Tuesday, April 9, 2013

That Orange Glow: A Self Tanning Retrospective, Part 1

As we're all starting to get springy with it down here in southeast Alabama, I thought I'd share some thoughts and insights on self-tanning in a three part series. 


I have a love/hate relationship with it. As a pale middle school kid growing up in what felt like the tanning bed capital of the world during a time when the movie Casper was only a couple of years old, you can draw your own conclusions as to what my life was like. (Bullies are mean--teach your kids to be kind, people!) My mom wouldn't let me get in a tanning bed, for which I obviously thank her for today. Not that it would have helped--I never tanned. NEVER. I always burned. No color whatsoever could I gain from the sun--except freckles. Man, I had a lot of nicely tanned freckles.

So when I discovered self-tanning lotion, I was thrilled. And then I was orange. See, that first bottle of Jergens I bought in Extra Dark didn't really work on me that well. In fact, not a lot of the those early self-tanners were my friend. For one thing, they reeked. I have the nose of a bloodhound, and I can smell the DHA in the lotion before it even causes the chemical reaction with your dead skin cells (that's super fun to think about, isn't it?). Then, they streaked. I tried really, really hard to apply it right, but it never looked perfect. Especially on my feet and knees. And it was so sticky--I always felt like I had to stand in place for an hour before it would dry.

Not only did I look only slightly less orange than Anne, I also had matching orange hair, courtesy of everyone's favorite nineties hair lightener, Sun In.

And then there were the orange palms. Oh, the orange palms.

As a former orange palmer myself, I totally noticed that Justin Hammer forgot to wash his hands after apply his faux glow in Iron Man 2.

But then, along came spray tans...


  1. LOL Anne's orange. Amazing! Yours look really good in the other posts, very natural :) Hope you've been well, T!

    1. Thanks! I don't think I've ever been Anne orange, but I have totally had Hammer palms!