Best test: Sun Junkie spray tan
The last time my skin was free of fake tan was in the summer of 1991 when I was 12 years old. Sick of the boys in the playground making milk bottle comparisons, I took it upon myself to do something about it. Perhaps if I was in my youth now I’d be well on-trend with my vampire look going on, but Rob Pattinson wasn’t around in the 90’s so I just looked plain pastey.
I spent my first ever baby sitting wage on a bottle of pump action spray tan from my local Superdrug branch and set about giving myself a pair of orange knees and palms. Of course in those days there was no Faye Knows Best YouTube video showing the smartest application method, just me hiding away in the bathroom frantically spraying away like a crazed troll (I had a spiral perm) so as to have it done before my mum got home and caught me. Of course I didn’t exfoliate, wear latex gloves or even moisturise, so the final result was patchy and orange and awful, but I was convinced I looked catwalk. That day started my enduring love affair with fake tan.
I’ve worn tan ever since – applying up to four times a week. I love discovering new brands that apply more smoothly, give a great colour, and last longer before fading. I get quite enthusiastic about it. I even went to the OK! magazine Beaubronz tan party as they knew I loved it so much. It’s not so much that I’m addicted to fake tan, more that I’m so horribly pale naturally that I look quite ill without it.
So when Cutting Room Creative in Leeds city centre invited me to try their Sun Junkie spray tanning service c/o them of course I was going to accept the offer! I booked in for a Thursday evening as they offer a most-convenient late night opening time. Forgetful fillies will take comfort in knowing the salon sends you a reminder text the day before your appointment to confirm your time and say they’re looking forward to seeing you. They also let me know I should shave my legs 24 hours in advance, and exfoliate before the appointment.
Upon arrival I was greeted by Rachel on reception who had a truly beaming smile that melted the misery of the black ice I’d skated through to make my appointment. My bag and coat were taken, and I was offered a hot drink. The salon is stylish without being intimidating, and you are made to feel most welcome. I found Cutting Room Creative to be a salon of two halves… the downstairs hairdressing section is vibrant, noisy and bustling, and you feel like you are in the true heart of what’s happening. When we took a trip upstairs where the hair colouring is done, and I found the atmosphere to be quite different – here is relaxing, tranquil and quiet, so quiet in fact that you don’t feel as though you are in the city centre. What was most amazing about this floor is that there is a small waiting room for use whilst your colour develops where you can watch Sky TV, make use of internet facilities, and drink as much tea and coffee as you wish. It would make development time feel a pleasure rather than the usual drag, but I wasn’t here for my hair.
Rachel went on to take me to the consultation room where we sat on plush white seats and spoke about what I hoped my end tan result would look like. We spoke of my skin type, natural colour and colour once tanned. Sun Junkie comes in a range of colours so this quiet consultation took me through my options, and we settled on a number 10. This was seemingly quite low considering the range goes right through to a 16, but even this tan-addict wouldn’t venture over a 12, so 10 was just right for me. I was then guided through to the spray tan room.
The room was nicely styled, with reassuring certifcates lining the walls, but was on the chilly side. Rachel provided me with a hairnet and paper knickers to wear during the tan, and also gave me some exfoliating wipes to use on my knees, elbows and feet. Rachel stepped outside the room for me to change and apply my sticky feet to protect my soles from going dark, and when she popped back in she applied barrier cream to my nails, hairline and between my fingers and toes. The actual spray tan was strangely relaxing, and the full length mirror opposite the tan booth threw back what was happening which meant we could discuss level of colour as it was going on. Rachel guided me smoothly through the positions she neeeded me to stand in for her to get the best application.
Rachel made me feel most at ease, and had it not been for the facing mirror I would have totally forgotten I was standing semi-naked in front of a stranger in only a hair net, paper pants and sticky feet. Not my greatest fashion moment.
Rachel advised me to leave the tan on for as long as possible before showering so I left it over night. I was hoping that the colour would be quite deep as often I’ve been disappointed by spray tans that have been too light in colour. As it turns out I was absolutely delighted with my final result. I’m perfectly tanned in a gorgeous golden colour, and there’s not a single streak in sight. I genuinely couldn’t be happier with my final result, and of course am delighted my vampire glow is at bay. So if you’re in Leeds city centre with a spare half hour and your pastey skin needs a colour boost, Cutting Room Creative is your go-to.
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