Q&A with NICOLA JOHNSON

Not too long ago we had the pleasure of hearing from Celebrity MUA, Nicola Johnson “Sydney Make up Artist”.

Over the years we’ve gotten to know Nicola and she is a massive force within the beauty industry and a long time lover of Naked Tan. We asked her a few questions so our followers could get to know her as not only a Naked Tan ambassador but a beautiful person both inside and out.

CaptureTell us a little bit about yourself?

I originally trained a beauty therapist & Esthetician specializing in the skin &

skincare. I worked for a number of years in one of England’s most prestigious health spas as a premier therapist looking after high profile clients and celebrities.  I’ve always had a passion for makeup & after seeing an ad in the back of Vogue magazine to train to become a makeup artist I knew it was the right thing for me. I packed up my bags & moved to London & enrolled at the famous Glauca Rossi School of makeup in London’s Maida Vale in 2003.  I studied fashion, Television media makeup and passed with flying colours.

I started freelancing In London & made the move to Australia in 09 first to Melbourne and then to Sydney in 2010 where I work mainly in fashion, editorial & advertising.

What/or who has made you the person you are today?

I was raised by a single mum along with my sister she worked very hard & I guess that set the bar for striving for what you believe in. if you work hard enough you can achieve anything. My mum also encouraged us to ‘do what ever makes you happy’, she encouraged my creativity and allowed me to constantly make a mess whether that was painting, using clay or face painting the neighbor’s unsuspecting faces.

Yoga and meditation are a massive part of my life, they keeps me grounded & in tune with who I am and the morals I stand for. It also teaches me gratitude and gives me the skills to remain calm in any situation  – super handy when it gets s bit stressful on the job.

How did you start as a Make Up Artist?

After training as a MUA in London I worked in a bar at night while I tested and built my portfolio during the day, working for free and building a name for myself. I never assisted anyone in the beginning & actually managed to get into TV & fashion early on.

I moved to Australia in 2009 and I had to start from scratch again, building new contacts and making new relationships.  I again did some ‘love’ jobs, I also worked alongside makeup artist Elsa Morgan for a year when I wasn’t booked on my own jobs. Basically Lots of hard work and determination.

I’m now at the stage where I can’t take all the work that comes my way and I have a small team of artists who work for me under my brand Sydney Makeup Artist so that’s super exciting!  My clients include Elle magazine,  Vogue online, Cosmo, SHOP, Woman’s Weekly, Dolly plus an array of advertising & celebrity clients.

How long have you been in the game for?

I’ve been in the beauty industry since I was 16, so 18 years in total and 13 years as a makeup artist.

What’s your favourite pass time?

Yoga, live music, spending time with friends and family, cooking and the odd glass of red wine !

When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?

I actually wanted to be a nurse or a chef!

If you could describe yourself in 3 words- what would they be?

Positive, Thoughtful, fun,

If you had to choose one Naked Tan product, which would it be?

Can I have ? Crème de la Crème and the Goddess Instant Tan are both incredible.

What’s the one beauty essential you can’t live without?

Mascara – opens you eyes, especially if you have fair lashes.

What’s your life mantra?

Remember to breathe . We all lead such busy lives these days; especially in Sydney we have created a nation that thinks it’s trendy to be overly busy. It’s ok to take time out, rest, recover. Take a moment to reconnect with yourself so you don’t burn out.

What is your greatest achievement?

I pride myself in becoming a successful makeup artist by staying true to myself, not stepping on anyone’s toes and paving a way in the industry through hard work & passion alone.

I have been extremely lucky to have travelled to some incredible places with my work, I’ve shot in LA, the Philippines, all over Australia – my favourite being The Kimberley’s – such incredible landscape & of course London where I’m originally from.

Talk about someone you love – who are they? What do they do? What importance do they have in your life?

There is a saying – “friends are the family you choose for yourself”  all my family are in the UK, so my friends here in Sydney are so important to me. I’m so lucky to have an incredible group of friends who support me & vise verse. Many of us have our own businesses and we are all there for each other.

Why do you believe in Naked Tan?

I love the naked tan range for the added ingredients they have like Shea Butter, so they work on protecting & nourishing the skin as well as tanning. They also smell amazing and as red head myself I have always struggled to find a tan that doesn’t make me look orange.

What is your tanning routine like?

I used the gradual tan on myself along with the instant tan on my legs if I have shorts on and am feeling particularly pale, or if I have an event and I want my skin to glow. I love the scrub for a weekly treat and daily applications of the crème de la crème to keep my skin soft and tan prolonged.

All my clients and models love crème de la crème, every single time I use it gets such a fantastic response.

