It’s the time of year when we start to bare our winter skin to the general public. While I now live in New York, I grew up in Ireland, where sunshine was but something we experienced during our 2 week vacation in France or Spain in July, or this thing we saw on television. It didn’t actually happen in Ireland. Therefore I have pale skin, and almost blue legs! Even if staying out in the sun for months at a time wasn’t a huge cancer risk, it would barely make a dent in my milk bottle limbs. Therefore it’s important that I scope out some serious fake tan skills to make my legs palatable to the general public. I do admire those who are proud of their pale skin, and I also think that it can look gorgeous, but with my coloring and build, a little bit of color goes a very long way.
I picked up L’Oreal’s instant Bronze Gel Sunless Tanner last year. It is a self-tan (or sunless tanner in the US) product that also has a bronze instant tint so you can wear it straight away. For me, the only thing that is good about the tint is that you can see where you have applied the gel. The color was a strange, sheer brown that clashed with my natural blue in a way that looked far away from sun and more like coffee stains. Plus, it has shimmer. I don’t want my legs to shimmer, glitter, or shine. I know this comes as a shock to many firms, but I want my fake tan products to look natural, and shimmer, pretty as it can be, is not natural. This drives me crazy! As it is a gel, I worked very quickly to apply it, as gels dry more quickly than lotions or creams. It did have a fake tan scent, which, when combined with the glitter, did not make me super comfortable about wearing the tint straight out in public. Oh, that and the weird color. So instead I put it on at night and let it dry. I think it probably took about 10 minutes before I felt comfortable walking around, and 30 minutes before I felt it was totally dry. I went to bed on white sheets and had no issue with color transferring to the sheets which was pretty good.
So, what’s the color like? I think it’s pretty dark – at least 3 shades darker than my natural skintone. On my skintone it gives me a warm, buttery toast color (hmmm, that might be too much of a Brit reference!), similar to that of Amber Lights by MAC, but without the shimmer (once I’ve washed the gel tint off!). It’s not exactly the color that I go naturally, but it’s not a crazy orange color either. I would give the color a 7 out of 10 - definitely an improvement on my natural bright white, but not quite Caribbean glow.