Having racked up a staggering 4 million Instagram followers and with a global tanning brand under her belt, it would seem that success comes easy to social media star and entrepreneur Lottie Tomlinson. Queen of the faux glow, her brand Tanologist, which she founded back in 2018, has climbed its way to the top of the tanning industry, gaining beauty icon status. We caught up with Lottie about all things success, social media and self-care, as she spilled the tea on life in the fast lane as an influencer turned entrepreneur, and revealed her top tanning tips for an enviable glow.
You’ve always got the perfect sun-kissed glow – what are your top-tips for an at-home tan?
My top tip for a seamless at-home tan is all about the preparation. This means using a really good exfoliator – we've got an eraser and primer which are great. I also think it’s super important to time your tan well. Make sure that when you do a full tan, you’re leaving it for 5-7 days, removing it and then doing a completely fresh tan. This process is the fool-proof way to ensure your tan is always nice and fresh.
What’s the secret to tanning your face?
The secret to even facial tanning is to mix your drops in with your skincare - this keeps it really glowy and fresh. I like to use a couple of my medium self-tan drops in with my serum because that way you get the tan, but you also achieve that glowy look. It’s a really nice way to tan your face and it doesn’t break you out, so you can keep your skin really clear, whilst having a radiant tan.
What are your non-negotiables for a Tanologist product before it launches?
I’m really involved in the processes at Tanologist. I go to the team with an idea and they’ll come back to me with samples which I’ll always test on myself first. I think the biggest thing for me is to make sure it doesn’t break you out, especially the face formulas. I have a few skin issues on the body, so my main focus with all of our products is to ensure that they are suitable and safe for sensitive skin.
You seem to be successful at everything you put your hand to – how have you overcome setbacks in your career?
I think it’s been a process over the years of finding what I want to do and what works for me. There have definitely been setbacks, but naturally you don’t always show them. You see all of the successes on Instagram but you don’t see the times that things just don’t go right. It’s a learning process and a bit of trial and error, discovering what works for you, and seeing what works for your followers. I think I get my resilience from things I’ve been through in my life that have given me a lot of strength, so then when anything goes wrong in my everyday life, it’s a lot easier to handle because I’ve had such big things to deal with in the past.
What advice would you give to other young people who want to run their own business?
I think it’s really important to only do things that you’re passionate about. Projects that have failed in the past have been ones where I haven’t been excited enough about them, or when I didn’t fully believe in the product. I think the reason that Tanologist does so well is because I’m so passionate about the products we create, and about tanning safely in general. That’s the key to creating something genuinely successful.
What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever been given?
I think the best piece of advice I’ve received is to just be myself. It’s so easy to follow the crowd and think “Oh I can’t do that because it’s not going with the rules”, but there are no rules with beauty. That’s something that’s been really helpful to me over the years, and I think being able to embody that idea has helped me get me where I am today because I’ve continued to break those boundaries.
We’re all living our life more publicly thanks to social media, do you ever detox?
I think that’s something that I kind of struggle with sometimes because it’s what I do. Sometimes if you’re out for dinner or on downtime, you feel the need to take a picture, post and let your followers in on what you’re doing, which I think is nice to be able to do, but I think it’s also lovely to be able to relax at night and watch a film. I’ll usually put my phone down and just have a few hours off – I think it’s really important to do that sometimes. If I’m in the mood I’ll watch a bit of a horror – I quite like a scary film but a lot of the time I watch a good comedy, I like a laugh.
Is it ever overwhelming having so many social media followers?
It has been quite tough having every move you make watched by others, but it’s also quite good that we’ve had that too, because it makes you aware of what you’re doing and how you’re acting. In a way, it makes you a bit of a better person because I know a lot of people follow me and look up to me – I have a lot of young female followers – so it’s nice to have that awareness of how I’m living my life and how I’m presenting myself. I’ve got those people watching me and I want to be a good example to them.
What does self-care look like to you?
Self-care for me is really looking after myself – a nice bath, skincare, haircare. Working out and eating well is a really big thing for me as I feel my best when I’m looking after myself from the inside out. When I’m able to, I get up in the morning and do a nice workout, I think that’s a really important part of my self-care. I do Body By Ciara – she's a personal trainer who has an app, so I do her workouts and I love them! I’ve got so into home-workouts during lockdown that I don’t know if I’ll go back to the gym as much now. As soon as the classes open I feel like I’ll do the odd class, but I think I’ll do it at home for the most part - you’ve got a bit of privacy that way!
If you could only take three products to a desert island, what would they be and why?
First, I’d take my Tanologist Day Glow. It’s super hydrating and locks in that moisture for your face.
I can’t live without lip balm – my favourite is the Peach Pink one from Dr Paw Paw. I love it, it’s so good!
Probably a hair brush. I’m really obsessed with brushing my hair and I swear by the Tangle Teezers.
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