I have somewhat fair skin - naturally pale with only a few freckles & a LOT of moles. I use makeup/bronzer to give my face color... but with any sort of short sleeve outfit, I tend to look very washed out under the studio lights (and the light blonde hair doesn't help).
I burn pretty easy out in the sun and only until I get that sunburn, do I tan. So I've had to find an alternative to the "sunkissed look" without actually being out in the sun. Que the orange hands & smelly lotions!
**IMPORTANT: this is not a paid post or sponsorship. This is just me helping out my fellow pale/ashy sisters & brothers. There's no paycheck at the end of this -- & I can promise you, there's a high chance L'Oreal doesn't know I even exist.
Like hairspray, I've tried 'em all when it comes to self tanners. Foams, sprays, mist, lotion... it's been a +10 year battle that stretches back to my high school days in finding one that works for me.
My absolute favorite is the Jergens' 'Instant Sun' foam. I've found it to be the one that spreads most evenly & shows a noticeable (but somewhat "natural"... or as natural as a self tan could be) color. It stains pretty good so it's definitely one of those that you want to wash off your hands as soon as you're done applying. But I found it to be the one that works the best so I use it most frequently.
The Jergens' 'Natural Glow' lotion isn't too bad - I've probably used this one the longest (again, we're talking all the way back to my high school cheerleading days). My biggest problem with it is the smell. It just wreaks of spoiled lotion to me. Not my jam... but when desperate, I'll use it.
The Neutrogena Micro-Mist is probably my least favorite only because it's tough to apply evenly. I always end up with darker spots/streaks - whether it be because I accidentally sprayed too close or too much in one area over another. It doesn't seem to smell as bad... but then again, nobody wants zebra legs. Be cautious of splotches & streaks!
The Coco Glow sunless tanner is another favorite - but also the priciest. I bought this at a fun product party hosted by my girls Steph & Rosie. I would buy this again... but because it's a little more expensive, it's not an everyday use for me. 10/10 on the smell though!
The L'Oreal 'Sublime Bronze' lotion is hit & miss for me. I like the color - it usually gives me a good "bronzed" look... but it has a shimmer in it that tends to shed glitter ALL OVER (dresses, bedsheets, etc.) Good if you need a quick darker shade... but also prepare for the "shimmer dandruff" all over EVERYthing.
There's just something about a fresh spray tan that makes me feel better and more confident in an outfit. (And in a visual industry like TV, a little boost in self-confidence isn't necessarily a bad thing considering there seems to always be a mean viewer email lurking in the inbox every week.)
I usually get one spray tan a week using the Mystic machine (no person, just a machine that sprays your front & back twice). If money grew on trees, I would get spray tans that are given by an actual person - but those tend to be much more expensive. So I'll stick with the non-judgmental machine.
Right now, I have a membership at one of the salons here in town. I pay about $60/month for unlimited tans... and then an extra $7 for each spray (this charge is for the dark spray, I think the medium is free). I'll usually go at the end-of-the-day on Tuesdays (my "Sunday") so I can sleep on it and no one will have to bear the smell or see me looking like a trash can for the eight hours while it sets. But a shower is always a MUST the following day!
Spray Tan Fails
Spray tanning is like a recipe - there's a procedure that must be followed to get a certain result. And despite the fact that I've been getting them for years, embarrassingly, I still have many #SprayTanFails. Most commonly, forgetting to wash my hands afterwards, only to wake up with very dirty-looking hands the next day (we're talking, "planted in the garden for hours" kind of look). I've also gone too far the other way and washed ALL of it off my hands to the point where it looked like I went in wearing gloves (it left such a massive tan line, that a viewer messaged me the following day asking if I ride motorcycles. I was too ashamed to tell him the real reason - so I never responded. (I apologize to whoever that was!)
Most recently, the overhead sprinkler within the machine dribbled one drop of water while I was still in there... and needless to say, that left a mark.
it's not for everyone
Bottom line - I tan because it makes me feel better about myself. In no way do I think it's required to look good or needed for everybody. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. But for the pale girls like me looking for a little more of a darker shade, I would recommend a spray tan over the tanning bed any day. Back in high school, my mom let me use a tanning bed before prom. At the time, I loved it. But now, I would never. Not worth the health risk - and if you've never burned under the lights in a bed, let me tell you, it's horrible (VERY itchy & painful). I'm happy fakin' it with the spray or lotion!
Let me know if you have any questions, feedback or comments! I'd love to hear!