I’m standing in a spaceship-like tanning booth, wearing only my birthday suit, and shivering from the air conditioning. While this sounds unpleasant, I’m actually smiling and laughing along with the only other person in the room: St. Tropez® skin-finishing expert Sophie Evans.
There’s something about Evans’s charming British accent and chatty personality that makes me feel like I’ve been friends with her for years. Our conversation — everything from vacation plans and family to complaining about how busy we are — feels like one I would have over drinks with a close confidant. Yet, we’ve only met about five times. And, in a way, we are close: all of the interactions between Evans and I have occurred during my au naturale spray tan sessions.
Truthfully, I feel a bit unworthy of her services. The professional has spray tanned some of the most popular celebrities and supermodels in the business. “I’ve tanned more celebrities than one could dream of,” laughs Evans. “From royalty, first ladies, A-list actors, pop stars, and supermodels — you name it.” (Case in point: Victoria Beckham has been tanned by the bubbly Brit.)
But Evans’s career didn’t skyrocket overnight. As a self-proclaimed beauty therapist — meaning, she’s a licensed aesthetician and massage therapist by trade — Evans began her career working in a spa in the United Kingdom. After some time spent working in the spa (and a small professional hiatus to travel the world!), Evans was introduced to a woman who had just obtained the European distribution rights for a brand called St. Tropez. In 2000 — just one month after meeting her — Evans began working for her, and eventually ended up managing St. Tropez’s very first training academy in the U.K. for eight years. Luckily, Evans’ dedication to the brand paid off, and over time, the company became an international success.
“We pioneered spray tanning,” says Evans. “Starting with a brand from its conception gave me immense experience and wonderful opportunities.” This includes everything from working backstage at London and Paris Fashion Week®, accommodating her celebrity clientele, and working as the U.S. QVC® spokesperson. Now, Evans is living in New York and continuing her role as skin-finishing expert with the brand, launching new products, and spray tanning A-listers for runway shows and events along the way.
While the 42-year-old is obviously a huge fan of a good self-tanner, that’s not the only beauty product she can’t live without. And, as someone who’s been surrounded by beauty professionals for more than a decade — whether it be backstage at Fashion Week or in a spa among aestheticians — Evans has picked up on quite a few hidden gems. Read on for the Top 11 beauty products she swears by.
Caudalie® Gentle Buffing Cream ($35): “This cream is a gentle face exfoliator that I use every two to three days. I have sensitive skin, but my face needs constant exfoliation to prevent sebaceous filaments.”
Sara Happ® Lip Scrub ($22): “Sara Happ’s lip scrub prevents my lips from getting dry and crusty. I use it twice a week.”
Fresh® Rose Deep Hydration Moisturizer ($42): “I love this brand. And I use this product each morning and night.”
Fudge® Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo ($17): “I have bleached blonde hair, so this shampoo is [a savior]. It’s the absolute best for blondes.”
Kerastase® Resistance Mask for Damaged Hair ($53): “This hair mask is great for dry, damaged hair. I need [more of] this in my life!”
Simple® Cleansing Facial Wipes ($13): “I love these wipes because they are fast and effective at removing makeup. Plus, they’re great for sensitive skin!”
MAC® Liquidlast™ 24-Hour Waterproof Liner ($22): “I love a good cat eye, and this one stays put all day — after all, it’s a 24-hour, waterproof eyeliner.”
Chanel® Powder Foundation Le Teint Ultra Tenue ($60): “I always come back to this powder foundation. My job is very physical, and I sometimes get very hot [while working]. This keeps me looking matte but natural.”
GIRL™ by Pharrell Williams ($35): “This is a unisex fragrance that both my husband and I adore. As a bonus, the bottle is super cool.”
St. Tropez Self-Tan Classic Bronzing Lotion ($42): “This was one of our original products, and still to this day, I think it’s amazing. It makes my skin look its ultimate best. The color looks like it has come from within. It’s so natural and fades perfectly. I love it!”
Josie Maran® Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter in Vanilla Apricot ($36): “I use this to maintain my tan and to keep my skin feeling soft.”
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