A Bright Sunshine-y Spray

Business is Hot for Pearl Tan

In high school, I tanned. I inhaled Christie Brinkley’s tanning tips, sprinkling water on my legs to intensify the sun’s coruscating toxicity.

Sunscreen was for… I wasn’t sure. I only knew that the lower the number on the bottle, the better the darkening of the epidermis. My mom taught me that.

Of course, I was impervious to skin cancer, as all UVA ray enthusiasts were back then.

Until we weren’t. 20 years ago my mom had basal cell carcinomas carved from her nose and chest. That was my “OMF” moment.

Now I’m fully committed to sun hats and sunscreen. Sorry, ‘80s Christie.

My skin is better for it but I missed the “healthy” no make-up look of hardcore sun exposure. Surprisingly, I never considered a spray tan until a friend raved about Pearl Tan, owned by Simoni De Souza who’s been golden-glowing women in Fairfield County for over 14 years.

Ever the seeker of knowledge and self-improvement, I called her for a spray. She recommended I schedule the tan two days before an event so it would have time to mellow and look most natural. Which I did.

Promptly at our scheduled time she cruised (safely) into my driveway. She opened her trunk, removed her tools of the trade, and I led her into my home. In my kitchen she popped up a three-sided tent. “How dark do you want to be, one to ten, ten being the darkest?” she asked. I stammered “Five?”

I stood inside the tent and applied moisturizer to my hands while she applied some to my feet to prevent them from absorbing too much solution and becoming over-saturated. Then she sprayed me (vegan, paraben free, cruelty free) and - BOOM! - within 15 minutes of her arrival I had an enviable sun-kissed gleam that I haven’t seen on my body since the days I slathered up with baby oil and crawled onto my parent’s roof to tempt the cancer gods.

Then my new favorite spray tan artist packed up, leaving my kitchen spotless, and put everything neatly back into her car. She had another appointment - in fact, she had appointments from 9:00 a.m. until 7 p.m.

The next day I was tan. I would have to worn a gauzy sundress and walked barefoot on the beach were it not 50 degrees and raining. My skin was the perfect color and looked completely natural save for the fact my nose wasn’t redder than the rest of my face and my skin didn’t break out a few days later. Oh, and I wasn’t destroying my body.

Update: Simoni opened a pop-up shop at 179 Post Road West, 2nd Floor, Westport.

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