I've never been a girl who had a copious amount of skin pigmentation. I prefer to refer to my coloring as "porcelain complected." You all know this. Someone of such obvious Western European ancestry simply can not hold a tan as such, and because of that, I've gotten quite comfortable with the whiteness that is my skin. You all also know that sometimes, I rebel against said ancestry, and try to make myself a bit darker and less pasty by slathering on self-tanning lotion, or by laying in a tanning bed, or by actually biting the bullet and suffering through a real-life sun burn.
My rebellion took on a different strategy last night, as I dove into the wonder that is the Mystic Tan -- you know, that spray-on tan concoction that is better than a tanning bed, but still messes with your skin to make it darker than it is naturally. Brian accompanied me, of course, as I walked to the salon on Newbury Street to try out this new technology. I had to watch an introductory video, then sign away any rights to sue the establishment should anything go horribly wrong, and then I was led into the Mystic room. The inhalers, booties and eyewear that was so promoted in the video are not recommended here -- closing your eyes, holding your breath and just sticking with the barrier cream is the way of it. So I stripped down, put the cream on my hands and between my fingers and on my elbows and heels so the color doesn't pool, and artfully wrapped the paper shower cap atop my head. I stepped into the little room, closed the door, positioned myself properly over the metal plate, then pushed the green button, signifying my preparedness to get sprayed. Even though they all told me that the initial spray would be startling, I was hardly ready for it. It did startle me, making me whoosh out my breath, and thus made me breathe in the tanning spray when gasping for fresh oxygen. Fourteen seconds later, the spray stopped, and I spun around, preparing for the other side to be sprayed. It's initial spray startled me again, and this time, I could actually taste the mist as I re-inhaled. Having finished the spraying, I stepped out of the booth, waited about 30 seconds, toweled off the excess, and then redressed.
I think Brian was expecting an immediate Mediterranean tan, but I knew that it would take a few hours for the spray to go into effect. And yes, a few hours later, there was a bit more color to my skin. This morning, as I type, I am distracted by the color that pooled and intensified along my thumbs and forefinger in spite of the barrier cream, and the still slight smell of fake tan, even though I showered last night after the required four-hour minimum wait time.
But don't take this as a negative review of the Mystic Tan. I'll be going back, for certain, because I am happy with the nice, even shade of tan all over me today. (It should last for a week, I was told.) Now, I just know what to expect, and above all, that the spray tastes awful, so once I push the green button, I should just go to my "happy place," where the spray is, instead, Evian being spritzed on me by a pool boy, as I lay on a chaise in Maui.
[Editor's note: The picture above has nothing to do with today's post. It is of Mongolian wrestlers preparing to compete in some festival. I just liked their outfits.]