Friday, April 2, 2010

Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun….

Hello lovelies on this wonderful day in gorgeous New York! I heard everyone up and down the Eastern seaboard has had as great of a weekend as I have here. Nice weather means walking outside – which in turn means pasty white legs will blind people just as much as le soleil.

Now, I am an advocate of pale – I have to be, as I have Snow White skin! However, there comes a time when a girl must have a healthy glow – blame it on your upbringing, TV, Hollywood, or whatever, but let’s face it – most people feel better tan. (I know this is true for me, although all the recent vampire stuff makes me feel better about being lily white).

As you might have expected, I’ve tried (and successfully failed) at all sorts of sunless tanning, and would love to share with you my first experience in a spray booth – something a little reminiscent of Ross Gellar in that Friends episode.

Once upon a time there was a young girl who had spent her entire life out in the sun. She loved to sunbathe, tan, bronze. She may have even taken a trip or two to a tanning bed to “get a base tan” (sorry, mommy). Then, suddenly one day, she was told that she had an autoimmune disease which would keep her out of direct sunlight for the rest of her life. She became very self-conscious and sad, as her definition of beauty revolved around being bronze, so she set out to alter her appearance in another way. Self tanning lotions were a mess and came out streaky and hand-spraying at a spa was too outrageously expensive. Ah ha, she cried, when she had the thought: I’ll visit a spray tan booth.

Her sister’s graduation was approaching and her family had not seen her since she lost her coloring, so it needed to be perfect. She paid $40 for a session in a tanning salon’s spray booth and set about her first trip.

Step one involved getting naked and putting barrier cream on parts of the body that should remain un-orange. Easy enough. Wrong! Tip #1 – apply WAY more barrier cream than you think is needed. Goop it on and make sure you get every single crack and crevice in your feet and hands.

Step two involved putting on a hairnet to protect your hair. Easy. Wrong! Tip #2 (and I promise you, there’s no way I could make this up as I am the only person who would do such a thing) – make sure you pull the cap back ALL THE WAY TO YOUR HAIRLINE – otherwise, you’ll be like me hand-filling in the large white line across your forehead.

Step three involved manning the position – I got ready and, just like Ross in that Friends episode, didn’t realize the timing. Tip #3 – there’s a slight delay in the time from when they tell you to “hold your breath” and the spray comes out. If you’re not careful, you’ll get a ton of spray on one leg and not enough on the other.

Ok, now you can laugh.



And from one of my absolute favorite new blogs, The Gloss, comes these tips:

Why does Lindsay Lohan look like a giant carrot?

A lot of it, unfortunately, is product choice. There is a certain ingredient in self tanners called EHA. That is the main ingredient in tanners. If you pick a product that has too high a percentage of that ingredient, you can turn a color. If it’s possible, whenever you’re in a situation where you can test out a little tanner before applying it all over, do. Fortunately, with St. Tropez’s products I find that I have yet to see anyone turn anyone turn that strange Oompa Loompa color.

Is there any way to make the shade a little bit lighter? The stuff I put on was a little orangey for me – if I use a smaller daub of it, will it look closer to my skin tone?

One secret tip I tell people is that if you went out and bought a self tanner, and now you’re nervous because there’s a dramatic contrast between the color of the product and your skin, you can mix it with your own moisturizer. That will cut the color in half.

Is that why gradual ones always say that they’re a tanner and a moisturizer?

It is! If you can get an everyday product like the mousse or the lotion it’s very subtle, and slow, and gives you a lot more control. But if you’ve already gone out and got a tanner, and now you realize “wow, I’m kind of scared to use this” start mixing it with your own lotions.

Do they make any products especially for people who want to not look too tan?

The everyday products definitely help in that regard. The other thing now that I really like are wash-off products. They’re great for people with a fear of commitment. It will give you the same results as applying the self tanner. If you’re going out and you think “I have a date, and I want my legs to look really great tonight” you can put it on, and, if you don’t like it, wash it right off.  It’s the same results but there’s no commitment. And they make it for the face as well. Often people are very nervous about what they put on their face, especially if it comes to a self tanner. If it’s your first time, I highly recommend it! If you don’t like you’re not stuck with it, and it can give you a feel for how tanner is going to look on you.

How do I avoid getting oompa loompa hands? Do I have to wear gloves when I apply the cream? I tried washing them afterwards, but it didn’t seem to work.

They make self tan remover, and I definitely recommend that. Keep it next to your sink and use it any time you apply anything. The hands just stain so easily. They’re so porous. It’s such a minimal purchase, but you can do a few pumps and the color is completely gone off my hands. There aren’t many people who make them, but St. Tropez does. It may seem like an unusual thing to invest in, but I think it really does make sense to get a few things that make your overall look as natural as possible.  If you’re doing this, you want to make sure you’re doing it right.

How do I get it applied to my back? There are places I can’t reach, and I’d feel sort of weird asking someone else to smear self tanner on me.

It’s challenging! Bronzing spray is good in that regard, because you can turn the can in any direction. It’s probably your best bet because you can spray it on easily. With the mousse I tend to try to reach around, and go over each shoulder. It takes a little time to get it perfect on the back.

Any good general tips?: On the very dry areas of your body, like your ankles, and hands, and knees it’s good to put a little moisturizer on before you apply the tanner. The drier you are, the more likely you are to absorb a lot more color. Freshen the skin and exfoliate before you apply anything. The other thing that people don’t think of doing is three or four days after you’ve applied the tanner, gently exfoliate again, because it will help the tanner fade more evenly.


1 comment:

  1. This is so funny. I must confess that I do tan on occasion -- but always have extreme guilt after.

    So I decide to try spray tanning--the only problem was the day before I read about Victoria Beckham or someone passing out in the booth from inhaling too much of it.

    So the whole time I'm turning blue trying to hold my breath, while picturing the staff finding me passed out close to naked on the floor. Never again.

    But congrats on perfecting it!



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