Funny story, in middle school I tried out one of those at home sprays from the drug store and had no idea what I was doing.. Did not use gloves and my hands were super dark for school the next day. And THAT is how I became “Tan Hands”.
You don’t want to be tan hands, kids. Also, while we’re at it another rule of thumb:
Spray tans are funny because they seem to show up on people completely differently. I do the darkest shade and it makes me only look only slightly darker. Don’t get me wrong, I like the pale look too but having some color evens out my skin tone and I feel I look more fit with a bit of a tan, my eyes and teeth look brighter, and I feel like I don’t need as much make up if I’m a little tan. If spray tans aren’t your thing scroll to the bottom for my other favorite tan products.
I get a spray tan at least once a month normally at Ultratan. The good news is that spray tan technology has improved even in the past couple of years and the formulas are SO much better. (So if you got a spray tan for prom years ago and didn’t like it, it may be time to try it out again.) I use the mystic booth (I’ve had the custom air brush at a different place and that was nice too, but much more expensive). Most girls I know have had at least one spray tan in their life, but I’ll walk you through the basics.
Before getting a spray tan, exfoliate your whole body thoroughly and shave. (Post for my homemade exfoliating scrub.) Don’t apply lotion.
I normally wear yoga pants or something else that’s dark and comfortable.
Apply blending cream on your hands or any dry areas on your body and cover your hair. This is probably frowned upon, but rather than purchase the “sticky feet” each time, I just use the hand towel provided in the room to stand on in the booth (because who wants the bottoms of your feet to look dark? And also I’m kind of a brat and want to beat the system)
The machine walks you through it.
Don’t be like Ross. (still laugh watching this).
After, I use hand sanitizer to get some of the pigment off my hands or anywhere else as needed. The longer the spray tan develops, the darker it will be. (Wait at least 4-6 hours before showering). If I have an event or something I want to be tan for, I normally get a spray tan a day or 2 prior (not the day of). If you ever want to remove spray tan color baking soda + water is the best at removing it.
If I want to look darker (like in the left photo), in addition to the spray tan I’ve gotten I’ll use either Tomas or fake bake airbrush in the shower (a couple light coats look better than one heavy coat). Run the nozzle under warm water after use to avoid it clogging between uses. I’ve heard great things about Tanwise and will be trying that next. I used to use gloves but now that I’m a pro I don’t use them. (Ha! Tan Hands no more!) When I use these the tan lasts about a week. The same rules apply as far as developing goes.
Don’t exfoliate for several days (until you’re ready for your tan to come off) If you do too soon your skin will look patchy. Moisturize Lots!
Listed below are some of my favorites when I don’t spray tan but still want some subtle color: