Hi my name is Emily and I am an avid self-tanner. While typically admitting is the first step to solving the problem, I can say with certainty that my self-tanning habits are not actually problematic. My show of the summer is decisively "100% Hotter" in which three stylists take in the UK's most aggressively overdressed and give them make-unders with the goal of doubling their public rating.
Every other person the Style Team works with on the show has the problem of "uses too much fake tan" and while at first, I panicked thinking I would have to do some self-aware remodeling, I realized very quickly that my habits were not even close to warranting my nomination for the show (they made one woman try to paint a wall with her weekly amount of fake tanning lotion and she painted the whole thing).
While I have never and will definitely never get that bad, I also have such a problem with looking like Oliver Twist (not a child actor living large in 2005 Hollywood, by the way, but a Vitamin D deprived boy on the streets of England circa 1830). And so, while so many of the make-under cases quit fake tanning cold turkey, I persist and continue to swear by my Neutrogena micromist spray.
I'm definitely not the only self-tanner, I might be one of the most narcissistic. Even so, I'm really just here to say what we're all thinking.
1. I still have to rub in the spray, don’t I?
Splotchy to smooth!
The big selling point of self-tanning sprays are that it's no rub and goes on all over.
This is a lie.
Of course you have to rub in fake tan! Otherwise you have one clean line of blinding pale skin down your leg, drawing the eyes away from your gorgeous new glow towards The One Area That Got Away.
2. What am I going to wear tomorrow that this won’t ruin?
One of the many heavy tanners on "100% Hotter" who complained that it would get all over her clothes.
You really can't wear white for a few days after you self-tan because even though it "dries" in "5 minutes" (not true, by the way) that doesn't stop the tan from rubbing off on everything you own for a soft 2-4 business days.
3. Did I get my back well? Do I really care about my back?
The only time I've seen an even back self-tan.
Somethings in this life are just out of our reach, like marrying into the British Royal Family if you're a late-Millennial/ Gen Z-er or the center of one's back when you're self-tanning. The smartest thing to do in situations like these when you realize your shortcomings is, despite every motivational speech ever, to just give up. Cut your losses. No one has really cared about others' backs since Caesar and Brutus.
4. Oh no… Now I have to switch my workout class
My biggest fear in this lifetime (ps this is exaggerated) is working out too soon after I tan and having the sweat lines branded into my face. There's a very delicate art to scheduling both spin classes and fake tans so that one does not impede the full effects of the other, and sometimes it hits you as you're rubbing in your legs that you're signed up to ride at 9 am the next day... and that just won't do.
5. I should make a playlist for doing this
I almost exclusively self-tan late right before bed so that the chemicals I'm rubbing into my skin will work their magic while I sleep and I can wake up glowing. Even if I didn't tan in the dark of night when everyone within a 20 mile radius is dead asleep, self-tanning is a very personal task and it can get a bit lonely.
6. This is such a good playlist for doing this!
She did that.
I 100% took my own advice and made a mix of soft tunes to keep me company
7. Wow, this takes so long to dry
Selfie I took recently
Every bottle of self-tanner promotes that it is super quick drying, taking only 5 minutes then you can put your clothes back on!
Let's be real here: it's 5 minutes of standing under an overhead fan before you grow frustrated and turn to setting your hairdryer on cool and hovering it over your skin while you stare into the void.
8. Did I put on too much?
Just so we're clear: the answer to this is pretty much always "yes" so the smart thing to do a couple of hours after your tan (ex. if you tan at night, when you wake up in the morning) is to shower the excess off. This also allows you to scrub off any splotchy spots too before you ever see the
general public light of day.