Me and Fake Tan are through!

Seriously! I’m done with it. I’m washing my hands of fake tan (literally and metaphorically) for good this time.  I am hereby boycotting anything that pretends to make your skin look tanned from this day forward. Why? Oh, because as I type, I’m looking down at the hands of giant female Oompah Loompa!

I’m not even joking, and desperately wish I was.

Tonight  I have an awards night to go to. Not quite as formal as the Star Ball  I had to get ready for the other week, but dressy all the same. So I’ve got the dress, the jewels, the shoes etc sorted.  However, yesterday when I was shopping, I thought I might look into a product I’ve heard all about.

It’s called Model Co. Airbrush Bronzer.  I’ve used the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs before and it’s normally great, except that last time I used it (right before a wedding) I broke out into a huge red spotty rash. It went fabulously with my navy, white and red spotty dress.

So I thought I’d steer clear of that one again. And in fact, have not been tempted to get involved in any kind of self-tanning activities for a while now, and have opted instead – for a professional spray tan.

Spray Tans are great, except that you can’t sweat or get wet for 8 hours. Problem? Not usually.  But I live in Darwin. Hot and wet for 8-9 months. Hot and dry for 3-4.

Last time I got a spray tan it rained while I was walking to my car and I had white spots on my brown arms and shoulders. I hid it with makeup.

The time before that when I got a spray tan, it was a very hot and humid day and I was sweating like a paedophile in a primary school (sorry – bad taste, but you can imagine I was sweating PROFUSLEY).  I managed to blend in some of the blotches, only to have half of it wash away when I gave my daughter a bath that night.


So spray tans and me haven’t had the best luck so far…

Self ANYTHING and me usually turn out to be a disaster. Today was no exception.

Here is what the can said:

Hold can approximately 40cm away from your face and body and spray a fine mist evenly over desired area. Be sure to spray in a light even motion or blotching may occur. In this instance, rub the bronzer into your skin. Then wait a few minuted for the perfect golden colour to appear.

So I’m in the bathroom, naked, with towels all over the floor. I give the can a shake and press lightly down on the nozzle. The fluorescent orange spray comes out vcery fast and it is NOT GOLDEN.  Crap. So I do what they tell me and rub it into my skin.

It doesn’t blend. It just blotches more. It’s already set on my skin….. Only now my hands are matching bright orange. What was all that golden stuff about anyway?  There is nothing golden about looking like the inside of a butternut pumpkin!

So I jumped back in the shower and scrubbed like my credibility depended on it (because it does) and have managed to get most of it off. I’m now more like the outside of a butter nut pumpkin. Hues of bright orange, but muted.

 You may wonder why I bother…. It’s not just to look tanned.

Here are the reasons.

  1. This reason is the ongoing reason, and is due to some (a million) big brown freckles on my shoulders. Sun wounds. Battle scars from my beach-spent youth. Some of them look like big wheat flakes that you should be pouring milk over, not pouring a silky evening dress over.
  2. The last few weeks there have been lots of mosquitoes and my legs are covered in mosquito bites. I figured a bit of golden colour might help to camouflage them.   It’s not like any normal person wears stockings in Darwin.
  3. Brown skin makes you look skinnier, and your teeth whiter.

But I’ve decided this morning that I can live with mozzie bite scabs on my legs; I can live with choc-chip arms; and I can live without extra white teeth –  I can’t live with the fact that I have to go out tonight looking like this. (Minus the hat – Plus actual clothes).

Yes, me and fake brown skin are over. Here is a list of the products that will no longer get my support.

  1. Fake self-tan – Actual cream or spray that you apply to your skin and wait for it to develop. We have put men on the moon, but we still can’t work out how to make this product smell less stinky, or look less fake.
  2. Spray Tan – Perhaps I will revisit this when I can come home and stand under a fan without moving for 4-8 hours. Right now it goes against my lifestyle.
  3. Bronzers – They come off all over your clothes, furniture and other people, and leave a huge mess in your bathroom sink.
  4. Airbrush Bronzers – See above.

I’m not alone… Anne Hathaway – she of creamy skinned goodness has also sworn off the stuff too saying: “I had a spray tan done and I wound up looking like an orange zebra. When it came off, because I’m so pale underneath, I looked like a giraffe with leprosy. And I smelled like nachos and maple syrup the whole time. It was not a good idea.”


If anyone asks me tonight…. Why no! This isn’t spray tan. I’ve just been on that keratin diet. You know – the one where you eat lots of carrots? It can apparently make your skin a bit orange…. Yes and it tends to have a stronger effect on areas of skin like elbows, knees, and the bits between your fingers…  So am  I looking tanned? I hadn’t really noticed!



  1. sonia griffiths · June 3, 2010

    ahahahahahahahahah memories …… how about how I used to put fake tan on my forearms and then bleach my black forearm hairs ( black not from fake tan, just have black hairy fore arms) thus cancelling out any fake tan…. such a waste of time!
    I think we are going to need another hundred years before it is not cool to have a skin damaged real tan or a fake orange tan. I blame Dancing schools !! Why do we think that in order to look fully well groomed that our skin has to be evenly coloured all over our bodies !?
    Hey about your freckles though … maybe you can bleach them off with a skin lightener ? ha ha ha ha (just as bad, just opposite to orange and heading the old Michael Jackson direction) but I think it may be possible? I heard that there is a big market in skin lightening in asia and middle east do you think that could be true?
    Hope you have a great time anyway! cheers Sonia xxxx

  2. Dara · June 4, 2010

    Embrace the white Cindy…I did for summer this year and life was so much easier!

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