It started with a gift card. Gift cards often equal guilt free when purchasing a little sumpin-sumpin for myself. The spa gift card was no exception. I decided that for our cruise, I would treat my lily-white self to a spray tan. You know, a little confidence booster for the hours I would spend in a swimsuit.
Back in college I did the tanning bed thing without a care about all of the skin cells it was killing. Now that I am older, wiser, and a little more wrinkled, I decided to take the safer route.
I opted for the salt scrub/ spray tan combo. Even the salt scrub was a new venture for me. I had heard horror stories about certain salt scrubs feeling like your skin was being removed by a sandblaster; but it turned out to be a WONDERFUL experience. Seriously, have you ever had a full body shower while laying down?? That part alone was enough to make me want to sign up for a monthly membership. Once I was scrubbed squeaky clean and breathing through every pore in my body, it was time for the spray tan.
I was greeted, not by a seasoned technician, but by a girl named Barbie in the 11th grade.
Do you know the positions?
Um, no. This is my first time ever.
Okay. It's really simple. You stand like this, then like this, then like this, and then like this. Got it?
Um... could you repeat that? Slower.
Like this, like this, like this, and like this.
Uh. One more time.
I felt like I was trying to learn the moves of a highschool cheerleader in fast forward.
Then she said, You're pretty white, so we should probably go light on the color.
Grr...Well, I am going on a cruise, you see, so I actually would like to look tan.
Oh. Okay, well we'll do medium. Make sure you blot, don't rub to dry off.
She proceeded to show me the barrier lotion (which I was to rub anywhere I didn't want the tan). And then she left me in a 4x4 closet. Noticing how quiet and serene the spa was, helped calm my nervousness.
Not wanting to look orange between my toes and on my palms, I reached for the giant bottle of barrier lotion, and pumped. And pumped. Nothing came out. One final pump with all my might brought the entire shelf crashing to the floor. Remember how quiet the spa was? Yeah. I was waiting for Barbie to come charging in and find me nekkid with a shower cap on my head, a broken shelf, and the nozzle of barrier lotion dangling from my fingers. I was almost hoping she would show up, because at this point I had forgotten all of the cheerleader/robot positions I was supposed to have memorized.
After cleaning up my mess and looking for the hidden candid camera, I proceeded to turn on the spray. If you've never experienced a spray tan, it is like a tiny enclosed shower with 4 nozzles shooting spray tan at you. It sprays, you turn a quarter turn, it sprays again, etc...
By spray #2 I was starting to feel claustrophobic. By spray #3 I couldn't breathe. By spray #4 I was contemplating just how safe this was for my lungs.
Back in the locker room I was hoping for some bohemian-friendly skin. Nope. Lily white. At the front desk I asked about the (lack of) tan. She informed me it would take 24-36 hours for it to show up. Perfect! My flight left in 27 hours.
I did, however, have to take the pale walk of shame when I showed up at home and my family wanted to know "where my tan was."
Did it work? A little. Let's just say that if I had forked over the cash rather than a gift card, I would have been mad at myself. Was I tan? Well, I didn't feel very tan, but when I looked at the underside of my forearms, the distinctive orange stripe told me that there was some color there.
Apparently I didn't blot very well.
Have you ever had a spray tan? How was your experience? Better than mine, I hope!