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!).

7 Comments
  1. 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.

  2. HI
    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

  3. Due to the limitless number of tanning lotions available in the U.S. market, many consumers are getting confused as to what products they should buy. They are having a hard time deciding on which tanning lotion is the most effective one for them. Although consumers are convinced that most of the tanning lotion manufacturers are popularly known and that their products are highly recommended and effective, consumers are just overwhelmed by the many products that are displayed right before their faces every time they visit retail stores..

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  4. 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

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