You know the Friends episode when Ross tries one of those spray tanning booths and ends up getting sprayed four times on one side of his body? After years of curiosity, I decided to try one of those spray-tanning booths today. Fortunately, while my tan is far from perfect, I didn't end up looking half-baked like Ross.
Just in case someone out there has no clue what I'm talking about, I got a mystic tan today. I'm not sure what is so mystic about it--all I had to do was stand in a booth while sunless tanning stuff was sprayed all over my body--I didn't have to gaze into a crystal ball or meditate or anything. (As I'm writing this, I realize that it's probably called a mystic because it sprays tanning mist--duh--I'm a little slow.) Anyway, according to mystic tanning brochures, after using a mystic tanning booth, those brave--or silly--enough to try it, end up with a fabulous, glowing, not-at-all-orange tan without exposing their skin to dangerous UV rays.
I'm pasty. If I lived during the middle ages when plump, pale people were considered sexy, I would be a drop-dead gorgeous super-model. Actually, if some of the paintings from the middle ages are an accurate indicator of what was considered the ideal body, I may be a tad skinny. Just a tad. I'm rambling again. I know I'm albino-like, but yesterday when I went swimming with my little brother, the shining glare emitting from my legs nearly blinded everyone within a 3-mile radius, so I decided to call the local tanning salon and ask some questions about sunless tanning, because I really have no desire to lie in my backyard in a bikini. For one thing, none of my bikinis fit anymore. For another, I don't have much desire to get skin cancer. It ended up that mystic tanning is half price on Mondays, so I could try it today for $10. For only $10, I forgot any reservations about ending up looking like a carrot.
Usually I'm very good about researching before I take action, but today, I went to my appointment with very little knowledge about what I was doing. I guess I expected a sign or something on the wall, or an attendant that would give me some detailed information. I didn't get that. The attendant took me to the room with the booth, told me to put some blending lotion between my toes and fingers, put a shower cap on my hair, wear some goggles, and get in the booth. I just assumed that was all the information I needed, but knowing a little bit more would have been great.
Right away I had a problem. My head was too big for the little shower cap she gave me! I have a fat head--it's full of brains. Plus I have really thick hair. I messed with the cap for a few minutes, without much luck. I ended up putting one cap over my ponytail and positioning the other one around the rest of my head. After I figured that out and got in the booth, I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do. Was I supposed to hit a button? Just stand there in my undies? Hmm... The attendant had said something about the green light in the booth. I pushed it, but I still don't know if it was a button or if a timer just made the stuff spray. After a minute or so, the sprayers kicked on and I was sprayed on one side. Then I turned around and was sprayed on the other. That went pretty well, I didn't mess up like Ross, but then I didn't know what to do. I was dripping with tanning spray, but I didn't know whether to dry off or stand there and air dry or what. I hadn't been smart enough to ask. I decided to just blot dry and hope for the best. I couldn't tell a big difference right away, but I was a little more tan. I was told not to take a shower for six hours.
As the day progressed, I got darker. I was too busy with my son to really notice for a few hours though, and when I finally glanced in the mirror, I noticed a line across my forehead! In my attempts to cover my hair, I neglected to make sure the shower cap was covering only my hair and not part of my face! Oops! I also have one perfectly tanned arm, and one very blotchy, looks-like-I-have-funky-birth-marks-arm. And I have orange feet and very dark knee caps.
All in all, I would say it's something worth trying again. After I had already got the tan, I read some information about Mystic tans online (I know--kinda pointless to research it afterwards) and discovered that I should have kinda rubbed the stuff in and wiped down to avoid blotchiness. I also need to bring my own hair cover! Except for my feet, I don't look like a carrot--I think it looks like a pretty natural tan, and it's a lot darker than I expected. In a week or so, the line across my forehead should go away, and maybe I'll try again. If any of the five people that read my blog have any sunless tanning suggestions, I'd love to hear them!