Ever been in the waiting room of a tanning salon minding your own damn business, when you catch the eye of someone else in the waiting room and you both share a moment of realisation – “Oh my god, WHY are we spending so much of our precious and temporary lives on earth adhering to society’s imposed beauty standards?!?!?!”

Fake Tan Fails

But here we are. Spending our hard earned cash just to stand naked in front of a stranger who blasts us with a gooey gun all in the name of #beauty. Or doing it to ourselves, whatever. Tanning is a tricky art, a minute to learn and a lifetime to master. There is plenty of room and opportunity for error. I asked my friends, nan and work colleagues for their fake tan fails to make me (and hopefully you) feel better this rainy friday arvo. 

I’ll start with my own: 

I got one for a job interview at Apple. I was nervous so I was sweaty. The interview finished and when I stood up to shake the interviewers hand I looked down on the white leather seat (you know where this story is going…) there were two massive orange marks exactly the size of my thighs. We stood there for a moment awkwardly, he was waiting for me to leave, but thankfully he had the intuition to realise something was off and walked away first (ily Josh). I bolted when the coast was clear then proceeded to die slowly and painfully. 

“I do not have a fake tan horror story, but I do have a butt waxing one that will knock your socks off”- Bec

Thanks Bec, this story is off to a good start. 

“I used expired fake tan in a desperate time of need and it literally turned me purple”Sarah

Fake Tan Fails

“I had really bad tan lines from the beach (ass and tiddies very white) so decided to even it out with only putting fake tan on those areas. It looked good initially but didn’t realise how fake tan gets darker over time. I was making sweet love with my boyfriend when he burst out laughing. He said it looked like I went tanning in some sort of “reverse-kini.” – Anon

“My first spray tan was when I was 15. I had recently hit puberty and needless to say, I didn’t yet have a bikini wax. The tanning lady gave me the g-string to put on, but never having wore one before, I put it on backwards. My pubes are bright red so I looked like Sideshow bob with a narrow helmet on down there. I can’t imagine what she was thinking.” – Anon

Well not me, but happened to a girl I didn’t like in high school. So #karma. She got a really dark spray tan for the school formal. During the night she had some stupid fight with her boyfriend and she was bawwwling. Long story short the tears caused some serious streaks on her face.”Ash

“So the first time I got a spray tan, I thought you had to leave it on for 24 hours. So I got it at night, slept in it, then went to work in the morning – this was years ago before the nice, lightly scented versions so I smelled like a giant bag of warmed-up corn chips. It was a really hot day too, so I was exceptionally stinky.” – Mel 

“16 year old red heads on facebook: Australian (Tanning) Horror Story.”  – Anon

“I got a fake tan once and then it started raining – I needed to go from salon to car – but I ended up with streaks all down my legs.” Chantelle 

“I tried to make a fake tan last longer by using a gradual tanner which turned me a chic shade of orange, then when I went swimming in a chlorinated pool, it washed off so patchy I looked like a I had a rash.”Rach Bell 

Here’s another of my fake tan fails tales:

“The night before our Miami themed work Xmas party, my mum insisted I put some sort of tan on. I have been so scarred from my above experience that I hadn’t fake tanned since, but we compromised on a gradual tan moisturiser. She lathered it on my body and face, the cream itself was white so I really didn’t think anything of it, so I went to bed. I woke up orange as “The Life Of Pablo’ album cover.”Vanna 

I asked my nan for her fake tan fails, I don’t think she understood the question: 

“Hi Van, I often use fake tan at home. I use J. Bronze brand. Its easy and cheap and its not overdone. You want no one to know you have used one, it’s got to look natural and healthy, I don’t like the over bronzed look. Love you, nan. Have you got a boyfriend yet? I’m having a coffee with my boyfriend (my grandpa, her husband of 55 years).” – Nan