Color me bridal

Now that we’re at 8 weeks out, I’m starting to get incredibly vain.

I will admit, I like looking nice on a daily basis.  I wear makeup every day, and try to wear half decent clothing.  I’m okay with running to the grocery store looking like a scrub, but I try to at least look like a functional human being before I walk out the door.

Now that the wedding’s coming up, the thought of “YOU ARE STUCK WITH THESE PICTURES FOR. EV. ER” keeps popping into my head, and I’m deciding what to do about a few things.  Namely, my skin.

I will admit that I have tanned for special occasions in the past.  I’ve known the warnings, but this was all before I started paying attention to my health.  Example: when I was a bridesmaid in 2008, I tanned for about three months in advance in tanning beds.  Awful, I know.


That’s as tan as I get.  I am as pale as they come.

I won’t deny that I like the way a natural tan looks, especially with a white dress.  But, now that I know better (and, frankly, don’t have the time to spend 20 minutes a day in a tanning bed), I’m not going to go tanning before the wedding. 

But…I would like at least a little color so I don’t blend into my dress.  I also have very sensitive skin that gets freckly or bumpy at the drop of a hat, and a little color tends to cover it and make me look a little more even-skin-toned, if that makes sense.  Don’t get me wrong—pale is beautiful!  I just want things a little more even and less sallow.  This is the current state of affairs:

0311 016So, in my mission to get a little bit of glow without exposing myself to noxious death rays, I’m going to experiment with the following things:

  • A spray tan.  I had one in…2003, I think?  I remember not totally hating it, and I’m assuming the technology has gotten better and less orangey since then.  I think I might experiment with this before my shower weekend in Chicago and see how I like it. 
  • If I hate that, I’m going to look into buying a nice quality self-tanning lotion.  I am inept at applying these and wind up streaky, but there seem to be some nice sprays and such out there these days.
  • If I can’t find anything else, I will look into a gradual lotion with a bit of self tanner in it.

I’m planning on conducting these experiments in the next few weeks, so I have time to shed a new layer of skin if it winds up looking horrible and I decide to rock my natural state of affairs.

I’m also continuing my modified version of Project Glow—daily (or almost-daily) green monsters, lots of water, face washing twice a day, vitamins, and remembering to take off my makeup pre-exercise.  I think this is working, since I got a fair amount of “you’re glowing!” compliments on my first fitting post.

What do you think?  Ever tried tanning products?  Any favorites?  Or should I just rock my natural pale unevenness?


14 Responses

  1. I admire the fact that you won’t be using a tanning bed! I’ve used the gradual self-tanning lotions with much success, but they didn’t make me look “tan,” per se…just not pale, if that makes sense!

  2. I would say that I care only a little bit how I look on a daily basis but I am having the same “you are stuck with these pictures forever” panic! I won’t visit a tanning bed either but I am not a fan of the spray (definitely try it before and take lots of pictures to see how it looks in pictures). I will probably use lotion too so I’d be interested to hear what product you end up choosing if you go that route!

  3. Like you said, since 2003 things have changed! For my wedding I tried a spray tan a few times before and I was actually sprayed by a person and not a machine. I can send you pictures if you want to see how it looked. I am very pale! it looked great.

  4. I used a tanning bed for years when I was in high school and early in college years. And then I stopped after having a scare with skin cancer.

    I did a spray tan a couple years ago and I wasn’t a fan. I don’t want to risk looking orange on our wedding day.

    I think I’m going to go to the tanning bed for the next couple of weeks though. I know it’s a horrible thing, but I just want some color. Plus I got a sunburn yesterday and I want to make sure that I don’t have tan lines.

  5. I did a spray tan for a wedding 5 years ago (we wore pale green in March!). I did a trial run, and then the real deal. I liked it. I just had to do it about 3 days before the wedding. The day that I got sprayed, I looked a bit Hispanic. But it’s a GREAT alternative to those death beds!

  6. I’m having a spray tan person come to my house and custom spray me. they do a much better job than when you stand in the mystic tan booth for 5 seconds.

  7. I would check into an airbrush tan, I have had them several times and LOVED the results. It will end up more even looking compared to the spray tans from machines (which can look weird on your wrists and ankles). The woman I went to even had a “bridal tan” not too dark but just enough colour. You are already rocking your dress!

  8. I would definitely agree with missamory. I had a person give me a spray tan for the wedding (she actually did my mil, sil and my husband, too). She came to the house and did them on Thursday evening before the Saturday afternoon wedding. I loved it and thought my skin looked exactly how I wanted it to. One thing to note, if you go down this route, and you’re getting a pedicure, get it before you get the spray tan. They always use good scrubs when you get a pedicure and you don’t want anyone scrubing off your spray tan. Also, ex-foliate really well all over before you get the spray tan. It makes a big difference. No matter what you decide to do, you’ll look so beautiful!

  9. You do look beautiful, tan or no tan!

    But if you do want a natrual looking tan – you should try these “tan towels” (|t326&prop=Tanning|2028)

    I got a few of them for free when I worked for ShopNBC and they are amazing! The nice thing is you can decide how tan you want to be… use just one towel for a less tan look, or use more to build it to what you’re looking for. They are super easy to use and streak free. I highly reccommend them, I refuse to use a tanning bed either and these worked great for me. 🙂

    Good luck!

  10. I’m in the same boat. I am as white as they come. I went on vacation to the caribean, and came back with color (by my standards) and people thought I was joking when I told them where I had been. but I agree that even a little color helps to give a little life to your face and skin. I’ve never tried spray tan, but aslong as they just give you a hint of color, I’d say that would be the way to go.

    I’ve tried the lotions with a hit of self tanner and i never saw a difference. I think it would take a long time for you to notice any change.

    I hope you find somthing that works! you could always brush on a light bronzer, but you’d want to be carful not to get any on the dress.

    good luck!

  11. I’m planning on fakin’ bakin’. Terrible, I know. But whatever. You only get married once. I have not had pleasant experiences w/ the mist on’s or lotions. My skin will just have to deal with a little abuse. It’ll also prevent me from burning in Mexico.

  12. I use the Neutrogena sunless tanner lotion and love it. I’ve done spray tans before, and have had some issues with it, but normally it turns out nicely. If you can find one that lets you choose levels, then go with that one. I’ve had one that didn’t have any level settings and looked like an Oompa Loompa.

  13. Pale pride! I’m going for the classic pale look 😉 I am pretty pasty but I am absolutely not going to dabble in any orangeyness (have not had luck with spray tan in the past), and tanning beds have never crossed my mind. I’m just hoping I can avoid any sort of farmers tan in the remaining 2 months til my wedding — I need to start wearing some spf moisturizer or something, because I can get pink just driving around town in the Atlanta sun. Sunscreen will be my best friend!

  14. Try out the spray tan – I had it done last fall for a wedding I was in, mostly to cover up some ugly tan lines, and thought the results looked very natural. I think they recommended having it done on Thursday before a Saturday wedding. Definitely have it done by a person, though, and not a machine! The results are much more personalizable that way.

    I also like the gradual tan lotions, but can never remember to put them every day. Plus, if you put it on at night, they’ll stain your sheets, if they’re light colored.

    But you look beautiful they way you are, too! 🙂

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