June 5, 2012

Hello, Spray Tan.

I shun laying out in the sun and UV tanning beds, because, let’s be honest – I’m too effing vain for that.  Premature wrinkles and skin cancer?  That’s for the birds.  As a result, I’m forced to embrace my alabaster pallor, even if I do think a little color is a necessary accessory for bikinis and sundresses.  With summer upon us, I decided it wouldn't hurt to go Hollywood for a day and see what this spray-tan business is all about.

So I did as I always do before embarking on a new situation by doing my research.  Specifically, I Googled, “What to do before getting a spray tan.”  All signs pointed to exfoliating and not applying deodorant and greasy lotions, to which I heeded. 

At the salon, Terry the Technician walked me through the process, which included getting undressed to the point that I was comfortable and standing on the white towel on the floor.  She said people wear whatever they’re comfortable with, which is either going completely nude to wearing a bathing suit. 
See?  Tan lines are hot.  Bar thinks so too.
Terry started spraying me using an airbrush, having me turn and lift my arms in varying degrees.  Once she was finished spraying, which took about five minutes (I made sure to tell her to go light on my face so I didn’t look like “tanning mom”), she instructed me to stand for about 10 minutes while the tanner dried.  Afterward, she checked in on me, touched my skin to make sure it wasn’t still tacky, and told me to wait to shower until the next morning.  She said that when I did shower to dry myself lightly with a towel – helpful advice considering I hadn’t yet researched “What to do after getting a spray tan.”  I dressed back into my post-spray-tan uniform -- sweats and a loose t-shirt that I didn’t care about getting stained, and black flip flops. 

When I got home I admired my head-to-toe glow, which I haven’t had in years since the tanning-booth tan I got when I was a silly 17-year-old prepping for prom.  Remarkably, there was no orange hue or icky self-tan smell and it actually looked really natural and passable for a "real tan."

I understand the temptation to tan, because everyone looks better with a little glow.  The beauty of a spray tan is that it imposes the same kind of glow that a suntan does, but without the potential for accelerated wrinkles and skin cancer.  But at $30 (plus tip) a pop, though, to have it done right, it’s not something that every person’s budget can accommodate, especially on a weekly basis when the tan fades.  But who needs to be bronzed all the time? 

I think a spray tan is a perfect once-in-a-while treat, especially when you want to wear a cute sundress or bikini, and are like me who pretty regularly dons the SPF 30 every time you step outside.   Long story short: you'll definitely find me getting my spray tan on again. 

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