I Want A Tan (In A Can)–But I Don’t Wanna Look Like Snooki

Pale vs. bronze--which leg looks better?

I want a tan for beach season, but I’ve learned the hard way that summer is not the time to start experimenting with self tanner. Instead, you want to have your bronzing arsenal set and ready by the time warm weather hits, so you don’t step out in that sundress with streaks, spots or splotches.

While a ton of things can go wrong when it comes to self-tanning, it’s loads better than what can go wrong with baking under harsh, gross UV rays. After college I worked briefly at a tanning salon and got the message loud and clear that staying out of the sun is the key to preserving a wrinkle-free face. Seriously, the clients looked like saddles.

So, I’ve become an expert on all things faux-soleil but I thought I’d try the Neutrogena Micro-Mist Tanning Spray since it touts a streak-less, quick-drying tan.

I chose the medium shade–I’m not trying to change races, just tone down my blinding paleness–and here are my official pros and cons!

I want a tan

At $10, it's cheaper than a trip to cancun! | Source: Neutrogena


  • Price–At about $10, this was way more affordable than a salon airbrush tan that can run upwards of $60, but doesn’t last much longer!
  • Easy–The directions tell you to hold the can about 12 inches from your body and spray in a small circular motion. The can works well upside down so you can get those, ahem, hard to reach spots without being a Cirque du Soleil performer.
  • Color–Hands down, this is the most natural-looking color that I’ve found in a self tanner, including airbrush and Mystic Tans. IMO, it looks natural and subtle, not Snooki-esque. Do you agree?



  • Ventilation!–I’m still coughing from applying this in my small NYC apartment. I didn’t anticipate a massive cloud of self-tanner to fill my home, but it did, even with the windows open and my ceiling fan on. Now my floor is sticky and I’m just waiting for my perfect white couch to develop a tan. Proceed with caution unless you have a big, breezy back yard!
  • Intensity–While I love love the color, there wasn’t quite enough of it. One application yields the perfect shade for a subtle, mid-winter glow, but I had to apply it three times to get this color. Still though, I’m not sure if this is dark enough to convince people that I’ve spent the winter sunbathing on my yacht, the Gurl Talk! (heehee!)

Overall, I really do like this spray. It made good on it’s streak-less promise, and I wasn’t left with stained palms or weird too-dark patches on my elbows and knees. I will definitely use this again…but only if I get a gas mask first!

Have you ever used a spray tan? Tell us what you thought in comments!

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  • EmoGirlsRule!

    I’m pale naturaly! It looks great! I not like tans! Remember if you have orange hair DON’T GET A TAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cindy

    so good to read this. since i’m gonna celebrate my birthday in disney for the first time,and as it is in summer,i want to get some fake tan,beacuse even i have a medium complex skin, i have my legs like white because i use too much long jeans. so i gotta rock some cool legs with shorts 🙂 thanks!!