Insider Interviews: Amanda Harrington: Body Artist

Harrington's unique technique has made her one of the world's most in-demand tanning experts. Here we find out her golden rules for a flawless finish & the rise of her cult tanning line.

by Amy Wilson Wyles
  • Job Title: Founder & Creative Director of Amanda Harrington London & InParlour

  • Location: London

  • Famous For: Flawless tanning thanks to The Bespoke Body Contouring Technique that’s been used on Hollywood stars & London’s elite.

  • Clients/Fans Include: Trudie Styler, Sienna Miller, Dua Lipa, Poppy Delevingne

  • Years in the Industry: 15

The Backstory

As a trained artist I attended the University of Creative Arts and then continued to London College of Fashion to study Performance Makeup, where I developed the foundations and honed my skills as a body painter.  After graduating, I travelled the world working on Hollywood films and touring with famous musicians and realised the transformative effect tan and contour can have on the face and body.

My big break came when when I went on tour with the Rolling Stones in my 20s.

After that I won the contract for the annual UNICEF Gala and handpicked 20 of my top team to work on the event, creating looks on talent such as Vanessa Hudgens and Adriana Lima.

I have also been incredibly lucky to work with some of my artistic inspirations like Juergen Teller. His work hugely inspired me for the look and feel of Amanda Harrington London.

The idea for InParlour came about when I was working on movie sets and touring with bands all over the world.  During this time, I noticed the difficulty within the industry to find a beauty-focused agency where highly qualified, trustworthy artists could be sourced.

I knew I needed to start my own tanning line because as InParlour grew I began experimenting with brushes and mixing bespoke tints for my clients and developed the Bespoke Body Contouring Technique™ (a natural, sculpting and long-lasting finish to the skin, that transforms the face and body to its most beautiful).  Following the popularity of this I decided to develop my own line of brushes and natural looking tan tints so you can achieve a sculpted and contoured tan at home!

What sets our products apart is the fact that they are a unique hybrid of cosmeceutical skincare and hyaluronic based colour tints designed to be applied by brush, to create a tan that nourishes the skin, whilst building a realistic glow and fade.

I struggled for years to find the correct tan tints for my clients, which is when I began mixing my own.  When I developed my tanning range it was important to me that the shades were more than just the industry standard of ‘light, medium, dark’ which is why I created Natural Rose, Natural Honey and Natural Olive.  These shades are designed to work with and enhance your natural skin tone to create a more believable colour that reflects how your skin would tan naturally in the sun!

The key to my method is layering the products, I call it layering to last!  Step 1 prep uses my Primer to add a base of hydration to the skin but also contains a small % of tan to create a deeper more even base.  Step 2 is Colour using either the Body Mousse or Face Mist, both of which are also packed with cosmeceutical skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid and collagen to soothe and hydrate the skin at the same time. Finally, Step 3 of my method includes my trademarked brushes!  I never felt I could get the precise level of control I required with my clients with a spray gun or a mitt.  So I went back to my artist roots and spent 11 years developing my range of brushes to buff, blend and contour your tan.

The biggest business lesson/piece of advice I’ve learnt so far is be ‘ON it’ not ‘IN’ it.  To maximise growth of the business, don’t get into the detail.

I’d love to invent a solution to the age old problem of how to tan your back…without asking for help from a family or friend!

The Advice

For a truly great fake:

  1. We prep our face before makeup, our hair before styling so what not prep the skin before tanning!? This gives the best, longest lasting results.
  2. The ideal tan prep starts 24 hours beforehand with a lovely warm bath. This removes any leftover tan, softens the skin and ensures that when you start to exfoliate that all the dead skin will get removed.
  3. The best method of exfoliation is with a scrub like our New Skin Face and New Skin Body. This reveals the smooth, hydrated skin underneath and provides the perfect canvas for applying tan. You should do this straight after the aforementioned bath and at least 12 hours – and ideally 24 hours beforehand. Remove any unwanted hair at this point too as this allow the pores time to close again.
  4. Hydration – fake tan is known for drying out your skin as it contains alcohol and this is what makes it scaly and patchy. My range is packed with collagen and hyaluronic acid to keep skin smooth and supple.
  5. That being said, it’s always a good idea to protect troublesome dry areas – the bits of the body that are renowned for collecting tan and making it look patchy. I used my Ultra Balm on knees, elbows, and ankles to prevent this from happening.
  6. Pick the right colour for your skin tone from our three expertly crafted skin tones: Natural Rose, Natural Honey and Natural Olive. These colours are so much more than your industry average of ‘light, medium, dark’ – I spent many years perfecting the colour tints by taking colouring, skin tone and the way you tan naturally into consideration. This means the tan doesn’t sit lifelessly on your skin but makes your skin look like the best version of itself!
  7. Tan has the ability to contour and conceal. Once you’ve applied one layer, use the brush to go in and define key areas. For instance, you can emphasise areas like the décolletage by sweeping it in half moon shapes from the cleavage to the underarms, pop under the collarbones and over the shoulders to make them subtly darker, which makes them pop – and is very sexy.


The Kit

Skin Perfecting Essentials

  1. My own specifically designed tanning brushes – The Big Body Brush, Face Lifter and Face Buffer. They took me years to design!
  2. Our new Perfect Face and Perfect Body Ultimate Gradual Tan – this is what I apply before applying the tan tints. It is a hydrating body cream that also contains a low level to tan to deepen the colour of the tan and pro-long the colour.
  3. Tan tints in my bespoke mixes of Natural Rose, Natural Honey and Natural Olive
  4. Ultra Balm – my specifically designed barrier cream to protect those troublesome tan areas.
  5. New Skin Face Advanced Glycolic Face Pads – these are perfect for exfoliating dry areas before tanning or taking the tan down if the colour is too dark.

The Experts

Hairdresser:  Josh Wood

Facialist: Teresa Tarmey

Workout Spot/Exercise Class/Personal Trainer: Evolve 353 in Fulham

Manicurist/Pedicurist: LG Nails London

Masseuse: Vanilda – our Brazilian Lymphatic drainage expert at InParlour

Favourite Spa Destination: The Spa at the Lanesborough, the lunch after is also delicious!

Get In Touch

Follow Amanda:  @amandaharringtonlondon

For Info & Bookings: @inparlour 

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