A U.K. woman recently learned that bedtime is probably not the best time to apply sunless tanner. In an embarrassing yet hilarious photo she shared of herself, the mom and musician shows off prominent white streaks that appeared on her face after she went to bed with the self-tanner freshly applied, then drooled in her sleep.
Louise Harper told Metro she had slathered herself in a few layers of St. Moriz Darker Than Dark lotion, then hit the hay to get a good night’s rest, as she was set to perform at a gig the next day. Her 13-year-old son was the first to spot the fake tan fail the next morning, asking his mom what had happened to her face and why she looked like she had “fangs.”
That’s when Harper hopped out of bed and ran to the bathroom to get a look at the unsightly streaks herself.
“I got straight in the shower and I remember looking in the chrome shower fitting and using it as a mirror,” she told Metro. “My heart dropped … and I felt a bit sick.”
Anxious about her onstage performance that night, Harper — who hails from Hertfordshire, England — knew she had to do something to save her skin from the self-tanner mishap.
“It’s not like I could hide at home away from everyone for a couple of days,” she said. “I’m a singer and a musician. I had to go and do my gig.”
Her first line of defense against unfortunate stains was a strong exfoliation using a facial scrub and a loofah. She said she spent “a good 20 minutes” attacking the area in the shower, but despite vigorous scouring, the streaks remained.
So she stepped out of the shower and began “ferociously” scrubbing the stain away with cleansing wipes. “It started to fade a little bit but you could still see it — just not as prominent as in the picture but still very patchy,” she said, calling the beauty fail “horrendous.”
Desperate — and striking out in her attempts to cover up the streaks with makeup — Harper took to social media to crowdsource a solution for her dilemma. That’s when a friend recommended a foolproof, full-coverage foundation, and Harper dashed to the store to buy it — but only after tying a scarf around her face to hide the evidence.
Harper told Metro that the foundation ended up working, but she had to keep reapplying throughout her gig, as the hot stage lights were causing her to sweat it off. “Thankfully the patchiness is gone now,” she said.
What remains, though, is her sense of humor about the situation — and a glaring confirmation that she’s a nocturnal drooler, even though she claims, “I don’t dribble regularly, not that I know of.”
The single mom does admit that her unconscious habit could be causing some other detrimental side effects, too. “Now I’m patting my pillows in the morning,” she said. “No wonder I can’t get a boyfriend.”
Harper certainly isn’t the first person to learn that sunless tanner and bodily fluids do not mix — nor is she the first to go viral with disastrous results. In 2016, a high school senior shared photographic evidence of what happens when you cry moments after getting a spray tan: a telltale “temporary tattoo” in the shape of flowing tears.
Skyler Lavigne told Buzzfeed that once she noticed what her post-tan sobbing had done to her skin, “there was absolutely nothing I could do but let the tears roll down my face.”
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