Each week our no-holds-barred beauty blogger Grace Gold picks apart a hot topic beauty story. It’s our version of an op-ed…with lipstick, laser treatments, and eyeliner.

When the sunless tanner trend really took off, I wondered if the same benefits applied to darker skin. Namely, does it still result in concealer-like improvement of pesky spider veins and cellulite, and have an overall slimming effect?

So when St. Tropez offered their celebrity self-tanner expert Sophie Evans to provide my first-ever spray tan, I was thrilled to make her acquaintance.

“A natural looking tan is not the same uniform color all over,” says Evans. As such, she opted for a medium shade on my torso and St. Tropez’s new Self Tan Dark Spray on my legs and arms, since “women like their limbs darker—it’s slimming!”

I trusted her nearly 15 years of experience, which has included traveling with brown beauty Sade to provide a glint of extra bronze on the songstress before every performance on her last tour. “Even celebrities with deep skin tones will self-tan regularly for contour. You take whatever you can get to look sleeker on the red carpet or on stage,” said Evans, while patting to blend my derrière.

We skipped bronzing my face since I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the idea. Plus, I’m used to having a lighter face than body, thanks to my obsessive daily facial applications and reapplications of Lancôme Bienfait UV SPF 50.

Post-tan, I stared in fascination at legs that suddenly appeared smoother and knees less ashy. It felt as though I was covered in a thin veil of luxurious satin, the way a foundation can make you feel more confident with its skin-perfecting coverage and dewiness. I also noticed the self-tanner scent that followed me around until my shower about eight hours later. Can they put NASA on finding a solution for this one already?

There was only one massive fail. You see, in New York, people don’t assume you’re driving a car. So I wasn’t informed that this is what happens when you sit your self-tanned butt on leather seats:

And that’s where this story nearly ended prematurely with a heart attack.

Upon rushing back to my desk, this happened:

I read forum after forum of men commiserating about splotchy bronzer stains left behind by wives and girlfriends on beloved leather seats, with discussions on the relative ineffectiveness of various leather stain removers. But then I thought like a beauty editor, and had the brilliant idea to try makeup wipes—after all, I’ve seen them instantly dissolve major war paint jobs in my lifetime. And voila! All of the color whisked straight off my seats. Remember this, ladies. Or better yet, just sit your freshly tanned butt on an old towel.

While I don’t see myself going through the song and dance of self-tanning during the summer months (when I attract natural color like a magnet), I can definitely see the lure of getting a spray tan during the winter months when brown skin can turn sallow and yellow. And if you have plans to wear something skin-baring to a special event and don’t want to set up tent in a Core Fusion class until then, it does provide some visual slimming and muscle contour.

What do you think? Does spray tan look good on brown skin?