Fake tan: A new crop of salon tans promise a streak-free summer – so do they work?

Glowing for gold: A new crop of salon tans promise a streak-free
summer. So do they work



22:40 GMT, 1 April 2012

Sun-kissed: Salons are offering new fake-tan treatments

Sun-kissed: Salons are offering new fake-tan treatments

The unexpected spring heatwave has brought about a hasty ditching of tights and trousers, and a rather early unveiling of pasty limbs.

If, after winter, the thought of this sends you into a panic, you are not alone. Last week, sales of fake tan at Debenhams were up by 105  per cent compared to the previous week.

However, doing it yourself can be fraught with problems — streaky patches, orange hands and making a mess of your bathroom.

Thank heavens, then, for a new breed
of professional fake-tan treatments that claim to offer a more natural
and even glow than before.

nationwide from as little as 20, the new crop of services range from
spray-and-go ‘city’ tans to ones that sculpt your abs and give your skin
a golden shimmer.

We put some of the best salon treatments to the test:


Sienna X Tonight’s The Night Tan, from 20 (sienna-x.co.uk)

BEST FOR: A luxury deep-sun look that develops in under four hours.

OUR TESTER SAYS: ‘I visited James Harknett at London’s W Hotel for my ultra-fast Tonight’s The Night tan and told him I’d like to look as if I’d had a week in Ibiza.

‘Twenty minutes later, I was very brown. The idea is that you apply it in the day, wash it off four hours later and — bingo! — you have a perfect, even colour. It lasted for five days and, after the first shower, was nowhere near as dark as it looked initially.’

SCORE: 4/5


Clarins Sun Glow Treatment, 48 (clarins.co.uk)

BEST FOR: A hint of colour and deep moisturisation.

OUR TESTER SAYS: ‘This is less about colour and more of an all-over youth boosting effect.

‘During the 75-minute treatment, the therapist massaged my wobbly limbs into submission, smoothing away bumps with a combination of lymphatic drainage and exfoliation.

‘The self-tanning lotion has a higher moisturising content than most others, leaving me with plump, dewy, teenage skin.

‘No one noticed my tan, but they did keep asking if I’d been to the gym. Plus, even though the colour was light, it lasted five days without going patchy.’

SCORE: 4/5

DIY tans


Vita Liberata Original Spray Tan, from 20 (vitaliberata.co.uk/stockists)

BEST FOR: An express 15-minute treatment, this 80  per cent organic formula is dermatologically tested and free from parabens, perfume and alcohol.

OUR TESTER SAYS: ‘Subtle enough to meet friends straight afterwards without looking like a fool.

‘The light golden brown shade looked natural enough to convince people I’d spent a few days in the Mediterranean — until the fourth day, when it became patchy around my decolletage and I had to scrub it off. It’s also suitable for pregnant women.’

SCORE: 3/5


Pastel Tan by Sun-Believable, 25 (at House of Rush, 020 7042 3200, sun-believable.com)

BEST FOR: Fashion lovers who will be working this season’s palette of yellow, pink and violets — colours which can drain the complexion.

OUR TESTER SAYS: ‘I was given a full body scrub and moisturising treatment to remove dead skin cells in order to reduce patchiness and help the tan stay on for longer.

‘I was really pleased with my colour, which was subtle and natural, and it did work well with a new pale-pink dress. It lasted for three days before starting to fade.’

SCORE: 4/5


Famous Dave’s, from 30 (famousdave.co.uk)


Eating large amounts of fruit and vegetables can give you a tan-like glow

BEST FOR: A chic mid-tone colour in a semi-matte finish, this spray-and-go tan dries instantly, so you can go straight to work or hit the town.

OUR TESTER SAYS: ‘I chose New York, the lightest tan on offer. My friends told me that the colour was even and natural. It also faded slowly, maintaining a nice, even colour to the end. I’d definitely have this tan again.’

SCORE: 5/5


Xen-Tan 24K Gold Signature Spray, 30 (xen-tan.co.uk)

BEST FOR: A luxe look perfect for special occasions.

OUR TESTER SAYS: ‘My skin had a subtly bronzed, high-sheen finish. First, the therapist gave me an all-over spray tan — then, when it dried, used a special finishing lotion containing gold particles on my decolletage and other areas that catch the light. Although the gold made me feel like an A-lister, it’s a bit much for everyday use.’

SCORE: 3/5


St Tropez Bespoke Dark Sculpting Tan, from 25 (st-tropez.com)

BEST FOR: Defining curves ready for your bikini.

OUR TESTER SAYS: ‘This tan doesn’t just give a golden colour, it made me look instantly toned, too.

‘Nichola Joss, who has tanned celebrities including Gisele Bundchen to Scarlett Johansson, sprayed me with a base layer, then painted extra colour at the sides of my waist, the undersides of my arms and down my thighs.

‘Result The perfect trompe l’oeil, so I looked a dress size smaller. Though my skin felt dry, the tan only went patchy on the sixth day.’

SCORE: 4/5