James Read is one of the most sought-after spray tan artists internationally, and his self tan products became sensations in the U.K. due to their pairing of natural-looking color with active skincare ingredients. Dr. Sherber followed his career and brought his first Sleep Mask Tan products into the SHERBER+RAD boutique straightaway when they launched in the U.S.. Now James shares his inspirations, and secrets to the perfect self tan, exclusively with us.
What inspired you to start the James Read Tan brand?
I have worked in the self tan industry for fifteen years working with lots of self tan brands, gaining knowledge and experience. Eight years ago I watched the film "The September Issue" and that inspired me to go for my dreams. It was then I decided I would do all I can to create my own brand. To me it was about being different, unique. That's when I decided to create the first ever self tan that was combined with skincare. I wanted a product that did everything.
How did you develop "Sleep Mask Tan: Face," a product that has earned you awards worldwide?
I remember using a hydrating mask overnight on my skin and I always woke up with hydrated skin. I then had a dream about a sleep mask tan that hydrated and gave you a natural-looking tan. I decided I had to do it. Five years on, it has started the trend for overnight tanning and now everyone is doing it.
Your products set themselves apart by their active ingredients - how do you decide what to develop next?
To me, it's about stepping outside the box of beauty by creating something people never thought they would use when it comes to self tan. I research ingredients and follow the latest trends in beauty. To me, it's important to be different as well as current.
What are your top tips for achieving a believable self tan at home?
1) Always wax or shave 24 hours before applying your self tan. 2) Have facials two days before self tanning so your skin has time to settle. 3) Moisturise the dry areas on your body like the hands, feet, elbows, etc. 4) Before applying self tan to the face, rub an ice cube over the face and then pat dry with a tissue: this will help to close your pores. 5) Always use a tanning mitt when applying your tan. 6) Start from the face and work down your body in stages, leaving the hands and feet until last. 7) Leave on 8-10 hours for a deeper lasting tan. 8) Don't wash your hands for at least 6 hours tanning, as you don't want that white hands / brown arms look. 9) Moisturize daily to help your tan last longer. 10) Exfoliate after 3-4 days to make sure your tan fades evenly.
How has working with designers such as Tom Ford influenced your career?
In my 15 years I have been lucky to work with amazing people from Tom Ford to Lady Gaga, who have all inspired me to go for my dreams and never give up. I have loved the journey so far and am looking forward to the next steps.