By Amy Lawrenson
Fake tanner to stars like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (and the ELLE team) James Read (pictured with model Lara Stone at his launch party, below) has brought out his own tanning range, exclusive to Harvey Nichols. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the unique stripy packaging (love) and to help trial the liquid tan in the run up to the highly anticipated launch.
The range, starting from £18.50, includes Liquid Tan, Gradual Tan Face, Gradual Tan Body and a BB Tan Face Pen (all in light or medium), as well as a Wash-off Body tan in one shade. James told me that he is already working on extending the line with new products launching as soon as August.
My favourite product has to be the Liquid Tan, £24.50, I'm such a fan because it’s foolproof, the liquid can be buffed and as there isn't as much slip as a lotion it is less likely to go streaky - great for novices. I'm also taken with the ingenious first-to-market BB Tan Face, £22.50, it has an inbuilt brush applicator and the product works as a primer, illuminator and tanner in one.
To ensure you get the most out of your tanning products I called on James to share his top 10 fake tan tips. Tanning mitt at the ready ladies...
1) Before you use any self tan product, make sure it suits your skin tone, do a patch test first. (Another good trick is to apply your tan, and then take a picture with you camera on your phone with the flash on; this will show you want other people are seeing.)
2) Wax 48 hours and shave 24 hours before tanning. If you need to shave after you have tanned use an electric shaver as this will just remove the top hairs and not your tan.
3) Exfoliate 24 hours before tanning to remove any unwanted self tan. St Tropez body exfoliate is great.
4) Before applying your self-tan, use a wet wipe, rub over the neck, arm pits, wrists, ankles, knees and any dry areas. This will remove excess tan that is blind to the naked eye and will stop the new tan resting on top.
5) Just before you apply your self-tan rub an ice cube over the face and front of your legs, this will seal your pores and stop your tan from blocking them.
6) Use a tanning Mitt when applying your tan, start from the face working down in stages so you don’t miss bits.
7) When tanning your hands and feet, use excess product from the arms and then work it down over onto the hands, do the same with the legs onto the feet. Assuming you have used a mitt and you don't have tan on your palms, don’t wash hands your for 8 hours after tanning - you don’t want that brown arms, white hands look.
8) Leave your tan on for 5 hours for a weekend away look, 8 hours for a week away look and sleep with the tan on for a 2 week away look.
9) To lighten your tan or remove excess self tan product: add lemon/lime juice to some crushed sea salt, then add a thick face mask and some tooth paste, mix together and then apply to the skin. Leave this on for 15 minutes then rub over skin with a warm towel. Following this shower or sit in a steam room for 20mins, then rub with a warm towel.
10) Moisturise daily to make your tan last longer. To make your tan last longer on the face, apply a hydrating mask to the face and neck area, leave on for 3-4 hours, this will seal your tan and moisturiser and this really will make sure your self tan lasts longer. Aromatherapy Associates Rose Hydrating Face Mask, £32.50, is great.