Sunday, July 24, 2011

Faux glow

Let me break it down for you.  My heritage consists of the following: Irish, German, Swedish, Dutch, and English.  Which means that I have five kinds of pale skin tones all blending together to form a super-pale experience that is often unparalleled.  Tanning isn't really in my skill set; if I'm lucky, a week at the beach involves two things: the avoidance of a painful burn, and enough minor and brief sun exposure to result in a subtle pink that could maybe pass for brown(ish).  Despite my genetic predisposition to paleness, I still enjoy a hint of color on my skin.  Because of my genetic predisposition to paleness, I've never set foot in a tanning bed and never plan to.  As a result, my options for getting a sun-kissed look are pretty limited.

During high school, I tried Mystic Tan for proms and formals, and I was always pleased with the result.  Minus the day of gunkiness immediately after getting sprayed, it got passing marks in my book.  Relatively inexpensive, relatively long-lasting, and relatively stress- and complaint-free.  As long as you follow the instructions, that is..

Image via Metro UK / Credit: NBC

 Here's a picture of the end result at my brother's wedding:
Personal photo from 2007

And here's a photo of me in January, without any tan, for comparison:

Even though I had nothing but pleasant experiences with Mystic Tan, I've decided that I won't be going that route for the wedding.  I don't like the idea of having an entire day so close to the wedding taken up by me being grungy, waiting for the color to deepen.  I don't like the idea of raising my arms to hug someone or dance and having a starkly white armpit, since that area doesn't get touched by the tanning goodness.  I'm not in love with the scent that kind of lingers on you for days.  Finally, and most importantly, I couldn't find enough solid evidence that the color wouldn't rub off on my wedding dress.  I've never had color rubbing issues in the past, but at the same time, I'm not willing to take my chances on that for W-day.

Since tanning beds are out, and spray tans are out, what does that leave me?  

Image via

I've used Jergens in the past, and I've always, always, always loved it.  In my opinion, it gives you all of the benefits of a spray tan, minus the swift application and almost instant color change, but without the majority of the drawbacks.  It's inexpensive (under $10 a bottle), it's easy to apply, you're in full control of how much to apply and how frequently, and I think there's a much fainter odor associated with this lotion.  I really like that you can apply it for a few days, see how it looks, and then tweak your application technique in any way you see fit.  I applied it twice last week, and I can already see a difference!  My plan is to apply it a few times a week up until the wedding to get a subtle and natural-looking tint.

What are your favorite self-tanning products?  Any faux glow tips from your own wedding experience?

1 comment:

  1. I have no advice for you! I'm naturally tan and still try to stay out of then sun! Good luck!