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  • Writer's pictureJuliette Wills

Behind the Brand: Amanda Harrington

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

If it's a tan you're after, Amanda's your best bet - especially as she offers bespoke tanning services so you can get that sun-kissed glow all year round

Amanda, you know a thing or two about tanning. How important is it to prime your skin before application of self-tan? The biggest mistake people make is not spending enough time preparing their skin for a sunless tan. We prep our face before makeup and our hair before styling so why not prep the skin before tanning? Our skin is a canvas; making sure it is primed allows a smooth finish and gives longer lasting results.

You studied Make-Up and Body Painting and went on to work in the film industry. Might we have seen your contouring work on, say, Brad Pitt’s butt cheeks? Um, no, but I worked with his ex-wife, Angelina Jolie on ‘Tomb Raider’ and on James Bond ‘Die Another Day’, tending to the villains! I once had to take two planes, a helicopter and two boats to a very remote Greek island to top up an actor’s tan. Their scene was taking place in the sea so the colour was fading and that’s where I came in.

You toured with lots of bands too - what was that like? What is the benefit of body contouring and tanning for performers on stage? I can’t imagine Mick Jagger getting his nobbly knees bronzed. Being on the road is great fun - it was an incredible stage of my life. Due to the relentless nature of touring it’s a lot of late nights and a lot of repetition which can become wearing on the artist but every show has to be as good as the last. I used my body painting and contouring techniques to bring their bodies to life and add definition and colour so they really stood out on stage.

You developed your Bespoke Body Contouring Technique after graduating - how long did the process take from moving away from spray tanning to brush technique or had you always done a bit of both? I was tanning a regular client of mine using an American spray gun I’d bought - one of the first of its kind. She wore a face mask during the treatment as she was having tans so regularly, and was concerned about breathing in the toxins and chemicals. This was when I realised there must be a better way and started experimenting with brushes and mixing my own tan tints. For a while it was a hybrid where I would incorporate the brush into the spray tan to work the product into the skin and buff out any streaks of patches. But then as I experimented with different brush sizes, materials and tint colours I moved to just using my brushes and the Bespoke Body Contouring Technique was created.

Did it take much convincing of clients and your team to move to this way of working? As soon as I had tried this new method on a couple of my clients the news spread, and the tan took off! I was known as ‘Amanda Tan’ by some of my London clients. I grew my team as demand grew and, still now, each one of my tan team is trained by me.

Can you talk us through how Bespoke Body Contouring sessions work - what could we expect if we booked an appointment? Prior to your appointment you are sent our Tan Preparation Guide so the skin is perfectly prepped for your appointment. When your tanning artist arrives, the appointment begins with a skin consultation to understand what the tan is for, how you naturally tan in the sun to understand how deep you would like the colour to be. For example, if a client is going on holiday and would like the tan to last a week, we can apply more layers to ensure the colour lasts longer. Your Tanning Expert will then lay down towels to protect your flooring and begin your appointment by protecting any dry areas with barrier cream. The primer is then applied all over followed by layers of tan that is buffed in with a selection of tanning brushes. The Tanning Expert will work in contours and shading as they go. At the end of your appointment you are given a disposable gown to relax in before getting dressed.

We know a huge amount of serious research and development has gone into your product line. Can you tell us a bit more about for formulation side of things and how long this has taken to produce? It was a real labour of love and took me around seven years to find not only the perfect supplier to work with on the tan, but also to design the brushes. With the skincare elements of my brand I was conscious that I wanted to create a line that was kind to the environment – the New Skin Face and New Skin Body use biodegradable bamboo pads and castor beads.

Finally, you support the British Skin Foundation, helping them create awareness of skin conditions and diseases. What advice would you give to women who still like a real suntan on top of self-tan? I understand why people want to get a natural tan. Having a glow and colour to your skin makes you feel more confident and there’s nothing better than coming back from a stint in the sun and all your friends or colleagues commenting on how well you look. Ensure you use a high SPF, especially on your face - Heliocare Advanced Cream SPF 50 is a game-changer.

Buy the Amanda Harrington range here:

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