The Reluctant Stylista is a fashion and lifestyle blog written by Alex Lapa--the tomboy who suddenly discovered the joys and perks of dressing up. Original illustrations by Paolo Lazatin.
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I don’t exactly shy away from the sun. I’m brown and proud, though I’m yellower than the typical morena and more on the lighter side of brown. Which is why whenever I come home from a beach trip, I relish the acquired tan before it fades in a few weeks.
The problem with this, obviously, is that I can’t really go overboard and go tanorexic. I’m in my late 20s and sun damage results to hyperpigmentation, advanced aging/wrinkling and you run the risk of skin cancer if you’re constantly exposed without SPF. I love the tanned look but I’m often torn–I’ve since stopped using tanning oil at the beach because of the lower/non-existent SPF.
So when Pink Parlour in SM North Edsa (they’ve now opened a new branch in A.Venue Makati, whew) offered the opportunity to try out their tanning services, I got excited! First, I did a research on Pink Parlour, as I am very picky when it comes to salons that do nails, Brazilian waxing and tanning (though this is my first). Well, basically, any salon that would require me to strip and expose myself, I ought to be careful, as should be. I was impressed when I read through their accolades, as Pink Parlour in Singapore seems to have garnered awards and titles for waxing, grooming and nail services. That got me interested as I know several other good (and popular) salons from Singapore, so I imagine this is a pretty big deal. So I signed up for their UV-free spray tanning.
Why go tan?
You might be curious why someone who’s in a whitening-obsessed culture opt for a spray tan. I love the natural Filipino color, and I like my own version even better because I go a darker yellow as compared to the usual Filipino reddish-brown. So it’s more golden brown or caramel when I tan.
But that’s just my opinion. There are several other reasons why people would still opt for a tan in the Philippines. Like the general rule in beauty and fashion, going darker just makes everything appear slimmer. In the case of body tanning, your muscles and bone structure appear more prominent–it’s easier to look lithe and toned when you’re dark. This is why underwear models and body builders flock the tanning booths whenever they have a major show coming.
Modern perception of beauty has come a long way from what it used to be hundreds of years ago. The look associated with luxurious lifestyles, for example, has also evolved from when it signified that being pale indicated one’s lack of need to go outdoors and work; hence, it meant being rich. In more recent times, however, having the time and money to enjoy vacationing in far-flung places, particularly seaside resorts and exotic islands came to mean the height of luxury. The fashionable Coco Chanel in the 1920s came from one such trip looking darker than ever. It inadvertently started a trend—it became popular especially to those who longed to enjoy the same lifestyle and position in society as Chanel.
Prepping for your UV-free tanning
For any kind of tanning, it’s ideal to get thoroughly exfoliated first. This is so you get an even coloring, instead of being splotchy. Pink Parlour does offer Body Polish (P400), which is highly recommended before you get a spray tan. At the time, I had just finished a laser hair-removal treatment and could not undergo exfoliation so I didn’t get it. (Yeah, I could’ve waited, but I was so excited to try the tan right away.)
I was told the spray tan would need time to set, so I couldn’t take a bath for the next 6 hours. They have a spray tan service that sets in 2 hours for P1400 (the one that sets in 6 hours is P1200). So if you plan on getting your spray tan, I highly recommend coming in loose but covered clothing. Better if you have the whole afternoon off so you can just relax at home after your session. I had the right decision to come to the parlor in a long-sleeved top that isn’t tight-fitting and loose pants. Underwear is a little tricky–one should probably go strapless or a padded cotton bandeau to avoid streaking (the straps).
Not quite fifty shades of brown, there were just two for me: Caribbean Rapid and Original
All the paraphernalia needed to make you into a bronze goddess
The room was covered with a zebra print blanket to avoid marking anything else
What to expect
Spray tanning at Pink Parlour is done manually by their specialist and is organic. You will be in your birthday suit during the whole process–or at least I was, because I didn’t want tan lines. They have a shower room where you can take a quick wash before your session, and they provide you with a towel. Then you’ll step into a room that’s blanketed, so the spray doesn’t mark the floors nor the walls. The whole process takes around 20-30 minutes. I had 2 layers of the Original, which is a medium brown shade. I wanted to go darker, but decided against it when the specialist told me that Caribbean Rapid was really, shockingly dark and that it might be too much for me. We figured we could just layer the medium shade until we get to a brown that was satisfactory. What’s missing was a full-length mirror in the room which would have been convenient to check if the shade looks okay. The lighting inside the room is yellowish, as well, so what you see indoors may not exactly be accurate.
You’ll probably need to air it for about 30 more minutes before you put your clothes back on. I also asked for help and the specialist obliged by using the same machine for the tanning for blow drying it off. Don’t worry if you get faint streaks from your clothes–when you shower the next day, it will all even out. I had faint marks from my bra straps and then more gruesome streaks on my upper thigh when I accidentally sprayed water on it while cleaning my feet before bed time. I felt very much like the Wicked Witch of the West the way I avoided water. Fortunately, when I took a shower in the morning, a very thin layer washed off and everything evened out.
Try to avoid contact with anything unless you have to. My toes and fingers were pretty much left alone–it was coated with oil so that the spray tan didn’t make my fingernails yellow. I really loved the tan I got, because it looked very natural and in fact, not many of my friends noticed I had gone darker because it was a very even coloring, which isn’t always what you get from a beach trip. It wasn’t until they looked closely for the telltale signs that they realized it was a spray tan–my fingers were definitely lighter, and my pictures from just the day before showed a definite contrast. Compare photos from the recent posts (these were taken only a few days apart, both had indoor lighting. Click the photos for further comparisons):
Expect it to last for about a week or two. Most of mine lasted a little over a week, but until now, more than 2 weeks later, I’m still rubbing off some remnants of the tan. The first to fade away are the joints–which is how I definitely noticed the comparison of my original skin tone to the artificial one. After nearly two weeks, some parts of my thighs and forearms were splotchy, but I think this is due to the fact that didn’t do a body exfoliation beforehand as the other body parts that I do regularly exfoliate fared much better. Also, I don’t always wear foundation, so I didn’t have a problem with make-up that might have been too light for me to use for the tan’s duration.
In a nutshell
Pros: a very even coloring after the first wash, gives off a healthy glow, makes you look leaner. Very friendly staff!
Cons: you have to have patience with the application; may not be ideal if you want a shade that’s three or more levels darker.
What to avoid: exfoliation after your tanning session, getting wet before your 6 hours are up, absolutely no WHITE clothes until you’re dry.
More about Pink Parlour
Pink Parlour isn’t just a tanning salon–they offer nail, waxing, lash and brow services, IPL hair removal and spa parties/packages. They’re opening a branch in Makati avenue soon, at A.Venue, but I went to the one in SM Trinoma.
At their nail pampering area, you can choose from their collection of chick flicks
Watch and relax while they pamper your hands and feet
Pink Parlour’s interiors are adorable. I just hope you’re a fan of pink!
I always appreciate the extra effort for presentation in salons. It makes the trip worth it when you feel that you’re there to be catered to and pampered.
Different kinds of lotion
If you fancy getting your lady bush colored, well, they’ve got that covered, too.
They have a whole array of imported nail polish like China Glaze, OPI and my favorite, Orly.
5th Floor, Unit 500a-500b ANE The Block
G/F Unit 108, A-Venue Event Mall Makati Ave., Makati City
Operating hours: Monday – Thursday 10:00am till 9:00pm / Friday – Sunday 10:00am till 10:00pm
Booking Hotline: +632 7097093 +632 7097155
SMS/Whats Up Bookings : +639176252797