Since spending my gap year in Australia, I've been a firm believer that I'm much happier with a tan.
Seeing your skin bronzed is an instant mood and confidence-booster. But now I'm back on UK soil, this is, admittedly, a rare occurrence.
I don't often use fake tan; I have bad memories from university of rushing to do it before a night out, ending up with hands the colour of Wotsits and stained bedsheets in the process.
Then I heard about James Read's sleep mask tan for body. It promises to achieve a sun-kissed colour by morning - and learning supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whitley is a fan was enough to persuade me to give it a go.
What does it do?
The overnight body treatment is infused with aloe vera, hyaluronic acid and algae extract to ensure skin is hydrated and moisturised - plus, it helps you get a tan which lasts longer and fades away evenly.
It's a lightweight formula, which is advertised as both colourless and super-fast drying - so no mishaps with clothing or bed linen - and can be used daily to build up to the shade you desire.
After exfoliating thoroughly, you apply using a tanning mitt. To ensure the product has been applied all over, work in sections, rubbing the clear gel in circular motions. Making sure to avoid contact with water for eight hours, the theory is, when you wake up the next day, you'll have achieved a seamless, subtle golden glow.
Does it work?
There are a couple of reasons I was pleased with this product - namely the fact it dried so fast, I could put my pyjamas on only a couple of minutes after applying. I also like that, even though it's colourless, you can track where it's been applied from the sheen the gel leaves behind - and yet it didn't feel sticky on my skin.
Then there's the smell. The few times I've fake tanned before, I've woken up to that distinct odour of biscuits, but I didn't notice that this time.
However, while I like the overall colour - which friends and family have confirmed looks natural - there's no denying my feet give the game away that I've faked it.
In the product information on the website, Read is quoted saying: "When tanning hands and feet, use the excess product from the arms and then work it down onto the hands. Repeat this step with the legs onto the feet."
Admittedly, I didn't follow this advice the first time I used it, which was a mistake on my part; I've learnt the hard way that you have to be quite careful and precise with the application.
But practice makes perfect, and the formula lives up to the hype enough in other ways to make me want to use it again. I've also decided the area of my body I most like being tanned is my face. For that, I've enjoyed using another of James Read's products: the H20 tan mist. It doesn't need to be applied overnight (it's actually designed to be used before putting on your make-up) but I did anyway.
I loved the results, because it didn't streak at all and it gave me a healthy glow.
It was light and refreshing as I spritzed all over my face and neck - it has added rose water - and felt like a calming ritual before bedtime.
Which, especially when the news is as stressful as it is right now, is something I feel like I benefit from.