Monday, 28 June 2010

Spray tan review: Celebrity Secrets

When it comes to spray tans, I haven’t exactly been lucky. One time I booked an appointment in preparation for a wedding, asked the therapist to make me as dark as possible, and ended up attending the church with a streaky Ronseal Wood Stain finish. Another time I arrived at a different salon wearing make-up, but instead of giving me something to remove it with, the therapist explained that she could simply spray over the top. I decided to follow her advice – another big mistake – and ended up with a sticky film of almost-neon orange all over my face.

So when it comes to having spray tans now, I’ve lived and learned. The product or brand you opt for is only partly of importance to the finished result; it’s actually the therapist that delivers the spray tan who holds key to whether you’ll receive a decent outcome.

When I was invited to try out a Celebrity Secrets tan at The Beauty Centre in St John’s Wood, I wasn’t expecting big things. In fact, given all my past experiences, I was a little bit apprehensive. But it turns out that I needn’t have worried.

Firstly my therapist was great at putting me at ease. I’ve never been a fan of getting nearly naked in front of a stranger, but she made me feel so comfortable that I nearly took her up on her offer of going commando so I didn’t get any pant lines. No therapist has ever suggested that before, and next time I might just take her up on it.

I’ve also realised that it’s not practical to go overboard on the colour – being of typical British complexion, asking the therapist for a natural shade rather than an all-out tan is always going to look better. So my therapist suggested using the solution that contained the lowest percentage of DHA. Subtly, as ever, is key.

The ingredients in Celebrity Secrets’ solutions are quite unique and this is the reason the owners of the Beauty Centre chose the brand over other big names on the market. It’s created using 100 per cent natural active ingredients including aloe vera and vitamins to try and counterbalance the drying effects of DHA. It’s also free from parabens, alcohol and oils. 

The first thing I noticed is that it dries very quickly. I’ve had spray tans in the past that take an age to dry and you end up with a streaky result simply because you couldn’t wait any long to get dressed. Secondly, the smell was next to completely absent. There was a slight aroma, but it was nothing like the stale biscuit scent I’ve become accustomed to – even when certain companies have claimed they’ve removed the odour – and my boyfriend never uttered a word about it (he normally complains for four days after the tan). Finally, the colour was completely natural. There wasn’t one single streak on me and my skin remained a sun-kissed hue for several days afterwards.

It’s now six days since I had my spray tan and while I’m not as white as I usually am, the colour has faded dramatically. However, I’m happy to report that the colour has come off evenly.

My skin doesn’t look dirty, it’s just faintly coloured and I’m starting to feel distinctively pale once more. Having been anti-fake tan for quite a while, this positive experience may well have put on the road to tanorexia. But if I stick to Celebrity Secrets, I know I will be OK.

Celebrity Secrets is available at over 1,000 salons nationwide. Visit for more information.

Meanwhile, if you live in London, The Beauty Centre comes highly recommended. Visit for more information.

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