Spray Tan 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Sunless Tanning

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Well it’s that time of year! Spring has officially sprung and this girl is feeling a bit ghostly. I always feel so much better about my appearance when I have a good bronzed glow to my skin. Living in Las Vegas, it’s not that hard to step out into the sunshine, but it can be so damaging to your skin. That’s why this girl has decided to get her FIRST.EVER.SPRAY.TAN! That’s right, you heard me correct, my very FIRST spray tan!

I have a discount code at the very end of this blog post to get 15% off your first spray tan with Las Vegas’ Shady Airbrush Tanning, so keep reading!

I’ve received so many DM’s asking what I’ve been using on my skin to get the perfect glow. I’m gonna just be honest with you all, I’m a beginner when it comes to the self tanning world; I’m by no means an expert. That’s why I wanted to share my experience with you babes! There are a few ways to getting the perfect bronzed look.

Option 1: Self Tanner

I recently bought two different brands of self tanning mousse. I had some exciting collaborations and I wanted to look my best for my upcoming photoshoots. I also had a bachelorette party to attend and didn’t want to be the ghostly looking girl at the pool lol. I didn’t know much about the spray tanning world and wanted a quick overnight tan.

First thing I used was the Self Tan Whipped Marshmallow Bronzing Mousse and although it smelled amazing, it did not get me the color I had expected. I actually returned it and bought the St. Tropez Self Tan Extra Dark Bronzing Mousse. I loved this product and the color than it gave me. I love how even the color appears, and I like how the color fades without any issues!

About a week and a half later I was reading more self tanning reviews and I found a brand called Loving Tan! I ran over to Ulta and bought the Loving Tan 2 HR Express Self Tanning Mousse Medium. I was even happier with the results from this self tanner because this one provides a deep, dark tan within 2 hours whereas the other self tanners I have used take much longer to see a result. 

I have been wanting to try the Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops and Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Water for quit some time, but it was sold out at Sephora for the longest time! Well ladies, it is FINALLY back in stock!! I have tried both and loved both products!! I like the dark shade in both products, but they come in light, medium and dark. All of the Isle of Paradise products go on clear, resulting in a streak free application and they are all under $30! The drops are such a smart idea! You just add a couple drops to your moisturizer and WALLAH - YOU’RE TAN! The more drops you add, the darker your tan. If you’re looking for a great self tanner for a decent price, this is by far the BEST one!! I’m OBSESSED! Run and purchase while they’re in stock now!

Self Tanner Prep:

  • I always shower before I use self tanner. In the shower, I make sure to exfoliate with a good scrub (I like this lemon sugar scrub) and/or a lufa or rougher washcloth. I mainly focus on my elbows, knees, and ankles and wrists/hands as this is where more color can deposit and leave your skin looking uneven in color.

  • Once I get out of the shower, I apply a small amount of moisturizer to those same areas. I like to use this moisturizer for those small areas and I use it daily while using self tanner. I find it really hydrating. You want to MAKE SURE to use a moisturizer on the days to follow, one without parabans and sulfates like this one.

Self Tanner Application:

  • After shaving, showering and exfoliating, I applied the self tanner this self tanning mitt. NO ONE wants orange hands ladies! ALWAYS use a mitt!

  • and left it on while I slept. Make sure you wear long sleeve pajamas and pants so it does not come off a ton on your sheets. When I woke up and washed it off I was really pleased with the results.

  • I apply 2-3 pumps of the product onto the mitt and then start with my legs. I work in an upward, sweeping motion and apply the productall the way up my legs ending with my feet. It is SO important not to apply extra pumps of self tanner to your hands/feet areas. I just use what is left over on my mitt for these spots.

  • Next, I apply the product to my arms, ending with my elbows, since that can be a dry spot. I start at my shoulder and use downward, sweeping motions to apply the product.

  • Next, I apply the product to my chest and stomach. I usually just use a circular motion to apply the self tanner here. I recently found this back applicator, for those hard to reach areas on your back and LOVE it!

  • Lastly, I apply the product to my face and neck. I was really skeptical at first about applying self tanner to my face. I didn’t want to look super orange, but then at the same time, I didn’t want my face to not match the color of the rest of my body. I use one pump and apply it first to my forehead and cheeks. I try to blend it out almost as if it is like applying makeup. Make sure to sweep up your neck when applying and get your ears too!



Option 2: SPRAY TAN

You guys! I am OBSESSED with spray tanning, it has become my new favorite thing! This type of tan gives me the BEST results above any self tanning product that I can use myself. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting a spray tan if you want the best color with the longest lasting results. I got the prettiest glow at Shady Airbrush Tanning located here in Las Vegas and I couldn’t have been happier with my results!

