When self tanner attacks.

If you know me, or have been a reader of this blog for the past year, you know or have heard me say (more than once) that my skin tone is pretty much that of the underbelly of a frog.

No, I did not Photoshop my belly skin onto that frog.
But I could’ve and it would totally look the same.

I’ve told you, on occasion, about Edward Scissorhands, my dermatologist, who in the past five years has sliced me and diced me and drastically reduced the number of freckles I have. Because of this, coupled with my frog skin, I’m a big fan of SPF…and a veritable connoisseur of self tanner, which I have a definite love/hate relationship with. Love having my skin appear lifelike, but hate hate hate the odor of virtually every self tanner out there and/or the faint sparkle they leave behind (if I wanted to look like a vampire, this whole process wouldn’t be necessary). Over the years, through much trial and error, I’ve perfected the art of the streak free application (mostly). Last year I even bucked up and tried Mystic Tan the day before my nephew’s wedding. Raise your hand if you remember how that turned out for me.

   I had to go to the wedding looking like I

I had to go to the wedding looking like I’d been golfing in flats. Or farming in them.
And as you can see by the shade of my leg, looking a little bit like Maya Rudolph.

But a couple of weeks ago I struck Self Tanner gold.
Trolling the Target aisles looking for a new tanner that claimed to be odorless to waste $8 or $9 on, I found this new Jergens mousse –

You guys. It doesn’t smell. OR leave you looking like a hispanic showgirl. And because it’s a mousse it’s super easy to rub on without leaving streaks.

Unless you are my 17 year old daughter.

Although relatively freckle free, poor Thing 1 inherited my alabaster Cullen skin, and Sunday night decided she wanted to try out the new tanner I kept singing the praises of (doesn’t take much to excite me).

T1 (dripping wet from shower): Hey, how do I use that tanner?

Me: Well first of all, your skin needs to be completely dry. Like, go dry off and wait 10 minutes. Squirt a golf ball sized amount in your hand and just rub rub rub all over your tummy and butt and thighs….squirt more and rub rub rub your legs…(continuing with each body part and pantomiming how to rub quickly and thoroughly). Use your whole hand. Be careful to rub in extra good around your ankles and feet. 

T1: Got it. 
In hindsight, I should’ve supervised instead of sitting on the couch with my Chardonnay watching “The Amazing Race”.

Monday I got this text (with photos that wouldn’t fit on the screenshot) from her in the middle of the day-


…and this is what her legs looked like at 3:00. I’m still trying to figure out where she found the two year old who applied it. 
tanner leg
tanner knee tanner ankle
I think it’s easy to see who won.
And I didn’t even take photos of the backs of her thighs and stomach (for obvious reasons), but my god it looked like she’d applied that tanner blindfolded, drunk and with her left hand.

Thankfully both of us were rolling on the floor crying with laughter for about 15 minutes, and after soaking in a hot bath and using an exfoliating scrub with a loofah, it’s barely noticeable today. 

Safe to say she found a new appreciation of her paleness and is leaving the self-tanning to me.
Oh, and did I mention we have another wedding to go to this weekend??

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  • Teri Biebel - Absolutely hysterical!!!! Thanks for sharing and I’m hoping your daughter has recovered from this.ReplyCancel

    • Michelle - Oh, it’s totally faded. Amazing what hot water and a good scrub will do. I did have to warn her about scrubbing too hard and REALLY looking like a burn victim, though…ReplyCancel

  • Crystal - LOL!!! I’m sorry for laughing at your daughter…but your captioned pics are hilarious!ReplyCancel

    • Michelle - No – thankfully SHE was crying with laughter as well, and gave me the green light to write about it! Funniest damn thing I’ve seen in awhile. 🙂

  • Amanda - The Southern UnBelle - Ah, poor thing 1. One of those “I should have listened to my mother. I’m going to say that I did and stick to it, despite all evidence to the contrary” life-lesson moments. I haven’t tried a self-tanner since the days of “everything turned me orange.” I shall try this one as I, too, have alabaster frog tummy skin tone.ReplyCancel

  • *LO* - HAHAHA oh my GOODNESS. This is hilarious! I don’t mean to laugh at your daughter but how could it be so awful on her while you loved it!?!?!?! this is crazy. Glad to hear its not noticeable anymore!!ReplyCancel

    • Michelle - Umm….maybe BECAUSE I RUB IT IN?? Haha. I kept asking, “What in god’s name did you DO?” and she was rolling around on the floor laughing and kept saying, “I DON’T KNOOOOWWW”. Priceless.ReplyCancel

