I’ve been using fake tan at least once a week, since I was 16.
That means I have probably applied fake tan around 520 times.
Over the 10 years, and 520 tans, I of course have had some tanning disasters.
One time, which probably tops the poll as my worst fake tan mishap, was back in 2007, when my Johnson’s Summer Skin gradual tanner, went very orange and streaky around my ankles. This lead to some chavs shouting ‘ORANGE LEGS’ at me and chasing me through town.
My Mum banned me from using fake tan after this happened (yes really.) And ever since, I have made sure to always try to apply tan evenly to my ankles.
But apart from chav gate, I’ve been relatively lucky when it comes to tanning.
I mean, I’ve had no Ross from Friends style disasters.
So ultimately, I’m quite a confident fake tanner. I feel like I know how to apply an even tan, and I never worry too much about waking up as orange as a cheesy wotist.
Well that was until last weekend.
Dramatic music plays.
Being that I used to be very confident with the old fake tan, last Friday evening, I decided to use a new fake tan which I’d been sent. It was the Sienna X Pro Tan – the lotion edition, which I assumed would be a good tan. It’s used a lot by professionals, what could go wrong?
I actually had plans on the Saturday, but it would be fine right? I am a fake tan pro, after all I have applied over 500 tans- I’ll be fine.
But as soon as I started to apply it, I realised I had made a terrible mistake.
Now, I don’t want to completely slate the tan, because I do think 80% of the fake tan disaster was down to me.
I didn’t moisturise before tanning, because tbh, I never really do. But I should have done.
I found that the lotion kept gathering on my arms, it kept going patchy, and I couldn’t seem to get it even. I’m not joking, I spent about 20 minutes, buffing and rubbing it in. I tried with the mitt, using my hands and in the end I gave up as it was late, and I thought ‘stuff it, I’ll wear a turtleneck if it’s really awful.’
I washed my hands and applied a light tan to them and got into bed.
It transferred horribly onto the sheets, and although the bottle said you shouldn’t leave it for more than 3 hours, I laughed, thinking ‘hun I’m leaving you on all night.’ And off I went to sleep.
The next morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see it wasn’t that bad. My body was pretty much evenly tanned and the tan was nice and dark. I was quite relieved to say the least.
However, my hands and in particular, my palms looked very orange. I gave them a scrub in the shower, and thought ‘ah they’ll be alright.’
A few hours later, I got off the train in Birmingham where we were spending the day, and I looked at my hands in the daylight, and said to Henry; ‘OMG my hands are so orange!’ He replied with ‘erm YES.’
They were getting orange-er by the minute, by about an hour later, I had these dark orange patches all over my hands, I’m not joking- they looked like rust. My hands would have made a Oompa Loompa look pasty. I had to pull my sleeves down over my hands to try and hide them. I was mortified.
Clearly, I was more disturbed by the chav incident than I realised, cause I suddenly had visions of being chased round Birmingham to the taunts of ‘ORANGE HANDS.’
I needed to find a Boots or Superdrug ASAP, and it’s not normally like me to be bothered by a bit of orange-ness, but seriously, my hands were something else.
I wish I’d taken a picture of them.
I found a Superdrug, and found some Self Tan Corrector Sponges. I had no idea if they worked or not, but it was worth a shot. I then went and found a loo, and did a little prayer to the fake tan gods, that these sponges would work.
So armed with the sponges, I rinsed one in water and got to work on my hands. Low and behold, the water started to turn orange and the fake tan started to fade.
‘IT’S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!’- I thought. Well it was more of a MARCH MIRACLE. But that doesn’t sound as good.
I ended up using both sponges and they took my hands from looking like the stain that a kirby grip leaves when you’ve left it on the side of the bath, to light orange. They looked 100 times better, and meant I didn’t have to go round with my hands in my sleeves for the rest of the day. I couldn’t believe that they had worked, and will always be grateful that they saved me from my second worst fake tan disaster.
I’ve bought another box, as the sponges are re usable, which I hadn’t realised before, but I thought they’d be good to have in the house, in case another fake tan catastrophe happens again.
I did a bit of research on the self tan corrector sponges, because I was like ‘what is this witchcraft?’
So basically, they’re Melamine sponges.
These sponges are better known as ‘magic eraser’ sponges, and they’re used to take stains from all sorts of things. The sponges are an effective abrasive cleaner, and they can’t be used on delicate, or sensitive areas of the skin (funnily enough). They’re like an exfoliant, which is why it works on removing fake tan.
Tbh- my mind is blown.
So I will always now to try to have a melamine sponge in the house for any fake tan disasters.
I annoyingly can’t find the self tan corrector sponges online, but you can get them in store. They were around £3.40 for a pack of two.
I have also learnt my lesson, to not try new fake tans the night before I have to go somewhere.
I had to share this with you though, however, I hope that you never have to deal with Oompa Loompa hands.
So I will leave you for now, let me know your biggest fake tan disaster in the comments, as it will make me feel better…