Look, the sun's out and therefore looking like a pale, dead bit of salmon is no longer chic. A really, really easy way to look summery with pretty much no effort is to put on bronzer. If it's a good one, it should build slowly so you don't look like you've dipped your face in mud – and it shouldn't be hard to put on unless you're on fire or something. In which case, don't worry about bronzer, and go focus on getting help.
I tested out four bronzers of varying price ranges (from 'I HAVE NO MONEY' right through to 'I AM THE QUEEN OR IN THE BAND QUEEN SO THEREFORE REALLY WEALTHY') to figure out which one you should use. I've written each in the style of erotic fiction, because otherwise I'd be forced to say things like 'sunkissed' and I find that really difficult on a personal and creative level. Also, I love Mills & Boon. In fact, this article is dedicated to my Nanna, who has about 400 boxes of them in her shed and trades them like drugs with her friend Joan.
Seventeen Instant Glow in Light Bronze
Did it work? I put on my best lingerie – the one with the rotating nipple tassles – and performed the sauciest of dances while looking into its molten eyes, but Seventeen just turned the other way. Not having any of it. Even when put my legs behind my head and swung through the room on a rope. Nothing. After three attempts – each more erotic than the last – I took off my robot costume and gave up.
Summary: It didn't show up! I tried so hard! But nothing! Instant Glow? More like Instant Oh No Where Is It? (I'm a legend)
Benefit Hoola (one colour)
Did it work? Opening its box, ever so carefully, to reveal the secrets within... I was shocked to see it had brought along some 'toys' to 'help things along' (a bronzer brush). While this was deeply exciting, I found the toys tricky to use at first, streaking it across my face and asking Hoola 'Is this how I do it?' but once I got in the mood, things picked up considerably. I might have preferred to use my own toys though, as the handle got a little dirty, shall we say, and when I fished it out I couldn't help scratching Hoola's smooth, smooth... bronzing powder. Either way, this small but perfectly formed lover, sorry, bronzer satisfied me despite being a little difficult in the bedroom. Or any room that has natural light and a reflective surface.
Summary: Good bronzer, probably don't use the brush because it's a bit more trouble than it's worth. I streaked my face. But then it blended well, and the colour is really, really lovely.
NARS bronzer in Laguna
Did it work? So expensive, dripping in pearls and nothing else, NARS intimidated me somewhat. I knew I'd enjoy him/her (who needs labels, amiright?), but I expected it to be incredibly intense when, in actuality, it was soft, smooth and as gentle as an over sensitive lover you want to slap and be like 'OH COME ON JUST DO ME'. But in a good way, if that wasn't hitherto clear. NARS needed a little more attention with the long, smooth, phallic brush – building slowly, slowly, until finally giving me what I really wanted. A really nice face that looked like it was tanned. And a good bonking. Just kidding, I didn't bonk the bronzer.
Summary: Good if you're scared of bronzer, and you can build it up for the desired effect.
Avon Glow Bronzing Pearls in Warm
**Price: **£10 (currently £5.00 in the sale!)
Did it work? While the bronzing pearls reminded me of my youth down the market (and spilling them all over my white school dresses), and Avon reminded me of my nan, there was something beguiling about this. So surprisingly forceful on my face! So initially concerning, like a bronzed clown! I didn't give up, though, and continued rubbing the bristles along myself, finding that it was actually really easy to spread (lol). While Avon was a bit louder than I would have at first liked (in more ways than one... no, actually, just in the one way. Loud as in bright), it actually ended up feeling pretty good. And looked good.
Summary: Very pigmented, go easy otherwise you'll look like a clown. However, surprisingly good when you've blended it well and definitely made me look healthier.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.