The background
I’ve always had very fair skin, and too much time spent in the sun inevitably results in me going bright red, then back to pale. When the Twilight series came out in the early noughties, I no longer felt the pressure to be beautifully bronzed. But it’s been ten years since Twilight hit the shelves, and the sparkle has worn off, so to speak. So, knowing how bad conventional tanning is, I decided to get in touch with Gold Coast Tan to help me out.

The Prep
Victoria de Lima, owner and manager at Gold Coast Tan was extremely accommodating and very instructive about what I needed to do. “You need to exfoliate properly – front and back – before you come, we need fresh skin to work on.” Duly noted. “And a lofa won’t do the trick, you need those body gloves to exfoliate properly. Only use a simple soapbar, no fancy body washes from anywhere, and absolutely no cream. Remember loose fitting clothes and slops for afterwards.” So, dutifully and somewhat apprehensively I scrubbed my body to within an inch of its epidermis in preparation for my first-ever spray tan.

The experience
The moment I walked into Gold Coast Tan at Cedar Square, the faces of Ruth and Chantel lit up. The shop is like a little slice of summer, with bikinis, tanning creams of all kinds, Ipanema slops and men’s bathing shorts strung up everywhere. I was apprehensive, but Chantel assured me that the tan would look glorious when she was done. Into the back we went, and Chantel became part pilates instructor, part beautician as she directed me through the positions and motions to get the perfect spray tan. The little machine is like a reverse vacuum cleaner, instead of sucking up dust it spritzed me with mixture. As it hit my body, the spray was cool, and I’m glad it’s 29 degrees outside, but it smelled quite yummy, a mix of sweet and tangy scent lingering in the air. All-in-all it only took about 15 minutes before she was instructing me to put my pajamas on (they said bring loose fitting clothing okay?) and to come on out again when I was ready.

Summer ready
And ready I was! Alright, not quite. The thousands of people who’ve gone before me know all too well that spray tans need to set for 10-12 hours. Ruth was firm but kind “Absolutely no sweating, no showering, no bathing children or washing dishes. Just have a glass of wine and go to bed.” Sounds good to me. But as the tan starts to set, it does indeed look glorious. My skin is glowing and bronzed, and I think even it is surprised at the rich colour it has changed to. I bid Chantel and Ruth adieu, and they let me know that everyone is welcome at Gold Coast Tan. “Big, small, men, women, we’ve seen them all.” They also have their regulars, one of whom was waiting in the reception to get her tan done after me. Ruth reminds me as I’m leaving that now is the perfect time to get ready for summer, as we wind down towards the end of the year, and Joburgers gear up to head to the coast.


As a first-time spray tanner, I can honestly say that the staff here are exceptional, and as the days have gone by people have ooed and aahd at my perfect tan. Get in touch with them by visiting their website, or calling them on 011 467 8621. They also offer Tan Can sessions with membership options, fittings, beachwear, tanning lotions and moisturisers and more.


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