Moments of embarrassment in the field of testing treatments have all but vanished. I am now used to being prodded and poked in the attempt to make me more pulchritudinous by those with all manner of expertise. The fact that they are often privy to bodies that are a little more, well, pretty than mine still occurs every now and then, but I try to swallow the impulse to self-loathe and remind myself that I am doing a job.
That is not to suggest by any means that I am as comfortable with nudity of face or physique as the seasoned nudist. At a spa in Budapest recently I was confronted by many naked bodies belonging to humans who seemed eminently comfortable with a state of undress and wafted around confidently while I adjusted my towel to preserve a semblance of modesty. Yes, I am that woman – the towel-adjuster.
I digress. I am here to regale you with a particularly toe-curling episode of nudity. I recently went along to a FeelUnique.com event at the Mayfair Hotel to scout their newest wares. Margaret Dabbs manicures were on offer. Mini facials were happening in one corner. Instead of partaking in these plum offerings (or grabbing a glass of the champers as a wise woman would have), I was somehow roped into the third treatment: a St. Tropez spray tan that was administered in a little tent in the corner. I stripped off as instructed and put on the tiny paper thong, then cowered in the corner while the beautiful Michaela came at me with St. Tropez’s new instant-colour spray formula.
I think you may need more information on the tent and lighting to understand my extreme shyness. The lighting, it was bright. Office bright. The tent, it was of thin, air-light plastic and entirely see-through from my face up. This meant that anyone taller than I sipping their champagne next to said tent would have a nice view of my pale, shivering form as it was being sprayed with brown tan. The process, by the by, also invoked embarrassment – the spray was small, precise. This meant Michaela needed to come extremely close to me to direct the spray. All in all, it was an excruciating fifteen minutes.
But after, oh what bliss. I was beautifully bronzed for five days. It was perfect – not a whisper of orange or a suggestion of a streak. Really it was a great shame that I didn’t have people to parade my newly-brown form around in front of the following day – I’d have been far more confident. The point I am anecdotally making is this – if you need a tan, the St. Tropez treatment is a good ‘un. If you can’t get to a salon, use the new at home version. And if you, like me, are prone to embarrassment when having your nipples spritzed by a woman whose face is a mere few inches away, have a swig of champagne first. That’s what I should’ve done.