The Tale of a Tan

I know that fake tanning has a bit of a bad rep but it’s something I’ve done for years. My skin has a peculiar yellow undertone to it and I’ve always suffered with bags under my eyes if I miss the smallest bit of sleep, so for me it’s a bit of a necessary evil. Even more so since Elfie was born – it helps me feel like I look a lot healthier.

I have my fake tan regime down pat; 11 years of honing it means I have different products for different parts of my body and varying occasions. For my face I use Vita Liberata organic lotion 2-3 times a week , my legs get Fake Bake’s extreme tanning gel and elsewhere is treated to either St Tropez’s standard bronzing lotion or spray. In between tans I use Boots Soltan Aftersun Tan Prolonger which has the most natural smell and colour out of all the gradual tanning lotions I’ve tried.

However, when I have a special event or holiday I like to splash out on a spray tan (I swear I live nowhere near Essex). I wanted to look good for my trip to Ibiza – we only went for three days and there wasn’t much chance of sun worshipping while we were there – so it had to be fake.

There aren’t any of the cubicle-version spray tan places in my new home town (I used to visit The Tanning Shop in Islington) so I decided to treat myself and go for the therapist-applied version this time. The closest place I could find was a Saks salon at my local David Lloyd and I chose the 60 minute treatment where the therapist exfoliates you beforehand, then you shower and the tan is applied.

This was me before the tan: laid bare, no make-up, no tan, no nothing. Pretty terrifying. Might shrink the size of this photo later…

Saks salons are pretty nice, I’ve had a couple of massages at this particular one and all the therapists are helpful and friendly. I was told to strip and given a lovely pair of paper pants and a plastic shower cap. I chose the extra dark version because I like to live on the wild side.

I exfoliate quite frequently, but it’s a pretty surreal experience to have a woman you have never met before do this for you. Especially on the, erm, boobie region (it’s probably more grown-up to call this area the décolletage but when you’re sniggering at a beauty therapist exfoliating you it seems right to say BOOBIES).

She pointed me in the direction of the (lovely) showers and after washing the exfoliant off, I have to say, my skin felt AMAZING. It’s moisturising so there was no need for extra moisturiser before the spray tan came out. Again, very weird to have a stranger spraying you with freezing cold tan solution whilst simultaneously scrutinising every inch of you when you’re wearing only a tiny paper thong. However, the therapist was very professional and obviously skilled in the art of naked small talk.

I looked pretty scary on my return home:

Look at the tan mark!

I needed to keep the tan on overnight (the therapist stressed the tan solution would wash off any sheets but I’ve never had an issue with Fake Bake tan-staining).

And here I am the next day, right before we flew to Ibiza.

I was very pleased with the results and will definitely be back for another spray tan: not just because they were offering two for the price of one which I paid for on my way out (so I have two tans to look forward to in the near future). The results were really natural, not too dark, just how I like it (and there will always be sniggers of BOOBIES!).

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  1. Bryony wrote:

    Looking reem… well jel of your tan!
    But in all seriousness… the tan is a gorgeous colour!

    Posted 7.12.11 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      I was v impressed – I must admit to some tangerine orange shockers in my teens though!

      Posted 7.14.11 Reply
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    Some of the most sought after indoor tanning lotions are manufactured by the Australian Gold and Cypher brands. I do like the indoor tanning lotions mentioned here too, though. I’ve personally found lotions with a fair amount of bronzer in them are best.

    Posted 7.17.11 Reply
  3. Margo wrote:

    I have to say that your tan looks amazing, it really pays to have it done properly by a skilled operator.The color is just perfect for you. Thanks Margo

    Posted 9.26.11 Reply
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    Posted 4.14.13 Reply
  5. Wow, this article is good, my sister is analyzing these things, thus I am going to tell her.

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  6. Chloe wrote:

    hey, I was searching different shades of fake bake when I came across this post. Is there an option of pale/medium/dark? and if so which one did you go for?

    getting one on friday for my holiday too and not sure which shade to go for.

    thanks, Chloe

    Posted 3.27.14 Reply