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LIQUID GOLD; Because sometimes nice girls fake it A SPRAY OF SUNSHINE.

It's the most exciting year ever for fake tan - and we've got our latex gloves on all the latest innovations. Prepare for hemlines to rise... THE INSTANT PIN PERFECTOR Sienna X Instant Bronzing Gel, pounds 12.95 Wash-offtans are having a moment this summer, but the one that's really caught our eye is this newbie from Sienna X. First showcased on the red carpet at the BRIT Awards, it's a true multi-tasker with spot-on instant colour and a flaw-erasing effect on the skin.

The inside VERDICT 'Some instant tans are so hard to rub in you've got shot-putter biceps by the time you've buffed away the streaks. This was so easy to apply and the finish is really flattering. It's like sheer gloss tights in a bottle!' THE BEAUTIFUL BARGAIN Creightons Fake Don't Bake, pounds 2.99 We don't mind paying for quality, but not everyone can afford to splurge 30 quid a bottle on designer fake tan. That said, it's a tricky product to economise on - while you can just wipe offa cheap lipgloss, even industrial sandblasting would struggle to shift a stripy tangerine tan. That's why we're loving this: a DIY bronzer that costs less than three quid but makes you look the proverbial million dollars.

y The inside VERDICT 'Went on really easily, and gave me an honest-to-goodness realistic tan-alike glow, with no hint of orange. It smelt like old-skool sweeties, and wasn't streaky at all. What a bargain!' THE EXPERT FACE FIX James Read BB Gradual Tan Face, pounds 20 He's the man with the golden spray gun, who's tanned everyone from Rosie H-W to Lady Gaga. Now he's launched his own range and it's every bit as good as we'd hoped: cool retro packaging, 100% natural-looking finishes AND the first-ever BB cream/face tan hybrid. This all-in-one tan, tint, primer and anti-ageing cream even comes in a clicky pen version, so you can whisk it over your face without fear of orange fingers.

The inside VERDICT 'Wow. This made my skin look glowy and younger, and gave me a lovely healthy tint. It's also fab for topping up a spray tan (my face always fades first) and magically disguising patchiness. The pen is genius for tricky bits like hairline and backs of hands.' THE TAN IN NO TIME Fake Bake 60 Minutes Self Tan Liquid, pounds 24.95 A faux glow that goes from nought to sexy in just one hour? Hell yeah. If you're starved of both time and sun, this lotion puts tanning into fast-forward mode. Set your watch for a custom tan: shower after one hour for a golden hue, or leave it on for up to three hours to look browner.

The inside VERDICT 'Amazing if you want results in record time. Within the hour my colour was different (and natural) enough to convince my boyfriend to have a go. His legs quickly went from looking like two cigarettes hanging out of a packet to a honey shade.' THE GLAMOROUS GRADUAL St Tropez Firming Tan, Tone, Firm & Moisturise, pounds 20 Remember when gradual self-tan was hailed the most life-changing product EVER? Then everyone got bored of applying a pongy, barely-there shade every morning, and went back to one-shot fake tans. But now the tanning tide is turning once more. This spearheads a new wave of graduals, with better colour and heaps of body benefits (cellulite reduction, anyone?).

y The inside VERDICT 'A brilliant half-way house between fake and gradual tan: good for novices that gives a faster, better colour than daily tan moisturisers. I had a lovely, light tan after just two goes. Looks great on wobbly bits.' THE NO-WHIFF SUNKISS Melvita ProSun Gradual Self-Tanning Gel Creme, pounds 20 Beauty boffins have done their best to lock the fake tan odour down but the basic ingredient, DHA, can still give offvapours ranging from 'damp washing' to 'last night's Jalfrezi' if it reacts badly with your skin's amino acids. Luckily, this organic brand have just launched the first DHA-free tan, which uses an odourless alternative, erythrulose.

