You don’t get Ashley Graham’s expert glow without some beginner missteps. “Who doesn’t have a bad tanning story when it comes to self-tanner?” Graham admits over Zoom. The model, who looks radiant in a high ponytail and sun-kissed tan, calls in from a conference room, where products surround her from her new Ultimate Glow Kit. Created with self-tanner masterminds St. Tropez, the easy at-home regiment was designed for a supermodel glow, free of faux pas.
Graham and St. Tropez go way back. “Having been a model for 21 years and specifically lingerie and swimsuits, I’ve always needed to keep my tan up and to have that natural glow on set. I’ve always used St. Tropez self-tanner. It’s been a staple in my beauty kit.”
But with great tan comes great responsibility, as Graham has learned over the years. Her biggest nemesis? Boob sweat. “My first time, I remember waking up with boobs sweat drips down my stomach because I didn’t realize that the sweat was going to make a streak. So, I always put baby powder under there because they sag.”
Ahead, Graham talks about her best tanning tips, plus quarantine life with her son, her favorite Bridgerton character, and why she’s obsessed with her Squatty Potty.
What are your best self-tanner tips?
It’s all about the prep. You have got to exfoliate, and if you’re a shaver, shave. Then it’s all about the lotion. Ensure you do the whole hand into the hand’s heel, elbows, knees, feet on the bottom, and the back. You want to use a light lotion, not something that’s super thick. Then when you’re applying the tanner, make sure you go in a slow-motion upward because my ultimate glow kit dries instantly, within seconds. It’s not streaky, but you always want to use a mitt.
To get to the middle part of your back, that’s hard to get; you want to use the Face Purity Mist. It’s for your face, but if you spray it on your back and that area, you will have a tan back. I take a little bit of a lukewarm shower in the morning because I’m not looking to fry the tan. There’s no transfer throughout the middle of the night, I see nothing on my sheets, and then boom, you have the ultimate glow.
You wear so many hats as a model, businesswoman, and podcast host. Do you have any advice for working moms in quarantine?
Oh man, I have had to learn a lot. I’ve only been a mom for one year now, and that year happened to be during a pandemic. The advice that I was getting was always going to be taken with a grain of salt because it was just different. Unsolicited advice comes from anybody and everybody. For me, my best piece of advice for anybody is that mama knows best. You know your child better than anyone. You are the one who should say what your child should or shouldn’t be doing.
Any quarantine date night advice?
Something that [my husband] Justin and I have implemented since 2020 is date night on Thursday nights. We take a drive, and we go for a walk, we’ll go pick up food, eat it in the car, whatever that dedicated time is for ourselves because we both live such busy lives.
When you’re stuck under the same roof all day, every day, it’s almost like you forget to talk to each other because you’re just in each other’s presence. So, what we do is we text each other bookmarks, we do an asterisk, and then we say whatever the subject is. That’s how we make sure that we’re connecting and about how both of our days were.
Has your beauty routine changed at all during quarantine?
My whole hairline fell out four months postpartum, so that was a shock to my system. Then I got back acne, and I was like, what is happening? So, I reached out to all my mommy friends. They’re like, oh yeah, it’s so typical. I just started adding a little bit of retinol here and there. So, my skin has changed, and I’m working on reducing the redness.
Have you bought anything life-changing?
Do you know what I want to say? I am obsessed with my Squatty Potty. You have no idea. I love it so much. Do you have a Squatty Potty? You really should. It’s something that many people aren’t talking about that I feel like it’s super necessary. It’s essential to eliminate, it’s good for your gut, it’s good for your system, and the Squatty Potty only helps. I have a bamboo one at my house. Very chic.
What have you been watching?
We all watched Bridgerton. I feel like [the Duke of Hastings] is my husband’s cousin. I’m like, whoa there! If I could only be so innocent [as Daphne]. The best line that everybody keeps reciting to me is, “I burn for you.” The Tiger Woods documentary was phenomenal, very intriguing, and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it. I’m watching TikTok videos. TikTok is oddly satisfying. There are ones I can’t stop watching. It’s all these weird food things.
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