Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fake it til you make it

Dirty monkeys-get your mind out of the gutter. I'm talking about fake tanning! As I have stated before, I used to be a sun worshiper! Everything I did was outdoors and I BARELY put sunscreen on...EVER. I am blessed to be 1/4 Choctaw Indian so I tan really easily. That's what I always said..."I don't burn, I tan." Awesome. But my skin was screaming at me!

Over tan me. Pretending to look at an engagement ring. Totally staged.

Before I was a stay at home mommy, I did sales and marketing for a health and wellness spa in town. One of the perks of the jobs was working with some great estheticians in town. The great estheticians put my under this HORRIBLE light/ camera thing that completely opened my eyes. It shows where your sun spots are and what you are most likely to look like if you continue aging at the same process. From that moment, swore  off tanning beds and not going outside with sunblock on daily! No small feat for one that loves to have some color 365 days of the year. But, seeing what all those years in a tanning bed have done it's an easy commitment to make. My laying out in the real sun doesn't even happen much given it is just too stinkin hot in Tulsa to deal with the heat unless a pool is within 3 feet. It has been an abominable 110 degrees here lately. Ugh. I have had non-stop boob sweat for the past 8 days. And I just ran out of deodorant...wanna be friends?

Back to self tanners. Remember Coppertone QT? “It tans you anytime, rain or shine, when you use QT," went the commercial. How perfect! I bought a bottle when I was about 13, desiring to be as dark as I could be. (This was of course to go along with getting my hair being blonde...I blame it on having a sister who was 5 years older than me and who I wanted to be JUST like her and her friends) I recall this being a big purchase, $4.99 and I couldn't wait to get home and make myself look like a little potato. I definitely changed shades but Sunkist orange with crusty yellow-orange hands was not what I desired. And I won't even get into the streaks. Yuck.

Onto Oklahoma. Given the sun here, I didn't need tanner much until I started becoming  aware of the slow decline of my skin's elasticity (and of course, how much I cherish my life and don't want to leave this party too early).  So now I can give you some healthy alternatives that I found and here are my favorites! I promise I am not hired or paid by these products...but if you guys do want to pay me HOLLA!!

1. Fake Bake Products (http://www.fakebake.com/):
Another Tulsa gem, I was introduced to this from a esthetician friend. This line can be found in beauty supply stores, but I found mine at Ulta. It is hands down the best stuff I've found. They have spray on, mousse and lotion formulas along with good smelling exfoliating lotion. EXFOLIATION IS THE KEY. Another key for me is not smelling like burning skin. One application of this for me and I was 2 months of tanning in. Woo hoo! A bit pricier than drugstore stuff but well worth it. All tanners smell good, dry quick and are basically streak free. The mousse is a  quick fix on my pasty legs in the morning when I'm rushed. Which is pretty much every day. Thanks Isabelle.

Jergens Natural Glow Tanning Lotion:
If you want to to go the drugstore route, get this stuff. Until Fake Bake entered my world, this was it for me. Their gel is unsurpassed at color & non-streaking. It doesn't have that annoying "tanner" smell either. However, it takes a long time to dry. As a perpetually late person, this eliminated it from my morning routine. Comes in medium-dark & dark formulas-both are pretty intense so paler skins take caution, but since it gradually gets darker, you will notice if you start to look ridiculous.

3. Banana Boat Banana Boat Summer Color Sunless Lotion (http://www.bananaboat.com/): This gets a mention from me as during my really poor days, it was the best of what I could afford. Ohh the days of college. Gotta love it. A bit on the smelly side and a little slow to dry, it still does the trick and with a good application you will get a good glow going without looking like you rolled in glitter.Light-Medium and Medium-Dark formulas are available. It can be found in just about any grocery store.

As far as shade selection goes, my personal opinion is that if you are going to try for some fake color, get the medium to dark formulas. Unless you are albino white, they should work on you and not turn you any unusual, George Hamiltonesque orange colors. Just apply with caution and carefully.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but these just didn't work that great for me:

Loreal Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion:
 It's gradual, but I think it's a load of crap.  Maybe it's because I'm already a little tan or maybe it's because I am horribly impatient but these did nothing for me whatsoever. My skin ended up moisturized (sorta), but no darker than before even when I did use it daily. My paler friends loved it though so maybe it does have some redeeming qualities-just none that I have seen.

  • Spray Tanning: Let me clarify. I am a fan of spray tanning, but now I have seen where people are getting "contoured" to look like they have a six pack or muscular arms and legs. What? People that's just weird. Now only do you look like you just got home from a Hawaiian vacation, but now you also look like you went to boot camp and came back fit....until you shower. Then it streaks away and you look like your skin and muscles are crumbling. Not cute. Not cute at all.  The con on spray tanning is that it also takes a bit to dry and so you have to just stand there in your undies. I also felt like the spray was FREEZING cold and immediately made me need to pee. So prepare yourself. And your bladders.

  • Fakers, I hope that this brings some sunshine into your life! Self-tanners keep getting improving. These that I have listed are what I've found work for me (and a few other friends). Let me know if you have some favorites as well!
    Reformed Orange,


    katie said...

    Thanks for posting this. My husband was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma at 30. It just takes one bad sunburn. Scary stuff!

    Karen said...

    I'm a fan of the jergens because it isn't so obvious but you are right, it takes forever to dry.