CONTRIBUTED BY SARAH FORTE & MARIE LEWIS
We were recently invited to enjoy a complimentary spray tan at Sassy Glow in partnership with Plat Okinawa. Sarah and Marie enjoyed the spray tan experience, but the opinions are all ours.
Marie: I love having a tan. As an upstate New Yorker who spent more days soaking up rain than sunshine, I tended to abuse my time in the sun during vacations. I’ve since wisened up about protecting my skin, but as a result I no longer sport the super dark tan of my teenage summers. I’ve tried the tan out of a bottle (it left streaks) and the Mystic Spray Tan (again, streaks, and I sort of resembled a carrot.) So I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive about going the spray-tan route again. But in the spirit of trying everything possible in Okinawa, I accompanied Sarah to Sassy Glow to give my fake bake another shot.
At first glance the place looked, well, sassy. The dark wood and gold scripted letters inside the main entrance gave off a funky vibe with attitude. The owner, Yumi, spoke such perfect English that I thought she could be from the states. (She told me she did attend school in Michigan, but is originally from Naha. She and her brother opened Sassy Glow less than a year ago.) Yumi explained we could go as light or as dark as we felt comfortable. I chose a medium-dark option similar to a model pictured on the wall. Yumi led me into a small room to undress and stand on foam mats covered with towels. You can take off everything or, if you’re not comfortable stripping down, leave on a bathing suit or underwear. Yumi takes requests to tan only certain body parts (i.e. legs or face only,) but the price is not much more for a full-body spray. You’ll want to arrive with clean, exfoliated skin without any type of moisturizer, makeup or even deodorant. This can act as a barrier and prevent your color from developing fully.
Sure, it’s a tad awkward standing exposed in front of a total stranger. This feeling only lasted for a second for me. Yumi was extremely professional and I could tell right away that she’s seen enough naked bodies not to be phased by it. She’s not concerned with the shape or size of your (fill in the blank.) Right away she started a conversation with me and we laughed for much of the next 45 minutes. She gently sprayed each section of my body individually, directing me to move my arms and legs to the appropriate angles. Standing on foam mats was much more comfortable than a hard floor. The airbrush felt like a soft body mist, not at all the Mystic spray tan I’d tried once before. The Mystic experience was a startling burst of cold spray that shot at me hard and a fast from a machine in a booth. This was completely different, customized to the size and shape of my body. Yumi took the time to coat my skin evenly and blow-dry each section on a medium setting before moving onto the next. There were also fans blowing on either side of my body to keep my skin drying throughout the process.
By the time we were finished a could see a pretty dramatic difference, but Yumi told me it would take about five hours for the color to set. I was not allowed to exercise or get wet at all until the next morning. I wore clothes as loose as possible to bed. My skin felt a little sticky and it was tough fighting off the urge to shower. When I woke up the next day, my skin was even darker. I liked it, but I think my husband was a little shocked at my sudden deep tan. After my first shower the color looked and felt more natural, and I felt confident putting on a sundress for a function that day. My husband was also a much bigger fan of my tan after I’d showered. I am totally pumped about putting on my bikini now that I don’t have dramatic tan lines from my shorts and shirts! We included a picture of my tan the first day after the spray, so you be the judge.
Sarah: Marie has covered the “before” preparation for the tanning experience and “during” the actual spray tan, I’ll cover “after.”
It was pretty late by the time I got home that night and I had work the next morning so I pretty much went straight to bed to let my color “cure” for the recommended five hours. The next morning after showering, I was very impressed with the results! I looked tan, but not unrealistic like an oompa loompa! My tan was very even and not too drastic. Yumi and I had decided to go with a color that was a mix between the light and medium shades and that seemed to be a great choice.
I hadn’t told anyone at work what I had planned for the night before as a kind of test. I wondered what their reaction would be. Many people noticed that something was different. Most of them realized I was tanner than the day before, but no one guessed that I had a spray tan. I’d say that’s a high compliment, but the higher compliments were how many were asking for information on how to get their own Sassy Glow!
As for how long it lasts, I saw a little bit of fading about a week later. Since the color is attached to the outer layer of skin cells, as these cells wear off, so does the color. There were some places that the color wore off a little faster, like my feet, which are in shoes and socks almost every day. Yumi’s advice for getting the most out of your spray tan was to be gentle with exfoliants and to pat your skin dry instead of rubbing. Of course the tan did not vanish after one week, but if you are getting your Sassy Glow for a special event I would aim for a week or less before the event.
I had never had a spray tan before my Sassy Glow experience and had never really considered getting one until the opportunity arose, but I would definitely get one again. The experience and the results were both great!
Location: Sassy Glow is just outside Kadena’s Gate Two, in the same building complex as Taj Okinawa. If you are coming from KAB Gate Two, proceed under the expressway, over 85/23, and just past China Pete’s. Take the next left and then left again into the parking lot. Sassy Glow is in the back corner on the second floor. The address is 2-17-26 Chūō Okinawa-shi, Okinawa-ken, Japan.
Hours: Sassy Glow is open every day from 1000 in the morning until 0100 the next morning, but if you are planning on coming after 2300 (11pm) it’s best to call ahead and make sure someone is still around.
Other services: Besides spray tanning Sassy Glow offers tanning beds and tanning booths. There is also a small selection of clothing and jewelry available in the front of the store.
Prices: For a whole body spray tan the price is ¥3150 with tax. There are options for less if you only want parts of your body sprayed. For the other tanning beds and booths, you can pay as you go, with a punch card system, or with an unlimited pass. The regular price for a one month unlimited pass is ¥8,925 (w/tax).
Payment options: Sassy Glow’s prices are set in yen, but dollars are also accepted at the current yen rate. No credit cards or checks please.
English: The owner’s English is flawless. On a cultural note, tans are not popular in Japanese mainstream culture, so most of Sassy Glow’s clients are Americans. There is a male tanner also available upon request.
Phone: 098-937-7100. Appointments are not absolutely necessary, but definitely recommended since there is only one room available for spray tanning. You can also email for your appointment: email@example.com.
Menu of services: Click for larger view
Click here for a link to Sassy Glow on Plat Okinawa. There you can see a more information and the current specials.