Fake your way to the perfect W-day tan

Tanning expert Sam Marshall from the award-winning Sun-Believable tells us how brides can have a go at getting a perfect glow themselves

As chilly weather descends and sun-kissed skin starts to seem like a distant memory, there's still a way to look naturally bronzed without the risk of streaky disasters. Sun-Believable's Sam Marshall tells us how to make flawless W-day self-tanning as easy as pecan pie...

"Brides often tell me that while they want to look like themselves on the big day, they want to look like the best 'them' possible. This is where I come in. All Sun-Believable tanners are trained in skin finishing, which is all about polishing and perfecting the tan to create an illuminating finish they'll love."

1. Preparation

Preparation is key to creating a flawless tanning base. In the run-up to your day, look after the skin on your body with the same care you take on your face. Exfoliate twice a week using Sun-Believable SCRUB ME Body Exfoliator, £12, paying special attention to problem areas such as the backs of the arms where you may suffer with slight pimples. These areas need a little extra buffing but do use a gentle touch.  

Replenish moisture with a slather of Sun-Believable CREAM ME Body Moisturiser, £13. It contains organic coconut oil that softens and saturates the skin and antioxidant Vitamin E, which keeps the skin supple and improves elasticity. Apply this morning and night daily and soon your body will be the ultimate tanning base.

2. Choose your shade

When deciding how deep you want your tan, consider how much skin will be on show, whether your hair is up or down, and how close to your own skin tone you want to go. I recommend trialling your tan two weeks before your big day to ensure you’re happy with the colour and to also test how long you let it develop for. Sun-Believable is one of the only tans that develops over four hours rather than the standard eight, but if you do want a deeper shade, just leave it on for longer. Begin your application two days before the wedding so a top up can be applied if you need a deeper colour, and for longevity. 

3. The application

Starting with the legs, apply Sun-Believable TAN ME Self Tan Mousse£18, to your skin, working up the body in sweeping, circular movements. Use lighter strokes around ankles and wrists and check there isn't any colour build-up (if there is, gently buff with a mitt).

If you want to create slimmer limbs using your self-tan, try a little contouring. By using layering techniques self-tan can definitely give the illusion of slimmer, more toned limbs and body definition. Apply this down either side of the legs (outside and inner) which will instantly make the legs look narrower by drawing the eye to the middle area. You can also apply down your calf bone to make your legs look slimmer or longer.

For the arms, again use a slightly darker shade of self-tan or bronzer on the underside of your upper arm to make the upper arms look slimmer and add definition to your biceps.

Adding a darker self-tan or highlighter to the collarbone will instantly draw eyes to your slimmest area. To apply, it’s useful to bring your shoulders forward in a mirror and rub it into the dip just underneath your collarbone. Applying a little bronzer to your cleavage will also help boost your bust!

4. Finishing touches

Finally, on the morning of your wedding, mix some of your moisturiser with bronzing shimmer too and swipe it over your entire body. The dewy glowing complexion it creates will look drop-dead gorgeous in your photos. A single coat of the bronzing shimmer across the collarbone, tops of the shoulders and across the top of your back will beautifully catch the light and illuminate your skin. Remember to pack your new beauty must-haves for your honeymoon too, so you arrive beautifully bronzed and ready to skip straight into your bikini."

To buy any of the products visit sun-believable.com. Tweet Sam at @the_beauty_guru

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