Readers of my mother’s blog will no doubt have learned about the evils inherent in children watching TV and their consequential celebrity worship. Apparently children who are given too much attention have delusions of grandeur and would like to become celebrities themselves. At the risk of being labeled a Hollywood wanna-be myself, which would convict my own mother’s parenting, I post the following:
Brazilian women will tell you, with no small amount of pride, that they are very vain. This is true. It is part of the culture that rubs off on us ex-pats, regardless of the nationality. Waxing, bleaching, vein stripping and injecting, implants, lipo, tummytucks, manicures and pedicures – all of it is considered necessary in the name of keeping your man. It may or may not work but it is just what you do.
I have been driving by one salon for months now which advertises a (jet)spray tan. As it is imperative that one be tan for Carnaval in Rio, I booked Maria and myself appointments for this morning in preparation for the Carnaval parade. In the event this beauty adventure turned out to be a disaster, we have time to recover.
When booking the appointment, the receptionist gave me the following tips:
bathe 2 hours before application, making sure to exfoliate.
do not apply any cream or perfumes after bathing
wear an old bikini and lightweight clothing
do not bathe for 8 hours after application
Early this morning, after performing the above pre-application ritual, Maria came by to get me. At the salon we entered a booth of sorts which had a door leading outside to an enclosed patio. Maria went first, stripping to her bikini and donning the kind of cap one wears for major surgery. The “sprayer”, for lack of a better word, applied coconut oil to the palms of Maria’s hands and the soles of her feet. Then she filled a little reservoir, on what looked like a professional spray painting machine, with a blackish colored liquid. After turning on the machine, she began to spray Maria in little circles, starting with the legs and working upward, ending in the face. When she was finished she went out to the patio and stood in front of a fan to dry the pigment particles. From start to finish took an hour and a half for the two of us. The temperature outside in the shade rose 2 degrees Celsius while we were being pixelated.
Naturally, we asked all sorts of questions in the name of beauty research. Here are the results, according to the sprayer: it takes about 2 hours for the color to fully appear; there are women who do this weekly, although on some women the color can last up to two weeks (that means we’ll have to go back); most bring a book to read standing up in front of the fan; you cannot sweat or stay in the sun for the rest of the day. The spray machine and liquid tan are both manufactured in Brazil.
I am happy to report that I am pleased with the results. There are no smudges around my ankles or elbows, no big streaks across my midriff. It beats the sunbathing rotisserie and is probably better for your skin. Fake and bake, baby, fake and bake! It’s where Talladega ends and Rio de Janeiro begins.