  • anothercleanslate - I wanted to spray tan before my 30th birthday party next week. Maybe I’ll try this instead!ReplyCancel

  • Simply Evani - LOL that is absolutely hilarious. I’m glad it wore off soon enough, I would be in a state of panic. LolReplyCancel

    • Michelle - It was surprising how calm she was about it. Glad I have a daughter with a kick ass sense of humor who can laugh at herself!ReplyCancel

  • Valentina - Hahahaha oh my gosh! The only time I’ve done self-tanned myself, I ended up REALLY orange. I guess it was one of those where the tan shows up a few hours later? When I applied it, I put it on until I achieved the color I wanted. Needless to say, as it darkened, I looked more and more like I was from Jersey Shore. Must be a 17 year old thing. Now that I’m 20 and much wiser {HA!}, I went to a tanning salon to get sprayed for an event. I got a Versa tan and I have to say I LOVE the results! Very natural, but still smells a little bit. 😉ReplyCancel

    • Michelle - OMG that is hilarious. So you just kept applying until you saw immediate color?? Good Lord, woman, I can’t imagine the hue you were! Next time I get spray tanned I’m getting the kind where they air brush you. Is that Versa tan? I’ve heard it looks awesome!ReplyCancel

  • The Girl Next Door Drinks and Swears - Oh, Thing 1! I’m guessing she wasn’t “completely dry” during the application? I have never tried a self-tanner, though I’ve been tempted. I am half Mexican, but I got totally jipped on the dark skin thing. My sister hogged up all of that gene. I have an olive tint to my skin, but in the winter it’s barely noticeable. This is so what would happen to me if I tried it.ReplyCancel

    • Michelle - And she’s STILL sticking with her story that she was dry. She’d make a lousy criminal.ReplyCancel

  • Kenya - Hahahaha… That is hilarious. I really needed this laugh today too! Thanks.ReplyCancel

    • Michelle - No prob. Her streaked legs are happy to provide you with your daily laugh!ReplyCancel

  • Dyanne @ I Want Backsies - Her results would be all the “I told you so” I would need in a situation like that.ReplyCancel

    • Michelle - Exactly! She’s taking a little break from the self-tanner. However, 20 bucks says she’ll do it again in a month….and it won’t look any better.ReplyCancel

  • Amy FunnyIsFamily - If she had a couple of kids under her belt, the streaks down the leg could be attributed to her laughing too hard and losing bladder control. But since she’s young, it has to be blamed on plain ol’ not listenin’ to her momma.

    This was FUNNY!ReplyCancel

    • Michelle - Like I told Meredith up there – she’s sticking by her story that she was dry. She’s always been a terrible liar (which is a great quality for your kid to have!).ReplyCancel

  • Kati - Incorporating Color - That looks like something my sister – the Angsty Teen – would do. She’d totally think she followed directions, but I’m pretty sure her post-tanning meltdown would include my mom and I laughing AT her, not with her. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Michelle - Yep. I don’t know her personally, but from what I’ve read I can see that – from all THREE of you! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Lorinda McKinnon - I was just going to try that stuff…but I’m afraid now. Very afraid!ReplyCancel

    • Michelle - Oh, if you have the ability to rub it in better than a three year old (or MY 17 year old) you should be just fine!ReplyCancel

  • Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms - Oh I have tangled with self tanner. Poor Thing 1. At least she didn’t try Sun In at the same time. 🙂 EllenReplyCancel

    • Michelle - Sun In. Good Lord. Can you come over for wine and we can reminisce about the 80’s for a day or six??ReplyCancel

  • Penny Roach - Holy cow…it’s amazing that at 17 she can laugh about it. And let you take pictures!!

    Penny at Mom Rants and Comfy PantsReplyCancel

    • Michelle - She has a terrific sense of humor….and gave me the green light immediately! Gotta love a girl who can laugh at herself!ReplyCancel

  • Kate Hall - Oh man, I’ve never tried that stuff and have been tempted, but… What a good sport your daughter is!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Blazey - Clarins Gel Self Tanner, buy a San Tropes Mit and apply it with that. No smell and streak less…seriously. I hate the smell of self tanner, but Clarins does it right and the mitt is cheap!ReplyCancel

  • MOV - Oh, no, but at least it is not orange! I remember the old self-tanner, same streakiness but ORANGE!

    Just found your blog and will be back to read more. New follower here!


  • seetastelove - love this, my sister did the same thing at 17 and we still laugh about it Having the ability to laugh at yourself is a great skill to have at her age or any for that matter.

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