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Treatwell's pick of the best gradual tanners

From: Spa Beauty Geek,

Treatwell's pick of the best gradual tanners

Long gone are the days where we tried to spend every moment in the sunshine in the hope of developing a golden tan to show off to our friends. Fake tanning has reached a new high in the beauty world so that it's no longer strange to show off a faux glow. Thanks to major celebrities suddenly developing a golden tan overnight, and stars such as Lindsay Lohan and the cast of TOWIE promoting the super-tanned look, we’re all swapping sunshine for a flawless tan in a can.

We’ve rounded up our favourite slow burners for you so you won’t risk any dreaded streaks or orange patches - just smooth on one of these tantalising products and watch your glow go from sleek to chic.

The professional tan: James Read

The A-list celebrity tanner James Read (aka ‘the Tantalist’) has long been in the tanning game and has clients including Lady Gaga, Victoria Beckham and Mariah Carey to name just a few. As the go-to-guy for tanning bodies into bronzed perfection before red carpet entrances, James has launched his own range of tanning products that incorporate luxury skincare and faultless colour.

The 11-piece range comes in a gorgeous 1920s design with sleek gold stripes, but the one product that got our heart beats racing is the first ever BB gradual tan - mixing the moisturising cover-up of a BB cream with the science of a gradual tanner. Amazing, right? The combination had already got us counting down the days until the range’s launch this month, but after we found out that the application is via a built in brush (similar in design to how the YSL Touche Éclat works, but in a larger size), this tan may just completely revolutionise our skincare and makeup routine. Wave goodbye to fake tan stained hands - this one's outsmarted them...

Available from Harvey Nichols and QVC in June 2012, the 11 piece collection is priced from £18.50 and includes three gradual tanners as well as the usual tans and wash-off versions.

The just-stepped-off-the-plane tan: St Tropez

For those who won’t be able to slip away for a holiday this year, the St Tropez range of gradual tanners are the ideal way to bring the sun to you. Talk of St Tropez conjures up images of the stylish French home of sun, sea and fabulous bodies, and the brand emanates those visions with its sleek packaging, perfect application and iconic status. From moisturisers to mousses, tanning sprays to sun cream, whatever type of product you’re looking for, St Tropez will have it. The new ‘dark’ range is perfect for those with darker skins or those who want the full TOWIE look, while their powder bronzer is a must-have in our makeup bags.

Choose between ‘light/medium’ or ‘medium/dark’ depending on your skin tone, and whether you like the smooth feel of a gradual tan in a cream formulation, a lighter mousse or an easy to use 360 degree spray that gets to hard-to-reach areas, St Tropez have got easy everyday tanning down to a T. Prices start at a purse-friendly £14.30.

The perfectly pale tan: Fake Bake in ‘Fair’

For pale skins, tanning can be a catastrophe waiting to happen. With orange tones or tell-tale streaks, those with the English rose complexion need a very light build up of colour to achieve a natural look that’s not blindingly obvious. Fake Bake, one of the leaders in tanning products, have produced a solution for paler skinned beauties; originating in the USA, Fake Bake were the first to combine DHA and Erythulose for a longer lasting and more natural result. Voted as the number one range by the New York Times, Fake Bake’s phenomenon quickly spread across the globe and they tirelessly promote the benefits of tanning rather than damaging your skin in the sunshine or using sunbeds so we're big supporters of their fake-it ways.

Using the same formula as their best-selling ‘Original’ tanning solution, they have added plenty of coconut-scented moisturiser so that you get the best of both worlds with their Gradual Fair tan (£24.95). Gliding on smoothly, the gradual tan has the palest chocolate colour of the range, so you can see exactly where you’ve applied it without having to pick the darkest of shades.

Seeing as the sun is so often hiding away and its rays can cause havoc with our skin, spraying on a splash of irresistible colour is surely the way to go - so get on those mitts and start buffing...

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Writer and complete web geek who loves pampering, owns far too many unused make-up products and can't say no to a bargain. As a member of the Editorial team at Treatwell, nothing gets us excited more than a new beauty product or reading about the latest health craze - as long as it doesn't involve cutting out chocolate...

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