What: Sundara Airbrush Tan, $78
Why: Usually, if I'm in a room alone with someone pointing a gun at my face, it's not a good day. However, my recent visit to Sundara Airbrush Tanning in NYC – where I happened to be put in this precarious situation – proved otherwise. I went to Sundara to get my very first airbrush tan. I have several friends who swear by it, and they certainly look good, but I've always been wary of the potential orange effect.
After 20 minutes in my skivvies with a perfect stranger (who happened to be delightful and very professional), my body was a beautiful, golden brown. No orange in sight. However, the upkeep was not low maintenance. You have to moisturize every day with thick cream – I chose the Sundara Body Butter ($35), which has this alluring coconut smell – and you can't exfoliate for at least 48 hours after the treatment. This means no bath beads in your shower gel, no retinol in your face cream, and no vigorous rubbing with your towel.
The tan is supposed to last up to ten days – mine lasted a solid six, which was fine for me, since for those six days I was getting checked out left and right. And thanks to the all-over, just came from the islands glow, I happened to score a date for Friday night. For that, it's worth the bucks.
I might not go back on a regular basis, due to maintenance and price, but this is a great idea for events where you want to look your best – weddings, reunions, and other times you want to make people jealous. Just make sure to get the treatment at least 8 hours before your event – that's how long you have to wait to shower. Go to sundaranyc.com for more info.
For those not daring enough to face the gun, check out our Guide to the Best Self-Tanners. My current at-home fave is the Xen-Tan Dark Mist Spray ($29). It goes on evenly, dries instantly, and smells delicious.