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Holding my breath for a ‘Summer’ tan in October

15 Oct

“Do you want to try our new ‘blast-tan?” inquired the beauty-salon owner, who looked like she’d just stepped off a plane from Barbados.

“I do!” I said, not fully understanding what I was getting myself in for.

The ‘blast-tan’ is a spray-on tan which involves standing naked inside a porta-potty-shaped chamber and holding your breath while spray-guns attached to various parts of the chamber shoot fake-tan onto your body, in much the same way a car is spray-painted. An alarm buzzes every few seconds to remind you to turn, or lift your arms, or shoot a leg forward. After a few minutes you will be transformed into a bronzed goddess.

The last thing the salon owner said to me before I stepped into the chamber was, “try not to breathe, hold your breath if you can because it can be a little nauseating if you inhale.”

So, I couldn’t take in oxygen while trapped in a metal chamber. No biggie. A minor last-minute disclosure. Nothing to panic about, I told myself as the door shut firmly behind me.

Something else she’d forgotten to tell me, it was quite dark inside this thing.  As I heard the motor rumbling into gear, getting ready to blast me with coloured dye I began to panic a little. For starters, what if I wasn’t able to open the door to get out?  Would anyone hear me scream?  Just then a cold liquid shot out onto my back with a lot more force than I was expecting, I glanced around and the spray-tan squirted directly into my eyes. So now even if I wanted to get out I couldn’t because I was temporarily blinded. At which point the machine started spraying my front.

Just hold on for a few more seconds I told myself, there’s no point in having the back of my body tanned and the front white, even if I am blind.  Now what did she say about turning right or was it left after the front was tanned?  Was this the point I was meant to lift my arms up? The instructions were swirling around inside my head like a jumbled mess.

I took in a much needed gasp of air. And then I knew what ‘tan’ tasted like. Blinded and choking, I decided if I was going to get out of this thing alive I had to do it now.  I fumbled around for the door handle and as I stepped out of the boot the tan-guns sprayed again sprinkling the floor outside the chamber.

I wiped my eyes and looked down at my tan. I was about 550 shades darker than before and bronzed in places you don’t need to be, however the sides of my legs and arms were still pasty white.  My ‘look’ gave a whole new meaning to the expression ‘streaky tan’ and let’s not even talk about the fact that I forgot to put on the shower-hat provided. Bronzed high-lights to match my mahogany striped skin.

I spent the next ten minutes skating around the wet tanned floor trying to clean it. Then I dressed, exited into the lobby where the salon owner admired my ‘gorgeous’ tan. I shot her one look of my blood-shot racoon eyes and she said my ‘treatment’ was on the house.

So from now on I’m just accepting that I’m from the northern hemisphere, I’m meant to be white.


Fantastic Friday Finds – Bobbie Brown and Benefit Badgal Mascara Sale

3 Sep


We blogged about this great product last week and now we’re happy to have tracked down a great deal on the Long Wear Gel Eyeliner Duo: 2x Gel Eyeliner 3g ( #Black Ink, #Sepia Ink ) + Mini Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush 3pcs
  • Long Wear Gel Eyeliner Duo:
  • 2x Gel Eyeliner 3g ( #Black Ink, #Sepia Ink )
  • 1x Mini Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush
  • A gel-based, water-proof eyeliner
  • Offers the precision of liquid liner
  • Color stays true for long hours
  • Gives you a subtle to dramatic look
  • Apply with Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush
€44 from and free postage. Don’t forget to avail of site’s additional discounts.

Full body spray tan €15

There’s something about an instant tan that makes every weekend a little more special, and this is one of the best deals I’ve come across.

Visit carter beauty, Dublin, see link below for details

Benefit Badgal Lash Mascara – Black

€13.99 Free  shipping with

Best on-line beauty stores with worldwide delivery.

22 Aug

On pay day I used love nothing more than skipping into an upmarket department store to sample the delights at the cosmetic counters, but over the years some haughty sales people staffing these counters have turned it into a fairly traumatising experience.

You know the type, they look you up and down, are snippy and condescending when they realise you’re not going to buy a 200euros tub of face-cream without sampling it and I don’t just mean a dab on the back of my hand because that’s about as helpful as lawnmower. I need a proper sample, a sachet which will let me test the product at home, when I’ve had a chance to wash off the day’s grime and can investigate the product’s possible merits. Even though the sales person has a drawer of samples, her reply to my request is, ‘sorry, samples only come with purchases’.

If I were purchasing the product I wouldn’t need a sample, I explain, but she gives me one of those withering looks sales people reserve for such annoyances as customers.

In truth, it’s more their tone and bad attitude that kills me, so much so I now do almost all my cosmetic shopping on-line, which is not only cheaper but also more convenient without the chance of being looked down upon.

Here’s my top three on-line cosmetic stores.

No. 1 StrawberryNet
Fantastic selection of well known luxury brand cosmetics. Free shipping world-wide and 5%  discount for purchasing three or more products, the more times you return to this site the greater your discount will be. I use this site for birthday gifts for friends and family living abroad as the site also offer a free gift wrapping service.

No. 2 Drugstore

Shop for an extensive selection of great every-day products as well as many American brands which are not freely available here. They also have fragrances, hair care and perfumes. I particularly like their Avalon Organics body moisturiser and Reviva products, which are a little cheaper here than else where.

Delivery to Ireland is now available.

No. 3 Beautyhabit

Hand-picked assortment of the best independent beauty. Free samples are included with every order from this American websites. They also offer an outlet section with 20-30% off and deliver to Ireland.

Xen-Tan – the undisputed KING of fake tans.

8 Aug

As a redheaded, pale skinned pixie living on the edge of the western world where the sun rarely shines I have been using fake tan since I was a child – yes, my first memory is plastering Rimmel Sunshimmer Instant Tan all over my body before  a ballet recital – aged nine. Much I might add to my ballet teacher’s horror. “Ballerinas don’t wear fake-tan!”

Who knew?

My ballet career was short-lived but my obsession with fake-tan grew and grew.  Now, after twenty years of research I have at last uncovered the perfect fake-tan – Xen-Tan.

Why it’s the best:

  • It doesn’t smell.
  • You only need to use a small amount and can mix it with moisturiser if you so wish. I mix it with sun-block and have seen no adverse effects.
  • It goes on like instant tan, giving immediate colour and also allows you to see where the streaks are. (Why some fake tans come in white cream and smell like dirty socks I’ll never know.)
  • This product dries quickly, so only minimum time is spent walking around the house naked.
  • Lastly and most importantly, it looks like a real tan, particularly on fair-skinned Irish people.

I challenge anyone to find fault with this product.

It also comes with an exfoliator but I’ve found using a cheaper brand (more in this later) doesn’t affect the performance of the tanner. Xen-Tan comes in various shades and though my skin is almost chlorinated white I found that ‘dark’ works best, giving me nothing more than golden coverage which last for about five days, or longer if you’re feeling scummy and don’t shower daily. I’ve found it lasts at least twice as long as St Tropez.

PURCHASE INFORMATION: I bought mine from (free p&p)