April’s beauty pick – James Read Sleep Mask Tan


James Read Sleep Mask Tan - 205404The James Read overnight sleep mask is a really clever and ingenious way of getting a modern finish to your skin. Don't just think of it as self-tan for the face – which you may or may not have used before… and you may or may not have found difficulties with in the past. This is modern technology made into a facial serum that has an anti-fatigue effect on the look of your skin.

It gives a much more modern – 'I just had a good night's sleep' or 'a weekend away' – look to the skin and does not look obviously tanned. Clever things about this product and formula are; firstly, it doesn't smell! So when you use it you don't get the obvious self-tan smell.

Secondly, when you use it you will immediately feel that it is actually a cool, hydrating gel. So you apply it like an anti-ageing facial serum underneath your normal night-time moisturisers, or even slip it on in the daytime if you've actually been too busy the night before.

It has fantastic anti-ageing and botanical ingredients, so if I look at someone with an oily skin that has in the past found that self tan is difficult or it gets into open pores and makes it look like you have blackheads, this one won't. Why won't it? Because it's a gel and because it has a matte finish, so massage a thin layer on until it goes matte – then you'll have absolutely no problem. Even if you have oily skin or you're a non-skincare user.

When we talk about more anti-ageing skincare, those of us that love our rich creams and our indulgent textures, then use it in a thin layer like a serum at night, just before you put any of your other treatments or moisturisers on.

You can use it in the quick-fix way as James himself loves to use before celebrity photo-shoots, which is to actually put a thick layer on as a mask and leave it on for a couple of hours. You could do this perhaps when you come home from work and you know you have a very early start the next day and you want to look really fresh; put a really thick layer on, cook dinner, sort out the kids, do whatever it is you normally do on an evening and then when you go to bed, just wipe it off and do your normal night-time routine.

It's so versatile; there are so many ways that you can use it. You get a very light finish on the skin on the first application, so don't be scared even if maybe you've maybe lost the pallor on your skin or you're very pale-skinned or you've got grey hair.

Remember that after you've applied it, wash your hands and if you've got grey or blonde eyebrows to go through the eyebrows and just wipe around the hairline. Make sure you blend it in over the face and right the way down on the neck, put your hair up if it's long and go around the back of the neck and blend it down as well… so that you don't get a paler neck or décolleté because you've only applied it on the face.

Now those with pale skin are going to love it, because it actually makes you look healthy, it gives that glow to medium skin tones. But also for those with Asian, honey Afro-Caribbean and darker skin tones, if your skin goes ashy when it's tired or has a duller tone to it, maybe in the winter months, or you're using high SPF factors, then actually use the sleep mask to give a more even colour to your skin.

So the Sleep Mask will take everyone up a tone, so it literally takes you up one or two foundation shades in one go. It's a warmer foundation shades, and it will do this whether you have pale skin, whether you have Asian or Indian skin or Afro-Carribbean skin.

It's up to you – is your skin tone, no matter what your base shade, glowing, beautiful and healthy-looking without make-up?If it is you don’t need the sleep mask. If it isn't, put the sleep mask on and discover how it makes your make-up actually easier, because you are a better face colour to even apply make-up.

Also with summer coming, think of it as water-proof make-up. If you're sat there thinking, what make-up would be best and is long lasting Alison, what doesn't come off in the sun, what can I wear when I'm swimming? Well actually put a coat of the sleep mask on and if you use it as a serum two or three nights a week, you can build up the colour to the level or the shade that you want, or to match your body if you are – dare I say it – sunbathing – of course using high SPF factors!

Whatever way you use it – be warned also my husband pinches it – so it's loved by the men because it's a gel and because it's a gel it doesn’t catch in the chin's stubble. It is actually easier if you are a designer stubble man or have a beard, moustache or sideburns – to use and blend. Just remember guys if you have paler hair colour or greying hair, make sure you wipe away the beard areas as well as eyebrows and hairline areas.

It is the ultimate, skin-enhancing, invisible, make-up 'I look better' treatment that no-one will know you've got on.

Check out the full James Read range.

Explore the rest of our Beauty department.




  1. Christina Taylor April 13, 2014 at 12:48 pm -  Reply

    Is it true there is a Body version coming out soon? I love the face/decollete product and would LOVE a body version.

  2. Karen Clarke April 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm -  Reply

    Alison, am I doing something wrong, the first time i put it on I couldn’t tell at all, so the next time I put more on and yes it worked, too much… and I got the darkness underneath my eyebrows. I thought you said that it didn’t do this, or did I just put too much on this time??

  3. Sharon Bailey April 16, 2014 at 10:47 am -  Reply

    Alison, I absolutely love this – was a big Ecotan fan, but it did have a little whiff and you had to be so careful on the face. Not a great deal of difference on first application – no different from a high street moisturiser I sometime use with a hint of everyday sunshine but on fourth application my face and neck look like I have been away for a week in the sun, Basically it matches my arms which were exposed whilst gardening at the weekend (Ultrasun poof of course). I want to get another bottle so my question is What is the shelf life unopened. Many thanks.

  4. Margaret Wallings April 30, 2014 at 8:04 am -  Reply

    Fab product love love love it!!!! Can you please advise on shelf life before I stock up at the fantastic reduced price , cheers Alison .

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