I was in my 20s and living life to its walnut-coloured max. I saw nothing wrong with spending three nights a week walking around my flat like John Wayne in an effort to prevent streaks or missed bits.
Then my boyfriend moved in and everything changed.
I could see him turning his nose up at the McVities smell of the pillowcase and bedsheets, which was as comforting to me as the smell of coffee that some people pump through their homes. The ‘no snogging please, I’m St Tropez-ing’ became a sore point, too.
Needless to say something had to give. That was the self-tan.
Thankfully, a timely post drop on the beauty desk introduced me to Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel. I’ve used it ever since in place of foundation to warm up my skin tone without that heavy fake-tan effect.
What’s all the fuss about?
Within minutes of applying it, this cream-gel bronzer had taken me from looking like a Victorian child sick with influenza who won’t make it through winter, to J-Lo tawny bronze goddess.
Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base, £40, John Lewis
There’s no denying that there are a bunch of cream bronzers out there.
But Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel is the only one I’ve found that imparts a sheer hint of natural colour with a middle-of-the-road sheen. Skin looks luminous and never muddy (another reason it can be used on darker skin tones to magically brighten).
You can also control exactly where the colour goes. Rather than melting in your pores, it dries down to a velvety long-lasting finish without being cakey. This is important, as I find a lot of bronzing powders leave dark brown tidemarks on the face no matter how furiously you buff them into the skin.
Also nice: the floral scent. It’s what I imagine beautiful people smell like and definitely an improvement on biscuity pillowcases.
How I apply Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel
There’s two different ways.
For a pretty summer look, I’ll dip a kabuki brush into the formula and then dab the excess onto the back of my hand. You can always pick up more colour from there if you need to.
Using soft circular motions, I’ll buff it all over my face to take it a tone or two darker, not forgetting my ears and neck.
Chanel Petit Pinceau Kabuki Brush, £40, John Lewis
For a more sculpted evening look, I’ll take a foundation brush and sweep the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel under my cheekbones, starting from my hairline and stopping about an inch from the corner of my mouth to contour.
Chanel Pinceau Fond De Teint Foundation Brush, £29.70, John Lewis
Real Techniques Foundation Brush, £8.99, Lookfantastic
Just be sure to blend well with your finger. Your faux-glow secret is safe with us.