| 16.3°C Dublin

In search of a perfect tan...

WELL, you just can't count on the sun, can you? And sure, it's all dangerous and whatnot to expose yourself, so self-tanning is a big part of a Tried & Tested 'summer'. There's nothing like a good spray to get us all raring to go for backless maxi dresses or teeny, tiny skirts.

Or is there? We sent a tester off to Brazilia in South William Street to get her tan and nails done. She has the perfectly normal horror of ending up orange like her childhood guinea pig Marmalade, who was named so for a reason. She asked for a medium tan.

FIRST OFF: HOW WAS THE SALON? The building is really lovely and decorated to a very high spec. The reception area is nice and spacious, and the waiting room was comfortable with lots of magazines. Oh, and they had sweets!

BONUS! SO, YOU ASKED FOR THE MEDIUM TAN? Yes, but to be honest with you, I think it was still too dark. I would have liked it to be a little lighter, as I was very dark the next day.

OH NO! I got the tan last Friday and I didn't wash until Saturday morning. But that morning I got a terrible fright: it was orange. I was expecting a lot of the colour just to wash off in the shower but it didn't.

ANY GOOD NEWS? The girl who applied the tan was lovely and I think she applied it evenly and well, but ultimately, I think it was the tan itself -- Lycon -- that was the problem as it just didn't suit my skin tone.

BRAZILIA SAYS "The medium tan has more yellow based tones so the dark tan can actually be better for Irish skin tones," said Anne Marie Curran of Brazilia who has offered us another test - which we will avail of and report back on as we're longtime devotees of the waxing services on offer there.

AND THE NAILS? On the upside, our tester also tried a Shellac manicure, in the French style and was delighted with it. "I got gel nails done a couple of months ago but I think the Shellac is way better. The gel nails are just too thick and artificial looking. The Shellac nails are way easier to work with and more natural looking too."

You can expect your Shellac manicure to last for up to two weeks, plus it dries instantly, so no smudging.

The Lycon spray tan at Brazilia is €20. A French Shellac manicure is €35; plain colours are €30. Brazilia is located at 50 South William Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 675 0000, email: info@brazilia.ie