Taking the smell, streaks and uncertainty out of DIY bronzing, {TAN-LUXE} ushered in a new era of skin care-led sunkissing that changed the self-tanning scene forever. Now, in honour of an ultra-exciting, exclusive release (more on that below...) we turned to their founder, Marc Elrick, to ask our every faux glow question...

{Cult Beauty} Hi Marc! We’re so excited to finally catch up with you and talk about all things faux glow. To start off, can you tell us a little bit about your career and how you came to be the founder of your own brand?

{Marc Elrick} My husband and I own a hair salon, and that's where I immersed myself in the world of beauty. After over a year of talking to people in this salon setting, I realised there was a huge gap within the {tanning} industry. It was very ‘one size fits all’ and people were looking for something more approachable and customisable – something that didn’t exist at the time. That’s when I came up with the idea to create {TAN-LUXE}: a fully customisable approach to tanning that lets you create a personalised shade that works with your individual skin tone. We’ve been glowing ever since!

{CB} We could not wait to introduce your all-new (and exclusive!) Super Gloss into the fold! Could you share what makes this formula so. darn. incredible?

{ME} The {Super Gloss SPF30} is our first-ever DHA-free, super serum—think skin care meets 'no make up, make up' meets custom coverage bronzing drops. It's the ultimate product to streamline your daily routine, by combining skin care, make up & SPF 30 into one bottle for an instant glossy glow. 

True to our skin care meets self-tanning philosophy, it combines plant-based squalane with hyaluronic acid (macro + micro) to plump and hydrate while sealing moisture in, supporting a stronger, healthier barrier function and helping to minimise the look of fine lines over time. You also get the benefits of broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection, shielding skin from harmful effects of UVA/UVB rays. 

Especially now, we’re all looking for quick and easy ways to simplify our morning regime for gorgeous glowing results, fast. Think of {Super Gloss} as the ultimate pre-Zoom solution that offers you bronzed benefits with skin care results, instantly! 

{CB} What would you say sets your brand apart from the rest of the industry?

{ME} Something I really thought about when I was first developing the brand was that if you can customise the shade of your make up, then why not your tan? You could choose from so many different shades of foundation, but this hadn’t been explored in the tanning world. In this respect, our tailor-made ethos definitely sets us apart.

We’ve also never believed in colour guides – also known as the dark stain used in most traditional self-tanning products. These synthetic dyes have been shown to break down DHA (dihydroxyacetone - a primary active in tanning formulas) and cause streaking, uneven fading, clogged pores and skin dehydration. Since launch we’ve formulated without guide colours as a brand, meaning no stained sheets or clothing for you- alongside the aforementioned skin-loving benefits!

{CB} As the ultimate authority on self-tanning, do you have any guiding principles to achieve the most natural, flawless glow? 

{ME} I think once you nail your application, it’s all in the maintenance. I always say to treat your tan like a natural sun tan by keeping your skin hydrated between applications. Hydration, hydration, hydration is the secret! This keeps your glow going for longer, and ensures an even, natural fade.  

{CB} We’ve had our fair share of self-tanning faux pas in the past – admittedly, never with Tan-Luxe – so do you have any tips for rectifying patchy, uneven coverage? 

{ME} I’ve found that uneven coverage is actually less likely to come from the product itself than it is from the application process. My advice is to ensure with any self-tanning product - especially products with no guide colour like ours- that you’re applying enough to completely saturate the skin. This means you avoid missing out on any areas when you’re applying- which is one of the main factors that lead to the appearance of “streaks” on the skin. 

To correct any slip-ups, I love using our {Glyco Water Tan Remover and Primer}. It contains an effective level of glycolic acid, and it mists directly onto the skin - super easy! I just apply before I jump in the shower and it sloughs away remnants of old tan, as well as priming the skin for a fresh application. It’s hydrating, smoothing and softening all in one. Try spraying on a cotton pad to target smaller mistakes. 

{CB} In the past, self-tanning brands weren’t all that concerned with the quality of their ingredients – we shudder to think what we used to smear on our faces! That’s why we love TAN-LUXE’s skin care-led approach. Can you tell us a little about the good-for-skin ingredients you use?

{ME} We wanted to bring skin care-grade formulations to the world of {tanning}, so each TAN-LUXE product is packed full of amazing ingredients that you already know and love from your favourite {skin care} formulas. As a base in each product, you’ve got raspberry seed oil, aloe vera, vitamin E, plus the highest quality, naturally derived DHA (tanning actives). Then with our Super Glow family, you can find two types of hyaluronic acid plus amazing superfoods like blueberry, beetroot and kale. These high-performance ingredients mean you get that flawless glow with hydrating, nourishing skin benefits. It’s a win-win situation really!