50 Shades of Fade

There’s a reason why your tan is fading!


Maintaining a tan for a whole week can be tricky if you don’t follow the proper care instructions. We get many questions about how to make your tan last the longest so we’ve put together a whole list of reasons why your tan could be fading fast!

See below to find out why your tan could be fading- stay away from these naughty habits and you can make your tan last for up to 10 days!


1.Don’t shave or wax any later than 24 hours before your tan.

2.Don’t use moisturizer the day of your tan – it will create a barrier between your skin and the tanning solution. This will affect the development of the tan and will stop the tan from absorbing into your skin well.

3.Steer clear of any oil based creams at least 2 days prior to your tan.

4.Bath bombs are a NO NO – they contain oil and tans don’t work well with oil!

5.Your body is your temple and so is your skin – look after it!

6.Moisturise twice daily leading up so your skin soaks in your tan!
7.Drink water babe – keep hydrated before and after your tan!

8.Homemade exfoliators that contain sugar will ruin your tan!

9.Are your exfoliating prior to your tan for best results?

10.Oil based exfoliators (home based or store bought) will streak a professional tan! Get back to nature and use a natural base exfoliator!

11.It is suggested that before a tan you use an exfoliating mitt to remove skin cells or any oils on your skin.

12.Stay off the booze!

13.Big night partying – drugs will cause your tan to fade!

14.Don’t apply any products with alcohol or aluminum in them as they will cause the tan not to adhere or make your tan go green.

15.Stay away from deodorant and perfume or any other body sprays on the day of your spray tan.

16.Hot Day? 40 Degree heat- stay cool and calm for a beautiful tan.

17.Did you work up a sweat before your appointment – you might sweat off your tan!

18.Feeling HOT? Sweat also acts as a barrier to the tan, and may also cause the tan to run, causing streaks.

19.Are you caring for your tan, after your tan?

20.Rinse your tan in the shower – do not bathe after a tan.

21.Do not rub in the shower after tan application.

22.Use a SLS free cleanser when showering the day of the tan and whilst wearing your tan.

23.Don’t exfoliate/rub your skin while you’re wearing a tan and ensure you keep your skin hydrated.

24.Chlorine strips tans!

25.Do not swim in chlorine pools!

26.Do not go straight to the gym after a tan!

27.Do not have a spa after a tan!

28.Do not have a bath with any bombs, bath salts or bath oils after a tan!

29.Are you sunburnt or peeling? It is not recommended to get a spray tan if you have experienced any sun damage prior to your tan.

30.Have you been working out? Excessive sweating while wearing your tan will mean your tan won’t last as long.

31.Are you using soap? Regular soap, scrub or bar soaps that contain SLS will strip a tan ad cause premature fading.

32.Are you taking any medication? Certain medications that have hormones or different antibiotics will cause your tan to either not develop or not absorb into the skin like it normally would.

33.Are you going through menopause?

34.Are you pregnant? Pregnancy hormones can cause a tan to fade and sometime not even develop!

35.Is it that time of month? Hormones are a huge reason tans can either not develop or not absorb into the skin well- which means your tan wont last as long.

36.Did you wear tight clothing straight after your appointment? Wear loose baggy clothing to your appointment OR bring loose baggy clothing with you. Tight clothing will rub against your skin and may cause patches.

37.Did you wear a bra after your appointment? To avoid strap marks we recommend you do not wear your bra after your appointment, until your tan has fully developed and you have washed it off.

38.What kind of footwear did you wear after your appointment? If you’ve noticed your tan specifically fading around your feet or ankles it’s because of your choice of footwear.

39.Did you get rained on, wet or sweaty before you washed your tan off?

40.Spilt a drink down your front – you could remove the tan prior to development!

41.Extreme weather can affect your tan: In extreme heat your skin will be oilier than usual and very dry in winter when it’s cold.

42.Be careful if washing your hands! – soap and water will wash away your tan, and any splashes will make it run.

43.Did you put product on your skin before you washed your tan off?

44.Did you wash of your tan within the recommended period?

45.Do not leave it on your skin for longer than its supposed to be- Naked Tan products can be left on for 5 hours but no longer. If you choose to sleep in your tan the colour will be compromised.

46.Did you spend too long in the shower? Spending too long in the shower during the development stage will strip your tan causing it to not last.

47.When washing off your tan try not to use extremely hot water.

48.Did you rinse of using only water? Soap will strip your tan and your tan will develop uneven and patchy.

49.Go to the hairdresser BEFORE your appointment! Shampoo and hair colours will strip your tan!

50.Do not have laser hair removal or waxing AFTER your tan!