(Mis)Adventures In Self Tanning

If you follow me on twitter or facebook or instagram (obviously I have a social media problem) then this week you got real time updates of the saga that occurred between me and a bottle of self tanning lotion. If, unlike me, you are not addicted to the internet, I shall now commence to update you on what you missed via status updates:

  • I am going to get a spray tan for photos next week. Please educate me about spray tans so that I don’t look ridiculous. #noskincancerforme
  • I’m having someone spray it on me. I don’t trust booths. I saw that episode of FRIENDS and I don’t want to end up looking like Ross Gellar. #mississippily
  • I had to switch our photos so I canceled the spray tan & tried a new self tanner. I AM GLITTERING LIKE A VAMPIRE. What the heck, L’Oreal?! 
  • I look like Snookie #selftanner
  • I have two different color legs. Also, this angle looks like I am wearing a sack cloth. Which would be appropriate as there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth (photo evidence)

  • PSA: If your child (who has a tendency to sweat) falls asleep on your shoulder, your self tan WILL transfer itself to HER FACE. #worstselftannerever

I would like to tell you that I am a self tanning professional. If there were Olympics for self tanning, I would definitely be standing on a podium holding a medal while someone plays The Star Spangled Banner triumphantly in the background. After a rocky start with a bottle of Bath & Body Works self tanner in high school, I have persevered, trained, studied and have come out on the other side as a champion of self tanning. People study my techniques. Probably they’ll name one after me in the 2012 summer games.

I tell you all of this to say: it’s not me. The store was out of my trusty, tried and true self tanner so I used something new.

In conclusion, I am not a fan of the Illuminating L’Oreal Sublime Bronze with bronzer.

Sublime it is not, y’all.

And pouring half a bottle of “illuminating” powder into it doesn’t distract anyone from how crappy this self tanner is, L’Oreal. It just says “Look at that girl. She tried to cover up that terrible self tan with glitter.” That face that I am sparkling is practically encouraging people to look at my terrible self tan. That’s just hateful.

And okay, it works on my sister, but she is already tan. Also, who makes self-tanner for people who are already tan? It’s people like me, the lost member of the Cullen family, that need self tanner. The ones who cause traffic accidents in the summer time because the sunlight reflecting off of their pure white legs strikes blind those unfortunate souls who happen to drive past us on the days we say “screw it!” and wear shorts. Where’s the justice?!

ETA: For those who asked, my tried and true brand is Neutrogena’s Instant Bronze for the FACE except I use it on my whole body.  I heard Kristin Chenoweth say the exact same thing on Ellen so that totally validates me. Also, if you know Kirstin Chenoweth, please ask her where she located said tanner. Thanks.

(p.s. I have a new giveaway up which is weirdly and unintentionally related. I quite like that.)


  1. says

    Please share the brand of your “tried and true” self-tanner for those of us who have never had a good self-tanning experience! Come to think of it, I would love a whole post dedicated to your successful self-tanning methods!

  2. says

    OMG! I had the same thing happen to me!! I couldn’t stop obsessing over the variations in color. My sister claims that olive oil and sugar will take off the horrible self tanning mistakes.

    Also, she apparently is an expert in self-tanning and she said if any of your skin is dryer than other parts, the color takes more to the dry skin because it wants to soak it in. So, always make sure you are nice and moisturized prior to the self tan. So lotion it up a few days prior to self tanning.

  3. KimS says

    I, like you, am exceedingly pale. I suspect I may get away with it slightly more easily, living in England, but after many self tanning disasters I have officially given up. I figure hey! if I’m getting my legs out, it’s sunny, right? Therefore people will already be wearing sunglasses and so I won’t be giving them snow blindness. No more self tanning cream, job done!

  4. says

    Well, you’re doing better than me. The couple times I’ve tried it…I turned…ORANGE! Like an orange crayon, orange!

    BTW: this post really cracks me up! I totally envisioned Ross Gellar. As long as you avoid glow-in-the-dark teeth whitening, you should be okay!

  5. says

    I’m tellin you Fake Bake Flawless…it’s the way to go! DON’T buy self tanner from the big box stores!!! I’m so white i have bio-luminescence, so I’ know of what I speak.

  6. stee says

    yes, please include the name of your tried & true brand in this blog post!
    otherwise we’ll all be sparkly, orange streaked pale legged girls

  7. Dee A says

    I can’t believe I’m going to write this…..

    I tried a spray on tanner once. My husband donned on disposable gloves so he wouldn’t “stain” his hands with tanning spray and I undressed and stood in the bathtub so he could spray me and not the walls. About half way through the spraying, my husband started laughing and wouldn’t tell me what was so funny. After the spraying was finished, he had me look in the mirror at my backside. I had white hand prints on each bum cheek!! Evidently, he thought it was *cute* to place each hand over each side of my bum and spray tan over it. At the time, I was absolutely livid, but now I think it’s hilarious…but I still won’t allow him to help me tan.

  8. says

    Girl. I followed the saga on Twitter and had so many comments I could have made. I, too, am exceedingly pale, like, so pale that when I was in college this boy I was friends with but also had a leetle crush on spent 15 minutes talking about how shockingly pale my legs were and I almost cried. In COLLEGE. I could go on. Anyway, I’ve tried some tanners/bronzers, but yeah, I think they work best on people with a tan alread, which is not helpful. The only tip I have that’s worked with any of the sprays and lotions is to shower at night, exfoliate like crazy, and then mix it with a little moisturizer and put it on before you go to bed. Problem-your bed gets tanning stuff in it. Not for me.

    I DID get spraytanned for my wedding, and it was great! A little uncomfortable if you’re modest but you can decide how much of…you…gets tan. The only drawback is that for like, 4 hours after, you can’t be seen in public because you look RIDIC and you can’t get your skin wet. So if you do it, and you will look awesome, get a babysitter. Because you will look like an Oscar statue, for sure.

    Lastly, bought The Blog Book recently, really enjoyed it, will be sending you an email with some more specific thanks and how it helped me. Thus ends the longest comment eva.

  9. says

    Thanks for the heads up! I burn making Xerox copies, and all my self-tanning experiments have left me feeling like I used battery acid mixed with Cheetos dust. For the three weeks it’s actually warm enough to wear shorts here in New Hampsha, I’ll have to try the Neutrogena face. . .

  10. says

    Ok I have been using Nivea’s self tanner. It works really well! It is a lotion and has a nice scent and does not smell like the usual nasty self-tanners.

    I used Loreal’s spray self tanner a month ago to try it out. I looked like a white and gold spotted cow. I even had a drip mark that I couldn’t see tan way darker than the rest of me. If you exfoliate with a microbead scrub for 4 days in a row it helps to fade it faster–unfortunately your skin ends up pink from the rawness factor.

    Depending where you got it from you should be able to take it back.

  11. says

    Yay for using self-tanners instead of tanning beds! :-) I was diagnosed with stage III melanoma when I was 23. I’m all for self-tanners instead of tanning beds; however, I have decided to embrace my super pale skin. When people question me, I tell them I like to sparkle! (OH, and then I tell them why their tan is unhealthy!)

    Good for you for trying out different spray tans!

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