Thursday, December 29, 2011

Adventures in Frivolity: Fake Tan

Being an Australian in Utah was somewhat of a rarity. Whilst some Utahns may encounter the ski bogan working on the snow fields, most have never met your average, run-of-the-mill, overseas-born Aussie.
During the first week of my internship I met an intern who considered himself very well-travelled. He was confident that he could pick where I was from. I queried his statement, asking him where he believed I hailed from, and was met with the common response of:

"..... England!"


I informed my new friend that I was in fact Australian, born in Former Yugoslavia. He seemed stumped, and looked very confused as he asked:

"... I thought Australians were tall and, like, tanned? Like crazy Amazonians!!".

I politely responded that the Amazon was in South America. That seemed to go over his head. But on further reflection, his statement wasn't misguided as I had originally thought. The image of Australians presented to the world is lithe and tanned. Consider one of our recent tourism campaigns starring this woman:

Where the bloody hell am I? A place called obscurity!!!
Image from
We are percieved to have either an "outback" or "beach" culture (nevermind the fact that most Australians have never been to the "outback", including yours truly). So, apparently, we have a reputation to uphold! And while beach-ing is a truly enjoyable passtime, basking in the sun and turning periodically to achieve a "natural" tan conjures up images of a chicken in a rotisserie.
Y'all might be aware of that hole in the ozone layer thing. Because of that, 2 in 3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. Bloody scary statistic. And, after a particularly nasty burn at the age of 15 due to sun tanning (after half of my face-skin peeled off I resembled the Phantom of the Opera), I decided that I would embrace my Victorian features.

I'm on the right. Clearly not impressed with my friend, bitch stole my rouge.
Image from

 So, for the last 12 years, I've been very happy to embrace my lily-white flesh. It looks great with hot pink lipstick. It requires very minimal effort, other than slathering on the SPF30+ (WHICH EVERYBODY SHOULD BE DOING EVERY DAY). But recent advances in fake tan got me curious. And frightened because despite such advances (natural looking! No smell!), I encounter people daily who resemble oompa-loompas, generally clad in a mullet skirt. I am perfectly comfortable with my fluorescent legs reflecting the light to tan those around me on the beach, but would once like to experience the feeling of a tan.
My good friend Nic at Sugar Suite convinced me that she had a colour light enough to give me a "sunkissed glow". A spray-tan application ensures an even, streak-free finish. Okay, let's do this.

Inspiration - Leather Chic.
Image from
 The Process

Spray tanners recommend that you exfoliate a day or so before getting the spray done. I exfoliate twice a week, so I wasn't concerned about this. On the day, you're supposed to have a shower and then skip the deodorant and moisturiser. Uh oh.
So, yeah, you've got to get a little bit naked. This is why it was great having Nic do it - I had no problem getting my gear (except for bottom underwear) off. Nic then made me stand with different sides facing her while she applied the tan. Then she dried off the tan, and got me to wear something loose and black. The directions then were to take a shower 2/3 hours later.

While waiting/marinating, I began to get a little worried as the colour I turned was quite..... dark. Nic assured me that the colour that develops would be much lighter - and she was right. After the shower, my skin was only 2-ish shades darker, and not a lick of orange in sight!

Tomorrow I will post some pics of my arm, or another inconspicuous limb to show you the result.

1 comment:

  1. embrace my lily-white flesh. It looks great with hot pink lipstick-- and face it, most people don't look great in hot pink lipstick!


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