The inside VERDICT 'Takes a lot longer to see a colour difference (up to 48 hours per application), and you need to keep building it up. But it really was completely smell-free, and when the colour finally developed there was no streaking at all.' GOLDEN RULES Celebrity fake tanner James Read shares his top tips with us... Wax at least 24 hours before you want to fake tan to prevent it settling into your follicles.

Exfoliate before tanning, moisturise religiously once the tan's developed and lightly buffskin every third day so the colour fades evenly.

If you want to shave your legs post-tan, use an electric razor. A disposable blade cuts closer and will 'rip'the tan so it fades unevenly.

Apply gradual tan 2-3 times a week, not daily, and lightly exfoliate your skin every third day. If you don't, you'll be layering new colour on top of patchy old tan.

If you've gone too dark, go to a steam room or sauna- you'll soon sweat the colour down two shades.

If you've got rogue dark patches of tan, try scrubbing with Nivea Visage wipes to help you even out your colour.

We've tried four of this season's most talked-about professionally applied tans, but which airbrush is worth popping your paper pants on for? tan-tastic tan-talising glow-kay half-baked beyond the pale SIENNA X TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT special feature while it develops tan result tan colour tan smell This express formula develops at lightning speed: shower it offa mere two to four hours later depending on how dark you want to go.

The guide colour is dark but just about natural enough to be seen out in during daylight hours.

Washed offat the three-hour mark to unveil an even, long-lasting and healthy-looking colour.

A week in Barbados with cocktails in the shade at lunchtime.

Hardly a prob. By the time the slightest waft emerged, it was time to shower the tan off.

info From pounds 20, sienna-x.co.uk VERDICT Perfect if you want to grab a spray tan after work but don't want to marinade your skin overnight (or stain your sheets).

FAKE BAKE AT HOME special feature while it develops tan result tan colour tan smell Fake Bake's crack tanning squad will come round your house with all the essentials, from pop-up tanning booth to paper pants.

The solution goes on dark and decidedly terracotta. But it's hilarious to share with your tanning party mates.

Once the alarming guide colour is washed off, the tan underneath is rich and perfect.

Ibiza beach bunny - a gorgeous, glam gold.

Typical tanning whiff, nothing too bad.

info Around pounds 25 per spray. If you get five mates together, one is free. Email letsparty@fakebake. co.uk or call 08448 565758 VERDICT Looks daft while it's developing, but who cares when you're at home? The result is worth it.

XEN TAN 24 CARAT GOLD special feature while it develops tan result tan colour tan smell A gleaming, fragranced gold highlighter is applied over the tan for a party skin look.

Scarily dark and the gold highlighter made the guide colour look more streaky than glam. No partying for us.

Underneath we had a beautiful golden glow without a hint of streakiness.

A week in the Mediterranean: glowy and gorgeous.

The fragrant highlighter meant we smelled of coconuts rather than stale biscuits.

info From pounds 30, xen-tan.co.uk VERDICT A great, natural-looking tan that stayed put for over a week - once the dodgy guide colour/highlighter combo had gone down the plughole.

ST TROPEZ DARK TAN special feature while it develops tan result tan colour tan smell This promises a deeper, darker tan to complement olive skin tones.

Strangely ashen-looking. We were asked three times if we were 'ill'.

After showering, the tan was deep but ultra-natural and totally even. Only grumble: wasn't the longest-lasting.

Two weeks in Mauritius minus the sun damage and peely skin.

The initial floral fragrance gave way to a faint giveaway whiff.

info From pounds 25, st-tropez.com VERDICT This is one tan that won't go unnoticed. Not for novices or fair ladies, but the perfect rich colour to fake a real sun-worshipping holiday.

*The tan is so new it's not had any celebs trying it yet, but Lisa loves the Xen-Tan spray used as part of the treatment

We've tried four of this [...]

CAPTION(S):

celeb tan fan Kara Tointon celeb tan fan Tess Daly celeb tan fan Kelly Brook celeb tan fan Lisa Snowdon*
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 10, 2012
Words:1422
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