"How hard can it be," I thought to myself, "Jessica Simpson does it."
It takes a total of 60 seconds, and then... boom... just like that, I'll have a nice golden colour, just in time for the weekend.
"Hi," I said to the girl behind the counter. "I'd here for a Mystic Tan."
"Have you shaved and exfoliated today?" she asked me, with a serious look in her eyes.
"Yes." I replied, nodding.
"Are you wearing any perfume or moisturizer, any make-up?"
"A little." I answered, truthfully.
"You'll have to take it off. Here is an exfoliating wipe. Also, you are not allowed to sweat for 12 hours after you get the Mystic Tan. And no exercise or physical activity. Oh, and you can't shower for 24 hours." she said, as she walked me into the dark room at the back of the really nice tanning studio I was so used to.
Uh-oh... what was I getting myself into?
Once inside the room, she instructed me to take off all my jewellery, and to apply a gel to my hands and feet. Then she told me which towel to use to dry off afterwards, and how to do it. And then she showed me the towel I had to use to wipe off the gel from my hands and feet, and which towel to use to pat my face dry.
Finally, she showed me the two positions I had to stand in to get an even tan, front and back. One was called the Egyptian, and the other was called the Freeze position. Yes, I'm serious.
I was more stressed than University finals. Would I remember all those instructions? (Doubtful.)
The actual process, once you step inside the booth, lasts 60 seconds: 30 seconds spraying your front, 30 seconds spraying your back. You have to remember to turn around half way through, which isn't too hard, because the spray momentarily stops.
BUT. Oh. MY. GOD.
Once I pressed that green button... I started freaking out. First of all, this is no relaxing tanning experience like I was accustomed to - you know, lying down, feeling all warm, listening to music, drifting off to sleep until the lights go off, waking you up... no, no, no... this was... stressful. And SO loud. It sounded like a jet airplane taking off and the spray... just awful!
Of course, I forgot to take a deep breath, meaning that at some point, I was going to have to breathe. Only thing was, um, there was non-stop stinky chemical tanning spray being 'misted' ALL over me, so when I opened my mouth, gasping for air, I inhaled all that horrific tasting tanning spray. Again and again, I kept swallowing this disgusting spray.
Right away, I was convinced I would die. All this because I wanted to avoid skin cancer! What kind of sick joke was this? I could see the headlines in the paper the next day:
Silly local girl dies from inhaling too much Mystic Tan spray
"And she was doing this to avoid the harmful UV lights of the regular tanning beds..."
Anyway. I left the room before the spray even stopped, forgetting that I was told to wipe my legs first. Great, I thought to myself, now I have even screwed up the actual tan.
I had a moment of mommy guilt, too, because my poor children would have to one day learn their mother died from tanning. A stupid, selfish way to go, if you ask me. And it wasn't even fun! That was the worst part.
So now, as I watch my skin get darker, (so far, so good...) I have to worry that at the wedding I'm attending this weekend, I'll be glow-in-the-dark on the dance floor!
Please, pray for me. I don't want to be glowing.
Also? I'm never doing the Mystic Tan again. Ever.
Edited to add: UPDATE! Okay, after this... I have to say... my tan is FABUOUS! And I love it! And... knowing what I know now, I would do it again. Making sure, of course, to take a big breath first!