On the Verge

James Read, bronzer.


Standing pale and undressed under the harsh lights of a spray-tanning booth can inspire almost as much insecurity as a day of bikini shopping with Gisele. Luckily, Read, an expert bronzer who travels around the world on behalf of luxe self-tanning brand St. Tropez, is studying for a degree in psychotherapy after hours. With a client list that includes Kate Moss, Lady GaGa and a slew of glossy-magazine editors, Read focuses on quelling anxiety. “It’s all about trust, as they’re naked in front of you,” he says. “I make them feel calm, and say, ‘Don’t worry; I’m gay.’” Read’s skill with a sprayer, however, is what really makes him special. The 32-year-old Brit likens himself to “an artist with a paintbrush in hand,” and after seven years with St. Tropez, he knows that paying extra attention to a few difficult body parts is the key to making a faux glow look natural. “Hands, feet, knees and wrists can be a dead giveaway,” says Read.

St. Tropez, London, 44.115.983.6363

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