Tanning Twenty Twelve: Lancôme Flash Bronzer Face Gel

Well, I love this, and for so many reasons.

‘Fake tan smell’ is legendary, and the first thing people always ask about self tans: does it stink? To be honest, most self tanning products aren’t pong-y anymore, a sure sign that real people actual do work on making products. I mean, I always reckoned that the robots were behind the creation and development of all that stinky stuff, because no human woman would find them to be acceptable in any way shape or form. Or maybe all the scientists were men, and now they are not.

This does not stink. In fact, it smells really pretty. When you are applying stuff near the nasal area, this is a big plus.

The gel is light, and there’s a bit of tint, so you can see what you’re doing. It feels glorious, and it absorbs something rapid. I’ve used face tanning stuff that feels like a mask, or as if it is getting into your pores with the sole intention of making you break out, so of all its excellent points, this may be the number one.

Oh, and: it gives good colour. Really good. You can tell from the photos I took of my false eyelash escapades. In fact, I looked so brown that during last Friday’s deluge, I felt a little self-conscious. But I got over it.

Naturally, I use this on my neck as well, and have even gone all the way down to the cleavage, and my arms may be next. I’ve used the brand’s Flash Bronzer for Legs all over myself, and nothing untoward happened… I’ll let you know either way.

€29/£23/couldn’t find an American price, and frankly, still a bit wobbly from that terrible loss in the Euros.

Tanning Twenty Twelve: L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Fresh Feel Gel

In the mood for some Machiavellian bronzing?

There was so much ‘eh’ about L’Oréal’s Sublime Bronze gel (€22.49):
> The tube is really fiddly. The cap is tight, which is good, because you don’t want this dripping all over the place, but it is hard to open — every time I did, product spewed out of the tube and got all over the place anyway.
> It felt sticky going on.
> Even though it was orange, I couldn’t see if I was missing any spots.
> It was orange.
> It felt like it took forever to dry.

On the other hand,
> It doesn’t smell.
> You can use it on your face.

I was not impressed… until later in the day when I looked at my face in the mirror and thought Holy wow, look at how naturally brown I look! Further impressiveness resulted when, the next day during a break in jumping, one of my horseriding pals started quizzing me about my tan, and whether it was real or fake, because she couldn’t tell.

It produces a really warm, excellent shade, and it has lasted for four days so far. I expect it to last the week.

So, ‘eh’ notwithstanding, the ends justify the means. A philosophical tan, then, and also one that makes you look like you’ve been lounging around Tuscany for a fortnight. Perfetto.