Some of you may or may not know that prior to launching Amanda Harrington London, Amanda created InParlour, a mobile beauty provider that serves up the best manicurists, eyelash technicians and makeup artists (to name a few) in London. This is where Amanda met Kelly Mendiola, Makeup Artist to the stars, now also the Amanda Harrington London Head Tanning Artist. Her tanning technique is second to none.
We recently caught up with her (virtually of course) to have a catch up on what she’s up to, her AHL journey and her favourite products within the range!
Hello! Firstly, how are you? How are you finding lockdown?
Hi Soph! You know what, I’m good. It’s a tough old ride lockdown isn’t it? But I'm feeling grateful to be healthy and therefore I am happy. I am using this time at home to really focus on myself and continue to learn and develop my skills.
So tell me, how did your career as a tanning artist begin?
After studying Graphic Design at university, I realised that it wasn't my forte and I wanted to channel my creativity elsewhere. A friend of mine was asked to fill-in as a makeup artist to get a group of women ready for a birthday party - think Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses yep, that was us. We had no clue about makeup but we thought we did a great job (navy blue and silver eyes on a very mature woman...) and after this I had found a new medium for my art. 10 years later I am still doing what I love working with amazing people in amazing locations. I can say that my career was a happy accident.
How did you meet Amanda?
It was my sister, who is an international award-winning manicurist, who Amanda met first at a nail salon in Fulham. Amanda had been so impressed with her nails that she asked my sister to be a part of her InParlour team. From there I knew that Amanda had this skill of finding talented artists and therapists. It was a year later that Amanda and I were introduced through another makeup artist and I became a member of her makeup team.
How did you get into tanning?
A member of the tanning team had asked me if I had thought of giving it a go, she believed that I would be a natural as being a makeup artist I already understood skin tones, contouring and sculpting. Once Amanda had applied her special mix of creams and tints on me I was blown away; I wanted her to paint me every day and I never wanted to shower off her tan! Sometimes to my detriment I am a perfectionist, I pay a lot of attention to detail and can be very technical with my application, but I enjoy the focus of it all. I love bronzing bodies and seeing how it makes clients feel so much more confident in their skin, it makes doing my job so much fun.
What are your top 3 tanning tips?
There is one product that prevents patching, evens skin tone AND is the best hand and foot moisturiser: the Ultra Balm. I apply it to patch-prone areas such as hands, knuckles, wrists, knees, elbows, feet, toes and ankles to prevent tan from collecting. It is also great as a hand and foot cream, and you can even apply on Melasma and sunspots with your little finger!
Extra special finishing - just as you would blend eyeshadow to create a smokey eye on your face, I use a clean Small Body Brush to buff and blend tan further for a streak and patch-free finish. Makes your tan last so much longer!
Contouring and Sculpting - I like to contour my body in the dark! Well, not in pitch darkness but with enough light to see what I am doing. Use a full-length mirror and stand at a distance so that you can see shadows on your body. Stipple and blend tan with a small body brush along those curves. Contour and sculpt your body or face as if you were a black and white photograph.
What are you 3 hero products in the range?
The Ultra Balm as mentioned earlier – it changes the tanning game completely!
Natural Olive Body Mousse - the gorgeous deeper olive colour and the light soufflé texture is the winner for me. The colour cannot be compared. I have incredibly sun-sensitive skin and whilst I enjoy being in the sun and catching a bit of colour, long exposure causes so much discomfort to my skin and even stress so when I tried this colour it was a game changer. When I tan in the sun my skin turns a warm golden brown, which is the exact colour Natural Olive gives me, absolutely no orange and I've tried many self-tanners.
The Tanning Brushes - They are the staple tools of artists, whether you are a fine artist on canvas, a makeup artist, a manicurist, a decorator or a cake maker, you need brushes, right? It should be no different for painting tan on. I couldn't tell you what brushes are my favourite because I use them all.