While I have questions and doubts about a lot of news items, for some reason, I have absolute belief in the idea that the sun is not your friend. In fact, I’ve become slightly paranoid about the whole situation. Before going out, I butter up with SPF, especially on my face, and I find that I gravitate toward the shade on walks, which is really not easy to do when I’m on the beach. And walking around with an umbrella in sunshine (as I’ve seen people do), isn’t an option for me. Nor am I at the point of investing in a beekeeper’s outfit, but sometimes it’s tempting.
So, bully for me for protecting my skin. Unfortunately, while there are a lot of positives in staying out of the sun, it does leave you rather pale, as you can see. Well, except for the top of my feet.
Sometimes, I’d like to slip on a pair of heels and a skirt, without having to think about stockings, which I don’t think I even own any longer. But pasty gams sticking out from under a dress or skirt are hardly attractive. I know there are solutions but I’m not spending a fortune on a professional spray tan. Plus, I just want slightly tanned legs, not a baked-on look on my face. And a tanning bed not only sounds unhealthy, but I don’t think I’d like the feeling of being stuck in a panini grill for any length of time.
And, thus, I went on the search for a do-it-yourself tanning potion. And I decided to do one leg at a time so that I’d have a before/after shot. After all, what’s a do-it-yourself project without the ubiquitous before and after photo?
Here’s my review. Oh, and I’d be really happy to hear about your self-tanning adventures.
First look: The tanning spray comes in a slim can with a fat nozzle. According to the label, SoBronze “instantly creates a radiant golden glow plus self-tanning bronzers gradually develop within 2-4 hours and lasts up to 7 days.” It also boasts an ultra-fine mist for smooth even flawless coverage and a hands-free, no rub application (big fat lie), and it’s billed as drying quickly, in less than five minutes, without staining clothing. Keep in mind that SoBronze is flammable, so don’t spray on your tan with a cigarette dangling from your lips or if you’re near a candle. That would be really bad.
Keep in mind that you must exfoliate before applying SoBronze. I used the minty Eucalyptus Lime Body Polish by LEVEL Naturals, an oil and sugar scrub that leaves your skin perfectly smooth and prepped for the spray tan.
Good news: The color I ended up with looks like a natural tan. It didn’t come out orange, but it did come out darker than I expected, but I’ll put the blame on my inexperience at self tanning with a spray.
And the obligatory comparison shot. (Good grief! Is that a cadaver’s leg on the left?)
The spray tan felt slightly tacky for about an hour but it did dry quickly, as promised. And I like the thin liquid form of SoBronze because it’s easy to apply, or I should say, it’ll be easy the second time because there is a learning curve, which I’ll explain in the Bad News section.
Bad news: First, the instructions are sadly lacking, especially for a tanning novice when it comes to sprays. I decided this was a task best performed in the garage because it looked like trouble in the bathroom, and there was a breeze blowing outside. I took the instructions to heart and started spraying. Mistake. You see, it’s like using spray paint in that if you’re not careful you’ll get runs and dark, uneven splotches of color, which lead to more runs. I’m warning you right now, it’s not a pretty picture.
I quickly realized that this was a disaster in the making, so I started spreading the liquid with my hands, thinking that I had done a pretty good job. If you read down on the label, you’ll see that the instructions suggest using your hands if necessary. Oh, it’s necessary, trust me.
While the color looked pretty good, it wasn’t until I woke up and the actual tan had bloomed, if you will, that I was mortified. Again, I’ll put the blame on myself. Leg and thigh looked perfectly fine. Foot looked as if I had swished it around in some red Georgia mud. But the feet and toes always are tricky, aren’t they? All of those uneven parts and nooks and crannies. See what I mean?
The lesson is to use SoBronze sparingly and apply it with your hands.
Last words: I’m now off to Google “how to even out a fake tan.”