Discover the new way to get glowing, feel-good skin.
What stops you from self-tanning? It might be the memory of a streaky disaster, the unpleasant scent associated with some tanning products, or perhaps the unfortunate orange shade you’ve been left with before. Isle of Paradise is intent on reinventing the entire tricky process. Created by London-based celebrity tanner Jules Von Hep, the brand offers easy-to-use colour-correcting formulas that deliver an unbelievable bronze glow. The fact it uses vegan, cruelty free and organic ingredients makes it even more appealing.
“Not everybody tans the same way,” says Von Hep. “I believe in a wardrobe of tan choices. Isle of Paradise is for people who haven’t been comfortable tanning before.” The range launched with three different shades: peach (for a sunkissed glow), green (to counter redness and create a medium tan) and violet (to instil deep colour and nix any orange tones). They’re all available in three different formulas too: a water, drops and a foam. Naturally, we had a few more questions for the effusive founder on his revolutionary brand.
You’ve spent the last decade tanning bodies, including celebrity ones. How did you get into the industry?
“I tried different roles in the beauty industry and nothing clicked. Then I met Nichola Joss (celebrity facialist whose clients include Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson and Gwyneth Paltrow) who encouraged me to try tanning. It wasn’t the tan that got me hooked, but I fell in love with people’s vulnerability. Clients came to me to feel better, and it was my job to make people feel good naked and give them this cloak of confidence. I loved knowing I’d made someone feel good in their skin.
“I built a good reputation and the makeup artist for The X-Factor asked me if I’d like to do the tans for the show, to which I said ‘Hell yes!’. When we wrapped, I started touring with Little Mix, and got poached by Dancing With the Stars. In the UK that show was known for bad, orange tans. I’d become known for natural-looking tans, so I changed that whole show. Then, I was going around the world doing Versace campaigns, Michael Kors fashion shows, more TV productions – I did the tans for the first season of The Crown – and I spent more time educating people on how to tan.”
Was your idea for the brand something that grew over time or a total ‘aha’ moment?
Isle of Paradise is strongly tied to a message of body positivity and inclusivity. Can you speak to that?
“Body confidence has been a massive pillar for me. Every single body is different, but when I was tanning, every single person was apologising for taking their clothes off. Victoria’s Secret model or otherwise, the moment that robe came off it was, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry about my cellulite/thighs/arms/back/this old tattoo/oh I haven’t waxed’. I’d say, ‘Honestly babe, I don’t care, and neither should you!’”
“I had to make sure Isle of Paradise was a brand that embraced all bodies. I wanted the bodies in the campaigns to represent the bodies we see everyday; all sizes, shapes, skin tones and textures. People say it’s amazing that we were the first tanning brand to use a curvy model, and it is great, but I also think it’s sad that it hadn’t been done before.”
We love that there’s a tanning primer in your range. How does it work?
You once said there’s an art to tanning pale skin. Please elaborate for all those pale skin tones who equate tanning with turning orange.
Self-tanning water is still quite a new concept. What are your top tips for using it?
“Self-tanning water is one of the most hydrating ways you can tan. It can seem a bit scary because it doesn’t have a guide colour, but actually, the fact that you will have no colour transfer onto clothes or sheets is a gamechanger. I exfoliate with the Over It Magic Self-Tan Eraser because it’s a glycolic exfoliator, so you get the evenest surface possible. Then, moisturise hands, elbows, knees and feet, and if you’re fair, moisturise eyebrows and hairline too.
“Prime your skin with Prep It, then holding the tanning water 15cm from your skin, lightly mist until skin is visibly wet, then rub it in using your palm or a tanning mitt. Wash your palms and moisturise your hands again and it will just blend that whole area. Your tan will develop in four to six hours, but because there’s no colour transfer you can put on all white and go to work, or go to bed in it and wake up with no transfer on your sheets.”
Jules’ pro tips for IOP Tanning Water
- Use your tanning water to set your makeup and it will tan you through your makeup, and when you take your makeup off, you’ll be tanned underneath.
- If you’re in a rush, you can spritz the water then dry the area with your hairdryer on cool and then set it using a translucent powder.
- If you’re nervous about streaks, check your tan two hours after you’ve applied and you’ll be able to see the tan developing, so if you’ve missed anything you can correct it.