5 tan artists to follow

Published 14th Jun 2024 by Kezia Parkins

Spray tans have reached new heights in recent years thanks to sun-safety-conscious clients making the business of bronzing more lucrative. These top tanning icons are five to follow to keep on top of tanning trends.

James Harknett

Instagram: @jamesharknett_tan 6.1k

James Harknett started tanning in the late ’90s when he was trained by St Tropez founder Judy Naake. Years later he launched his own bespoke service, which started with him visiting clients at home and evolved into a residency the W London Hotel.

In 2019, Harknett won a GQ award for best wellness experience in the UK. His technique and experience led him to become the go-to tanner for the Dancing on Ice stars and a spokesperson on self tan for TV shows such as This Morning and in the UK’s beauty press, as well as working as an ambassador for brands including Fake Bake.

Isabel Alysa

Instagram: @isabelalysa 216k

If there’s anybody who knows the naked truth about some of our most-loved celebs, it’s Isabel Alysa.

Since meeting Kim Kardashian through fellow client Kylie Jenner, Alysa’s prepped her for everything from swimwear shoots to her Met Gala look in the famous Marilyn Monroe dress, where the star requested a “subtle glow”, likely so as not to stain the archival museum piece.

Alysa takes her spray tan tent to clients’ houses and sometimes contours with a make-up gun to define the abs, cheekbones or jawline.

While she now works with many of the biggest names in Hollywood, Alysa got her start balancing tanning with motherhood and a full-time job at an insurance agency. Her big break came in the form of tanning Jennifer Lopez for her Super Bowl halftime performance in 2020.

Jules Heptonstall

Instagram: @julesvonhep 92.3k

Jules Heptonstall, aka Jules Von Hep, got his start in the fashion industry, falling into beauty from a chance meeting with the chief executive of St Tropez on the stairs of the PR agency he was interning with.

Now a celebrity tanning expert and co-founder of self-tan brand Isle of Paradise, Von Hep is passionate about making people feel confident and uses his social platforms to help spread body positivity.

On top of his tanning skills, he is a successful YouTuber and co-host of feel-good podcast Jules and Sarah The Podcast with his friend Sarah Powell.

Kimberley Nkosi

Instagram: @kimberleynkosi 1.7k

Kimberley Nkosi has worked with names from Megan Fox to Kate Middleton and recently spent weeks on the set of the Barbie movie as Ryan Gosling’s tanner for his role as Ken.

Nkosi implements colour theory knowledge to adapt her tans for all skin tones and undertones. As well as being a top tanner, she also does nails and her work has graced the hands of Beyoncè. Recently, Nkosi teased the inception of her beauty business consultancy – keep an eye on her Instagram for updates.

Sophie Tague

Instagram: @sophietaguetan 1.8k

Sophie Tague has over 20 years under her belt in tanning and has been a trainer and A-list tanner for St Tropez, Sienna X and many more. She has helped keep the rich and famous bronzed and beautiful, whether for the Brit Awards, London Fashion Week or Strictly Come Dancing.

Tague is responsible for training the spray tanners at Harrods, and has opened her own academy offering accredited spray tan courses. She is also a sunless tanning ambassador for charity Melanoma UK, where she shares tips on achieving a safe sun-kissed glow.

Kezia Parkins

Kezia Parkins

Published 14th Jun 2024

Kezia Parkins is the deputy editor of Professional Beauty. She has a background in medical journalism and is also as trained nail tech. As such, she is particularly passionate about all thing nails, as well as the science behind beauty products and treatments. Contact her at [email protected]

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