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Faking It

The essential component of looking great is feeling great but it's hard to feel great if you're worried whether your skin colour looks, well, fake. This month I try out four widely available tanning products in the pursuit of that elusive natural, healthy glow!

St Albans Stylist, Kim Miller, tries fake tan lotions

All the appeal with none of the peel!

There's no denying a suntan's amazing ability to hide skins' imperfections, diminish cellulite and make you look slimmer and healthier. As a Stylist I am often asked by my clients, as we are fast approaching the time to display the white bits, which products to go for?

I took a look at four of the most popular

To be honest the list is endless. First decide, do you want an instant or gradual tan, then which shade? If you naturally have a light skin tone then go for a gradual tanner, for medium go for a mousse (Clarins Delectable self-tanning mousse) or spray (try L'Oreal Sublime Express Pro) and for a dark/olive tan-tones go for a lotion (St Tropez Bronzing Lotion) as they come out darker and also last longer (approx 7-10 days).

Naked Skin

NKD SKN tan reviewThe colour of this is fabulous, probably the best I tried. However quite unforgiving in the application. Unusually this does not require prior moisturising. Dried quickly but colour could be erased with a damp cloth hours afterwards. Hardly any smell but certainly didn't last the promised 7 days.

James Read

gentle bronze tan reviewVariety of products to take your pick from in this range. Started by the celebrity tanning expert, James Read. Available at large Marks and Spencer branches such as London Colney, St Albans. Prices start from £19.00. My favourite, the Instant Bronzing Mist which provides amazing light and even coverage, especially good for the face.

Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning

clarins tan reviewSeparate products for face and body £20 - £26. Great if you are new to self tanning as the first application is subtle and can be layered/used daily to get your desired look. Slight odour, although counterbalanced by the great staying power and a natural looking tan.

Cocoa Brown

gentle bronze tan reviewThe most inexpensive product, favoured by Millie MacIntosh, available at Superdrug and Primark £7.99. Provides good coverage and quite a deep tan, some odour but not too offensive. Lasts 3/4 days.

If self tanning is all too much for you, why not treat yourself and let the experts do it for you? Try Sienna spray tan £25 at The Old Brewhouse in Wheathampstead or St Tropez spray tan at Champneys, St Albans £25

So if you haven't tried self tanning for a while, scarred by the orange glow and smell of Farley's Rusks, it's time to give fake tans another try, they are looking more real than ever!