The weeks leading up to your wedding day can be exhausting. Late nights of preparing seating charts, tying the perfect bows on favors and making all of those last minute phone calls can leave any bride sleep deprived and stressed. How could anyone look beaming and rested after 346 seating chart attempts of keeping Aunt Susie away from Cousin Igor? Yet, we must find a way to create the look of stepping off a Bahamian yacht.
My skin has two settings: white and red. There is no middle ground. The few times in my life where I have appeared tan can be aligned with times when I had no responsibilities and lived at the beach. I wondered how I would ever achieve this look and not look whiter than my wedding cake. The “fake bake” isn’t all that attractive of an idea to me because of the long-term risks of skin cancer. Also, when I have indulged in the tanning bed previously, it usually just gave me a fake sun burn, which is worse than a real sun burn in my estimation.
Just before one of my bridal showers, someone introduced me to the Magic of Mystic Tanning. I was very nervous about this process and my mind kept going back to that “Friends” episode where Ross tans twice on his face and looks to be a shade of Muppet orange when it’s over. I can’t be Muppet orange for my shower!! But … I just did it … and it was nice. A soft Carribean glow, made me look like less of a pasty mess. However, the Mystic Tan leaves a horrible dark orange stain on your palms and soles of your feet. It’s a little freakish. I tried one more time after that and asked around. To my disappointment, there’s no real way to avoid the mutating palms.
I appreciate a good google, so I started searching for a solution. My wedding was in Las Vegas and I would argue that Vegas is the epicenter for fake tanning. There are too many girls that need to look pageant ready at a moment’s notice residing in the Silver State. A few internet searches later, I was armed with many avenues, some of which surprised me– let’s start there.
A Tan Van? Oh yes. A van that will come to your home and airbrush spray tan you and your friends. The package pricing even provides for bridal party specials. The prices are very competitive and it sounded like a good idea if you were planning a bachelorette or make-over party just before your wedding. The Tan Vans use the personalized airbrushing, so it is applied directly to your skin, missing your palms and feet. It even offers the ability to create contours, like fake abs or Kelly Ripa arms.
Tanning Salons offer a number of airbrush tanning solutions, and that’s the route I ended up taking because I was a little uncomfortable with tanning in a van. I kept thinking of a new slant on the Saturday Night Live sketch: You got tanned in a Van DOWN BY THE RIVER! RIP Chris Farley. Sidebar … back to the glow.
A few tips for you before you go out in the airbrush tanning world:
- Before you go, take an extreme exfoliating shower. Using a salt scrub, lufa and/or pumice stone, scrub your skin to remove any dead skin. Dead skin will not absorb the color the same as live cells, so it makes the solution look even. You will also want to shave your legs prior to your tan.
- Plan your undergarments accordingly. The solution will get all over your undergarments, so you will want to wear an old bathing suit or plan to go nude, if you and the applicator are comfortable.
- Give yourself plenty of time to dry. Make sure the solution is dry before you begin putting your clothes back on. Any wiping or rubbing clothes on the wet solution will compromise your tan.
- Plan your day to allow 12 hours afterward of no water or tight-fitting clothes. If you plan to get a pedicure, you will look like you have a sock tan line … I speak from experience …
- As time wears on so will your tan. You will gradually fade each day, so I suggest getting your tan 2 days before your event and not using any products or soaps that will scrub away your skin/tan.
- ALWAYS do a practice run. You want to make sure you are using the right person and the right level of solution. Try a tan before the big day to make sure it’s the right one for you.
In case of emergency: lemon juice, exfoliants and soaking/scrubbing will take it down a notch.
Good luck and Good Tanning!