James Read ‘H2O Gradual Tan Mist’ Review

My face is one part of my body I try very hard not to catch the Sun (on the rare occasions it pops out!) When I catch the Sun on my face it tends to leave me with big freckles on my nose and cheeks instead of tanning evenly. Add that to sunglasses tan lines and I don’t end up feeling like a golden goddess. Faking it, whilst still using the high factor sun cream to protect my skin, sound like that perfect solution so I was delighted to receive this James Read ‘Tan Mist’ in May’s Look Fantastic. The Look Fantastic card says:

“This fine mist hydrates and nourishes the skin, whilst also imparting a hint of colour for a sun-kissed finish.”


This is a 30ml sample of the tan mist. Full size, it sells in spray bottles of 100ml and is available from many retailers for £20.00, although Lookfantastic.com will deliver it for free. Assuming a similar pricing structure is applied to the sample, the mist is 20p per ml, or £6.00 for the sample. 

The tan mist is packaged in a clear plastic spray bottle, and has the brand and product name in gold shiny writing on the front. The packaging is very clever and uses a white background on the back of the bottle which keeps the writing legible whichever part of the bottle is being viewed. The writing on the back is black text, and the bottle contains a warning that this does not protect skin against Sun exposure. The company contact information, and place of manufacture (UK) is also listed. 

Ingredients: Aqua/water/eau, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) water, dihydroxyacetone, glycerin, peg-7 glyceryl cocoate, polysorbate 20, rosa damascena (damask rose) flower oil, aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, phenoxyethanol, dmdm hydantoih, anthemis hobilis (roman chamomile) flower Extract, parfum (fragrance), erythrulose, sodium hydroxide, potassium sorbate, citric acid, ethylhexylglycerin, linalool, colimarin, alpha-isomethyl ionone, benzyl salicylate, hexyl cinnamal.

Directions: Simply spritz on to the face and go. 


This mugshot is me, without any makeup, before I start spritzing. I’ve decided to complete my usual skincare routine and finish with a spray or two of the tan mist on my face. The mist is in a pump spray bottle which seems to give me a nice allover spray on my face. The mist smells beautiful – it doesn’t smell like fake tan but like flowers or more specifically roses. The mist is also really refreshing to use, it feels cool and really helps to wake me up in the morning. I’ve decided not to rub the mist in, or spread it about. I’m just going to spray twice, leave it, and see what happens.


I started by spraying twice a day, and after only two days had quickly built up a noticeable colour difference to my skin. 


If the twice a day spritz is too much glow, then you can try once a day, or even missing a day between spritz’s to give a more subtle effect. 

This tan mist is seriously easy to use, smells great, gives an even, non-streaky result and works quickly. I adore it, and I’m going to keep using it to fake myself a face tan throughout Summer. Because only a little mist is needed each time this spray will last me for ages, but when I do eventually get to the end of it I’ll happily pay £20 to replace it, I think it’s well worth the money. 

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