I chose not to go to a chain tanning salon for my first spray tan because I wanted the process explained to me and lets face it I had questions, being a first timer. After texting with Taylor, who runs Shady Airbrush Tanning, I knew she could give me the attention I needed. She was not only quick to respond, but had availability the next day to get me into her salon! She made me feel so comfortable and answered all of my burning spray tan questions. She spent about 15 minutes explaining the different spray tan options available and different results from each one.

Spray Tan options at Shady Airbrush Tanning:

Shady Babe Tan - $40 The original custom Shady Babe Airbrush Tan. Each 30 minute Shady Babe appointment includes a custom blended solution suitable for your specific skin tone and a full body application of a fresh scented finishing powder to help dry and set your spray tan. Aloe and/or alcohol based solutions available with this option. Rinse in 6-8 hours. Results will be fully developed in 24 hours.

*Shady Babe Tan Express - $45 The original custom Shady Babe Airbrush Tan with a quicker rinse time. Each 30 minute Shady Babe appointment includes a custom blended solution suitable for your specific skin tone and a full body application of a fresh scented finishing powder to help dry and set your spray tan. Aloe and/or alcohol based solutions available with this option. Rinse in 1-4 hours. Results will be fully developed in 24 hours.

Blushtan® original - $50 Our exclusive line of organic blushtan® solutions contain natural, anti-aging ingredients that help to moisturize the skin + minimize the appearance of cellulite, fine lines + wrinkles. Will also reduce inflammation + redness caused by acne, sunburn, eczema + psoriasis. Specially designed to alleviate dry skin, allowing the sunless tan to set + fade evenly. Rinse in 10-12 hours for your tan to set before showering. Results will fully develop in 24 hours.

Blushtan® super express - $60 Our most premium service! No more putting your daily routine on hold while your tan develops! Our Super Express Solution sets much more quickly, allowing you to shower just 2 hours after your application for a light glow, 3 hours after for a medium tan, or 4 hours after for a deeper tan. Results will be fully developed in 24 hours.

* You can always request a customized color from Taylor over at Shady Airbrush Tanning! If you tell her the shade you’re going for, she can create the perfect concoction to fit exactly what you want!

Here are some photos of my Shady Airbrush Tan results by Taylor!

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Spray Tan Process:

I chose the Blushtan® Super Express. It is recommended to keep this one on between 1-4 hours (the longer it is on, the darker the tan), as it is more of an express tan. I went to my appointment at 10 am and didn’t want to sit in the spray tan all day.

  • I prep the same way I would if I was applying my own self tanner, making sure to shave and exfoliate the night before.

  • It is so important NOT to apply ANY SKIN PRODUCTS whatsoever prior to your spray tan! This includes: deodorant, moisturizer, and makeup.

  • I choose to wear a pair of underwear for some modesty, but what you wear is totally up to you. You can go in your birthday suit, wear underwear, wear pasties (provided at the salon), or even a swimsuit.

  • Once stripped down, Taylor applies blocking lotion to my feet, hands and fingernails.

  • Taylor has a pair of “sticky feet” to wear while she sprays you to protect the bottoms of your feet from getting solution on them. She also provides a hair net while she sprays.

  • Spray away!

  • This next step, you can only have the luxury of getting at Shady Airbrush Tanning. Once Taylor has completed the spray tan (takes about 10-15 mins), she will apply Glow by Erin Spray Tan Finishing Powder. This stuff is the HOLY GRAIL! It is a finishing powder applied 1-2 mins after the spray tan has completed that allows you to get dressed feeling completely dry! This powder acts as a barrier so that the spray tan doesn’t get all over your clothes or car seats. It helps set the spray tan while it’s developing and eliminates the post-spray sticky feeling, leaving my skin feeling silky soft with a beautiful shimmer and a clean fresh summery scent.

  • Depending on what spray tan option you go with will determine the allotted time to wait until showering after your spray tan. In my case, I had the option of waiting anywhere from 1-4 hours. I waited about 3.5 hours to shower. It is so important NOT to use body soap the first time you shower because this cuts down on the life of your tan! I just rinse in luke-warm water.

  • Your tan will be the darkest within 24 hours. At this time you can go back to using soap and moisturizer on your body. Your skin needs extra hydration with a spray tan, so make sure to apply a moisturizer daily.

Be sure to mention “TRENDY & SPENDY” when you contact Taylor to book via text (402) 541-7098 or Instagram DM to receive 15% off your first spray tan!

I hope this was helpful for you guys! I prefer spray tanning over self tanner because I don’t have to deal with the hassle of trying to apply it myself. A spray tan is guaranteed to be even if someone else is spraying you. Please feel free to leave a comment below or DM me on @trendyandspendy if you have any questions!

Thank you Taylor at Shady Airbrush Tanning for sponsoring this post. As always, are opinions are my own.

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