Even though there are hundreds (thousands?) of self-tanners out there, I’m pretty lazy about using them. It’s just so much work to exfoliate, wipe on the tanner, and wait for the tan to build. I want instant results, dangit.

More or less, that’s what Victoria’s Secret Bare Bronze Gleaming Self-Tan Body Tint ($18) provides. This self-tanner lotion provides a shimmery tint right away, all the while working on the actual faux tan as well. When it comes out of the tube, it’s a disarmingly artificial shade of deep bronze. Fortunately, though, it spreads out evenly and smoothly on skin, and then it’s subtle (even on very pale complexions).

To see a before-and-after photo,


I decided to “tan up” before the Sugar girls’ Sex and the City premiere party. But of course, because I didn’t exactly think ahead, I also used this opportunity to test the product. This means that I wound up having one naturally pale leg and another tan one. Sexy!

Here’s a really, really flattering photo of my untouched leg and my Bare Bronzed leg immediately after application. As you can see, the treated leg has a little bit more shimmer and just a hint of color.

And here’s my leg just three hours later, shot from an equally attractive angle. It isn't a super-deep tan yet, but I can tell it's deepening.

I like Bare Bronze because it gives immediate gratification, and the eventual tan color isn’t orangey. I’m not so crazy about the fragrance; like so many Victoria’s Secret products, this one’s scent is too strong. All in all, though, it’s a good choice if you want to take baby steps into the world of self-tanning — and if you want to see a difference right away.

See reader reviews of this product and add your own here!