I tan easily. Now now, before you start flipping out, I'm telling you, don't be jealous. Having a fair amount of melanin is nothing to waste your valuable envy over, it has its drawbacks: a quick ride in the car can get me a nasty watch tan on one arm, an anti-sexy sunglass tan just from running out to the mailbox, and (hi!) the constant threat of the straight-up King of Bad Tanlines, the dreaded sock tan!
Which means maintaining a consistent shade of SummerFabGold requires believing in the power of the Fake 'n Bake. And frankly, in this day and age, the post-Bain-de-Soleil-leathery-brown-preferred-tan, you should be pro Fake 'n Bake too!
Friends, meet the TanTowel. Whoa nelly -- fantastic naturalish color, pleasantly low-odorish, and once you master the application, it's always reliable for a quickie (tan, that is). Tan began appearing after several hours, was solidly obvious the next day, and lasted for about a week. I was so sold, I immediately chucked my collection of tans-in-a-bottle. I don't know where exactly you can buy them, short of going to the actual site (http://www.tantowel.com/) since I got mine through (just guess) QVC online.
FYI For the sake of fairness, I've also tried L'oreal's Summer Sublime Bronze towelettes: The smell isn't bad-stinky, the towelettes seemed a little too saturated in the tanning juice, but it was enough to cover the whole body. The end color seemed to be a little more intense, leaning orangey compared to the TanTowel, but it could be bc of the amount of juice in the towel. The upside is, obviously, a bit less expensive than the TanTowel, esp bc you can buy 'em at a store-store versus online.
Few thoughts about the TanTowel (or tanning-towel-reasonable-facsimile-thereof):
- Just like with tan-in-a-bottle, exfoliate. There's no skirting this step, unless of course your goal is to look splotchy. (And you should be exfoliating anyway -- I figure all that dead skin should be sloughed up anyway, it might add up at the scales during weigh-in!)
- You'll need some time to "dry" off. Post application, your skin will be a little tacky for a little while, so I wouldn't recommended doing this if you're in a hurry to get somewhere.
- ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS do a patch test. This coming from the chick that just discovered she's allergic to everything under the sun. I kid you not, give yourself enough time to patch test... also this'll give you an opp to see if the end result color works for you.
- Don't forget your feet, hands, behind your knees, etc. Part & parcel with that though, don't forget to wash your hands when you're through. I'd also take a regular towel and just lightly wipe those areas that tend to get too dark with during any Fake 'n Bake application: the elbows, knees, bony part of the ankles.