dash straight to MAC (this was before I had taken an interest in brands that don’t test on animals) and buy a foundation to ‘dim’ me,  but the wear-off was absolutely awful. After a day at the races and some champers in Lola Lo’s, I basically spent a week in hiding.

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Blast from the past! Me and my best friend Louise (left) at the races for my 19th birthday – this was my first spray tan.

I mean, it doesn’t look BAD, but for me, the wear-off is the most important part of a spray tan, closely followed by hands and feet. Nobody wants to feel self-conscious about patchiness or scaly, crocodile-y fake tanned skin. I assumed that the wear-off had been so bad because I have always suffered with eczema. As a child, I was often mummified before bedtime so that I didn’t wake up with red-raw skin from itching in my sleep. As I got older, my skin got significantly better but it’s always been quite dry and flaky on my neck, eyes and arms. Of course, that doesn’t stop a teenage girl trying to look as glam as possible for her b’day!

I must confess that after this occasion, I started self-tanning with a mitt and ‘something cheap from Boots’. NOT SURPRISINGLY, I was always left with red, irritated skin afterwards. My Mum was super relieved when this phase ended after a few months. As was my Eczema… as am I… the things we do!

Fast forward 5 years, I’m working at Never Too Tanned in Islington but ironically hold a ‘personal-policy’ against fake-tanning because of my previous experience and eczema. Despite this, I was constantly hearing clients raving about how amazing the spray tan solution ‘Cocoa Brown’ was and seeing them (quite literally) skipping out the salon looking lightly bronzed and beautiful, I couldn’t NOT try it. Kylie Jenner had named it the BEST tan and Millie Macintosh was a huge fan too (I’ve always thought her tan looked so natural). So I decided to see if it would work for me…


I booked in for my Cocoa Brown spray tan with my colleague at Never Too Tanned, where I was working as a Lash Technician. I felt really self-conscious about getting naked in front of someone who wasn’t my mum, cat, or boyfriend but it was over in 5 minutes! Looking in the mirror after the tanning solution had been applied, I felt absolutely amazing. My skin had a healthy, natural golden glow, it totally evened out my skin tone and I looked slimmer, too. I washed it off after 3 hours, so there was no need to sleep in it. I had no patchiness or streaks, it just looked like my own skin… but better! I felt much more confident in my going-out dresses and I didn’t have to wear half as much make-up (or any in the daytime!). I just. LOVED. it!

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6 years on, both sporting Cocoa Brown at my 25th birthday!

As you can see the colour is perfect for any skin tone; Louise is naturally more Mediterranean-looking, whereas my Scottish roots make me super pale… almost blue at times! We LOVE this brand. It is designed for pale skin, so if you’re worried about being too dark, this is a gem! It’s also great for if you want a dark tan too, you just leave it on for longer (up to 6 hours). As I said, the wear-off is SO important but with Cocoa Brown, it was barely noticeable! The tan faded gradually and evenly after 7 days, going freckly as opposed to the previous patchy mess I had experienced at 18. When it was time to erase the remaining tan, it came off effortlessly with an exfoliator and a nice warm bath.

It was my experience being sprayed with Cocoa Brown that made me want to train as a spray tanner. It didn’t irritate my skin AT ALL and I felt amazing afterwards; I was so excited to be able to offer this service for others. My favourite thing about my job is converting people who would never have thought a spray tan would be for them, only to realise it really isn’t ‘cheap’ or ‘fake,’ like we may have assumed previously, and for them to leave feeling amazing. The word ‘natural’ is thrown around the beauty industry so flippantly, but I really mean it when I say that a ‘natural’ colour is what any good spray tan artist will offer. And a good spray tan is for anyone!


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Tanning-guru James Harknett and I at his Pro Beauty seminar on Bridal Tanning.

I went on to train with the very best in the business, Francesca Amber and James Harknett, and have mastered the craft of the perfect spray tan. I’ve sprayed hundreds of people with a range of different tanning solutions and gained my Master Spray Tanner Level 3 qualification with Sienna X Academy, which gave me the skills for body sculpting and contouring. I am proud to offer a premium spray tanning service. No orange. No mitts. Just easy-peasy flawless tans in 15 minutes.

As well as Cocoa Brown, I now work with Skinny Tan and Sienna X, but that was the first tanning brand that worked for me. Everyone is different and that is why I stock a range of different tanning solutions – there’s something for everyone. I will select the right product for you based on your skin tone and condition and the occasion it is for. I absolutely guarantee you won’t need to go into hiding, as I had to with my first spray tan!

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Have you got a tanning story? Good or bad? I’d love to hear from you! Do you have a favourite tanning solution? Comment or contact me via my blog. I am more than happy to answer any tanning queries you have.

I look forward to spray tanning you soon!

Y x



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