I’ll admit to being a serious fake tan fan. Over the years I have tried just about every offering out there in an attempt to find a natural shade. There have been disasters, including a Ross Geller spray just before my 21st birthday party. But eventually I settled on the trusted Saint Tropez classic bronzing mousse, which you can slap on with a mitt in the bathroom with quick and efficient results. It’s pretty good, but ankles, toes and wrists remain a give-away.
Enter Amanda Harrington, whose tanning service takes things to another level. You might be familiar with her products, but her InParlour at home tanning treatments are a bit of a hidden secret. Regulars include Laura Bailey, Billie Piper and Savannah Miller and the beauticians are so in-demand that you need to book well in advance. There are just two options to choose from: Bespoke Body Contouring (£120) or Full Body Brush On Tanning (£100). I trialled the signature Contouring tan that not only gives you colour but promises definition and tone too.
Preparation is key and you need to exfoliate properly and moisturise the night before your tan. Then on the day of, you have a shower before your treatment and don’t apply anything to your skin. The Amanda Harrington beautician arrives and lays out some towels in a room with good light – no pop-up tents here – and sets of beautiful make up brushes. First those dry areas (elbows, knees, wrists and ankles) are nourished with a protective Ultra Balm. You then discuss your skin tone, in my case fair and freckly, and agree to a colour to suit. You are not sprayed but rather brushed or painted like a canvas which feels strangely relaxing and is quite satisfying to watch.
The most amazing part of the process is undoubtedly the contouring – my arms were given shape and muscle definition that I didn’t deserve having not worked out for weeks. The effects on the tummy could not fail to boost anyone hoping to wear a bikini this summer. Afterwards you’re given a paper dressing gown to wear, but really its best not to wear anything at all for a bit until it’s completely dry. By the following day you have the most gorgeous tan that will make you feel half a stone lighter and like you’ve just got back from a fortnight’s hot holiday (we wish). All your clothes somehow look better, plus you haven’t damaged your skin in the process.