{CB} Similarly, how do the natural tanning actives in your formulas work? 

{ME} I worked closely with our labs to create our own molecule called Triple Tan Technology that reacts with your own skin tone to deliver a believable, fully customisable glow. This utilises only the highest quality DHA (tanning actives), derived from rapeseed oil grown in the South of France. The DHA produces a Maillard reaction on the surface of the skin, which leads to the overall browning effect. We include this high-quality DHA in all our products, which means they deliver a flawless, natural glow every time. 

{CB} Do you have any tips on how to identify your closest shade match?

{ME} Choose your shade based on your skin tone, not on your desired end result. This means you’ll always get a radiant finish that enhances your natural skin tone and doesn’t mask it with a ‘one size fits all’ colour. 

{CB} If you had to choose just one of your products, which would be your all-time favourite? 

{ME} You know if you’d have asked me a couple of years ago, it would have been {The Face}. That's the product that launched TAN-LUXE and revolutionised who tans and how they tan. 

More recently {Super Glow} has been such a hit with beauty editors, influencers and our wonderful TAN-LUXE community. It’s so innovative from a skin care perspective. Our revolutionary hyaluronic acid complex combines both a high weight hyaluronic acid & extremely low molecular weight sodium hyaluronate to really achieve hydration. This enables multi-level, lasting hydration & minimises trans-epidermal water loss – basically, this is the gold standard in skin hydration! Combine that with 7 superfoods and a gradual glow and it’s really the ultimate skin care meets self-tanning innovation. I like to say it’s your best skin day, bottled!

{CB} And if we were to take a nosey at your bedside table, are there any self-care essentials that we’re guaranteed to find? 

{ME} I’ve always been obsessed with supplements! I think it’s so important to keep your mind and body as healthy as possible. I love brands like {The Nue Co.} and how they’re innovating in that space. I also love adding the {Moon Juice} dusts to my morning smoothie.

{CB} Which pearl of beauty wisdom would you love to tell your past self?

{ME} Wear SPF every single day. Even if it isn’t sunny outside, just do it!

{CB} Have your self-tanning (or self-care!) rituals changed over lockdown? 

{ME} For now, because I’m at home a lot, I’ve got a lot more time to devote to my routine and I’m not limited by what can fit in my carry-on! So, there’s been a lot more experimenting with new products, treatments etc! It’s been such a great time to hone my {skin care} regime. 

{CB} How have you seen the self-tanning industry change in the last five years? In which ways would you like the industry to change and evolve?

{ME} As I touched on earlier, before we started TAN-LUXE, the tanning industry was a very different place. Formulations very much existed within a bubble, and there wasn’t really much going on in terms of product innovation.

 I think the key for us going forward is to continue disrupting and challenging the perception of what’s possible for a tanning brand - innovation is the key and the sky’s the limit!

{CB} Is there a certain product you stock-up on so you’re never without it?

{ME} Augustinus Bader’s {The Rich Cream}. When I say it changed my life, I’m not exaggerating. It’s definitely a splurge but totally worth it. My skin just drinks it up, especially during these dry and cold winter months. 

{CB} If you could go on a guilt- and budget-free Cult Beauty haul, what would end up in your basket?

{ME} EVERYTHING from {Augustinus Bader}, I’m obsessed with them - they’re killing it at the moment. 

{Barbara Sturm} is another brand I’ve been a fan of for so long. I love mixing their serums with our Face drops. 

Of course, it wouldn’t be a haul without a little {Drunk Elephant}, right? I am a huge fan of their cleansers, and their clean philosophy - they’re always a mainstay of my skin care regime. 

{CB} What does ‘cult’ mean to you?

{ME} For me, it’s all about finding amazing, game-changing products that I just can’t wait to share with everyone I know: my friends, my family and of course, my husband!

{CB} Time for a quick-fire question round! Skin care or hair care?

{ME} It’s always going to be {skin care}, although hair care is a very close second!

{CB} Which song have you had on repeat recently?

{ME} 'Physical' by Dua Lipa, I can’t get enough of it. It makes me want to dance and reminds me better times are coming this year!

{CB} Which book/movie/TV show has had you hooked recently?

{ME} I think like everyone else in lockdown I binged It’s a Sin – I found it educational, impactful, informative but also full of warmth and inclusivity.

{CB} Finally, what’s next for Tan-Luxe?

{ME} I’ve always got some projects in the works and I can’t wait to share them with you all! You can find out more by heading to our Instagram @tan_luxe...

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