Carola Long: 'If you haven’t the time or the inclination to get slimmer, the last resort is the optical illusion of fake tan'

Deep down, most of us know that miracle beauty products are the adult version of believing in the tooth fairy. However, come high summer, with photos of toned celebs frolicking on Caribbean beaches seeping into the collective subconscious, I'd probably be willing to buy a body cream made out of jellyfish venom if I read that Cindy Crawford swore by it.

Thus, when Boob Job in a Box (£72 at Harvey Nichols) arrived in the office, my interest was piqued; something about the packaging's brazen lack of subtlety or tact. The blurb was blunt to say the least; it stated that women with firmer breasts "seem more confident" and grandly claimed it would "lift your bustline, accentuate your cleavage and totally round out your actual bust profile". It consisted of two creams to be applied twice a day, a giant elastic exercise band and instructions for six different chest exercises. Perhaps, surprisingly, it did actually work... a bit. It won't give you Lara Stone's décolletage, but the creams do firm the skin, while the exercises create a – very subtle – lift.

And with time for radical regimes running out fast, I'll take subtle results as long as they're quick. After all, mathematically speaking, surely multiple discreet treatments ought to add up to self-improvement squared.

You can't beat professional body treatments, and next week London's Glow Urban Spa (glowurbanspa.co.uk) is about to launch the first salon versions by Rodial, including Nip/Tuck, which targets dry skin, cellulite, water retention and stretch marks for smooth skin and a sleeker silhouette (£90 for 60 mins).

If you haven't got the time or the inclination to actually get slimmer, then the last resort is appearing thinner via the optical illusion of fake tan. With the return of the deep, bronze self-tan, gradual versions such as Johnson's Holiday Skin, just seem a bit half-hearted. Try one of the new super-dark products such as Xen Tan's Dark Lotion Absolute Luxe, £34.95 (xen-tan.co.uk); or St Tropez has a limited-edition Dark Tan Mist, dubbed "the fashion tan" which is available in salons nationwide (from £25, st-tropez.com). When it comes to the deepest tans, unless you are a real dab hand at application, it's probably best not to try this at home.

Arts and Entertainment
Supporting role: at the Supreme Court, Rhodes was accompanied by a famous friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch
booksPianist James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to stop the injunction of his memoirs
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
filmDheepan, film review
Sport
Steven Gerrard scores for Liverpool
sport
News
peopleComedian star of Ed Sullivan Show was mother to Ben Stiller
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?