By Nicci Jordan Hubert
There’s a whole slew of things grownups told me back in the day that I never expected would actually come true. You know, those “adults” tend to spin large webs of what we youngsters assume are lies — they just want to control us, right? For example, I never believed I would actually come to love foods like edamame, whole-wheat bread, and, *gasp, bleu cheese. I never thought I would actually see my waistline continue to expand, ever so subtly, after college. And I certainly never thought I would care about the stock market. These are stuffy adult conversations, and I — being perpetually, umm, 23, yeah I’m 23 — am certainly not an adult.
Another especially irritating adult warning was about tanning. Good Lord, if I could count the amount of times I was warned that youth doesn’t last forever, that wrinkles do happen…again, yech. So you can imagine my utter irritation when I learned that, alas, those damn adults were right, of course. Spending all that time in the sun really does, eventually, cause deterioration of the skin and therefore, it uglifies.
But I think many of us can also agree that being see-through white only makes us feel as though that waist-line looks even bigger. The camera adds ten pounds, they say, and so does transparent skin (unless you have a perfect body, and if that’s the case, don’t talk to me). For example, here’s a picture of me, sporting my paper-white skin.
As you can clearly see, (or perhaps you’re now blinded by the glare), it was time for a tan. Lucky for me, Sunless Inc has created a new sunless tanning system called Evolv–which includes a high-performance, professionally applied spray tanning machine as well as self-tanning products–and I was among a group of fortunate people who was invited to test the product.
The first thing I learned upon entering the room was that, according to my skinny and well-tanned technician Allie, the Evolv system is the “Mac Daddy” of spray tanning. What made it special was the individual color customization and, the piece de resistance, it’s warmth. The machine heats up the formula while it sprays so that you aren’t shocked by the cold. It’s not only for comforting purposes, though; the warmth allows the pores to open up and become supple, a much better canvas for tanning solution than goose bumps.
Fast forward to me standing in the booth, in a black string bikini Allie provided and, yes, of course, with prayers that somehow Allie wouldn’t secretly judge my cellulite and excess fat. She begins to spray, and I swear, even though I was warned the solution would be warm, I didn’t realize it would feel so good. Usually, I’m terrified of spray tans like Mystic (which Sunless Inc. also owns), because I feel like it knocks the wind out of me. So the warmth of Evolv was a relief. Now, fast forward again, when I’m alone in the room air-drying. If the mirror was telling the truth, I looked awesome. I had somehow lost 10 pounds and spent a week in Mexico.
Fast forward again with me a week. The tan has now almost completely faded, but for the most part, it faded well (albeit a little too quickly in my estimation). I was careful to gently use my loofah to exfoliate my skin in the shower so that the tan would fade evenly. Shaving, however, was a different story. A little bit of the tan came off with each stroke of the razor, so my legs looked striped. Fortunately, Evolv has at-home maintenance products that do work. I used their at-home spray tan, with a 360 degree nozzle on my arms and it worked really nicely. The tan wasn’t as natural as the professional application–it indeed was slightly orange by comparison–but as far as at-home tanning goes, it looked nice. Evolv is also releasing a moisturizer to gradually deepen skin tone.
Come June, both the professional machine and the at-home projects will release. If you go to the booth, here are a few tips:
*Don’t wear the bikini top. Otherwise, you’ll get those unwanted halter and back lines.
*This might be TMI, but ahh make sure the technician gets under your “butt shelf”. When I got home I realized that the space between my butt and top leg was white. It did cause for a good laugh with my husband, though.
*Shave before you get sprayed.
*Definitely plan to supplement the tan with products if you want it to last longer than a few days. I was a little disappointed by how quickly the tan faded.