Monday, March 21, 2011

I got Versa "freckled"

Becoming a skin student has cramped my style with regard to the sun. I haven’t felt it much until these recent sunny days, and I’m finding myself eager to claim a summer glow. Since the sun is fairly off limits for me (I keep reminding myself… a tan is a scar…), I’m dedicated to finding the perfect solution for sunless tanning - - hold the orange please.
Back in my sun-worshiping days. (ok, so it wasn't so long ago)
Sunless tanning solutions have come a LONG way - - take it from a girl who has been using them since 7th grade. I’ve been every shade of orange, brown, and brorange. I’ve tried drug store brands, high end cosmetic counter brands, and everything in between.

A recent Groupon allowed me the opportunity to try out the “oh-so-luxurious” Versa spa. For those of you unfamiliar with the Versa Spa, it’s considered the upscale sunless tanning machine. You basically strip down, climb into a booth, and get sprayed with sunless solution by a set of jets. Remember that hilarious Friends episode when Ross got sprayed over and over in the front and ended up wanting “four twos, all on the back!” (check out the clip here and relive the funny moment)
The Versa Spa "odometer" - I got a "2" like Ross!
Back to the Versa Spa – here’s how it all went down.

I go in with my Groupon, fill out my waiver form and answer questions about my “Fitzpatrick level” (this level helps skin people make decisions about skin treatments for you, including tanning decisions.

Girl behind the counter: “What do you want? Do you want to be light, medium, or dark?”
Me: “Well, what would you recommend for my Fitzpatrick level?”
Girl: “What?”
Me: “What would you recommend for my Fitzpatrick level?”
Girl: “I don’t know you mean. We just need to know if you want to be light, medium or dark.”
Me: “Well, that’s not really how it works. Do you know what percent of DHA is in your solutions? Because if I go too high for my Fitzpatrick, then I’ll turn orange. What percent of DHA is in your medium?”
Girl: “Sorry, but that’s over my head. Do you want medium?”
Me: (exhausted) “Yes. I’ll take medium.”  (Oh… and if you haven’t read my blog on people who don’t give a crap and are working in the beauty industry… now might be a good time.)

I walk back to the Versa Spa, and I happen to catch a young girl cleaning it before I go in, so I asked her to show me how to use it. She gives me the positions, tells me to stand at the red line, and I get undressed, and slathered on barrier cream in all the right spots (knees, feet, etc.).  I was going to follow all the rules. I was not going to be a Ross. I was determined.

Rules or not, the outcome was still less than desirable.  I liked the color from the Versa Spa, but the application was disappointing - - the worst part was the speckles over my arms and hands (which I have since learned is known as the “Versa freckle”). Thank God I spend so much time with my hands in water - - hopefully they will fade within a few days.
My arm - right after my spray (none of these dot are real freckles)

My arm, the day after
Contrast this experience with the one I had only three weeks ago. I walked into a tanning spa and was hand airbrushed by a tanning artist there. The tan was flawless - no orange feet, no crazy positions to stand in, no streaks, and certainly no strange freckles. I’m convinced that there’s just nothing like a beautiful, customized airbrush tan - - sprayed by hand with love by some stranger while you stand in the nude (or the optional dark swimsuit). 

Gettin’ Beauty Schooled,  


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