Deborah Harper- Bronzing tips from an expert.

Deborah Harper- Bronzing tips from an expert.

Deborah sent this to me in the “height of Summer” as a skincare guide for those of us going on holiday.

She essentially runs through the do’s and don’t of prepping for a glorious tan and feeling super in ourselves at home or away. All relative to our wellbeing, right?

I know that many of you are only heading on holiday now for some September sun, and for those of you not going away, ALL of this is still applicable to our daily beauty routine… especially those of us who LOVE to be tanned *raises hands*.

I head back to NYC for a friend’s wedding next weekend so I will be getting my bronze and tan on after prepping to the max.


Over to the wonderful beauty therapist Deborah of Deborah Harper beauty salon

I write this as the rain pelts down outside my window, the skies are grey and I have the heating on.

Yup, welcome to summer! I think it is because of this we northern Irish then go clean mad when the sun comes out. And bless us we try to make the most of it. As soon as a good spell comes upon us my newsfeed/Instagram is filled with images of impromptu picnics, ice creams after work, girls in summer dresses and beachy tousled hair #summer #dontilookhotrightnow.

But we all know that it takes more than a filter to make us look sun kissed and glowing.

This is how to do it.


Firstly, your skin is an organ, like your heart, you need to look after it. It’s the only one your going to be given and if you don’t look after it it will show. Let’s say someone kindly gifts you a beautiful houseplant and now you have the immeasurable pressure to keep the gift alive. You put it on the windowsill and within a week you have forgotten it’s even there. When you do remember, the leaves are drooped, wizened, they have brown patches. THAT is your skin without water and too much sunlight.


Your skin will love you for it. Externally, for your skin to look its best, twice a week do a salt/sugar body scrub, body brush (super amazing for cellulite) and moisturise. Nothing is more enjoyable than getting the time to do this. (For the face do exfoliate but use something super gentle! I like a Gommage, this doesn’t have grains but exfoliates using AHAs – amazing for skin brightening and hydration)

And if getting time at home is against you, treat yourself to the salon experience


– you get the job done and you get some time to yourself surrounded by candles, floaty music and you don’t have to clean the bath after!

If you get the above bit right, the next bit is easy.

Sun at home.

More than likely to have an even tan you will have to fake it! Most NI tans are slightly pink and patchy! So here’s my top tan for faking it!

It is impossible to look past pHenomenal by Vita Liberata. It is actually a phenomenal tan, here’s the facts:

Lasts up to 4 times longer than regular tans Incredibly easy to apply even for the novice tanner Super fast drying so you can redress immediately. It contains Odour RemoveTM for zero smell Certified organic botanicals and Moisture Locking System guarantee a perfect fade back to nothing.

To match chest to face – Trystal3 applied to neck, face, décolleté is beautiful!

This is the worlds first self tanning bronzer. Oil – free with micronised crystals for sheer, lightweight bronzing coverage and added DHA for a lasting tan result, this unique bronzing powder will leave you with soft, smooth, healthy looking skin.

Team these together and it looks effortless and lasts really well and you will not smell like a digestive biscuit!


Sun away.

For your body, I love Ultra Sun for my sun protection. If you’re prone to prickly heat this seems to work well. They have a really beautiful tinted SPF 30 which means the face gets good protection and for one who loves foundation – you don’t feel totally naked!

And for that summer super fail (when you’re totally naked but you look like your bikini is still on) – Aloe Vera.

Go pure – get the highest percent and lash the stuff on! Keep it in the fridge. Cooling, soothing, healing.


For your eyes another little trick is to either get an eyelash tint or take it up a gear with LVL Enhance eye treatment! The modern day eyelash perm that gives you length, drama and depth of colour and lasts 8 weeks! I had this done a couple of months ago and it was a revelation!IMG_3641

I even gave my eyelashes a mascara break…I loved this treatment so much we immediately signed up and now do LVL in the salon. It’s a total winner for those who love the drama and not the damage, cost and maintenance of extensions! Winner if you’re in the water lots!



For your Face- Whilst in the sun, there is a wee bit more time to have some you time! I always pack a hydrating face mask, Yon-Ka’s Masque no 1 is impressive!

Leave it on overnight for 96% rehydration of face, neck, décolleté! Remember to pack a hat! This gives you extra cover for the face and no pink scalp!


I also love a hair treatment on hols, something to repair that I can use in the evening and a spray to protect through the day.

And finally… I hope that all doesn’t sound like a lot of work! I have always loved the great escape as there is more time to do things I don’t get to do at home so much! Have fun, make happy memories and ‘trust me on the sunscreen’.