"The beauty product that has convinced me to give up fake tan forever."


Ever since I moved to Australia from the UK, I’ve been painfully aware of how pale my skin is. “English rose” people call it. “Pale as a ghost” is probably more accurate.

But while I’ve actually grown to appreciate my fair skin (and the SPF 50 that comes with it!) that doesn’t mean to say there aren’t times where I wouldn’t mind being a little more bronzed.

RELATED: Time poor? You can now fake tan while you shower

The only problem is I’m terrible at applying fake tan. I haven’t mastered the non-streaky application and most of the time I’m too impatient to wait for gradual tan. Then I discovered shimmering body oils.

Hydrating oils absolutely packed with bronze pigments and glitter, they give a shimmer and very subtle colour without the giveaway streaks or intense sudden colour change of poorly applied tan.

But with so many on the market, where do you start?

The cream of the crop is probably the Tom Ford Shimmering Body Oil (it’s only just hit the shops). Beautifully golden and lightweight, it has an amazing floral scent and lasts for hours. With a $135 price tag, it doesn’t come cheap (although we hear it’s worth it). Which is where these impressive dupes come in.


Yes, this probably still wouldn’t be classified as “cheap”, but the Nars Body Glow ($86) is a seriously impressive and luxurious product – and there’s a good reason it has earned cult status.

Image via Mecca.

This one is probably the darkest colour of them all, with a rich chocolate coloured shimmer. It's great for adding on making you look like you're fresh off the beach or works on its own as a beautifully natural and subtle looking bronze. (Post continues after gallery.)

I recommend using on your legs, décolletage and shoulders as well as a gentle highlighter on the face. It's very hydrating and the smell is just incredible - lovely and coconuty.

The Too Faced Royal Oil ($46) is also a great option if you're looking for more colour than shimmer. It looks incredibly dark in the bottle, but actually spreads really nicely for a natural looking glow even on my pale skin.


RELATED: The 7 best instant self-tanners for people who can never be bothered to fake tan

The Body Shop

Probably my favourite out of all the shimmering body oils, one sniff of the Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil ($32.99) instantly transports you to a luxury beach holiday.

Available in two colours, I prefer the 02 Golden Honey, which despite the bronze colour looks perfectly natural on my pale skin. The glitter is subtle, but looks beautiful when it catches the light, and looks great on your face and collarbones. (Post continues after gallery.)

It leaves skin feeling extremely hydrated and while the scent is prominent, you can still wear your normal fragrance as well. I'm also planning to wear it in my hair - by mixing it with a little water, shaking up and putting in a spray bottle.

RELATED: The 7 fragrance hacks I learned as a professional fragrance spritzer


If you're looking for a versatile and hardworking product, the Nuxe Huile Progidieuse Or ($29.99) is it. The shimmer is more on the darker side of bronze than gold, but looks great in person and even better in photographs for simulating that just-come-back-from-holiday glow.

Image via Priceline.

The best part? It's not just for your body - the multipurpose oil can be used on your face and to make your hair look super glossy too. It's packed full of plant oils like macadamia and hazelnut which softens and heals the skin, and is also great at reducing the appearance of stretch marks.

RELATED: Why do I have stretch marks and what can I do about them?

While they're not going to give you the permanent deep brown colour of fake tan, they're fantastic for one-off special occasions, a mood lift in the middle of winter, or a finishing touch to add a bit of shimmer and colour.

Great for using in both winter and summer, they're probably my favourite discovery of the year - and definitely enough to make me put my fake tan at the back of my bathroom cupboard.

A sophisticated excuse to wear glitter? Pile it on.

Have you tried shimmering body oils before?