Is it worth it? Fake and fabulous

If your attempts at DIY tanning leave you streaky and frustrated, don't despair. Your friendly beautician is here to do it for you. That'll be pounds 74 thanks

EVERY CLOUD has a silver lining, and this summer it's lining the pockets of grateful beauticians up and down the country. For, in the current damp climate, the usual salon favourites of assorted embarrassing waxings and lymphatic drainage massages are now being joined by their simple cousin, the fake tan.

It's common knowledge, of course, that we ladies have been faking it for years (ha ha); and some better than others. If you are one of the chosen few who can DIY from the bottle and make it look like you've just spent two carefree weeks strolling in Provence, more power to you. If, on the other hand, the mere whiff of the self-tanning bottle sends you streaking like a day-glo Erica Roe, then paying for professional treatment may be the smart option.

Unfortunately, like most of life's little pleasures, the drawback with going to a salon is that it doesn't come cheap. At L'Avenue Decleor, pounds 74 buys you the dubious initial pleasure of stripping down to a pair of floral paper knickers in front of the Decleor lady. At the end of this humiliation (I mean, did they have to be floral?), you end up with a tan which, just like self-application lotions, lasts only a couple of days before a reapplication is necessary.

So while it's well worth the money if you have pale, sensitive skin and are worried about frazzling to a crisp in the Med, there has to be more on offer than a few extra days colour to justify the price at home.

Luckily for Decleor, there is. This treatment is actually a bit of a treat. If you think that your average massage these days costs pounds 40 plus, pounds 74 for four hours of careful pampering (vigorous brillo-padding, power shower, assorted lotions, careful tan applications) is bargain basement. Enthusiastically buffed and buffeted like some sort of liced orphan, you emerge - if not quite Helena Christiensen-like - at least feeling tanned and refreshed.

Still, if you think the money could be better spent, there.are cheaper options to tempt you. St Tropez offers a treatment which costs considerably less (pounds 45) and even boasts its own tanning helpline. Our willing tester (pale with auburn hair, burns easily), was extremely happy with the results, although the process was apparently less than elegant, with the administered goo looking rather disturbingly like Marmite.

Another "tester" (dark hair, olive skin) tried out the pounds 40 Pier Auge treatment at Chelsea's Martyn Maxey salon, which took about an hour, with an exfoliation treatment included. It was "really relaxing" but didn't produce any significant results on her skin. She was, however, invited back for another (free) treatment which proved more successful.

Of course, you might feel that this whole lotion business is a waste of precious time. In which case, you could legitimately position yourself as a member of the "old skool" (very a la mode) and go back to Seventie's sci fi on the sunbed. This is, after all, still the quickest and most affordable option if you're planning an extended family of wrinkles to keep you company in middle age.

But our guess is that all you're looking for this summer is a smooth, safe tan. In which case, you can tell your local beautician to stick that Decleor fake tan where the sun don't shine.

That is, all over.

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

    £23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

    Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

    £14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

    Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower