Health & Grooming | Chronicles of a Spa Junkie

Spa Junkie on… home tanning

Our covert reporter seeks a summer glow in mid-winter

Spa Junkie on… home tanning

Image: Jay Yeo

December 24 2011
Spa Junkie

Part: 1 | 2

It’s mid-December, and whatever remnants I had of a summer glow have long been replaced with a translucent jellyfish pallor.

As with the vast majority of women, winter doesn’t bestow me with Scarlett Johansson’s delicious milky complexion; it just makes me look like a sad cave-dweller. And I’m longing for the heady days of August, when my face was glowing and my skin was gleaming. As much as I want to just hide under a duvet until it’s time to board my sun-chasing long-haul flight, I can’t. Party season is not quite over yet; and I need to take drastic action to get my bronze, and bounce, back. It’s time to reach for the bottle, and not the one with “Krug” on it.

Now you should know, reader, that I have never been a fan of the fake tan, preferring instead to achieve the look authentically on a sun-drenched island wearing a teeny bikini and a floppy hat (Spa Junkie knows not to get her face in the sun). No matter how many advocates of the method I meet, I can never shake the images of orange hands and nose-wrinkling chemical smells, Wags and streaks – and there are absolutely no circumstances under which a girl is entitled to leave vast golden-brown streaks on her boyfriend’s white cotton sheets.

Cut to lunch a few days ago, with a girlfriend who always manages to look as if she’s just stepped off a yacht, including when she’s actually stepping off a yacht – something she has the good fortune to do more often than most. I, on the other hand, am looking like I’ve stepped off the Siberian steppes; and so, after some initial gentle probing which eventually escalates from cajoling to mild bullying to friendship-ending threats, she succumbs – and, leaning across the table, in a hushed and conspiratorial tone, gives me a name: Amanda Harrington.

The guru of tanning, the high priestess of the believable glow, the one who makes celebrities and socialites beam in burnished glory from the pages of Bystander. This is the lady I need to be talking to.

It transpires that my sun-kissed saviour Amanda runs a one-stop service of at-home spa treatments, called InParlour. She and her crack team of therapists will come to your house, office or hotel and transform you while you tap away at your laptop or tend to domestic management. From oxygen facials to manicures to full make-up, her services run the beauty gamut and can be booked at times and in locations to suit even the most over-scheduled man, woman or pallid cave-dweller.

One of her signature treatments happens to be contour brush tanning, a method she has perfected over the past nine years, which explains why her cult following includes some of the most beautiful and powerful women in town. With more dreaded alabaster flesh-exposing events on the horizon, and looking more and more as if I am in desperate need of a vitamin D intervention, I make the call.

Spa Junkie pays for all her own travel, treatments and accommodation.