We tried: Sunbeam Body Shimmer Home Tanning Kit
Going for gold
If you've ever spent a few days orange and streaky after a tanningtrial disaster, you'll understand my apprehension about doing the spraygun thing at home. I've always thought that some things are best leftin the hands of professionals. Yet, in the interests of research (and agolden tan in time for the weekend), I took Sunbeam's Body Shimmer Home Tanning Kit for a spin…
Preparing to self-spray was easy: a thorough scrub down in the shower(exfoliating gloves are a pre-tan godsend), lashings of my favouritemoisturiser and voilà. It took ten minutes, tops.
My bathroom is gleamingly (stainably) white, so for a moment Iconsidered donning my bikini and bronzing up on the balcony. Butfearing tan lines (not to mention the ridicule of my neighbours), Iinstead laid some old towels around my shower recess and hoped for thebest.
Actually putting together the spray gun was a doddle, even for myun-handy self. Simply set the gun on charge about an hour beforetanning time, remembering to detach the cord when you're ready tostart. Then all you need to do is pour in the included tanningsolution, pop on the petal attachment and kiss your paleness goodbye.Easy!
The Sunbeam gun has two settings – 1 and 2 – to control the speed ofthe mist, so, being a first-timer, I opted to start off slow. And as mysneak preview kit didn't include the shower cap, nose peg or eyegoggles that would usually come enclosed, I stuck to doing my legs,arms and torso. Thank goodness for tan-infused face moisturisers, eh?
Beginningat my feet, I held the gun at a distance of about 40cm and swept upwardtoward my thigh in long, fluid movements. The ultra fine mist is clear,but I found I could see just enough glisten to judge where I'd alreadycovered. Being cordless, the gun is super easy to wield upon thosetrickier spots of the body too (though I did enlist my boyfriend tohelp cover my back), and I was all done in about 15 minutes.
Aftera further 10 minutes drying time, I slipped on my nightie and went tobed looking forward to seeing the result of my efforts.
Fast forward eight hours and I'm back in my bathroom (which escapedunscathed, by the way), inspecting myself for blotches, streaks andtelltale tidemarks. And, apart from a tiny patch (pilot error, I think)on my right hip, it's pretty darn perfect. Love it! The Sunbeam tan isa great back-from-the-Bahamas bronze for me, but the beauty of this kitis you can use it with any tanning fluid that you like: the hue is upto you, the Sunbeam Body Shimmer gun will just ensure it goes on like a dream.
I'm in danger of addiction. This self-spray is just too easy. Nomore pre-event clamour at the spray salon; I'm all about tanning on myown time now. It's a summer money-saver too. Although your averagesalon job is around $40 and the Sunbeam Body Shimmer Home Tanning Kit is $99,this kit comes the caboodle: two bottles of tanning fluid (which aregood for two full body tans each), one bottle of exfoliant and amoisturiser. And re-fills of the Sunbeam tanning liquid, should youwant to stick with it, are $29.95 each.
Is it better than a canspray? It definitely has advantages. For a start, the electric gunensures a consistent, even mist and the trigger action is far easier tocontrol than an aerosol button. There are also no annoying sputters ornozzle clogs. The only thing to remember is that you must keep itcharged and clean it (a tiny 30-second task) after each use. Which is asmall price to pay for a streak-free, speedy spray tan, wouldn't yousay?