Best Self Tanner

Earlier this year, I had written a piece on why I chose to quit tanning. * Spoiler alert, it was because I had gotten so burnt in a tanning bed, I was miserable for two days. But, what I didn’t tell you, was that about a few months after that, I had decided to get my first spray tan at a tanning salon. I was a little too nervous to be seen topless by someone else, so I opted for the booth where just the machine sees you naked. Ultimately, you get undressed, climb in and follow the directions on the inside: feet apart, arms away from your side, hold your breath for five seconds, turn, etc.

After the machine sprays you with the solution, you give yourself ample time air dry and then slowly put on your clothes, taking caution that you’re not putting on anything too tight or smearing any damp areas. Seems easy enough, right? Wrong. I had followed all the steps, felt like I had taken all the precautions of the spray tan booth to a ’t’, and the next day I was orange. But not just orange. I was spotty, I was streaky and it would not come off. Even the people I worked with, noticed and called me an oompa loompa. I.was.moritified!

For years, I would look at self tanners and scoff…thinking of the days people used to think I would file in line singing about candy while sporting a green wig and hauling Augustus Gloop off because he couldn’t keep himself away from the Chocolate River. (shameless plug towards Oompa Loompas on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). I’ve tried all the bronzing lotions, the over the counter ones, the expensive tanning mousses and always end up with the same streaks. Enough was enough. I just decided to let the professionals spray me down, until…

A month ago, I discovered the best thing since sliced bread, Norvell Venetian Sunless CC Tanning Color! Norvell is the same brand used in the spray tan solution that is used on me, so I decided to try it out. I found the lotion on Amazon for $29 dollars. I also purchased a $7 applicator blending mitt to apply the newly discovered lotion.

I worked quickly to apply the lotion and worked in circular motions on one leg. Hey, if it looks bad, I’ll just wear pants and it’ll only be one leg, I told myself. I let it go a couple of hours and did a comparison to my other leg and loved what I saw. I was more tan, and NOT orange! I began trying different parts of my body still hidden by clothes, so if the situation turned awry, I’d still be able to cover it. Slowly but surely, I applied to stomach. Okay, tan. Then chest. Okay, tan. Then arms. Okay, tan. And then…the face. Would I regret this!? Would this look alright!? What if it dried and I’d need to do a chemical peel or something to take it off!?

Unconfidently confident, I began applying the CC cream on my face with the mitt. Then, I walked away… far away from the mirror because I was nervous that this was a terrible mistake. Fifteen minutes later I came back and.. okay, TAN! I was so excited! I had finally found a bronzing lotion that I can use in between spray tans or to just help me add a little color to my face in those yucky winter months coming up. Paying for spray tans is costly and I recognize that it’s definitely a splurge, so the fact that I found a bronzing lotion to give me close to the same thing, was a great find and I had to share it. I have had so many people ask me if I’ve been outside lately or why I look so sun kissed and this is the secret. Sometimes, it’s just good to feel like you have a win, even with something as simple as self tanner not turning you orange.


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