Winter Tanning 101

Winter Tanning 101

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.

Jet, Set, Glow!

Jet, Set, Glow!

First off, our hearts go out to all those newlyweds who have had their honeymoon flight cancelled because of the snowy weather. We can't think of anything more upsetting, so fingers crossed your holiday was refunded or rescheduled.
If you're one of those winter brides and you do succeed in jetting off this season, make sure you pack this nifty little travel kit from beauty brand Nougat London in your hand luggage. It contains a scented lip balm and matching anti-bacterial hand sanitiser, so you can travel in style and pamper your skin without worrying about which germs you're transferring from armrest to face.
Flavours include Cherry Blossom (pictured), Tuberose & Jasmine and Fig & Pink Cedar, and each one costs just £12.
So much more chic than the boring pharmacy alternative, non? See the range at

Kate Middleton's Skincare Secret Revealed!

Kate Middleton's Skincare Secret Revealed!

Kate Middleton's radiant complexion is not only down to her engagement to Prince William. The princess-to-be is also a fan of Karin Herzog's oxygen-infused skincare line. Karin Herzog Swiss Skincare is a pioneer of oxygen beauty treatments, which work by delivering the cleansing properties of oxygen gas deep down into the skin to destroy bacteria.

Kate Middleton is reportedly partial to Karin Herzog's Oxygen facials, although the high-performance Oxygen Face Cream is proving a real winner.

Ideally suited to 28-year-olds like Kate (the Vita-A-Kombi range, with its extra dose of oxygen, is recommended for the over 30s), the Karin Herzog Oxygen Face Cream is a great multi-tasker and helps to instantly reveal a fresher and more radiant complexion through its gentle but effective formula - perfect for brides-to-be who want to keep their make-up light and natural.

Like Kate, it's also worth considering having regular facials from four months prior to your wedding day to get your skin in tip-top condition. Find out more at

Karin Herzog Oxygen Face Cream, £35 for 50ml.

Karin Herzog Vita-A-Kombi 3 spot zapper, £21 for 16ml.

The Big Drop

The Big Drop

If you've had a look at the new Brides issue, you'll see that I recently went on a big health and fitness programme and lost a bit of weight, well 20lbs to be precise! It was a life-changing experience and if anyone is looking to shift the pounds and transform your body in time for your wedding, I can't recommend my programme enough. I really don't care what anyone says: losing weight is HARD WORK and if you have a lot to lose you really do need to invest in professional help.
The company that I hooked up with is Louise Parker Personal Training. Louise recruits qualified trainers and sends them directly to your own home. That means no schlepping to the gym on a freezing cold snowy morning and 100 per cent bespoke exercise training to suit your own goals.
Her programme, called The Intensive, consists of six hours personal training every week and a very healthy (but easy) strict diet. It lasts for six weeks, which is a long-enough time for some serious life lessons to engrain themselves in you.
The cost is considerable (the course starts from £2,800) but you pay for guaranteed results. It's as simple as that. Having someone turn up at your house at 6.30am takes the stress out of summoning up your own will-power and on those painful sore mornings when you're feeling broken from the day before, it's the only way you'll achieve anything.
But having Louise on call 24/7 was the secret ingredient: I had to send her my daily food diary, which became an incredibly therapeutic tool to uncover my eating patterns, vent my frustrations, share my weight-loss excitement and fitness thrill, and to disclose my feelings about the diet and the exercise plan so that Louise could monitor my progress and evolve the programme as the weeks went on.

It's hard work, yes: as I mentioned in my article, sitting in front of X-Factor on a Saturday night with a pint of water and a salad is not my idea of fun, but stepping onto the scales on Monday morning and seeing the numbers drop is.
Funnily enough the exercise part is what I was fearing the most as I was so unfit and embarrassed, but the personal trainers I was allocated were patient, amazingly supportive, encouraging and trusting - so I achieved incredible, fulfilling, endorphin-pumped workout sessions. Sure, I won't lie: mid-lunge, when your legs are shaking and burning and the sweat is making your eyes sting, it certainly ain't no picnic. But just a short while later, as you're lying on the floor having your muscles stretched out, the warm rush of achievement and satisfaction really does make you look forward to the next session and the next burning lunge.

I remember literally laughing in Louise's face when she told me on the first session that she could make me drop 20lbs. Ha! Yeah right, I thought. It's taken me a good few years to put on the weight I need to loose, so six weeks really weren't going to make a dent. But they did. Her system works, and I'm now down 20lbs. As long as you stick to her diet religiously, and you push yourself in the training sessions, you CANNOT fail.
Obviously hindsight is a wonderful thing and if a stranger told me a few months ago that 'I could do it!' and 'I'll lose loads of weight!' I'd probably have told them to sod off and stuffed my face with crisps. So I get that hearing it from a third party is annoying.

Your only way to find out if it works is to try it. If you can't stretch to The Intensive's cost, then sign up for a couple of sessions a week. Louise will educate you in a way no one has dared to before because she doesn't use gimmicks and she'll tell you the truth. And the simple truth is: we all need a bit of help sometimes, so go and ask for it!

Find out more at