So, the spray tan. As I mentioned on Instagram, I had never had one before and probably would never have gotten one in the first place if not for my daughter’s upcoming October wedding. Between makeup trials and fittings, talk of having a golden glow to wear with my dress seemed like an easy option I was willing to try.
And so I did.
Where did I go?
There are plenty of places you can get a spray tan in Chicago, but I chose goGlow because this establishment had great reviews and offered a personalized color consultation prior to treatment. Good vibes greet you as soon as you walk through the door of this place with its pristine buildout and all white everything. One of my favorite Slim Aarons prints hangs on the entrance wall and offers the only pop of color, which is perfect.
When it’s my turn I step to the counter and meet my sprayer (is that what they’re called?) and we talk about what kind of color I’m going for – golden not orange – and what to expect before, during and after the treatment. Then, before we get started I’m asked to sign a waiver releasing goGlow from any liability should I have a bad reaction to the spray. Not going to lie, that gave me pause, but then I thought about skin cancer and the fact that getting a spray tan is far better than laying in the sun, plus it won’t be a regular thing for me, so I decided to proceed.
I’m led into the back and directed to what basically looks like an open shower stall. Again my technician explains what to take off and the process in general and leaves me to disrobe. I remove all but my undies and don a shower cap and a mask I’d brought from home so I don’t get asphyxiated by the fumes from the spray. What a sight I must have been (lol)!
Then comes the tap on the door and the next thing I know we are off to the races. Let me tell you, be prepared to be shocked by the initial blast of spray! It is freeeeezing!!! Throughout the process I am asked to stand in countless hysterical positions so that the tan is even and reaches every part of my body. Just when I think I can’t handle the cold any longer it is over. I am beyond thrilled and relieved. The sprayer leaves me to change back into my shift dress and when I turn to face the mirror I am seriously in awe. I have, in the span of less than 15 minutes, gotten a beautiful golden tan and look as though I’ve been on vacation in some tropical locale.
I am Impressed.
Ahh, but the smell. That’s another story. This stuff stinks – the active ingredient is derived from sugar beets, which is responsible for tanning your skin. It’s not a noxious, make you sick to your stomach kind of smell, more like a, she’s/he’s wearing too much perfume/cologne kind of smell. Like I said, unless you want your face sprayed too, I would wear a mask.
Aside from the initial smell and the fact that you can’t shower for at least 12 hours after being sprayed the process is pretty painless. And hey, the results speak for themselves. I haven’t had a full body tan since my college days and it definitely gave me a boost I wasn’t expecting. It’s not necessarily something I will do on a regular basis but for a special occasion or when I tire of looking at my soon-to-be-pale-again-skin, I will definitely give it another try.
For those of you, who like me, have never had a customized spray tan before, here are some things to keep in mind both before and after your treatment –
Getting you skin spray-tan ready is probably the most important step in getting the results you want. 24-48 hours before your treatment, shave your legs and use a body brush or loofah to get rid of all dead skin cells. That will allow the spray to be absorbed evenly.
2. USE THE RIGHT PRODUCTS
Ditch all soaps and body washes containing sulfites. Instead, use sulfate-free cleansers to prepare your skin for the treatment.
3. Don’t Forget the SPF
A spray tan may look beautiful but it won’t protect you from the sun’s damaging rays. When you head out the door with that great new glow remember to use a sulfite-free SPF for total skin protection.
All things considered, I love the look of this tan. So natural looking! I highly recommend it if you want to give your skin a safe, still-summertime glow.