Being a sunscreen devotee, I haven't had a tan since I was about ten. Self-tanners usually made me look more Sunkist than sun-kissed, so I gave up on the idea of looking tanned. And then I tried GlowFusion AirGlow ($175), billed as the world's first and only airbrush self-tanning system. Essentially, it uses the same technology as the spray tanners you'd find at the spa, but you do the work yourself. To find out whether it delivers the tan,
I was worried about making a giant mess with this thing, but AirGlow is surprisingly easy to use. You just let it charge for eight hours, pour in the tanning juice (it's called Micro-Nutrient Tinted Protein Tan Mist) and pull the trigger. A cool, cocoa-scented mist goes straight on your body, not on the shower wall—no mess! Because the mist is tinted, it's easy to see where you've sprayed; the only problem is learning how to evenly control the mist. I wound up lingering on my forearms too long, and completely missing the backs of my calves.
The morning after I AirGlowed, I looked more like Malibu Barbie than Casper for a change. The "tan" was nicely natural, not orangey or visibly fake. Sure, it was a little blotchy due to my user error, and my sheets were a little stained (note to self: next time, let this stuff thoroughly dry!). But for the most part, I looked as though I'd just spent two weeks lounging in Ibiza. I'm curious, though: Would you pay $175 for a great at-home system? Or would you rather stick with cheaper lotion self-tanners?