Friday, August 1, 2008

Smoke and Mirrors

Pre-Flight Checklist - Spartan

Leather Speedo
Cloak, Shoulder Harness and Brooch
Bronze Greaves
Bronze Vambraces
Bronze Helmet
Bronze Aspis Shield
Falcata Sword
Battle Totem to make a Persian soil his loincloth
Muscular Definition (enough for me!)
Mediterranean tan

I asked JJ for the aspis shield later in the costuming process, so I didn't expect to get it with the rest of the stuff. It took us a while to find shield blanks in the right size and shape for an accurate recreation. I'm a patient guy. The upside is I'm also getting a Boromir shield at the same time! Woo-hoo!

But the tan ... Ahhhh.
Now that presents a problem. You see, I am light-complexioned and tend to burn, rather than tan. SPF15 is my friend. Not nordic pale, nor fish-belly white (thank God!), but if I take off my shirt, you can see the considerable difference between my face and hands and the rest of me. (Does this, then, make me a type of redneck?) The color in my face, hands and lower arms is a pale gold.

My friend Mike is just the opposite. He's got a light olive complexion, but if he spends one lousy hour in the sun, he's got a killer tan that lasts for weeks. Damn him.

There's no way I'd go to a tanning salon - I have no intention of developing melanoma. Also, I don't want to prematurely age my skin, either.

And over-the-counter aerosol or rub-on tans are also something I wouldn't consider. I don't want to look like a variegated carrot with nicotine-colored palms. After all, if I spent this amount of time and effort to look like a Spartan, I'm not going to ruin it by getting a cheap tan.

That leaves me with a professional airbrush tan. I pass by this one place - the Spa Meridian - every day to work, so I decided to do some Googling and see if there was any reviews for them. It turns out they are basically a glorified nail salon that tries to do everything and winds up doing nothing well.

Some other information that I came across while looking for a reputable place was something called "sculpted airbrushing" - this involves using some slightly different tones to "accentuate the positive" - one guy on Yahoo! indicated that the place he used added the illusion of a slightly flatter stomach and hints of a six-pack. Nice ... Just what I'm looking for...

My Google search led me to Sundara Sunless Tanning. This is all that they do and they are listed as a 5-star establishment from New York Magazine. Sundara (which means "beautiful" in Sanskrit) does a customized color match to your skin - with me, I'd most-likely need a more golden color, rather than reddish-brown. I'd also be looking for something a bit more subtle than the picture to the left - I'd probably take the day off for the paint job and if I came in the next day with a savage tan, everyone would know something was afoot. I need to go in to Sundara for a consultation - I do have some questions that I'd like answered:

  1. Given my proclivity to eye infections, how is the spray applied to around the eyes?
  2. What about the normal face and neck shaving? Isn't this going to take the tan off quickly? Do they offer a take-home touch up for guys?
  3. Do I need to exfoliate all over first, or is that something that Sundara offers as part of the prep?

I've updated the checklist to include the aspis shield which I received on December 24!!