I love being tan. I feel like I can wear less makeup when I'm tan. My blemishes or body imperfections are less noticeable when I'm tan. My teeth look whiter. My eyes look brighter. I just love being tan. I used to be a tanning bed junkie. I know the dangers of tanning beds so I have tried to curb my bed tanning and focus more on spray tans.
I managed a tanning salon in college and I've used just about every version of spray tan booths imaginable. However, even when using the most expensive spray booth at the salon, I was always frustrated with my spray tan. It always looked very unnatural. My hands and feet were always far too black, regardless of how much barrier cream I used.
I had a membership at Lux, a local tanning salon in Dallas. It's a top of the line salon. I actually love the salon but regardless of which variation I chose for the spray booth, I always hated the result. Alas, I met Kambri Preciado. She is the young, vibrant owner of Bring Me Bronze - a mobile spray tan company. Kambri is a professionally trained airbrush tanning technician. She has a passion for entrepreneurship and she started Bring Me Bronze when she was only 22. She's a very impressive young woman. We chatted and made an appointment for her to come spray me. She offers airbrush spray tanning in the comfort of your own home. She literally came to my building, my concierge let her up, she sat up her tent and then she sprayed me. I was blown away with how natural it looks, how professional she was and how much I loved my spray tan. She is very detail-oriented and excellent at her job. I even loved my hands and feet. When she sprays you, she takes a little brush and smooths the transition from your wrists to hands. I was beyond impressed. Not to mention, I didn't have to struggle back into my clothes and hope I didn't smudge my spray tan afterward. Since she came to me, I just threw my robe on, made dinner and let my tan sit for about an hour.
[Before my airbrush tan, about 15 minutes after my airbrush tan, the next day.]
I am now a proponent of airbrush tanning, especially mobile airbrush tanning. It is the best way to tan. However, even if you don't get an airbrush tan and are still going to the booth, here are the best tips for getting an impeccable spray tan result.
Before Your Session:
The most important step (next to exfoliating) for a flawless, long lasting tan. This step is done days leading up to your session as well as afterwards. Tans develop on the top layer of skin so it is important to keep skin hydrated as possible! This means drinking plenty of water and also keeping your skin hydrated on the surface.
On the night prior to or the morning of your session, use an exfoliant. A loofah doesn't cut it. Buffing gloves, cloths and scrubs work best. This will prepare your skin by cleaning and 'buffing' it, leaving it cleaner than a typical soap or body wash. It is best to use a non-oil based exfoliant. Below I've linked my favorite exfoliating towel and exfoliating scrub on Amazon - they're amazing!
Primp, Pamper and Sweat Before
All hair removal (laser, waxing, shaving) must be done before your tan, as well as pedi/manis. Workouts should also be done before as you cannot sweat or get wet for up to 8 hours after your session.
Come With Clean, Bare Skin
Your skin should also be free from applied products like lotion, and makeup and deodorant!
After Your Session:
Be sure to bring loose dark clothing that will not rub or smudge the tan. The baggier, the better here! No bras, socks, zippers, sweatpants with tight waistbands.
No Sweating or Exposure to Water
You will need to avoid water and sweating until your tan sets- up to 8 hours after your session. This means no washing your hands or doing the dishes!
Your First Rinse
At your session you will be told exactly how long you must wait before your first rinse off. This can range from 1-8 hours based on the solution used and the desired color for and look. Often it is suggested that tans are slept in before your initial rinse. This rinse MUST be quick and lukewarm. No steam or hair washing or using body wash- which will strip the tan if done during the first rinse.
Remember to Keep Skin Hydrated
Applying lotion generously will help significantly prolong the life of your tan! Basic, natural lotions and body washes without parabens or alcohol is best. Oils should be avoided, including lotions that have oils in them such as coconut oil. I like this Marlowe lotion
Additional Tips for Extending the Life of Your Tan:
Tans are water soluble and will degrade with extended exposure to sweat and water (especially hot water). Baths, long showers, intense workouts, salt water and chlorine will take a toll on your tan- however live your life and enjoy your glow!
Follow these steps next time you spray tan and you'll undoubtedly see a better result.
If you are in the Dallas area, I cannot recommend Kambri and Bring Me Bronze any more highly. She is exceptional at her craft and she has the absolute sweetest personality. She offers group rates and frequent promotions. Booking link