Here's what I think: The Mystical Mystic Tan
"You never turned?"
"No! I didn't even get to three Mississippi!"
"Mississippi? I said count to five."
This week I had my first ever tanning experience. I am very fair skinned, even on the rare occasion that I get direct sunlight I get very little color just a faint pink that fades within a few days. Over the years I have tried a variety of different sunless tanners with varying results and that's been fine for me and I have never attempted to "fake bake."
A few nights ago my sister came over for her weekly visit and as I entered the house she pounced, demanding that I go spray tanning with her. At first I was not in to it, I was more than happy to go with her but I have friends who have had some dicey experiences with it and I really didn't want to be all streaky and splotchy.
We did some calling around and found a place that has the spray tan booth (rather than a person who airbrushes the tan on). So it sounded like a fun adventure and we made our way across town to TanWorld. First, I'm not sure why they need this information but they may as well have asked me for my birth certificate and dental records because they need a LOT of information to get you set up in the "system." Once we were done giving a blood sample and finger print (just kidding they didn't take a blood sample, but they did take our prints), we were given the tutorial on how to use the booth and then came the real adventure.
I'm left alone in the room and upon closing the door immediately lock it and check the handle to make sure it's good an locked. I turn to put the lotion on my hands and feet as instructed to do and I even put a little on my elbows just to be safe (those are the areas with the driest skin). I strip down "to whatever you want to tan in" and put a silly lips shaped sticker on my backside just for fun.
I climb in the booth and close the door and the automated voice tells me to stand on foot markers 2 and 4 and it begins! It is COLD, like a misting rain starting at the feet and going up. Then the voice tells me to turn left and put my feet on markers 1 and 3, so I do this and the mist starts from the top and goes down tanning my other side. I thought after this it would be done because my front and back were now fully misted and my arm hair was standing on end and I was shivering from the cold. But I was wrong, the voice now tells me to turn again (I can't remember which direction) and put my feet on (I can't remember which numbers). So I do that and the machine mists my side as well. Then comes the tricky part, I go to turn anticipating the direction that the automated voice might tell me to go for the next step but as she speaks I realize that she wants me to turn left not right to put my feet on 1 and 4.... odd, I don't think... oh wait! It's spraying! So now I'm moving around in a wave motion with my feet planted trying to make sure that the mist adequately covers every part it is supposed to.
The tanning is over and through out I'm thinking of Ross on Friends and hoping that I was able to get a good full coverage and don't become ridiculously browned. I step out of the booth and wipe my feet on mat, pat myself down to avoid streaking, wipe my hands off on the towel and re-robe. My sister goes through the same process and we exit merrily and look forward to our developing tans.
Over the next 4-6 hours our tans develop and overnight I begin to stink, stink like the nastiest sunless tanner you have ever used and I realized I'm going to have to wash my sheets because they are going to stink just as much as I do. In the morning I find myself with a subtle glow. Success! I am tan, for me anyway. Then I take a closer look. My hands and feet are orange and very very dark (especially the bottoms of my feet). So I scrub and scrub and there's no use it's not budging - the second day they look much better but I did end up using lemon juice and bath salts as an exfoliate to get the darkness out of my old lady looking hands.
It turns out that there are baby wipes that you are supposed to wipe your hands and feet off with after the tanning session, but whether she neglected to tell us that or we just didn't hear it we missed that step.
Two days out my tan looks better and the bottoms of my feet are still orange but who really cares about the bottoms of your feet right?