August 18, 2010

Spray Tan

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!


Amber said...


I've been so leery of the spray tan..because I'm so afraid that I won't follow the directions the right way.

Did you ever see that episode of Friends when Ross gets a spray tan? Um...that would be me. No doubt.

ashley said...

Hilarious!!! :) I have never gotten a spray tan, because I've always been afraid I wouldn't do the turning right. I would get nervous and forget everything. After reading your story, I might wait a little while longer. ;)

Karen said...

I was feeling pretty lowly (kinda wiped out) this morning. But, I had a good laugh and already feeling better. I have always wanted to have this done, since I too am lily white. But,I could just visualize myself instead of you and I will not try to master this one. And orange streaks? After you spend that kinda money. No way! I think I will stick to fake-bake lotion.
Have a great trip!

The Robinsons said...

You are hilarious!!

I can relate...several months ago I opted for a spray tan (due to being a bridesmaid 2 days later and having no sun yet for the season). I had a similar experience...except rather than Barbie I had a very effeminate young man explaining the positions, etc. Needless to say, I was too uncomfortable and nervous to ask for much clarification.
I came out pale, then turned quite tan with very distinct lines and my forearms looked like I had lots of abnormally shaped large birth marks. Oh yeah, and I was 8 months pregnant so I was one sight for sore eyes! My poor friend's wedding photos are going to be that much more orange.

Carolina City Girl said...

found your blog recently, and it is so fun!

i have gotten several spray tans the last couple of years for events at Meredith, and for the most part end up with a good looking glow...there have been a few mishaps here and there (like pressing the wrong button, wondering why the spray isn't turning on, getting dressed to go out and ask the technician...and then still pressing the wrong button and having to repeat the process - ha!).


Andrea Frazer - Pass the Zoloft said...

I personally like white skin a lot more than I like getting naked for 17 year old hourly workers! LOL. Maybe one day I'll try it, but your story helped make me feel better about my pale ghost genetics. Found you thorugh His Girl Amber.

Bobbie said...

I didnt like my whole spray tan experience either. I did it for my wedding 5 years ago, and I held my breath. I still looked pale in that strapless white dress. But I couldnt force myself to try another application

Gayle said...

Funny story! My daughter has had the spray-tan experience. Not I. I'm afraid I couldn't learn all the moves.

Carpool Queen said...

I've done spray tan a couple of times, but let me offer a Ranger Rick Safety Tip.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT get a spray tan before your company weekend away in the Catskills and decide to spend some time in the sauna the afternoon before your big dinner where you planned on wearing your short little party dress with no hose.

Because that sauna steam will melt off your spray tan.

In streaks.

And make your pictures look funny forevermore.

Handmade Housewife... said...

Well all I have to say is at least you were in a room by yourself. My one and only spray tan experience involved an actual person air brushing me...3 weeks after I had a baby. I got this great idea that I needed a tan for our family portraits in the middle of February after giving birth. Oh and her great words of advice were, "you may want to hold your boobs up so you don't have 2 white half moon shapes on your tummy." Umm thanks. Did I mention I had just had a baby...k.

Suz said...

I am laughing so hard!!! I can only imagine what your face looked like when the 11th grader was giving you instructions.
I had a body scrub once and loved it. I felt like I was in a car wash. I did do a tan thing but I don't remember how they applied it. I remember this it! And like you, thank goodness for the gift certificates. It's fun to pamper yourself, especially if it is a gift!

Kellie said...

HAHHAHAHAHHHAAA!! LOVE. IT. You make me chuckle. :)

Bugs and Sunshine said...

Ahaaaaa that is too much!!

(p.s. the seasonal sweater vest and denim jumper were just a joke ;) haha! today i sported a baseball cap, tshirts, shorts, silver hoops and no make-up, whoo hoo)

the spray tan i got was done by a lady air brushing it on and it looked great. i wore a bikini (but you don't have to if you don't want) i like a real live person doing it because it's more accurate.

my sister is very into the st. tropez line and she looks AMAZING when she tans with it. she applies it herself.

fake bake is also a top of the line option i love. just be sure to wash your hands quickly after applying.

early in our marriage i had my husband put fake bake on my back for me. he was just taking his own sweet time and when he got done he had the orangest palms. besides your barbie post today i've never laughed so hard ;)

Dawn said...

oh my... i have never tried it... and this was probably the clincher- now i never will! i did love that friend's episode... and anita renfroe does a bit too (but hers smelled bad!) anyway, thanks for the laughter...

These Are The Days said...

Oh that's sad. I tried the spray tan machine once and it was a disaster. I recently bought a pop up tanning tent and an airbrush. It gives great results! Glad I rediscovered your blog it's been so long.

The Morgan Family said...

Thank you for that laugh! You really should write books - I actually felt like I was right there. I had to cover my mouth so that I didn't wake the kids who are napping. I have never done spray tan - and after this post I am not sure that I am going to. :) Thank you for your transparency - I really do love your blog! Miss you guys!