Houston, we have a problem…

I don’t know how many of you have ever been to/live in Texas. It’s not somewhere people often pop to on their jollies and not necessarily somewhere I would direct you to unless you are a big steak fan (in which case, head directly to Cattleman’s in Fort Worth or Fogo de Chau, Dallas – good enough to give you a bowel obstruction and love it).

I have been ‘lucky’ enough to visit Texas twice – Dallas, Texas in fact – and as someone who has observed the shoulder pads, high hair and long, long lacquered nails first hand, I’ve got to tell you, I felt a touch out of place.

As has been well documented on this blog, I’m as pale a pasty English lady as you’re ever likely to find, so the ladies of Dallas were quite a revelation to me and I to them. They couldn’t understand why I wasn’t prepared to sacrifice myself on the alter of sun worship ‘to get a little colour in those pretty cheeks’. My usual argument of ‘I don’t want to look like a battered old handbag at the age of fifty’ would have been lost on them – they were all under forty and looked like Donnatella Versace. And they were proud of it.

Usually, I veer well away from any tanning product and try and be ‘proud to be pale’ but I inevitably cave at some point during the summer. This year, I’ve already taken the plunge with the Olay Everyday Sunshine lotion (which I’m still loving by the way) and for my face, I’ve found two winners.

Clinique Uplighter Liquid Illuminator in 04 Bronze
This is a gorgeous product. Somewhere between a liquid bronzer and a highlighter. For fair skins like mine, just use the tiniest drop on your cheeks and across the bridge of your nose. If you can take stronger colour, mix it into your foundation or use wherever you fancy a lift. It’s sheer, it’s shimmery but not sparkly and it’s super pretty. Not a trace of orange.

Benefit Dallas
If you like your bronzer as a powder, for me there is only one. And it’s not just because of the comedy name association game. Dallas by Benefit is subtle enough to give you a real wash of ‘I just walked in from a whole darn day of pony rustlin’ and now I’m a-ready for a hoe down’ or something. If you’ve got a darker skintone, try Hoola or 10. Hoola is too too dark for me and 10 only works for contouring but if you can take more colour they’re perfect. Plus, super cute.

Just as a word of warning, all these recommendations have a touch of shimmer in them so I’ll try and find some more matte versions for you ladies who are trying to pretend the colour that so artfully caught your cheeks is au naturel.

You know who you are… you sit across from me on the tube with your St Tropez tan minus shaving streaks, your perfectly pedicured toesies and lashes of mascara that never smudges.
And I hate you.http://0

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