OR­ANGE AID

Com­menc­ing a new se­ries of treat­ment tri­als, Char­lie Teas­dale takes on the dreaded spray tan

Esquire (UK) - - Style - jame­sharknett.co.uk

An of­fice over­look­ing Soho is all well and good, but like soldiers on leave, trig­ger-happy FBI agents and bat­tery chick­ens, we at Esquire long to be out in the field. And so, with only your best in­ter­ests at heart, this is the in­au­gu­ral grooming trial, our sound­ing board for prod­ucts and treat­ments that you’ve al­ways been in­ter­ested in, but never ex­plored. First up: the spray tan.

My treat­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tion took me to James Harknett at the Away Spa, W Ho­tel Lon­don on Le­ices­ter Square. Dubbed the “Tom Ford of tanning”, Harknett tells me — af­ter he’s metic­u­lously air­brushed my soft, meringue-like body — that I must stay mois­turised to al­low for an even fade. He says it a few times. When I get to back to the of­fice, the girls at Harper’s

Bazaar give me the same ad­vice, warn­ing me that an ill-main­tained tan can make you look like you have a skin dis­ease.

The process is ac­tu­ally very agree­able. I wanted the tan to be sub­tle (as you should too), so Harknett chose the sec­ond weak­est of his shades. For 15 min­utes I stood in a vac­uum-lined booth while he wafted the gun around like Zorro, coat­ing me evenly as I held dif­fer­ent sprayfriendly poses. Harknett is able to con­tour your torso, and al­though he can’t turn a beer bar­rel into a six-pack, he can cer­tainly lessen the heft, al­beit vis­ually.

I left the spa look­ing like I’d been away for a few days, but the tan deep­ens for a few hours, so by the time I got to the pub that evening the ef­fect was more sim­i­lar to 10 days in the Balearics, but still un­der­stated. Friends who I had seen the day be­fore were puz­zled. I told them about the tan, and they laughed, but were clearly in­ter­ested, and per­haps qui­etly im­pressed. One girl was blown away at the even­ness, and keen to know which great mas­ter I had com­mis­sioned for the work.

Upon Harknett’s ad­vice, I in­vested in Vaseline spray mois­turiser, which made the twice-daily process a dod­dle. For the next week my glow dis­si­pated slowly and evenly, and at no point did it streak, or crust, or pud­dle, or stain my clothes. Even white T-shirts re­mained pure. And I got to keep the pa­per pants, so what’s not to love?

Tanning with James Harknett at Away

Spa, W Lon­don Ho­tel, W1, from £50;

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