I can't harp on about James Read enough. He's the spray-tanner that all the beauty editors turn to when we need a pre-party (actually, a pre-whenever) booster. Never have we had a patch, streak or grubby ankle, even after our tan begins to fade. In fact, James' tans fade so well that if you were to jump into a bikini on honeymoon after your wedding-day tan you wouldn't have those nasty tell-tale marks left behind.
He's also the go-to guy for the A-list, from supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whitely to Lady Gaga and Mariah Carey.
This season, James is spraying us with his 'Winter Tan'. It's the perfect shade of warm peach to wear at your winter wedding without looking like an Oompah Loompah. Here's how to get the look:
Describe the 'winter tan'. How is it different from a normal tan?
'It's all about subtle-looking colour and just having a light glow. Think 'Caramel', which was a hit skin colour of the autumn/winter catwalks: natural but healthy looking. At my salon at Agua [see below for details] I custom design the tans for each client so that it looks real. I don't do fake, especially with brides! I recommend you test products first to find the right one for you skintone. The tanning look changes with each season (next spring it's all about a deep retro Seventies tan to go with the Seventies-inspired clothing). Right now, Emma Watson is a fine example of the Winter Tan - have a look at the front cover of December's Vogue - her skin is glowing.'
Can you wash off a normal tan a bit sooner than seven hours to make it look 'wintery'?
I recommend you leave it on for four-five hours and the colour will be very natural. The trick to tanning is for people not to even guess you have had a tan.
What are the best at-home products to achieve a winter tan?
Gradual tanners are great for the winter months as they just give the skin a hint of colour but the trick is to not overuse them. I recommend you only apply twice a week, anymore and you will get build up. Go for Xen-Tan Transform Luxe or mix a small amount of self tan with your moisturiser. I would also go for normal liquid tan left on for about four hours: He-Shi Liquid Express is wicked and looks really natural; it suits all Tantones, which is important when using a self-tanning product. If you prefer using a spray, go L'Oreal Paris Sublime Express Pro spray in Fair: this gives a light colour and it's a great product to have handy on the wedding morning in case you see a white patch.
What make-up would you use to enhance a winter tan without making it look too tropical?
Self-tanning has now become part of everyone's beauty regime, and just like with your hair and make-up you should make sure they all complement each other. Go for subtle make-up, although I must say the Chanel red lips are hot right now and look great with a light tan. You can also brush a bronzer onto a tanning mitt and then rub on your skin to add some colour. I love Guerlain and Chanel for bronzers. Pick the right shade for your skintone and remember, less is more, so don't over-apply bronzer or it'll look too orange.
What are your golden tanning rules?
- Wax 48-hours and shave 24-hours before tanning.
- Exfoliate 24-hours before tanning to remove dead skin and unwanted self tan.
- Rub your face with an ice cube before applying your self tan; this will stop your pores from blocking.
- Before tanning, moisturise the dry areas on your body like hands, feet, knees, elbows and any dry areas.
- With your tanning product, start at the face, then map out your body in stages so you don't miss bits, leave hands and feet till last.
- For a light tan wash off after five-six hours. If you want to go even lighter wash off after two-three hours.
- Moisturise daily to make your tan last longer.
- Exfoliate after three days so your tan fades evenly.
To book a tan with James, contact the Agua Spa at The Sanderson Hotel on 020 7300 1414.