Von’s Vice – Golden Guidelines

bad tan lines

Dear Von,
I just got back some of my engagement pictures, I’m disappointed in how my tan looks. I seem to be too orange and my face is a different color from my body. I’ve even spray tanned my face hoping for an even tan. Even my fiancé says I look different in the pictures than I did in real life- how is this happening?

Magda – Name has been changed to protect the guilty 😉

Dear Magda,

There are a couple of reasons your pictures weren’t so perfect. Let’s start with the dreaded tanning topic. I’ve got so many thoughts on this I wonder if I can fit them into one article! Despite blatant and regular warnings from doctors, it’s a trend that just won’t quit among some Caucasian women. The quest for the perfect glow is a trend that can lead to disaster!

I recently had a nightmare (eh, tan-mare) situation when a bride-to-be client removed her terry cloth bathrobe to reveal arms that were badly streaked from a spray tanner.  Dark, spotty patches had crept between every tiny fold in her skin. And her photographer was capturing every uneven moment of it.

My heartfelt advice to clients is to discover their own skin-tone muse. Finding a celebrity who shares your same skin tone, coloring and hair can help you appreciate your own beauty. I remind clients of Julianne Moore whose signature freckles seem to enhance her natural glamour or Gwen Stefani whose fair complexion is a virtual trade mark. Perhaps the ageless Tilda Swinton is the best example of how avoiding the sun altogether can keep one scarcely looking a day over 30, although she’s actually well into her 50s.

For those of you still convinced that the key to beauty lies exclusively under the bronzed banner, here are my “Golden Guidelines”.

Von’s Golden Guidelines

Tanning Beds

Tanning is bad for you. You’ve heard all the reasons why before. Often client’s respond to my chastising with an explanation that they, “cover their face with a towel” as though this is helpful in some way. Creating more contrast between your covered face and exposed shoulders means it will take significantly more foundation to even out your skin tone. Furthermore, increased melanin isn’t exclusive to giving you a tan appearance. Tanning makes freckles look darker, cherry angiomas and hypo pigmentation appear brighter giving your shoulders and décolletage an uneven appearance. Local photographer, Brandi Burkett recently touched on another downside of tanning when she said, “If you won’t listen to your doctor, listen to a photographer who has spent the last eight years photoshopping wrinkles off of 22 year old women. Tanning is bad for you!”

Spray Tans

From an esthetician’s perspective, spray tans are superior to UV exposure. From a make up artist’s perspective, it’s a entirely different obstacle course. Spray tan’s can be unpredictable, so put the odds in your favor by always seeing the same technician, in the same salon. Next, learn how your skin will react to your spray tan. Take note of the details such as: If your spray tan leaves you with an orange-ish tone for a day or two and then settles into the bronze glow you were hoping for, plan accordingly.

Von’s Vice: Take photographs of yourself in natural daylight using a 35 mm camera or better (not your smart phone). This will give you a more realistic prediction of how your skin  will fare on your wedding day.

Waxing, Shaving and Tanning

Are you planning on receiving facials or chemical peels before your big day? If so, schedule it properly and coordinate your dates under the advisement of your professionals. Knowing the exact answer to all of these questions is the difference between a subtle, even glow and a Lindsey Lohan-ish-dirty-palm- disaster.

Enlist A Professional Make Up Artist With Photography Experience

This is the last step in ensuring your most perfect skin tone. Tell them your skin type and that you want to achieve a bronzing glow. A trustworthy make up artist can give you real feedback and advise you on your best look. Whatever skin journey you happen to be on, arm yourself with a skilled team of professional make up artists, estheticians, tanning professionals and photographers, then trust their advice! We have only the most beautiful you in mind!


sunglasses_portraitVon Criswell is a freelance make up artist and licensed esthetician. Von has experience in film, print and runway and specializes in special occasion make up.  Upon returning to East Texas in 2011, she now focuses on catering to brides.  She also works as an esthetician at a local salon where she gives make up applications, lessons and permanent lash extensions.

Have a Question?

von@theweddedbliss.com