I just road-tested the Tan-Luxe x Paris Hilton self-tan and trust me it's the closest thing to a professional spray tan I've ever used

That's hot

Tan-Luxe Paris Hilton The Future
(Image credit: Katie Thomas)

I really love fake tan, but I am equally terrified of it. My Welsh blood means that I am naturally on the lower end of the pale scale and so I lean quite heavily into bronzing - a spray tan with James Harknett is my ultimate self-care experience. However, it doesn't matter how many times I ask experts for their tanning tips, or whether I arm myself with the appropriate tools, inevitably I always end up making a few tanning mistakes. Which is why I am always an enthusiastic, yet nervous DIY tanner.

I have tried it all in the past - tanning waters, mousses, gradual and instant tans - and have now developed my tried & tested routine. It is a little unorthodox. I use Isle of Paradise tanning drops in my moisturiser every other day, I apply gradual tan with gusto to my arms and legs (only) every week to avoid looking ghostly, and then once the sun comes out and I start wearing shorter hemlines, I whack a bit of instant tan where needed. You will notice that my chest, stomach and back don't get a look in. I'm aware that it's rather a patchwork look, but my fear of making mistakes on every part of my body is too much for me to handle so I stick to the necessary areas only. (I should add that if I'm headed on a warm holiday and I know that I'll be in swimwear, I pay a visit to James beforehand to give me both a boost of colour, and in confidence.)

I'm desperate to recreate the look that James gives me (although that's virtually impossible, the man's a genius), so when a new product recently launched that says it "delivers a professional spray tan at home" I was very keen to give it a go. The product in question: Tan-Luxe x Paris Hilton The Future Airbrush 360 Self-Tan Mist.

My initial thoughts were that this was a rather odd pairing, but what I didn't realise (and I think I was pretty late to the party on this one) is that Paris Hilton is a spray-tan lover like me. "I’ve been spray-tanning for over 20 years," Hilton says. "I’ve tried every formula on the market to perfect my glow. I always say to my husband, ‘I’m not Paris when I’m pale.'" A girl after my own heart.

She's been a lover of the brand for years, having tried every one of its products, so it was a natural fit for the brand to choose the It-Girl as its first celebrity ambassador.

So what did I think of it?

Tan-Luxe x Paris Hilton The Future Airbrush 360 Self-Tan Mist reviewed by a beauty editor

I was drawn in straight away by the brand's claims: it lasts a minimum of 10 days from a single application, isn't drying, instead moisturises skin by up to 60%, and starts to develop after an hour. Tick, tick, tick as far as I'm concerned.

Looking at the formula's ingredients, it reads much like the brand's other skin-loving products - hyaluronic acid, glycerin and a peptide complex. It only comes in one shade, but having looked at the brand's before and after images showing models with different skin tones, it looks as though it works for all. It's a little pricey at £40, but it does come with a mitt that's super soft and promises to reduce the chance of streaking.

It's essentially a tanning water, so completely clear, which is good as it means there's no chance of transferring onto clothes or bedlinen, but it's not going to suit everyone. I know that I prefer something with a guide colour, as I feel that it reduces the chance of things going wrong.

We must briefly mention the scent of the tan, which was developed by Hilton herself. As we all know, the biscuity scent that comes with most self-tanners is unique and not the most pleasant, however, this one is a little different. Pink Sands, the name of the exclusive scent, is a blend of cassis, violet, and white leather. I would say it's at its strongest when first sprayed, but once it dries down onto the skin it acts more as a mask for the biscuit smell rather than completely replacing it. DHA smells as it matures and there isn't much that can be done to prevent that other than showering it off, as this stops the tan from developing further.

A post shared by TAN-LUXE

A photo posted by tan_luxe on

Before using any tan, I make sure to remove any old colour with a fake tan remover, then I exfoliate with a body scrub and pop a little bit of moisturiser on drier areas like knees, ankles and elbows.

The first time I tested it out, my experience with it was so-so. I don't mind the fine mist, which feels very cooling on the skin, but as soon as I started spraying it went everywhere. I've read other reviews say that the mister is precise, but I completely disagree. Not exactly ideal - I had to do quite a bit of preventative cleaning afterwards. This also meant that I was a little timid with the amount that I used and so whilst it gave me a nice colour, at that point I wasn't that impressed.

However, for the purpose of this review - all in the name of good beauty journalism - I gave it another go. This time I did things a little differently - I applied it whilst standing inside my bathtub (a genius idea on my part, as it made cleaning after a doddle) and I used more product. What a difference that made.

First of all it dries really quickly, I was able to put clothes on after about 10 minutes and at no point did my skin feel tacky. I didn't really notice any change after an hour, but boy did I look browner up after four. I left it on for about eight hours, and after washing it off the colour left behind was both warm and natural-looking. I looked like I had just come back from a two-week holiday on the Med. Not only was it golden in ways that I've never looked with an at-home tan, but I was also completely streak-free. It's the most even tan I've ever achieved at home. I think about 80% of that is down to the formula and 20% the mitt.

I don't agree with the claims about how moisturising it is, in fact, I found it to be quite drying. That doesn't necessarily bother me, as I use body lotion every day anyway, so continuing to do that didn't feel like extra work. This colour lasted for almost seven days, before fading really evenly.

I'll admit that I was a little dubious about this product before trailing, but I have not shut up about it since. I have told all of my fellow self-tanners to get their hands on a bottle. Application is speedy, it gives a rich golden colour, blends beautifully and lasts for around a week. Yes, £40 is a lot, but I honestly think it's worth it. It's the closest I've ever got to recreating a professional spray tan at home. This will see me through the summer and beyond.

Katie Thomas

Katie Thomas is the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire UK. With over 10 years of experience on women's luxury lifestyle titles, she covers everything from the best beauty looks from the red carpet and stand out trends from the catwalk, to colonic irrigation and to the best mascaras on the market. She started her career on fashion desks across the industry - from The Telegraph to Brides - but found her calling in the Tatler beauty department. From there she moved to Instyle, before joining the Marie Claire digital team in 2018. She’s made it her own personal mission to find the best concealer in the world to cover her tenacious dark circles. She’s obsessed with skincare that makes her skin bouncy and glowy, low-maintenance hair that doesn’t require brushing and a cracking good manicure. Oh and she wears more jewellery than the Queen.