I am not a fan of fake tan, in fact I will go so far as to say I HATE IT. A few years ago I was a bridesmaid, for which I was informed I had to be thinner, blonder and have a tan. During the months leading up to the wedding I joined Weight Watchers and tried just about every fake tan on the market. The whole experience left me with a strong hatred for both Weight Watchers and fake tan - both of which I thought are the work of the devil.
Here are some of the things I dislike about fake tan
1. it's generally not very natural looking (especially for Irish skin)
2. the tans that develop overnight make me feel like my skin is suffocating and I will end up in a grisly death like the Bond girl from Goldfinger
3. the smell - oh sweet lord - the smell of fake tan has got to be the reason for more than a few divorces.
We were very lucky to be given the opportunity to go to Carter Beauty and try out their famous spray tan and we decided that I should go. Why me - fake tan hating me? Especially when Sile is somewhat of a fake tan expert - well we thought I would give it a thorough, almost cynical testing - plus Sile was chicken.
I was really apprehensive about getting the spray tan, during the week before I had a spray tan nightmare (who would of thought I could have dreams that specific), since I am not the smallest lady in the world I was panicking about what I should wear/not wear while getting the spray tan done. Oh sweet jebus somebody was going to see me in my nearly nip - would they laugh? Would they cry? Would I faint with pure mortification? (and would said fainting result in me only getting one side of my body sprayed?).
When I went to Carter Beauty Sile came as moral support and got her nails done (read about it here) but my "friend" also came for moral support and when I say moral support ... I mean she came to laugh her ass off at me (she knows I hate fake tan, she knew I didn't want to get naked - basically she though I would be in Hell).
There are certain things that you should/should not do before a getting a spray tan... you should do all your shaving/ hair removal the day before. You should exfoliate in the previous days. On the day of your spray tan don't moisturise the skin or use deodorant.
So in I went with great trepidation to be spray tanned. I was so full of nerves I walked past one of Carter Beauty's many celebrity clients three times without noticing her. I was in a panic. I had brought along a bandeau top to be sprayed in (I was not ready for the girls to be exposed) and had tucked my stomach into my knickers so I was ready. Anita was the girl who would be applying the spray tan and she immediately made me feel at ease and explained that I could wear their paper knickers (paper knickers - who knew such things existed), in fact she made me so at ease I decided to leave the bandeau and just get sprayed in my knickers. After all my panicking Anita did not blink. Carter Beauty are famous for their spray tans - they do numerous tans every day so me and my wobbly bits weren't really what they were worrying about - the staff are more concerned with giving you an even and perfect spray tan.
Although I am not the palest of Irish girls I am half a ginger so I don't really tan - Carter Beauty manufacture their own brand of spray tan and what is wonderful and unique is you can choose between light, medium and dark. You can essentially have your own custom tan. The machine sprays out the tan along with a cooling spray of air (so you don't feel like you're being jet sprayed with water). I was directed into numerous poses (a mix between vogueing and bodybuilding poses) while I made stupid small talk (as you do) before I knew it I was sprayed (it takes between 10 and 15 mins). I went for the medium shade (the post popular). The tanning machine has a blow dryer that you use afterwards to dry off your tan. The tan develops over 8 - 10 hours so its suggested to wear loose clothing and chill out and the following morning wash off the guide colour (there is a guide colour so the therapist can see where she has sprayed).
When I emerged I was delighted, the colour was beautiful, of course I wasn't going home to chill out I had forgotten I had dinner plans that evening and (much to the amusement of my morally degrading friend) I was a bit worried because it was a warm evening that I would stink the restaurant out with the smell of fake tan. Off home for a quick change and to whip out my hair and.... well it was grand, the tan wasnt smelly and I didn't look like I had been rolled in toffee apart from the fact that I had to put on the bandeau and my squished boobs looked like they had a light layer of nutella between them.
That night I slept like a baby - skin not suffocated, nose not assaulted - and emerged like my lovely horse (fetlocks blowing in the wind) in other words I WAS A RIDE. I am not kidding I had the most natural beautiful glowing tan. My supportive friend ate her sneers and vowed to book in straight away for a Carter Spray Tan. I got so many complements on the tan (lucky it was during the warm week we had) and everybody thought it was natural IT LOOKED THAT GOOD. In fact it looks better than a natural tan, it doesn't have the ruddiness and it was more even than a natural tan. The tan not only gave me a glowing golden tan it made my eyes brighter, my hair look blonder (and tail waggier - just kidding). I was delighted with my legs and wore short shorts all week -even when I was at home I wore tracksuit short shorts.
I have vitiligo in my right armpit - like Michael Jackson had, although I don't know if he specifically had it in his underarm, but you know what I mean - so there is no pigment under my arm (gross fact fans: the hair under that arm also has no pigment in it) and it was brilliant because the spray tan sprays under your arm and this covered the vitalago which I am always a bit paranoid about. When I was at home himself said to me "look they missed a bit" hmmm sorry love but that's actually a stretch mark - so what have we learned from this? Well although the spray tan can minimise skin problems which is great about areas your paranoid about, and minimises the look of stretch marks ect it doesn't cover them up fully or mask them unnaturally (which actually makes the spray tan look more natural) and more importantly MEN DON'T KNOW WHAT STRETCH MARKS ARE (well the non metro sexual men - like my colleague in work who thinks my hair is naturally this colour haha).
Carter Beauty tell you that the tan should last up to 5 days and after that it will fade and you should exfoliate. I found that my tan still looked fabulous after 7 days. Even though I made a few mistakes like wearing the bandeau to bed (tight clothes can rub off the tan), the tan was long lasting. My only fault with Carter Spray Tan is that they are a little far away from where I live ... if I was closer I would be there every week. I will be getting this done again (and again and again) and for the bargain price of €15.00 you should too (seriously how many of us know people who have spent three times that on a dodgy spray tan?). I am so impressed by Carter Beauty's Spray Tan that I run the risk of gushing - so I should stop now.
Check out Carter Beauty's site here (they also stock Sleep In Rollers) or call them on Tel: 01 2103624.