After serious internal debate and research I finally decided to take the risk and go in for my first spray tan. I have done all of those fake bake self tanners and really they are a huge waste of money, even if it is cheap. Why spend a cent if it is not going to be great??
Then I found that Solar Salon on West 21st Street had a great deal on Lifebooker for a custom airbrush tan so I gave it a shot.
I must say that I couldn't be happier!!!
I, of course, went in assuming that I would walk out looking streaky or orange like Snooki. Julie, my tanning artist, was a fabulous Welsh woman who assured me that I had nothing to worry about since she has been doing this for years and walked me through the process that included stripping naked (disposable thong provided if you want), putting self-adhesive rubber pads to the bottom of feet and covering my hear with a shower cap. All of this sounds far more embarrassing than it actually was. She put me ad ease and we had a great conversation about our common interest of British rock bands. 20 minutes, 2 coats of tanner and a conversation about Blur and Pulp later, I had a PERFECT summer glow.
I get to awkwardly stand for 5 minutes to dry, put on a dark loose-fitting dress (sadly without bra in order to avoid marks) and off I go. It is a little sticky but it doesn't smell nor is it slimely or streaky.
Seriously I look exactly the way I do when I get off the beach but without the tan lines. She had an amazing knack for choosing a shade that would look natural to my Italian olive skin tone and there are shades for everyone! So if you are fair-skinned and don't tan this may be the best way to go!
What I have learned from all of my research and talking to those who know:
- Do your research!! Talk to the person doing the spray tan and look for someone with a few years of experience since they will have a better eye for what color you will need
- Avoid the super cheap places since those solutions tend to be more orange. You are better checking your local salons or discount sites like lifebooker, living social or groupon for good deals at higher-end places.
- Avoid the spray tan booths, unless you are really good at rubbing in the solution yourself. I am not a fan because when I miss a spot it will be a tragic giveaway that it's all fake.
- Do a spray tan if you can't tan naturally or want natural color without tan lines or those white areas near our underarms that we plus-size ladies would get from laying down in a tanning booth. (sad but true)
-Don't sweat, shower or get rained on for 12 hours after the spray tan. You can shower normally the next day but don't exfoliate. Lotions are fine.
As it wears, I will let you know how it goes and if there are things you should avoid.