I’m off to Key West for the weekend – yay! Lazy sunny beach and pool days – double yay! Swimsuit and exposed skin – um, yeah… about that…
Recent injuries and surgeries put a serious dent in my exercise routine so I’m not by any means beach-body ready. Lack of regular sunny days and my birthright mean I am blindingly white though my freckles do help offset the glare… between bikini shopping and the terrible lighting of dressing rooms I was in desperate need of a morale booster.
Okay, a vanity booster: hello, fake tan.
Obviously a tanning bed was not an option. I have done the tan towel thing in the past but I find the chemical smell lingers for days. I’ve also tried tinted lotions but inevitably I end up an orange glow and streaky lines. So that left: the spray on tan!
As I can barely style the hair on the back of my head never mind attempting to evenly apply a spray tan. I’ve also seen that episode of Friends which meant standing in front of a machine had me more than hesitant and so I settled on an airbrushed spray tan by a pro.
A friend recommended Future Tan and gave me pointers on what to expect notably to wear loose clothes and get sprayed wearing as much or as little as you are comfortable with and above all start with the lightest color available. The salon rocked.
I requested a light sun-kissed glow and was given pointers about where and how to stand and how to apply the blending lotion on hands and feet to avoid them over absorbing the color. So there I stood in my birthday suit in the equivalent of an open shower cube and turned this way and that, lifting this and that while I basically got painted. To ensure the technician didn’t miss any spots the spray also deposited a fine dust of color pigment (think of your favorite BBQ rub as a spray). After we were done and I had air-dried for a few minutes I felt that my skin was a little clammy and if I touched it with bare fingers one would be right to think I had a serious smoking habit . I slid on my loose-fitting dress and headed off home.
The subway was warm and as I wasn’t sure how sitting would impact my tan I stood the whole way. As soon as I got home I striped down and blotted the areas that I was concerned would come out too dark (like that triangle under my boobs, my elbows, my knees). Since I was told that the tan pigment could rub off on light fabrics I slept on my couch that I’d covered in summer picnic blankets.
Happy to report that this morning, there was no transfer on the blankets and as promised when I showered water the color of rust ran off me (bye bye pigment trace). I patted myself dry and fell in love with my new tan.
The only spot I really missed was where my butt meets my legs but unless I’m bending over to touch my toes you’d never notice and if you did I’d tell you those were my zebra markings. (note to self: more squats). At the office many coworkers remarked on my tan and how natural it looked. I had no choice but to confess it was a spray tan since most of them had seen me the day before.
I leave at dawn for Key West. Thanks Future Tan, mission accomplished: vanity boosted and I am so relieved I didn’t end up with a “Ross tan”.