If you’re like me and love the idea of sporting a golden tan all year round, you’ll understand the predicament I’m in when it comes to locating a decent tanning cream here in the ‘Kong. Actually, forget about decent, any tanning cream will do! It’s one of those things on the ‘to do’ list. Whenever I return to my hometown in Australia, I ALWAYS make it top priority to stash a few bottles of Dove Summer Glow, Holiday Skin or Garnier Body Summer (basically whatever I can get my hands on) in the suitcase, along with sunscreen of course (check out our top sunscreen picks here).
As for the real deal – no not a ‘fry myself in the sun’ kind of tan, but a good old sun-safe ‘spray tan’ – well, I hadn’t had the luxury of one of those since arriving in this mighty metropolis four years ago. In fact, I wasn’t even sure spray tan salons existed here, with much of the city preferring a more luminous shade of milky white. And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, let’s just say that whilst I’m fair, my skin is by no means luminous or milky white.
So, when Sassy Mama asked if I’d like to review Forever Tanned Hong Kong, my interest was definitely piqued; and when Elle arrived at my door, the memories of sun-kissed skin in a flash came flooding back (not to mention the rather mortifying process of getting naked in front of a total stranger)! But alas, this is the price we pay for beauty and Elle made me feel completely at ease as she sprayed me with that “Every day is Summer Time” shimmer.
Forever Tanned Hong Kong’s salon is in Cyberport, but they’re also mobile, so firstly let me sing the praises of a ‘mobile’ spray tanning system! Yes, this means you can have Elle and her magic makeover machine come right to your door and do the deed in less than half an hour. Brilliant! As long as you’ve got enough space to erect a shower size tent, you’re in business (just quietly, my 3-year-old was very pleased that Elle’s tent resembled a slightly bigger version of her pink Minnie Mouse tent!).
A few tips – before the tan, do make sure you’re exfoliated, showered and make up, moisturiser and deodorant free. You’ll wear a hair net to keep your locks at bay and can choose to wear as much or as little as your modesty radar allows (okay, so it’s not the most attractive look but chant the mantra with me ladies: “no pain no gain”!). Jump in the tent (okay, maybe don’t ‘jump’ whilst in your birthday suit), and Elle will spray you down from top to toe. (Note: I always go for a light coat on my face, so you avoid that ‘oven baked’ look!)
I went for the Express option, which allowed me to wash it off in the shower within three hours. Excellent if you need to go out and don’t have all day to lie around in loose clothing. There are several other options, including the AVIVA six to eight hour wash off, the Express Tan one to three hour wash off and the Super Express City Tan – one hour to 90 minutes wash off (this is the first in the world that can be washed off after just 30 minutes!).
Colours vary, so it really depends on your skin colour and tan preference. You can choose from a light golden tan, all the way to a deep chocolate brown holiday glow. Being fair-skinned, I went for a lighter, more natural look but still came out looking like I’d spent a week (at least) in the Mediterranean! Fabulous. My beach-bum look lasted about ten days (to be honest I think I shortened my tan’s life span by going for a dunk in the ocean). Not advised!
As an added bonus, Forever Tanned’s products are 100 per cent organic, oil-free, alcohol-free and fragrance-free. AVIVA lab tanning solution is renowned as one of the best tanning products on the market, using the highest quality essential ingredients, gentle enough for the most sensitive skin.
Elle’s prices are super competitive at $250 for a full body tan plus extra for travel. ($200 for HK Island, $300 for Kowloon and $450 for the New Territories.) But guess what? As a Sassy Mama reader, you’ll get $50 off your first spray tan! (NB doesn’t include travel.)