Writer Grace Gold's legs, before and after using Karin Herzog Tone & Tan. Photos: Courtesy of Grace Gold

It's that time of year when we've indulged our waistlines and are feeling less svelte, more bloated and often a lot less sexy.

So when Karin Herzog's sleek black tube of Tone & Tan crossed my desk with promises of golden tightness, my attention was piqued.

The brand is a British luxury import, and boasts celeb clients like princess-to-be Kate Middleton.

Best known for its "Tonus B12" proprietary blend of green tea, sesame, avocado, jojoba and jasmine, the brand claims the formula stimulates the transfer of fat into energy, thus slimming and contouring the body while providing antioxidant and hydration benefits.

The new Tone & Tan marries the Tonus B12 slimming technology with a self-tanning cream, that is preservative and paraben-free, and promises to give you a, "healthy looking glowing tan that is both beautiful and safe."

Now that's the kind of big talk that would make any woman skeptical -- yet at the same time curious enough to try it.

I already have a kiss of color thanks to my olive-toned complexion -- but like many other women with darker skin tones, I get a pale yellow undertone come winter.

Could this give me the golden glow of August?

After diligently exfoliating in the shower like the self-tanning experts always tell you to do -- my choice was Philosophy's The Big Skinny Exfoliating Scrub -- I rinsed and applied Palmer's Cocoa Butter over rough areas like elbows and knees so that the self-tanner wouldn't snag into bumps, and instead spread smoothly and consistently.

I swept the dense white cream in massage-like circles from my feet upwards, and donned disposable gloves so that the spaces between my fingers wouldn't announce to the world that I had just self-tanned.

A little bit truly did go a surprisingly long way -- though for $53 a tube, it should -- and I found that a quarter-sized amount covered large areas like legs.

While I was comfortably absorbed enough to get dressed 20 minutes later, the full dry-down took a little longer than an hour. And to my relief, the scent leaned towards refreshing and clean instead of the chemical carrots of many other self-tanners.

The thing I noticed immediately was the brilliant sheen the self-tanner left behind, that almost made it look like I was wearing Wolford Satin Touch tights.

Karin Herzog Tone & TanPhoto: Courtesy of Karin Herzog

Then about a half an hour later, a golden hue began to emerge, and spread evenly over my skin.

Yet, it wasn't until I snapped an after picture that I happened upon the all too-thrilling observation that my legs did look slightly more streamlined and toned.

But -- and this is a big but -- I couldn't tell if it was simply due to the well-known aesthetic power of a tan, or if it was indeed magic from the tube.

You know what? I don't need to know. I can just enjoy.

Available for the first time in the United States, Karin Herzog is offering StyleList and AOL readers an exclusive deal for the Dynamic Duo Original and new Dynamic Duo with Tan.

Click here to get the creams yourself!

And scientists say there's something else I can enjoy without feeling guilty -- a good night's beauty sleep.