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Tone Up with Fake Tan! Contouring Tips from Harrod's Leading Tanning Expert, Amanda Harrington

Ursula Dewey
by Ursula Dewey Published on 2 July 2013
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Did you know that fake-tanning the clever way can help slim your pins, tone up those abs and give the illusion of a svelter, slimmer you? We spoke to fake-tan expert Amanda Harrington, of Harrod's Urban Retreat to find out how we can hide a multitude of sins with some clever fake tan application.

We're already sold on the sin-hiding benefits of fake tan - somehow a touch of colour effortlessly covers all those lumps and bumps, evening out skin tone for a sexy finish. But contouring with fake tan takes it to a whole new level.

With some clever shading and contouring, you can use fake tan to highlight your best bits and add definition and tone where you need it most.

Amanda Harrington is an expert in such things. Over the past decade she has perfected her approach to defining and shading the body using fake tan. With celeb clients and an immaculate reputation, we had to find out more about how to contour-tan our bodies for bikini season.

We caught up with her to find out how to create the illusion of a more toned bod just by using some fake tan tricks!

Amanda offers a Body Contouring Treatment at Urban Retreat during which she looks at the body shape/form and shades it according to her client's colour tone and the season. The secret it seems, is all about focusing different shades of tan on different parts of the body.

She says: "I custom blend tints and creams bespoke to the client in order to obtain the best shade and finish for them. I do a lot of clients for the red carpet so always need to know what dress is being worn in order to shade the skin on show in all the right areas. I paint and buff the body to create a beautiful ‘lift’ to the skin and shade in darker tints to bring out certain muscle groups and promote a more toned appearance. Its incredibly slimming!"

​The problem with fake tanning is one colour all over gives a flat appearance to the body so treat the tan as you would a bronzer on the face. Add life to the limbs!

But how can we perfect this contoured look for ourselves without a trip to the salon? Luckily Amanda has some at-home contouring advice that's easy to follow!

Amanda says: "First ​I would use a gradual tan all over such as Dove Summer Glow or Creme de la Mer Face and Body Gradual Tan. I find these two tans less yellow in tone than others on the market.

​"Then using a tanning mitt I would buff the mousse or lotion into the body, buffing a darker shade on the outer side of the body.

​"To slim down the stomach and hips darken down the sides to draw the eye to the centre of the body. To hide uneven outer arms buff in circular motions using the mousse. If you are going to an event – add a body sheen powder or highlighter to the centre of the legs to elongate the leg.

​"Likewise do the same down the arms and on the collar bones. Peachy golden tones are far more flattering than the violet illuminators which look too cool against a warmer skin tone."

Amanda's Top 6 Fake Tan Tips

1. Preparation is key in order to create a better colour finish. I advise exfoliating the entire body, followed by waxing/shaving at least 24hrs prior to tan application. Apart from exfoliation and hair removal, the skin must be well moisturised to ensure dry skin does not absorb tan products and create darker patches on the body.

2. ​The exfoliation method you adopt is really skin type dependent. Dry skins need extra care and I recommend a cream based scrub such as Clinique Sparkle Skin Cream. Apply to damp skin and work in with exfoliating gloves for extra benefit. If you have a normal/oily skin use a shower scrub which foams.

3. Don't use any old fake tan hanging around in your cupboard. Be warned - it oxidises and changes colour once opened within a couple of months).

4. ​Spray Tans need to be applied by a very good therapist. Spend money on going somewhere with a good reputation, otherwise you run a tanning roulette! Ask your friends with good tans where they go.

5. ​Gels and creams are the best formulas to apply yourself at home as they will achieve a more natural looking build which takes the fear out of streaking. Mousse needs to be controlled, so do not apply with fingers as it will streak. It dries quickly so you need to buff in fairly fast with a mitt.

6. To prolong a fake tan steer clear of oil – body oils will lift tan and remove it. Take showers not long lengthy baths, and keep moisturising everyday.

If you feel safer getting your contour tan done for you, then head to Urban Retreat to book in with Amanda - a session with her will see your body buffed and defined with a bespoke blend of fake tan to give you the most natural looking shade for your skin tone. Her unique application method means you appear instantly slimmer and post treatment you can dress straight away with no fear of streaks. Phew!

Your DIY contouring essentials kit

Clinique Sparkle Skin © Clinique

Clinique Sparkle Skin Cream
The Sparkler by The Body Shop
Creme de la Mer Face and Body Fake Tan
Highlight Me by Sunbelievable
Dove Summer Skin

Got any fake tan tips or tricks to share? Then tweet us @sofeminineuk​

by Ursula Dewey