I am somewhat ashamed to confess that I have never had a spray tan, in my entire twenty-six years the closest I’ve ever came to an artificial tan was using sunbeds in my teens. With false tan I’ve always had the fear that I would look like I’ve been dipped in something messy, smell like a gone-off biscuit, miss blindingly embarrassing white patches of skin around my hands, creases and joints and look ridiculously orange so I’ve avoided it like the plague.
That was until today of course when I decided to find out what all of the celebrity hype is behind the Saint Tropez tan; an airbrushed flawless ocean of gorgeous sunkissed golden skin turning you from ghoul to goddess in sheer seconds and lasting up to a week if taken care of properly. And with my pasty white British skin cowering away from the chilly, damp mornings of the school run, coming to the Belmore Centre today for a Saint Tropez was just the lunchtime tonic that I needed.
Pulling into the car park of the Belmore Centre which was clearly signposted from the main Stoke Mandeville Hospital road, I was pleasantly greeted by the friendly and welcoming staff at reception before being shown to a beautiful white stone waiting area filled with beauty products, soft lighting and soothing music. A few moments later I was greeted by Lauren, my therapist, and shown to a peaceful, cosy and quiet treatment room upstairs which was furnished with beautiful white and purple materials and sumptuous soft fluffy towels. After answering a few questions about my health concerning the procedures that I was about to have, Lauren showed me where to undress and the shower cap, sticky feet and paper underwear to put on and then she left the room as I got ready.
Prior to booking my spray tan I’d taken heed of Lauren’s advice and worn dark loose clothing to travel in, as the tan would rub off onto lighter coloured materials, I’d had a shower just before I came and exfoliated my skin, I hadn’t applied any deodorant or perfume as Lauren advised this can make the tan go green and I’d removed all of my makeup. I chose to wear a black bikini top and bottoms which I had at home and after tucking my hair into the shower cap and stepping my bare feet onto the sticky pads, Lauren knocked on the door and rentered ready to begin my tan.
I was expecting to choose my preferred shade of tan from swatch samples ranging from bright orange to dark charcoal in scale, but was pleasantly surprised when Lauren informed me that the Saint Tropez reacts with the pigment in your skin creating a unique natural golden looking tan for which no matter how many extra layers you apply you will only go as dark as your skin pigmentation allows, which is why it differs from all other tans. So no embarrassing oompa loompa mishaps then! Well that’s a relief as I wouldn’t have known where to start with picking a shade or knowing what would suit me best, thankfully my body will take care of that for me.
Stepping into the spray booth Lauren applied moisturiser to my elbows, knees and ankles before switching on the airbrush and advised me to take a deep breath and close my eyes as she began spraying the tan across my face each time I exhaled. I turned my head to the left and then right, up and then raised my arms, turned to each side, back, front and repeated the whole process until every inch of me was perfectly dusted in a fine golden mist of tan. Each step of the way Lauren demonstrated how to stand and when to turn and the whole process was over with in a matter of minutes.
After the spray tan was finished Lauren wiped over my nails to remove any excess colour and applied moisturiser to my wrists and ankles once more to ensure that my hands and feet blended seamlessly and I waited several minutes for the tan to dry as we chatted about aftercare before pulling on my loose clothes to return home. Lauren advised the tan will remain tacky whilst I leave it to set for eight hours before having a shower in the evening to remove any excess colour left on the skin. I should then simply rinse myself in the shower until the water runs clear and not scrub or rub at it or it could lighten certain areas. For the first eight hours I should avoid excessive exercise and sweat and keep out of the rain and swimming pools with chlorine, but after my shower I would be fine.
I was surprised that I didn’t smell like I was wearing fake tan because I was expecting a fairly strong chemical pang, but instead the moisturiser and aloe vera from within the Saint Tropez gave me the fresh fragrance of having just stepped out of the shower on holiday somewhere tropical. When I looked in the mirror I was amazed by how golden my skin looked from just two coats of spray tan and laughed when I removed my bikini to show the white area of my underwear for just how brown I was. I’ve always avoided instant tan for the fear of having to build up layers and colour, for some areas to be bright orange and others dark brown if you’ve applied too much or missed a patch; but with the Saint Tropez every inch of me was even and equal and perfectly bronzed and I just couldn’t help but smile at how healthy I looked. Goodbye pasty legs, goodbye chilly purple arms, cold mottled chicken-skin thighs, tired old face, and hello vibrant, glowing, healthy beach babe! I had to take a double look to recognise myself.
Lauren advised the tan should last between three to five days, depending on how often I wash and come in contact with water, and if I moisturise and exfoliate; but with proper looking after it could last a week. Having a Saint Tropez really took the hassle and difficulty out of fake-tanning for me; being an amateur I knew I would never be able to get the same professional finish myself at home so I’ve deliberately stayed away from tanning. Now I’ve seen how easy it is to throw on some casual clothes, step into the booth for a few minutes and then shower in the evening, I’m far more confident in sporting a healthy tan in future.
I always seem to look and feel so much better when I have a tan, little imperfections are covered up and everything you wear looks so much brighter and more cheerful. It’s made my pink nail varnish really pop and my teeth look dazzling white against my skin. I’m walking taller, smiling more and feel very pampered and maintained.
The Saint Tropez is ideal for all occasions, birthdays, parties, special dinners, weddings and even Christmas! It’s certainly put a sparkle in my eye and the thought of nipping over to The Belmore Centre once a week for a cheeky top up is very appealing and convenient. Gift vouchers are also available and make the perfect present, so for just £30.00 why not treat yourself or a loved one to a Saint Tropez spray tan.
You can visit the Belmore Centre’s website here and watch me having Saint Tropez Tan in this video: