6 top tips for tanning brides
1. Ask key questions
For weddings, Crazy Angel brand ambassador Abbie McCann has a list of key questions she always asks in consultation. “Ask where your client is getting married, because overseas travel on a plane can cause skin to become dry and begin to exfoliate,” she explains. “So, if your client is flying on Monday and the wedding is on Friday, you may need to tan them a shade darker than usual.”
Other important questions to ask include what their dress is like – or even better, ask to see a picture; how they tan naturally in the sun; and what they’ll be doing with their hair, particularly if they plan on changing the colour before the wedding.
2. Time it right
Fake Bake global creative consultant James Harknett recommends including at least two trial tans in your bridal service and timing these well in advance of the wedding. “Ask clients to gauge the colour daily in the mirror and take pictures of the tan in daylight to see how the colour looks on the skin day-to-day,” he advises. “It’s also a good idea for clients to have their make-up trial a day or so after the tan so the MUA can have the tanned base to work with.”
He suggests drawing up a treatment plan with clients ahead of time to make sure the timing of their waxing, facial and nail appointments won’t interfere with the tan. “A spray tan should be one of the last treatments leading up to the wedding,” he says. “Any waxing should be completed 48 hours prior to the tan, and facials and manicures should also be done before.”
3. Create packages
“Multi-booking packages are ideal for wedding parties,” says Shelley Henderson, Kissed by Mii tanning expert at Gerrard International. “Include options for the bride, bridesmaids, mother of the bride and even the groom, with a selection of packages and tiered savings whereby the larger the party, the greater the savings.”
You could include a pre-hen-party tanning night at home with the bridal party, as the hen party is also a great time to trial the wedding-day tans. “Include a free gift for the bride of homecare products to add value to the experience and help her prolong her colour,” says Henderson.
If you offer other beauty services, consider including these in the package too, and you could secure multiple appointments with the bride and some members of her party.
4. Maximise retail sales
Don’t miss an opportunity to increase your revenue with retail sales, says Nicola Badmus, lead Moroccan Tan trainer at Sweet Squared. “From pre-tanning prep products like exfoliating shower washes and mitts to tan-extending body butters and enhancers, there are many easy up-sells to tanning bookings,” she says.
Ensure bridal clients will look after their tan beyond the big day by retailing aftercare products chosen for their particular skin type and tan. “Don’t forget the honeymoon – travel-sized retail products are perfect to help newly-weds to keep their glow while away,” says Badmus.
5. Think beyond the wedding
Equip bridal clients with some aftercare advice tailored to their honeymoon to ensure a long-lasting tan that wins you repeat business. Sienna X professional therapist Charlie Hopewell says aftercare begins in the prep and tells her clients to avoid applying any lotions or moisturisers a day before their tan, giving the skin a final rinse to make sure any remaining product is washed off.
If a bridal client is travelling somewhere hot for the honeymoon, advise them to “have cool showers on a gentle water pressure setting to keep the tan in place for longer”, she says. Remind clients to consider their sunscreen too, as many are oil-based and can strip tan from the skin.
“Clients can make the most of their tan on holiday while protecting their skin by opting for an oil-free sunscreen with a five-star UVA rating,” adds Hopewell. If your client is going on a long honeymoon, retail a gradual tan to top up their colour, which Hopewell suggests is applied every two to three days in place of after sun.
6. Add extra glow
If your bridal tanning service includes helping the party get ready on the day, don’t forget finishing touches to enhance their tans. Vita Liberata VIP tanning expert Jill McLean recommends applying a skin-finishing product – or advising clients how and where to apply it themselves – to make skin look radiant in wedding photographs.
“Use a mitt to apply down the front of limbs only to ensure there is no transfer from the underside of the arms onto dresses,” she says. “Then, with a kabuki brush, dot on to the collarbone, décolleté and neck and buff into the skin in circular motions. This will reflect both natural light and the photographer’s flash and really make your client’s skin look radiant and flawless.”