It’s the time of year when we’ve all just about reached our whitest shade of pale. The freezing temperatures, grey days, late sunrises and early sunsets have sent Montrealers into hibernation. And though we love the look of ultra-pale skin on the cast of Downton Abbey, we’re starting to feel more like the Walking Dead. We need a tan. Stat.
Of course, we’re not going to sit out in the sun (even if there was one warm enough to sit out it) and we certainly aren’t going to bake ourselves to a toasty crisp in a tanning bed. And we don’t know about you, but we always end up streaky and blotchy when we attempt to do it ourselves. So this time we called in the pros.
At Home Organic Spray Tan with Ally Zwonok
Ally Zwonok tells us that the most common misconceptions about spray tanning are that you will smell, turn orange, be left patchy and fade unevenly. Which, she says, “actually can happen if you use a cheap quality products.” Zwonok uses an organic, paraben-free and eco-certified tanning solution that provides an anti-aging and firming treatment along with a healthy glow. And best of all? She’ll do it in your home. We gave Zwonok’s at-home service a try and found the process quick and easy. She pops up a tent, you get inside in your bikini, and she uses a pretty pink airbrush machine to cover your skin with a shade customized for your skin tone. But just because you want to tan in private, it doesn’t mean you can’t make it social. An at-home visit for one costs $60 but you can invite 4 or more of your friends for a tanning party, bringing the cost goes down to $35/per person. Add some frozen margaritas and a viewing of the movie Cocktail and you’ll be feeling beach-ready in no time.
Verdict: We loved the ease of the at-home service and our tan turned out very nice and natural looking and lasted for about 5 days.
St. Tropez Tan at Etiket
We’d heard talk of the St.Tropez tanning line from some of our beauty-obsessed pals, but we’d never tried the supposedly scent-free system for ourselves. So we decided to go to a pro. Paule Roussin is the Ésthéticienne en Chef at Etiket, a stunning luxury spa on Sherbrooke St. that offers a professional application of St. Tropez tanning products. The 60-minute session ($95) begins with a full-body exfoliation and moisturizing treatment, so that the colour goes on smoothly. Once you’ve been bronzed, Paule ensures an even application by buffing your body thoroughly with a soft cloth. We loved that the Paule personalized the application for an even, natural looking glow and the products definitely delivered on their promise. You can even pick up some St. Tropez to take home for personal application (the Gradual Tan moisturizer is our new favourite). Even better? A percentage of the treatment goes to the Save your Skin Foundation.
Verdict: The higher price tag is well worth the relaxing and rejuvenating exfoliation treatment and the tan was subtle, pretty and lasted about 5 days.
Etiket, 1832 Sherbrooke Street West, 514-687-3886, www.etiket.ca