Bride to be Tan Advice

I was inspired to write this blog post last week when I received an email from one of my 2016 brides looking for advice on getting the perfect glow for her upcoming  wedding day next year. This is a topic I am asked about an a very regular basis, so I hope you all find this helpful.



This is a subject that has always interested me, in fact while I was studying in College many years ago, I chose skin tanning as my thesis subject. I enjoyed every minute of researching and looking into this interesting topic. After what I learned during my research I have become very skin smart. I myself am very pale and don’t tan naturally, so I don’t ever sun bade, I instead opt to sit in the shade and choose to get the perfect glow out of a bottle!

When it comes to the perfect tan for your wedding day there are many options available, it is about finding the right method that works best for you.

-Natural Tan

If you are lucky to have naturally sallow skin there is of course the natural tan achieved from the sun, I always recommend to be sun smart and wear a high sun factor when out in the sun. If you are lucky enough to be somewhere sunny and hoping to get a tan please choose clothing wisely as strap marks are a nightmare to try and cover on your wedding day, choose strapless tops that won’t leave any strap marks. Always wear a high SPF on your face all year round, this helps to prevent premature ageing while also protecting the skin from the harmful rays of the sun.



Some of my brides choose to use sun beds for their wedding day, this is a personal choice. One that I do not recommend due to the dangers. If you choose this route please ensure you use them as wisely and safely as possible. If this is the right step for you choose a reputable/ specialist tanning salon with modern up to date sunbeds.

-Gradual tanning Moisturisers 

I have noticed an increase in popularity over the last number of years in the use of build up moisturising tans, which keep the skin lovely and hydrated while adding a soft natural glow to the skin. This method of tanning is ideal for brides who want a nice natural healthy glow on the skin for the big day, but without being to bronzed.

I recommend the following gradual tanning moisturisers myself which I use regularly:




Cocoa brown Gentle Bronze rrp: €5.99

This product Moisturises & hydrates your skin, If applied each day, it allows you to build your colour from a light glow to a ‘Gentle Bronze’. You can Apply this product as you would body moisturiser, ensuring that it is well rubbed into your skin.


Available for purchase in all good pharmacies and my studio.






Garnier Summer Body rep: €6.99

Garnier Summer Body Moisturising Lotion, applied daily, builds a radiant, glowing gradual tan.

Available for purchase in all good pharmacies.




Spray tanning:

My personal favourite tanning method is a spray tan. It is so quick and convenient and after a short time you have the perfect glow that lasts from 5-7 days.

I always recommend to brides where possible having your spray tan done 2 days before the wedding day, this helps to relax the bride and gives her one last thing to worry about the day before the wedding.


I always recommend having trial spray tans done well in advance of the wedding day. Once you find the perfect spray tan and spray tan technician stick with them. I have seen many tan disasters on wedding mornings so it is essential to find the right spray tan and stick with it.



Please remember on the day of your spray tan application to:

-Wear loose, dark clothing while tan is developing and avoid any contact with water.

-Make sure your skin is free from any lotions, potions, perfumes, deodorants or creams and ensure you do not exfoliate on this day either.


At home Self Application Tan:

Over the years I have tried every tan on the market, but For the last number of years I have reached for the same tan over and over again. I am sure you have all heard of the amazing Cocoa Brown tan, it really is a household name now in Ireland and beyond. We all want to achieve the perfect golden glow for that special occasion, big night out or even just to give us an instant lift. I always feel that after applying fake tan it is a fantastic mood lifter, everything looks better with the help of a golden glow!!


Since the first time in 2012 that I used the Cocoa Brown tanning Mousse I have never bought another tan. It really is the best tan I have ever used. The mousse formula makes It is so easy apply (simply use a tanning myth), it smells pleasant and to top it all off it develops very quickly.


It is not surprising that this fake tan has so many loyal celebrity followers and has won so many awards in the beauty industry.


The Colour of this tan Varies between light and dark depending on how long you leave the tan on before showering.

1 HOUR = Light Glow, 2 HOURS= Medium Glow, 3 HOURS= Dark Glow

I am very pale so I tend to leave it an overnight or most often I use the Cocoa Brown Tanning mousse in the Dark shade, ideal for those who like to achieve a nice rich colour.

