BEST FOR: An at-home tan
We quickly understood the appeal of having a tan in the comfort of our own home when we started using Ruuby a few years ago. On top of the obvious perks (no sticky journeys home), Ruuby’s stellar therapists arrive with a pop-up booth that really doesn’t leave behind any fake tan residue on floors or furniture. Top marks too for their tan of choice, the paraben-free Sienna X, available in shades to suit every skin tone.
HOW MUCH? £40
James Harknett at W Hotel
BEST FOR: Brides-to-be
James Harkett is known as the ‘Tom Ford of tanning’ for good reason. His bespoke bronzing service imparts cheekbones and curves, while his colour-matching service ensures your glow is 100% convincing. He also offers one of the best bridal tans in the UK, with a menu of bronzing shades designed to complement your dress (ivory, lace or silk – he has you covered). No wonder beauty editors and celebs alike keep him on speed dial.
HOW MUCH? From £50
InParlour Bespoke Body Contouring
BEST FOR: Sculpting & defining
Spray tans don’t get more luxe than this. InParlour’s Bespoke Body Contouring offering is the go-to bronzing service for London’s elite and half of Hollywood (Blake Lively and Sienna Miller as well as Poppy Delevingne and Alexandra Schulman). Proof that not all spray tans need to come from a gun, this game-changing service uses special tanning techniques to sculpt your body, giving a 3D finish and the illusion of a slimmer, more defined figure. One of the best tans we’ve ever had, we wouldn’t hesitate to book again for a special occasion.
HOW MUCH? From £90
WHERE? The InParlour team, headed up by beauty behemoth Amanda Harrington, will come to any address in the UK. Visit InParlour.co.uk.
Benefit Airbrush Spray Tan
BEST FOR: Sensitive skin
Benefit might not be the most obvious contender for an award-winning spray tan but its Vita Liberata service, offered at hundreds of Benefit concessions and stores across the country, is one of the best for sensitive skin. The formula is 80% organic, dermatologically tested and free from parabens, perfume and alcohol. It comes in an impressive range of shades, making it ideal for fairer skin types looking to avoid the ‘fake tan’ look. Benefit encourages you to bring your bikini to guarantee the most natural tan and its team will also contour and shape your body.
HOW MUCH? Half-body tan, £17; full-body tan, £25
WHERE? Benefit stores and concessions nationwide; find your nearest here.
James Read at Hershesons
BEST FOR: Vacation-like colour
James Read’s tanning expertise was so sought-after he had to launch his own range. With clients spanning Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to Lara Stone, you’re in good hands. On the fourth floor of Harvey Nichols, his tanning studio is tucked away inside the brand-new Hersheson’s bar. In these discreet surrounds, the team will work with your skin’s natural tone to guarantee a realistic honey-toned glow. The brand’s famous layering technique will highlight your figure and take you at least a couple of shades darker. The One Night Tan (a luxe version of Rimmel’s Instant Tan) and Sienna X’s HIT oare ideal for impatient types seeking speedy results.
HOW MUCH? From £45
WHERE? Harvey Nichols Beauty Lounge, Knightsbridge. Book online at Hershesons.com or call 020 7201 8797
BeauBronz at Browns Hotel
BEST FOR: A biscuit-free scent
In the basement of Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair, BeauBronz is one of the capital’s best-kept secrets. Your therapist starts by exfoliating your entire body using a mitt and steam (ideal for removing any fake tan residue) before applying a moisture lock. The result is a smooth, even tan that lasts well over a week. Best of all, the BeauBronz tan is completely chemical-free, so you’ll smell more like you’ve left the spa than a tanning booth.
HOW MUCH? £50
WHERE? The Spa at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair. Visit RoccoForteHotels.com to book an appointment.
BEST FOR: St Tropez fans
This veritable beauty bolthole on Kensington Park Road offers everything from results-driven facials to bespoke massages. Its St Tropez tanning lineup also gets our full marks. Whether you’re after a quick-developing tan (as little as three hours) or a full-body exfoliation prior to your tan, the menu has something for everyone. Don’t be put off by the venue for tanning appointments – the ironically named Orangery – you’ll leave with a just-back-from-Bali glow that’s a far cry from your traditional spray tan.
HOW MUCH? Half-body tan, £28; full-body tan, £33
WHERE? 214 Kensington Park Road, W11 1NR. Visit PrivetBody.co.uk.
BEST FOR: Quick results
Using Sienna X, Blow LTD will come to your home and speedily deliver a tan that’s believable and bespoke to your skin colour and tone. Its gently scented formulas make it a great option for anyone who can’t stand the smell of fake tan and won’t end up staining your bed sheets.
HOW MUCH? From £45
WHERE? As a mobile treatment, Blow LTD will come to any London location (TFL Zone 1-6) as well as Manchester and Birmingham. Visit BlowLtd.com for further information and bookings.
Heidi Klein Mystic Tan
BEST FOR: Privacy
This computerised tanning booth lets you do everything without the need for anyone else in the room. After a briefing on how the booth works, a voiceover tells you when it’s time to turn and where you should be using your barrier lotion, making this the ideal solution for anyone nervous of baring all. The booth, which has a drying setting and takes a maximum of 15 minutes, offers one of the best fades of colour we’ve ever seen – it’ll last you for at least five days.
HOW MUCH? From £27
WHERE? Based at the Heidi Klein Boutique in Westbourne Grove, you’ll need to book an appointment prior to arrival by calling 020 7243 5665 or visiting HeidiKlein.com.
Blush & Blow London
BEST FOR: Affordable tans
This private and comfortable salon looks like it’s been made for the ’gram and delivers flawless tans that work with your skin tone for a natural look. A beautician talks you through every step, ensuring you’re at ease and happy with the process. They’ll also make sure a moisture is locked onto dry patches to prolong the colour, and keep your clothes and sheets stain-free.
HOW MUCH? From £20
WHERE? 197 New King’s Road, Fulham, SW6 4SR. Visit BlushAndBlowLondon.com to make an appointment online or call 020 3866 4569.
Third Space Spa
BEST FOR: A bit of luxury
For some high-level pampering, look no further than Third Space’s new spa. Prices are slightly higher than other tanning booths, but the luxe experience means you do get bang for your buck. The whole treatment takes 30 minutes and gives limbs a deep, olive colour that’s rich, and definitely not orange. Perfect for those wanting to take their colour a bit darker.
HOW MUCH? Prices on request
WHERE? Available at Third Space’s Marylebone and Canary Wharf spas, tans can be booked at ThirdSpace.london or on 020 7970 0912.
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