Many thanks to Health & Beauty Editor, Lydia Mansi for bravely heading to a salon and reviewing Fantasy Tan for me.

Fantasy Tan Review

My husband has strong olfactory opinions when it comes to fake tan. Namely he hates it, so much so in fact he has been known to wake me up at 2am to tell me I smell like a ‘water-logged barley field’.

Smelling like ‘mouldy biscuits’ and ‘musty gym kit’ (another two accusations) are unfortunate side effects in my quest for that elusive faux glow. As a pale-skinned Celt most ‘one shade fits all’ fake tans are too dark, and I just end up looking grubby. Not quite the delicately sun-kissed look that I so crave at this time of year, when unveiling my albino limbs is an unavoidable prospect.

Step forward Fantasy Tan, with six shades in its spectrum, from a shade darker than Nicole Kidman alabaster to a deep David Dickinson mahogany, my therapist Susie Lung was able to mix a bespoke blend of two or three shades to get the perfect match for my skin tone.

The application is generic across most spray tans and there was nothing unusual here; stood in a booth clad in a pair of fetching paper pants you strike a series of yoga-esque poses so the light mist expelled from the hand-held gun reaches every nook and cranny. Denser coverage is applied on shoulders, décolleté and the tops of your forearms for a more authentic looking tan.

As the day progressed the tan darkened, but the smell did not. In fact it reminded me, not unappealingly, of old ladies perfume. Floral and light. Its minimal transfer equally impressed me, although it is advised to wear dark clothing I barely noticed any residue, and my sheets faired pretty well that night, too.

Your true colour (usually a few shades lighter) comes through after the first shower, and I was unveiled with a ‘I got stuck in the Med this week ‘cos of the volcano’, rather than an ‘I got stuck in a tanning booth a la Ross in Friends’ tan. Even with rigorous moisturising I faded a little sooner than with other brands at around five days, but for realistic colour matching and low-odour formula I’d say it was one of the best.

Fantasy Tan, £45, Susie Lung, 07957 771503. London, W1.

*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.