The rrp for this tan is hard to believe that such a wonderful tan can be achieved for only €7.99.

Cocoa brown 1 hour mousse tan is available nationwide and also in my studio.



So there you have it all the different options to achieve the perfect tan for your wedding day or special occasion, But like everything the perfect tan can only be achieved with the perfect skin base.

Here are my top tips for your skin in the lead up to applying a fake tan:


– The smoother your skin is the better the tan will appear. I recommend exfoliating your skin using a good body scrub and some exfoliating gloves. There is nothing nicer than the feeling of your skin after a using a good body scrub in the shower. Your tan will appear smoother and more even if the skin underneath is nicely prepared.

I recommend:

Boots Extracts Cocoa Butter Sugar Scrub 

This is one of my favourites and I have repurchased this many times. It smells amazing and leaves your skin feeling super soft.


“Boots Extracts Cocoa Butter sugar scrub contains natural scrub particles to intensely exfoliate, leaving skin smooth, bright and feeling rejuvenated.”

With an rrp of €11 it is very good value for money for the size of the tub, it lasts for ages.

Available in all boots stores.




Cocoa Brown Though Stuff:

Another award winning product from the Cocoa Brown Family which I love.


“Cocoa Brown TOUGH STUFF 3 in 1 Body Scrub is a no-nonsense scrub for rough areas of the body,perfect for the feet, ankles, knees, elbows and hands. This amazing exfoliating scrub is brilliant to prepare the skin for tanning, removing stubborn old tan and of course, leave your skin silky smooth.”

This really is the perfect complementary product to prepare your skin for the Cocoa Brown self-tanning mousse.

This product is fantastic to use also for removing false tan.

Rrp: €4.99 available nationwide and from my studio.


These are my two favourite scrubs which I repurchase and use most often. I would recommend a good body exfoliation 2-3 times a week. This helps to remove any dead skin cells from the skin while also helping to improve the texture and appearance of the skin.


After you exfoliate It is essential to apply a body moisturiser, this helps to improve the appearance of the skin while also hydrating and keeping the skin nice and soft. I would recommend using a body moisturiser every morning and night.  This is especially essential when wearing fake tan as it helps to extend the tan and prevents the skin from drying out.

There are many body moisturisers on the market and I am always trying out new ones. I will recommend ones that I love the most.

Vaseline  Moisture Cocoa Radiant Rich Feeling Lotion:


I love the smell of this product, as you can tell I love rich smells especially Cocoa, coconut, vanilla etc. This product is Enriched with pure cocoa butter extract and a multi-layer moisture, it gives a rich feeling for healthy glowing skin, it drys quickly and is very easy apply.

This product is a bargain at €4.19 in Boots.






Boots extracts Strawberry body butter:

The smell of this product is amazing, so sweet and fruity, perfect especially for the summer months. I have just ran out of this product but I will be repurchasing very soon. This body butter feels lovely and luxurious on the skin, again a little goes a long way so the tub lasted me for ages.

With a rrp of €9.99 in boots another bargain buy.






The Body Shop Coconut shimmer Body butter

I feel Words can’t do this product justice. Without doubt one of my favourite body products of all time, I will always have a tub of this close to hand. Firstly the smell a rich coconut scent is just amazing and it really lingers on the skin afterwards. It quickly absorbs into the skin.

This product really leaves my skin feeling super soft and moisturised and with the added bonus of a fabulous shimmer on top of the skin, this product is especially fabulous to use when you have your fake tan on as it adds a lovely glow to the top of the skin.

I am not sure of the rrp but I think is about €18 and available from The Body Shop.

Cocoa Brown Chocolate Whip Body Moisturiser


Another award winning product from the Cocoa Brown Range. I always use this moisturiser when I have tan on as it helps to prolong your tan. Using This moisturiser as part of your tanning routine, ensures your tan fades slowly and evenly. This moisturiser is also highly nourishing to your skin and has many positive benefits. I love the smell and texture of this product.

rrp: €4.99 available in my studio plus nationwide




So there you have it all you need to know to achieve that perfect summer glow.

I would advise Doing some research,  trial different methods of tanning until you find the perfect tan that suits you and your needs for your big day.

 I hope you enjoyed reading all my skin tanning tips and I hope you find it useful.

Karen xxx


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