SHOT IN THE DARK: British belles desperate for a south-of-France glow are turning to the black market--seeking in-salon injections of the illegal drug Melanotan. This synthetic pigment-producing hormone can also cause nausea, high blood pressure, and panic attacks.

BETTER IDEA: With beach time still months away, who'll believe your fake bake? Off-season, try these gradual self-tanning formulas that specialize in glowy - not gaudy - gams: Nivea Sun-Kissed Beautiful Legs ($9.99) and St. Tropez Everyday Perfect Legs ($65).

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