I was lucky enough to be invited to a complimentary tan at Beach St Tanning in August — when the air was still chilly and winter was coming to an end. Basically, the perfect time for a fake tan (in my non-fake-tanner opinion).
I’m pale (not as pale as The Fiancé, but pale enough), and hadn’t really had a fake tan in quite some time. “Will you look like Donald Trump?”, The Fiancé asked, a grimace on his face. I told him I would try my best to look more like an Oompa Loompa, and left it at that.
What I did remember from my previous fake tan (oh, right, I think it was about 3 years ago), is that I didn’t have to wear any makeup for weeks afterwards, was constantly told how ‘healthy’ I looked, and how I felt — for lack of a better word — stunning. A bit of mascara, maybe some blush, and I could leave the house without worrying whether my neck matched my face. So you can imagine my excitement when the appointment was made.
Walking in to Beach St Tanning, I immediately felt as though I could trust these people. I know that sounds super weird and everything, but the only places I had ever been to for a tan were nail salons with a small cubicle out the back for tans. Beach St Tanning, however, is a place specifically for tans. No nails, no waxing, just tans. And it meant that I felt like these people could be trusted. The blues and golds made it feel like Bondi (even though we were in Paddington), and also giving it an opulence that you wouldn’t expect to find in a tanning salon. I was given fruit-infused water and dried apricots, and asked to fill out a form about my allergies, my tanning history, and what sort of glow I’d like.
Now…this might not be my first rodeo, but woah I had no clue what sort of glow I wanted. “Just…give me something that makes me look healthy and darker than I am, but not so dark that I look like a carrot”. The tanning expert understood me well, and asked to look at my wrist. “Ah,” she said, “it seems you have olive undertones, so we’ll go for a more olive tone instead of an orange tone”. I nodded my head in agreement, pretending to know that of course I have olive undertones (you wouldn’t know it if you looked at me, I feel like I have more bleach-white paper undertones!).
I was led into one of the tanning rooms, with the blue and gold following us wherever we went. It was stunning. I was told to strip down to my underwear, take off my makeup using one of their wipes, and put on a cute little hairnet. I was given some barrier cream to apply to my knees, my elbows, and palms, “to make sure those areas don’t seem dry or flakey”, and the spray tan begins! The tanning technician uses a prep spray, which gets my skin prepped before the tanning begins, followed by the spray tan, and ending with a Vitamin E spray (ensuring the spray tan stays for longer, and giving my skin the hydration it needs). You’d think stripping (almost) naked in front of a stranger would be an awkward experience, but the technician was so friendly and easygoing, I almost forgot I wasn’t wearing any clothes.
There’s also a VIP area upstairs for groups or those who want the extra-special experience, which comes with a glass of a champagne and a cheese and fruit platter (yum!).
Afterwards, I was given a Tips Sheet, with all the tips I’d need for the next few days after the tan. I had to wait 4 hours before showering, and had to refrain from any exercise (as if I was going to do any exercise in the first place).
The tan lasted a good two weeks, and I was able to go for my first wedding dress fitting, to get an idea of how I would look on the day of my wedding with a tan. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d enjoy having a tan, but I just felt so glow-y and pretty, I now know I have to get a spray tan for the big day!
*This experience was gifted, but all above opinions and images are my own.
Beach St Tanning
378 Oxford Street