Hands up…who fake tans?


In preparation for her son’s wedding this weekend, my boyfriends mother decided to get a spray tan to cover the natural v shaped tan mark on her chest (her dress she is wearing for the wedding is strappy) and wanted someone to go with. I thought I’d give it a whirl as the last time I tried self tanning it came out all streaky and my bathroom floor ended up in a mess.

So I went and booked two appointments at The Tanning Shop in Clapham for Mystic Tan HD spray tan.

I like to know what I’m getting myself into so I watched a couple of videos on YouTube to get an idea and get prepared.

I made sure I exfoliated my whole body each day for a couple of days and moisturised well twice a day, paying particular attention to dry areas like my elbows, knees and a little area on my leg that reacted badly to some hair removal cream.

On the day of the spray tan I wore no makeup and moisturised lightly (the appointment was later that day) thankfully no-one really noticed the lack of makeup, think the amount of skincare I’ve been giving my face recently has paid off.

The spray tan itself was fairly easy just so long as you follow all the instructions.

  • Make sure when you put your hairnet on to leave your ears uncovered and also your hairline too.
  • Apply barrier cream to your toe and finger nails, in-between your toes and fingers, the palms of your hands, knees and elbows, any other dry areas and I’d also say the bottoms of your feet (I didn’t and mine are very very dark now!). I wish I had applied a little more to my hands in general as I have funny looking streaks which I am going to remove with some wipes.
  • I stepped onto the disposable flat “slippers” started the machine and stepped into the booth.
  • I activated the machine inside and got into position. This is important. Make sure you hold your arms away from your body at all times. I must have forgotten at some point and I have little white areas under my armpits. Oops. Hopefully I can sort that with some clever makeup (Rimmel’s tanning make up is pretty good) or a spot of fake tan applied by my boyfriend (he’s going to love me).
  • I held my breath and closed my eyes when I could see the spray coming near my face and all in all the spray itself only took about 3-5 minutes. In between sprays a heated fan dries you off and keeps you warm.

I was pretty much dry when I came out so didn’t bother wiping down with the towel. I gently wiped away the barrier cream but think I went a bit overboard on my hands hence the streakiness.

Fake Tan Hands

The colour developed over about 4-6 hours and is a bit whiffy, like biscuits but once I had a shower in the morning the smell wore off a bit and after a few hours it was hardly noticeable.

The colour is good (I went for light no bronzer) and looks pretty natural as it hits all the areas like a suntan would. Where I popped my shoes back on (they were wet from a downpour earlier that day) I have a white line across my toes, it kinda looks like I was wearing flip flops whilst I was “tanning”.

I’d recommend for those pale type wanting to get some colour in a safer way but please look up the video before you go, they really help you prepare and make sure you put plenty of barrier cream on your hands (a thick layer). I’m now off to try a combination of exfoliation, lemon and possibly nail varnish remover to get rid of the odd streaky marks  on my hands.

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