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By Amy Lawrenson

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Today I went and had a ‘James Read’. I call it that because he is the master tanner – Lady Gaga, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Lindsay Lohan are all clients and James was the tanner at this year’s Oscars. Yes, I know I’ve got a great job.

James has just moved to a new ‘home’ – The Agua Spa at the Sanderson Hotel. He’s the only therapist to have his own room, which is very grand and surprisingly, very white. St Tropez has even made him a special machine to suit his personal tanning technique.

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‘The key to a good tan is layering,’ explains James. ‘When I tanned Lady Gaga for V Festival (pictured below) she went on stage straight after with the guide colour still on. There were no streaks because of the layering technique I use, it looks natural straight away.’

My skin is almost porcelain pale so anything even slightly orange or chocolate is a no-no, but James gets the shade just right. He uses a fine mist and builds up the colour gradually in super-light layers. I was darker – I could tell by the white ‘tan lines’ under my paper knickers – but I won’t be giving Katie Price a run for her money.

Back at the office – I was in and out in 30 minutes – the team were shocked that I didn’t: A) smell of cookies or B) look muddy. Thanks James.

St Tropez tan by James Read, from £20 at Aqua at Sanderson, Berners Street, London. Enq: 020 7300 1414

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