Beauty Woes: They Say Orange Is the Color of the Season, Right?

1209576164As my coworkers can (and will) attest, my ankles—especially the back side of them along my Achilles tendon—take on an orange hue around this time each year. And, last year, our managing editor even stopped me in the hallway to alert me that “a seam” had appeared down the back of my calf. These things happen because I’m obsessed with self-tanning, but I’m not very patient. (Or so I thought.) So, last week, before I left for a bathing suit-filled weekend, I decided to leave the pigment enhancing to the pros.

I got on the books at Bella Sante‘s Newbury Street locale for their signature Body Bronzing Treatment, which I’ve heard sun-kissed looking spa goers rave about since I moved to Boston. The base service goes for $90, but a $55 follow-up is recommended within three days. Totally worth it for Gisele-toned skin, right?

The first step in the process was exfoliation. A sweet and professional esthetician, Jill, sloughed my entire body with clean-smelling scrub, leaving not a single crusty elbow behind. Then, after a rinse-off, she patiently applied the clear bronzing formula. Jill’s steady, thorough technique was amazing in contrast to my usual haphazard application. The product dried quickly but the tan, she said, wouldn’t show up for several hours. Also, I shouldn’t shower for 10 hours.

So it came as quite a shock when I realized that, despite Jill’s meticulous application, yellowy-orange blotches and streaks had appeared all over my legs and ankles by mid-afternoon.

While some might interpret this sequence of events as a sign that I’m simply meant to be pasty and that I shouldn’t fight nature, I will never cease my quest for that Brazilian glow. But I will continue, not with triple-digit spa treatments, but with products under $10 from the drugstore. (The potion I’ve found most effective, least streaky: Dove’s Energy Glow Gradual Tanning Body Lotion, $8.)