Lessons on Self-Tanner Removal
LESSONS ON SELF-TANNER REMOVAL WITH JAMES READ
The bronzing master visits VIOLET GREY and imparts his homemade tan removal secrets.
- Photography By
- Emily Knecht
- Written By
- JESS BASSER SANDERS
James Read, the ebullient founder of his namesake self-tanning brand, was seemingly destined for a life of bronzing. Born in 1976, the year of the hottest British summer on record, he’s drawn more to the golden Malibu goddess than the fair English roses of his native land. Not only is Read perfectly, yet subtly, tan, he’s also charming with a sense of youthful mischievousness that, coupled with his better-than-sun savoir faire, has made him a favorite of celebrity clients like Lady Gaga, Ellie Goulding, Lara Stone and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Read got his start 14 years ago, spray-tanning celebrities for red-carpet jaunts from the very start. He introduced a custom tanning service in London’s Sanderson hotel in 2009, before opening a standalone salon at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge in 2013. “To me it was about making it an experience,” he says, “The Salon was inspired by Studio 54, and I started the trend for layering your tan and customizing a tan for each skin tone and look.”
His first and most well-known product is the Sleep Mask Tan, a serum-like, overnight face mask that hydrates skin while imparting a soft tan that builds with every application. The inspiration, Read says, was the overnight hydrating masks he liked to use. “I loved the way I woke up and my skin was really soft. Then I thought, no one does a mask that you go to bed with that tans you.” While his manufacturer initially balked, the product is now one of the line’s best-sellers, with larger companies emulating the concept in Read’s wake.
When Read popped by the VIOLET GREY flagship recently, he divulged his favorite tips on how to best remove a waning self-tan job, using supplies you’ll find in your fridge and pantry.