Tanning to the top for Fake Bake

Sandra McClumpha brought Fake Bake to the UK in 2001 and turned it into an iconic self-tanning brand. 13 years on and she remains as passionate as ever

When Scottish businesswoman and former salon owner Sandra McClumpha brought US self-tanning brand Fake Bake to the UK in 2001, she probably didn’t imagine that in just ten years it would become the world’s largest independent tanning brand. Focused on developing the salon-only spray tanning formula into a range of products for the retail market, McClumpha went on to win several awards praising her entrepreneurial and business skills. Now, with a strong product line-up, a new entry into Marks & Spencer’s beauty halls in the UK and expansion into further countries worldwide, it seems that Fake Bake isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

Fake Bake was founded by US couple Mary and Joe Cooper in Oklahoma City back in 1994. The story goes that Joe thought that Mary would get a better finish on her self-tan if she could see where she had applied the colour – if it was dark, rather than cream coloured. Joe, being a businessman and entrepreneur, recognised this as a gap in the market, and so came the brand’s still popular Original Self Tan Lotion, the first product of its kind to feature a colour guide. Fast forward 20 years, and the product range now consists of 17 tanning products, body care, moisturisers and exfoliators for the face and colour cosmetics.

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