These are the best spray tans in London — tried and tested


These are the best spray tans in London — tried and tested


ootballer’s wives and the cast of TOWIE may acquire tarnished – or should we say tangoed – the reputation of spray tans, but in reality there’s a lot to be said for stripping down and getting yourself professionally sprayed in a booth.

Less effort – and mess – than using self-tanning products at home, and infinitely safer than cooking yourself under the actual sun, a spray tan is the perfect way to say goodbye to winter pallor.

But who should you trust? Luckily for you the ES team acquire been splattered and sprayed, all in the hunt for the most splendid bronze.

Here are five of the best professional tanning treatments in London:

James Harknett at W Hotel

Tested by: Amelia Heathman

The experience: In the centre of London, just off heaving Leicester Square, I was whisked away from the madness of the city into the Away Spa and James Harknett’s tanning kingdom.

This was my very first spray tan ever so I was fairly nervous I would conclude up looking like horribly streaky and orange. But, straight away, James reassured me this would not happen.

Before going into his tanning room, he sat me down and talked me through what would happen, how best to survey after the tan afterwards and the type of colour I wanted. As I’m very pale, I wanted a light colour that looked like I’d been on holiday, and soft glow on my face so my foundation would still match.

This was certainly the outcome. I was impressed that for the first time I actually had a summer glow to my skin, and was told by my friends that I simply looked like myself, but healthier. James used Fake Bake Gold as this works well for fairer skin tones and the tan lasted a apt two weeks, thanks to his advice to moisturise!

Duration and price: About 30 minutes all in all. Price, £70

Beautii’s at-home service


Tested by: Katie Strick

The experience: As spray-tanning ahead of a holiday goes, ordering a celebrity expert to your home the night before is about as easy as it gets. Beautii sent me all the pre-care and after-care details I needed in advance, including a fact-sheet about my tanner Annie Thomas, and she turned up at the front door factual on cue, bubbly and easy-going and chatting about her day to construct me feel at ease. As a first-timer the experience was current to me but she talked me through it step-by-step, erecting a pop-up tent in my bedroom, talking me through the options (I picked the Sienna X brand on her recommendation) and giving me the option to wear disposable underwear or depart fully nude. I opted for the latter, laughed through a variety of silly poses while she sprayed me, and was all-done in less than 30 minutes. The WhatsApp voice notes reminding me to wash it off in the shower that evening and seeing how I liked the results the next morning were a nice touch.

Duration and price: From £73 for 30-minutes (within London)

SecretSpa using Sienna X

Secret Spa

Tested by: Laura Hampson

The experience: My therapist Nadine set up everything quickly and we were ready to depart within minutes of her walking through my front door. She set up the portable tent in my kitchen and I was offered a pair of disposable pants but decided to hold mine on. She rubbed my hands and feet with cream to construct sure the tan spread evenly and we discussed the colour I wanted to depart for – as this was my first-ever spray tan, we decided to hold it light.

The process was quick and simple. Nadine sprayed the Sienna X on me and instructed me when to lift my arms and when to turn around. Once it was over, I walked to my bedroom to assign on a light, breezy piece of clothing and Nadine left. A spray tan at home after work could not be any easier, you simply sleep with the formula on and wash it off in the morning. The Sienna X left me bronzed and glowing with an even tan all over.

For anyone in a accelerate, they also offer an Express Sienna X Tan, which develops in 1-4 hours depending how shadowy you’d like the tan to be. Perfect for anyone in a pre-party panic.

Duration and price: 30 minutes, eight hour developing time. £43 (the Sienna X Express tan is £50)

Vita Liberata tan at Benefit Covent Garden

Tested by: Chloe Street

The experience: Venture downstairs in the Benefit store on Covent Garden and you’ll discover a pink-hued beauty parlour, complete with nail bar and treatment rooms, one of which is a tanning booth.

While I stripped off, my super competent therapist assign me at ease and asked me what sort of colour I was looking for. I wanted a natural but certain bronze for a wedding I had a few days later so she recommended Medium. Vita Liberata’s original tan, which she was using, sprays on with a tint and comes in three shades: light, medium and shadowy. The colour develops over 6-8 hours so I left it on overnight and then found I had a golden glow after my morning shower. My skin also felt soft and hydrated, which could well be down to the fact Vita Liberata tan contains super-moisturising Aloe Vera.

Duration and price: I was in and out within 20 minutes. £32

Contact: Book appointments at Benefit Covent Garden (and a selection of other Benefit stores) here. For other Vita Liberata stockists, check out their website here.

Jules Von Hep’s at-home service

Tested by: Rosie Fitzmaurice

The experience: Celebrity tanner Jules Von Hep counts the likes of Poppy Delevingne and Millie Mackintosh among his clients.

Once he’d set up his tent in my tiny kitchen, Jules hands me a crystal to hold for the duration of the treatment to remind me to seize a moment to indulgein the experience. “Tanning is all about self-care,” he says. Next, he moisturises my hands, feet, elbows, knees and creases and applies a mask to my lips. He asks me what kind of shade I want and I request something “deep but natural-looking”.

Jules uses his own Isle of Paradise tanning products. The tan sprays on clear, which means it won’t depart all over my sheets that night (hurrah!). He tells me his clients will often procure sprayed in the morning and head straight to work, sometimes even wearing white. It doesn’t feel sticky and dries in minutes. It will develop over the next four to six hours, I’m told.

After he’s sprayed me twice all over with the product he buffs the inside of my forearms, parts where the sun wouldn’t normally reach and shouldn’t be as shadowy as the rest – instant giveaways. It’s a step many people forget, he says.

The secret to prolonging my tan? Moisturising! Despite the fact that I was a dinky lax with this aftercare tip the tan still lasted a week before it started to fade. Before he leaves, Jules hands me a bottle of his medium self-tanning water to top up my face and backs of hands as and when I need.

Duration and price: £500 with Jules or £100 with his assistant Kimberley (by appointment only) – this fee includes travel to a London address. Allow at least 45 minutes for the session.