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BE A BRONZED GODDESS Self-tanning products ...

My defiance is almost at an end. I can't pretend that this was summer any more. I will tan for maybe two more weeks, and then will be happy enough to ring in the autumn. Unless of course the mini September heatwave makes a welcome return!

LANCOME Flash Bronzer: Self-Tanner Face Gel, €28.50 HHHHH

The winner and true champion. I was tempted to use this all over myself, it is so good. Well, I did cheat a little bit and use some on the decolletage, and it worked a treat. The gel is tinted so you can see where it is going, it absorbs well, and lasts for the guts of five days.

IMAGE SKINCARE Body Spa: Facial Bronzing Cream, €31 HHHII

White self-tanning creams are so hard to use. This is just for the face, which should make it easier, but I still managed to miss a few spots because I couldn't see whether it was spreading properly. It seemed to take too long to come up brown, but once it does, it is a lovely, natural shade. If you are good at putting white self-tan cream on, you'll love this.

EAU THERMALE AVENE: Moisturising Self-Tanning Lotion, Face and Body, €19.92 HHHHI

Oh, blah, another white cream. I liked this one rather better, as the colour came up more quickly, and I could go back and fix all the spots I missed that much sooner.

The overall impression is natural glow; the scent is a bit stronger than it might need to be.

SOAP & GLORY: Glow Getter Face & Body Sun Powder Spray, €14 HIIII

This is in fact a powder that you spray on your bod. It makes an extraordinary mess. It didn't work when sprayed on my trusty mitt, so it got all over the bath. The colour was warm, but too matte for a natural look. It washed off almost entirely the next day. Don't bother.

KARORA: Instant Wash Off, €14.99 HIIII

At least this one says on the label that its lease hath all too short a date. It didn't last more than six seconds on my left shin, mainly because I freaked out: it was astonishingly orange, and it smelled terrible. Stick with the brand's Self Tan Mist, which is an industry leader. This one? Not so much.