London Fashion Week has been the topic of conversation for what seems like forever, but we've still got a few days of fabulous shows to go. The one must-have for any model strutting their stuff down the catwalk and in front of hundreds of snapping paps is a flawless tan. LBQ favourite, Fake Bake, has been endlessly spraying behind the scenes. Fake Bake's own celebrity tanner, James Read, has exclusively shared his top tips and insider info on the latest tan trend, The Mannequin Tan, from Friday's PPQ show just for you lovely ladies...
The Mannequin Tan is about achieving a perfectly smooth, glossy texture with a subtle glow. “When you see how many photographers there are at the end of the catwalk, you know those girls have to look flawless,” says James. “Skin has to have a high definition finish, an airbrushed texture. But most importantly, when you’ve got such high hemlines, bold colours and extreme prints, the tan has to sit back and take it,” he explains. “It can’t compete with the clothes by being really dark or intense - it has to work with the collection by perfecting the skin. You want the areas on show to gleam under the lights of the cameras. So the Mannequin Tan was the best compliment to PPQ’s SS11 collection.”
Top Tip 1. “The models’ skin is always dehydrated and dulled by the late nights, travelling and rushing around they’re subjected to during the shows – most of the girls had just flown in from New York Fashion Week for PPQ! Their skin really needed a softening shot of hydration first, to make sure we’d get an even, radiant tan. So I applied Fake Bake Tan Enhancing Lotion with Glisteners first. It holds the tan in but also reflects the light, giving that Mannequin Tan shine.”
Top Tip 2. “I used a spray gun to apply a very fine layer of Fake Bake Flawless. It’s a liquid tan with directional colour so you can immediately see where you need to buff or wipe – it makes it easy to get a streak free tan with an instant hit of colour. It’s also very fast-drying so the models didn’t have to worry about smudging or marking the clothes. For the Mannequin Tan it’s got to be a very light mist. The girls in the shows did have a variety of skin tones though, so for the darker girls I could layer it up but never much darker than her natural colouring. The same goes for the change in seasons – you can always add a layer when spring becomes summer, and take one away again when autumn comes. At home you can apply Fake Bake Flawless yourself with a mitt – it’s a totally fool-proof way of achieving the Mannequin Tan yourself.”
Top Tip 3. “I used the Fake Bake Beyond Bronze Shimmer Brick to warm and contour the key areas on show: the face, shoulders, décolletage, legs and arms. Like The Fashion Tan, it’s about enhancing the parts of your body that the clothes reveal – you want to make your skin really picture-perfect when you’re heading down the runway!”
It all sounds pretty damn fab, but you can get this amazing tanned look at home too. Which is why I've teamed up with Fake Bake to offer one lucky reader all the tools they need to create their own Mannequin Tan. The goodie bag will contain:
Tan Enhancing Lotion with Glisteners £12.50
Fake Bake Flawless £20.00
Fake Bake Beyond Bronze Shimmer Brick £11.99
All you've got to do is email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a really good reason why you need this at-home tanning kit. I want to know your tanning disasters, funny stories or just a humiliating grovel. The best entry will be chosen by an independent adjudicator (i.e. my housemate) and be announced on Monday 27th September. Closing date for the competition is Sunday 26th September . Good Luck!
NB - only one entry per person, don't take the piss, judges decision is final and all that jazz.