As a rule, I don’t like fake tans. I think they tend to look tacky, fake, orange and did I mention ORANGE!? I associate a spray tan with platinum blond hair, super heavy makeup and fake nail wearing Barbie dolls. That said, I love a natural tan or sun kissed olive skin. I have super pale skin, and while I tan well… I don’t particularly want to get skin cancer, or wrinkles. Therein lays the dilemma.
I’m not sure what undertones my skin has (I have never really ‘gotten’ the whole yellow/pink undertone distinction) but something about it does not suit pale colours. What I do know is that wearing pale pink, blue, greys etc make me look washed out and rather ill. This means that if drastic action is not taken, I will look very pasty in the light pink (think shiny fairy floss) dress that I’ll be wearing as bridesmaid in November (and no, I did not choose the dress).
The pros and cons of my options were as follows….
Option 1: Spend plenty of time in the sun, burn a little but get that really natural glow. Pros – looks best. Cons – Skin cancer, wrinkles, sunburn…
Option 2: Use a gradual tanner in a moisturiser. Pros – not as obvious as a spray tan, and you can build it up slowly. Cons – I find that over time, I get uneven patches and it stains my elbows and underarms. Exfoliate? You’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t.
Option 3: Spray tan. Pros – over and done with quickly, you can get a professional to do it, you can exfoliate and moisturise madly for a week prior to make it look better and last longer. Cons – has the potential to look ugly. And I was so scared – I had been putting it off and putting it off because something in me was terrified – silly I know!
Option 4: Do nothing. Pros – looking pale is better than looking orange. Saves money. Cons – I will look sickly in the wedding photos, and I’ll feel self-conscious on the day…
There was no doubt about it, I had to try a spray tan. There was no better option. So, with great trepidation, I booked a spray tan at a lady’s at home tanning salon and started prepping my skin for it. I kept telling myself: at least the tan will be gone by November if it looks horrible, and if (on the slim chance that) it works out then I can get it redone before the wedding.
I LOVE IT. The spray tan that is. It doesn’t look orange, it looks natural and even, it gives me that amazing sunkissed look that I’ve never had before. The whole experience was so much easier and less daunting than I had expected. This was mostly because I went to a place that uses Naked Tan – a product that only needs to stay on the skin for 2 hours. This meant only feeling sticky for a short time, and showering before bed so it didn’t get on my linen. I did get it on my bath towel, but the product is water based and washes right off anyway. Too easy!
I will now be getting a tan before the wedding, and it will help me to feel somewhat fabulous (or as fabulous as possible in an otherwise unflattering dress). Unfortunately I have been completely lacking motivation in my efforts to loose weight and fit into the dress – but I’ve had a lot of things going wrong lately so have generally been feeling down. I’m hoping I’ll snap out of it soon!
If anyone else out there is avoiding a spray tan because they are a chicken, use my story as your inspiration and go and try it! I can't promise it will work with your skin tone and colouring, but it only lasts a week anyway (and less if you have hot showers and exfoliate).