Fake and Bake

I wanted one thing when I headed to the beaches of Florida: to be tan. My Mom told me, “Autumn, why get a tan before you go to Florida? You do realize you will get tan when you are there…”

Arrive to the beach pasty white-probably so white that I would blend in with the white sandy

Gulf National Shores...the sand is so white and beautiful!  photo credit: Gulf National Shores

Gulf National Shores…the sand is so white and beautiful!
photo credit: Gulf National Shores

beaches of the Florida gulf? NOT AN OPTION.

I was headed back to Florida with my twin sister, Andrea, to visit college friends. I wanted to make the impression of the college graduate who is succeeding in the job world. (Yup…I was still working at my summer job at the zoo.) And my crush was still at school…so I wanted to show up sun kissed and gorgeous. I thought being tan would somehow help accomplish these goals.

All summer long I had been working with caterings at the zoo. Random Fact: A surprising amount of people actually get married at zoos. Who would have thought? And the one thing each and every bride had in common was their golden, flawless and goddess-like skin. I soon learned that their perfect tans were a combination of tanning beds and a spray tan. For a month before heading to Florida Andrea and I spent a small fortune on a tanning package which included: a very small bottle of special tanning lotion magic(that was the most expensive thing!), the best tanning beds and a free spray on tan.

My goal: Golden, sun kissed skin. photo credit: shelovesglam.com

My goal: Golden, sun kissed skin.
photo credit: shelovesglam.com

I’m not sure if you can tell in my picture…but I am awfully white. And my nearly black hair doesn’t help the situation. My entire body rejects tanning…it’s like my skin wants to remain as white as possible. When I lived in Florida it took me forever to get a tan and when I got one if I wasn’t at the beach within two days it would vanish.

For a month I dutifully went to the tanning bed. I slathered myself in the magic lotion, put on the scary goggles and lay in a bed for the allotted time. On the day before our Florida road trip I still felt awfully pale. This was ridiculous. I looked nothing like the bronze brides that I had seen all summer long. Then I realized I still had one last key ingredient to achieve the bronzed goddess look: The Spray On Tan.

Late in the night Andrea and I went to the salon. We did our regular tanning session and then requested the spray on tan. I have never ever gotten a spray on tan, yet I was a believer. I believed the spray on tan would make my skin BEAUTIFUL. I decided to go all out and get the darkest option possible. My skin and I were fighting….and I would win. I was going to be tan!

I stepped in the little black room that resembles a shower. Wearing an old bikini I stood on the silver cold squares that looked like foot prints. I faced the sprayers that were attached to the wall and closed my eyes. I waited. And waited….and right before I peaked open my eyes to see if the thing was working, I was shot with a spray of freezing icy tanning liquid. It is so cold it literally makes you jump. After the chilly tanning shower was over I patted any excess liquid off as instructed, and stepped outside feeling like a new woman. The girl that worked at the salon told my sister and I not to take a shower for at least 12 hours.

The problem was we were leaving bright and early (6:00am!) for our road trip. What was a few extra hours? (like an extra 14 give or take a few hours?) We decided we would just shower when we arrived in the hotel in Florida.

As the hours wore on and on on our non-stop drive to Florida, we started to notice something. Was it just the lighting in the car or was our skin turning….orange?

When we arrived at our hotel I noticed that when Andrea stepped out of the car and into the sunlight she really did look orange…just like the fruit. Maybe it was just the tint on my sunglasses? I’m sure that’s what it was. We threw our suitcases on the bed and I ran into the bathroom. Then I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I almost fell over. I screamed and Andrea joined me in the bathroom. We weren’t two bronze goddesses… we were ompa loompas…and it didn’t help that we are twins…short twins. I was in the shower for a good hour trying to scrub the orangeness out of my skin to little avail.

This is an actual picture of me and Andrea...;) photocredit: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

This is an actual picture of me and Andrea…;)
photocredit: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

And yup…I’ve never gotten a spray on tan since!

Have any bad tanning experiences? What do you think of spray on tanning?

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