November's beauty guru is James Read, the expert spray-tanner that all the beauty editors and celebrities have on speed dial. He's just opened a luxury tanning room at the Agua Spa at the Sanderson Hotel in London, and here shares his tips on how to achieve the perfect wedding tan.
Tell us a bit about yourself...
I've been tanning clients for over seven years now and my work backstage at high profile events including the Oscars, Grammy and Brit Awards has allowed me to work with top celebrities, such as Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. In September 2009 I began working with Agua at Sanderson creating bespoke tanning treatments.
What does a typical week involve?
I spend the majority of my week at Agua tanning my clients. I also travel to meet with celebrity clients, either on location at magazine shoots or preparing to walk the red carpet. I can be called at all hours for last minute requests so no week is the same!
Do you have a favourite tanning brand?
St Tropez. The products are amazing and I can achieve the right shade of tan. I also love Natura Bisse skincare. Their Oxygen facials are perfect for brides prior to their weddings.
How should you go about finding a great spray-tanning salon?
They should all come to see me! Otherwise, I would recommend visiting St Tropez's website to find the nearest salon in their area.
What are your at-home prepping tips before going for your salon spray-tan?
Exfoliate the skin (that morning or the night before) to remove dead skin and any old tan remains. Also use an exfoliating moisturiser in the days leading up to the tan, like ReVive's Moisture Renewal Cream. But remember - it's important not to have any moisturiser on the skin before you have a tan or the tanning product won't sit well.
What are the most important things to do (and not to do) straight after being tanned?
Leave the tan on overnight: the skin heats up while you're asleep and the tan penetrates more deeply. Although if you want a light tan, wash it off after six hours. Avoid washing your hands for at least four hours: otherwise you'll have brown arms and white hands! I'd also recommend wearing loose fitted clothing.
Are there any way of making it last longer?
Moisturising the skin daily will increase the tan's staying power. Or top up the tan daily with a gradual tanner like St Tropez Everyday. This is a great product to take away with you on honeymoon.
Book a tan with James Read at Agua at The Sanderson - call 020 7300 1414 (full body tans from £50)