A Pale Girl’s Guide To Spray Tanning

Spray Tan

Let me be very clear when I say that I am a white girl. A literal white girl. My thighs have the power to blind enemies with their brightness. I get sunburns during my fifteen-minute walk to class. I have debated wearing white to my wedding in fear of blending into my dress. That is why I survive on spray tans. After several years, sprays, and dollars later, I consider myself the master of the booth. Here’s a guide to help my fellow pale (or not) girls during the process.

You cannot just pick any day to get a spray tan. Your body needs to stay moisture free after your session. Schedule it for a day when it’s not going to rain and when you’re not going to sweat your balls off afterward. I skipped class one morning because it was raining and I cared more about my undeveloped tan. Get your priorities straight. Also, try to pick a day when you’re less emotional so you don’t end up drunkenly crying and leaving tear streaks on your unnaturally tanned skin.

The Day Of
Take your cooler sanding skills into the shower and exfoliate your whole body. Scrub and shave everything. By the end of your shower, you should be smoother than a baby’s ass. Smoother than McCoy. Smoother than that guy at the bar after you’ve had five too many shots. You get it. After the shower, use an extremely light moisturizer on your dry areas only. If you use too heavy of a moisturizer, the tan will not be able to stick to your skin.

The Attire
What you wear to the salon is easy albeit, important. Dress like you would after shacking or when you’re hungover and you’re good to go. Avoid white and tight clothes because you don’t want to mess up your investment.

At The Salon
The salon worker is going to give you a ton of options for your tan. How dark? Bronzer? Primer? Moisturizing coat? Sometimes they cost extra, sometimes not. All I can say is, don’t fuck around with your spray tan. Don’t avoid certain add-ons because they cost more. I highly recommend a primer and a moisturizer because they really do help extend your tan. I am not a fan of bronzers because it just gets all over my clothes and I look like I spent a whole day passed out in someone’s yard. Picking a color is easy. If this is your first spray tan, go one shade lighter than what you think you need. If you have had more than one, get whatever you want.

During The Tan
Some salons will give you a lotion to put around your knucks and knees. For the love of God, use it. Inside the booth, make sure you do the poses they show you. If you don’t angle your body, you will end up with a lighter stripe down the side of your body. Believe me, I’ve had it.

After the Tan
Wait until your body is dry before you put your clothes on. Say thank you to the salon lady on your way out because she’s the reason you’re going to be a bronze goddess in about twelve hours. When you get into the car, crank the AC to avoid any sweat on your drive home. Eat everything and lay on a towel-covered couch for the rest of the day. Exfoliating this morning counts as your exercise.

After The Tan Develops
Shower off the nasty smell and admire your tan in the mirror. Also, moisturize daily. Very important.

A Week After Your Tan
Cry because it faded a little patchy and you’re back to being pale and sad. And then schedule your next appointment so you can do it all over again.

Because nothing looks as good as being tan feels.

Image via Shutterstock

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