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Shades of summer

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James Read, international tanning expert for L’Oréal Paris presents the four tans to covet – and how to create the one which works best with your skintone.

The Glamazon Tan

Intensely alluring, this tan is the ultimate accessory for the Brazilian models dominating the catwalk. It helps create the appearance of statuesque, long limbs, while on the face it does an incredible job of radiating health and hiding under-eye shadows. If you’ve got olive skin? “Go as deep as you dare,” suggests James

Celebrity inspiration: Penelope Cruz

- Apply moisturiser over the skin, paying close attention to the elbows, knees and ankles. Then, take a rich, deep self-tan – He-Shi Dark Foaming Mousse, £27, is brilliant – and smooth onto the skin with a mitt in short, sharp strokes.

- A self-tan evens out the skintone so it’s wise to forego foundation and opt for concealer for any blemishes. Dust the T-zone with translucent finishing powder such as Invisible Zinc Invisible Staying Powder, £22, to avoid looking shiny.

- Sweep a warm, matte bronzer, like Nars Laguna Bronzing Powder, £24, down the nose, under and across the cheekbones and forehead.

- Olive skin is perfect with rose gold, terracotta or rust-coloured cream eyeshadows such as Benefit Creaseless Cream Eye Shadow in Busy Signal, £14. Smear it across your entire lid and up to your brow, blending with a soft brush.

The Complexion Tan

The catwalk fell back in love with pale skin this season, where a mannequin-perfect, radiant skin reigned. It’s about “working with your complexion to create a light glow,” says Read. The skin’s dewy texture – enhanced with light-reflecting pigments – puts the spotlight onto cheek and brow bones, creating an ethereal sense of youthfulness.

Celebrity inspiration: Kate Bosworth

- Mix one part of L’Oréal Paris One Day Face, £8.99,(use the body version for the rest of your body) with two parts of a thick moisturiser – such as Sisley Comfort Extreme Moisturiser, £77.50 – in a cup. Smooth all over the skin with a tanning mitt.

- Your usual foundation will mask your tan, while a light-reflecting tinted moisturiser like Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer, £33, will enhance it, adding a subtle dewiness.

- An apricot-hued cream blusher is the ideal middle ground between a blusher and bronzer and works well against pale skin. Dab YSL Crème De Blush in No.4, £28, to the tops of the cheekbones.

- To avoid looking too doll-like, add definition to the eyes. Opt for a muted, taupe cream eyeshadow such as Urban Decay’s Cream Eyeshadow in Mushroom, £11.50, that works with the tone of your skin.

- Finish the look with a sheer pink lipstick, such as Burberry Lip Mist 22, £22.50, in a tone that enhances the natural colour of the lips.

The Body Con Tan

Self-tan may be a superfluous addition when it comes to black skin but it’s still possible to totally transform the way skin looks under the summer sun. “Use a highlighter on the areas that would naturally catch the light, to give you that Grace Jones, face-flattering glow – it was a key backstage trick at all the spring/summer 2011 shows,” says Read.

Celebrity Inspiration: Chanel Iman

- This type of tan works best on dark and black skin tones. If you do want to take your skin slightly darker, try Famous Dave’s Tanning Mousse Gold Edition, £24.95. The mousse makes it easy to apply and the colour will also help give the skin a unified tone and an extra hit of warmth.

- Using a light-reflecting cream highlighter, such as Mac Strobe Cream, £21.50, smooth a small amount over the lines of the body that the sun would naturally hit – the collarbone, shoulders and décolletage, down the nose and down the front of the shin. For the face use Dior Shimmer Powder in Amber Diamond, £32, to enhance the cheekbones, cupid’s bow and inner corner of the eyes. The contrast of the highlighter against dark skin will give the skin an instant glow.

- Hot pink and orange tones look incredible against a dark complexion. Opt for a matte finish, such as Illamasqua Lipstick in Corrupt, £15, blot with a tissue and reapply for long-lasting colour.

The Retro Tan

Self-tan aficionados rejoiced as the golden, Californian tan returned to the forefront of catwalk beauty this year. “Think Farrah Fawcett,” says Read, “and you’ve got it.” Calling to mind visions of Seventies St Tropez, the retro tan marks a return to a luxuriously rich approach to skin perfecting. It’s retro, but the stripped-down make-up gives it a modern twist.

Celebrity inspiration: Jennifer Aniston

- To perfect that archetypal Californian golden glow, invest in a self-tan with a spray nozzle, so you can build up the colour in layers. The nozzle on L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Express Pro Dry Tanning Mist, £12.99, is designed to mimic the effects of a spray-tan. Moisturise with a light lotion like Darphin Hydraskin Essential Hydrating Lotion, £30, then spray down the body.

- To make the most of your honeyed complexion, use two bronzers, one slightly darker than the other to add definition and enhance the bone structure. L’Oréal Glam Bronze Duo Sun Powder in Blonde Harmony, £10.29, is a handy duo in one compact. Use the darker tone for the whole face and the lighter shade to enhance the areas the sun would hit.

- Enable your skin to take centre stage by downplaying the rest of your make-up. Add a touch of clear gloss to the lips – Elizabeth Arden Crystal Clear Lipgloss (£14.50) is perfect – brush up the brows for a Seventies feel and then add lashings of black mascara.

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