A Hip and Healthy round-up of some of London’s best Spray Tan’s to get you through the rainy days…

Vita Liberata at The Chelsea Day Spa
Where: The Chelsea Day Spa
How: King’s Road, Chelsea (Nearest tube: Sloane Square)
What: The A list Sunless Spray Tan which uses Vita Liberata an odourless, orgainc and paraben-free tanning product
Tester: Sadie Macleod, Editor of Hip and Healthy
Talk us through it: Seemingly small yet spread over two floors, The Chelsea Day Spa is a spacious sanctuary from the madness of the King’s Road. After being led up to a small shower room on the top floor I stripped off and popped on a pair of those charming paper knickers. I also removed my entire make up and was told to apply moisturiser to elbows, knees and ankles, and Vaseline to the palm of my hands – to avoid the orange hands; a tell tale sign. With three shades to choose from, I went for light as I wanted to achieve a look that resembled a sun-kissed Jennifer Anniston rather than looking like I belonged on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Once suitably sprayed (note to reader: try not to breathe in when the therapist sprays your face) I waited for 15 minutes before putting on loose (this is key to remaining seam-line free) clothing.
Result: A great even glow, which made me look healthy and like I had spent a week in the English sun. It lasted about 6 days.Details: £35 (reduced from £55). www.thechelseadayspa.co.uk

BeauBronz Spray Tan at The Browns Hotel
Where: The Brown’s Hotel
How: Albermarle Street, London (Nearest tube: Green Park)
What: BeauBronz Spray Tan – ‘Healthy and Natural Tanning’
Tester: Harriet Chubb, Features Editor of Hip and Healthy
Talk us through it: Having a spray tan amidst the beautiful surroundings of the Brown’s Hotel was a fake tanning experience like no other. The ambience of the spa immediately puts you at ease and the spacious room that you have to strip down in is so luxurious that you forget about the embarrassment of the cumbersome, infamous paper pants. I was very intrigued about this particular spray tan, having never heard of the company before, after a lot of research it seemed to be the Hip and Healthy readers dream: organic, paraben free, over 95% natural and free from alcohol and harsh chemicals, I was so impressed with these credentials, yet slightly nervous at what level of results this would produce. I needn’t have worried. The knowledgeable therapist took me through their holistic approach to tanning, which includes a pre-tan exfoliating spray and a post-tan moisture lock spray, this 360 approach was something I didn’t experience with any other product and it made a huge difference to both the tan and my overall experience of the service. The best part; unlike other spray tans, you don’t stand there with a scrunched up face trying desperately not to breathe in the toxic smelling chemicals, as the smell it produced was akin to that of flowers. Heaven. After going for the lightest shade I was looking forward to seeing the results in 8-12 hours…
Result: The best spray tan I have ever had by far. I left the salon wearing my work clothes, which after the moisture lock treatment wasn’t a problem and as promised by my therapist it didn’t rub off. I also didn’t go steadily more orange as the day progressed like most tans, I remained a pleasant, and lightly sun kissed shade. After showering the next morning I was so pleased with the results, it lasted for a week and again, unlike other tans, it didn’t go patchy or flaky when it faded.
Details: £50 (expensive, but worth it!) www.brownshotel.com; www.beaubronz.co.uk

St Tropez Spray Tan
Where: St Tropez, Debenhams
How: Oxford Street, London (Nearest tube: Oxford Circus)
What: St Tropez Spray Tan
Tester: Harriet Chubb, Features Editor of Hip and Healthy
Talk us through it: In case you hadn’t guessed already, I have very pale skin that doesn’t ever tan with the exception of freckles, hence my obsession with fake tan. However, I had always been too nervous/intimidated to try the original and famous founders of fake tan; St Tropez. Images of the 80’s tantastic orange haunting me, I had always thought that St Tropez was really only for the naturally bestowed bronzed, giving them a few shades darker than their already caramel skin. However, St Tropez, as ever, is at the forefront of the tanning industry and as the wonderful therapist explained to me; they only spray with one shade and this shade will adapt naturally to the melanin in your skin giving you the most natural tan possible for your skin type. She even said that she had sprayed people paler than me, which immediately put me at ease. After moisturising my hands, knees and wrists (the all important areas) we proceeded with the spray which only took 15 mins and was dry in no time, allowing me to out on my work clothes, even tights, and stroll back to the office; not an orange ‘tantastic’ shade in sight.
Result: After showering the next morning (I was impressed as hardly any of it came off on my white sheets) I then moisturised with St Tropez Tan Optimiser Body Lotion which left me with an even more enhanced result. It lasted a good 7 days without flaking or going patchy and using the moisturiser really helped to maintain that just stepped off the plane glow. I would highly recommend the salon as the therapist was expertly trained; even knowing all the latest catwalk trends and looks to help me get the best out of my tan.
Details: RRP from £20, St. Tropez Debenhams Oxford Street (02074957445)

Fake Bake Spray Tan at Benefit Boutique
Where: Benefit Boutique
How: 19, Shorts Garden, London (Nearest tube: Covent Garden)
What: Fake Bake Spray Tan
Tester: Harriet Chubb, Features Editor of Hip and Healthy
Talk us through it: Religiously going back month after month to have my eyebrows done at this particular boutique, I wasn’t worried about putting my pasty skin into the therapists experienced hands at this salon. I had always heard of the Fake Bake experience and had been keen to give it a try for ages as they promised that the tan would not turn you orange, you could only go the colour you would naturally go from sunbathing, I was also pleased to hear that Fake bake is paraben free. After dressing down in a massage room I speedily jumped across the corridor with a towel covering my profanities into the tiny spray booth room. With not really enough room for two people I manoeuvred myself into the inflatable booth, sticky shoes and pants included. After a very quick application (10 mins) I was then given the end of the spray applicator (minus applicator) and told to dry myself with the nozzle that was spouting lukewarm air – a strange method but I suppose it sped up the drying process. Luckily on this occasion I was heading home, not back to work, and so had the obligatory loose clothing, as even my dark loose clothing was covered in the orange matter when I got home. I also decided not to go to the pub to meet friends as my face had gone a significant shade darker than my mahogany coffee table…
Result: After washing it off the next morning I had a beautiful colour that lasted for a good 5 days. I would recommend this tan as an express pick me up for the weekend, as it is cheap and cheerful and gives a great result the next day. Perfect preparation for a Saturday night party.
Details: Full body, £25 (0207379 0316)

Hip and Healthy’s Five Fake Tan Tips:

  1. Exfoliate before.
  2. Shave or wax your legs before, as shaving also removes the colour.
  3. Always wear loose clothing afterwards.
  4. When having your first shower after a fake tan, wash of the excess product before washing your hair as the soap can affect how much is washed off.
  5. Try to avoid sleeping in the hand under face on pillow position.