With impending nuptials to attend (NOT MINE!!!) and the pastiest looking skin this side of the sun, I decided to book in for my first spray tan in order to ensure that the glare from my pale legs would not detract from the bride on her big day. I mean they do say it’s rude to wear white?
After heading into the Tanning Shop in Covent Garden 4 days before (in the hope that if it went terribly wrong I could scrub and scrub til I could scrub no more…) only to be told their machine was broken!!!! I had to adopt the ‘if at first you don’t succeed…’ mantra and brave it the day before the big event. Not ideal but hey ho.
Instead of going back to the same shop in Covent Garden and risking more broken equipment, I went over to another branch in Liverpool Street. Tucked away down the side of the busy train station I found what appeared to be a more ‘pop-up’ version of the Covent Garden tanning salon. Inside a very friendly receptionist cum qualified tanner took my payment of £35 and told me to proceed into the room on my left and when I say room, I mean it in the loosest sense of the word, the roof was non-existent and as she told me to strip off whilst handing me the paper thong I’d be wearing for the experience, I more than felt the cool March breeze from outside.
On with the most un-flattering paper underwear of all time and with nipples standing to attention in the cold; I started to apply the barrier cream she had left me with. This was to go on my hands and feet in order to stop my nails yellowing and the tan looking, well fake! I then took my place in the ‘tanning booth’ and awaited instruction.
We decided on shade 8, cue terrifying flashbacks to the episode of Friend’s where Ross ends up screaming “I’M AN EIGHT!!!!!!!, she assured me an 8 would give me the nice subtle colour I was after and definitely wouldn’t make me look like an extra from The Only Way is Essex. I was then told to stand with my legs apart and arm out to the side bent downwards at the elbow…easy enough you’d think, expect my weak and feeble, non-gym going arms struggle to lift my handbag let alone hold themselves in a stress position for 15minutes! Well at least they will be toned for the wedding.
The machine kicked into action and she began spraying me from head to toe. The cold breeze from earlier…was all the more intense once the cold, wet, tan hit my skin however us girls are all to familiar with the saying ‘pain is beauty’ and if I’m being really honest it wasn’t all that bad. We did engage in idle chit-chat during the treatment which is always weird when one person is effectively naked.
Once the spray was done I was left to ‘dry’ off with a hair-dryer type thing and then get dressed. Luckily I had chosen to wear all black apart from my white cardigan which soon looked more like a brown cardigan as the initial layer wore off. I was told not to wash for 8 hours and be careful of water in general.
I have to say after the experience I felt thinner, more attractive and definitely browner. The shade was not a horrifying dark brown and comments were only about my lovely colour not whether I’d forgotten to wash. I would definitely have it done again for a big event to give me that extra boost of confidence. It lasted roughly a week and throughout the washing off stage it was never particularly patching but I did compensate for this with a daily ‘wash off’ self tan as well. In future though, unless it is the height of summer I think I may head to another branch of the tanning shop that has proper walls and a roof!