The only “safe” tan is an airbrush tan. End of story. With everyone going apeshit about the newest skin health care – tanning beds apparently increase your melanoma risk (duh) – I feel inclined to let everyone in on the best self tanners and airbrush studios. Let me add that you should feel lucky to read this post as I am restraining myself from gagging as we speak – my pain relievers are pretty heavy duty and I can barely eat (bad mix). Update: I just did. No more chocolate ice cream for me… ever.
Please refer to my post regarding airbrush tanning prep from June. It’s either on here or @ mychiclife.com, but it has a lot of useful tips from moi after my many years of perfecting the sunless method.
Don’t want to get nude in front of a local stranger? Self tanning is your best bet. However, I’d recommend doing this with a friend (odd?) or investing in a back sponge to ensure even application.
Like airbrush tanning, shave or wax a day before. This will make sure the bronzer stays on the skin. As a rule of thumb, do NOT go more than one shade darker than you usually get in the sun. You will turn out orange. You can also turn orange as a result of a bad solution and I recommend the following:
– Jergens Natural Glow Express
Helps to moisturize AND gradually add color, so you don’t freak people out by starting out as a Pale Polly and then to a Tan Tammy. It’s also great to use this after an airbrush application because everyone knows the key to a long lasting airbrush sesh is moisturization.
– Sublime Bronze by L’Oreal
This gives you instant color and looks natural, not abnormal. You can purchase it also as a “gradual” formula, which is essentially a lotion with tanner in it and not strictly a tanning agent.
Lindsay Lohan brings us SevenNyne, a great concoction of antioxidants, hydrators and self tanner. She might not have the best rep, but remember this: she does have access to all of the best make-up artists and beauty consultants any woman could want. Not to mention Linds falls into the “freckled, Irish” skin complexion, noted as a Level 1, meaning she can’t tan in the sun and burns easily… which makes her the perfect client for airbrush tanning. And hey, if Linds can’t sell ya on it, Sephora is selling her products, which isn’t to be taken lightly.
– Clinique Self Sun Tinted Face Lotion + Self Sun Body Airbrush Spray
Clinique is a great line no matter what you purchase from them. The lotion is specifically formulated for the face, so you’re not to worry about looking too dark or oddly complected. The airbrush spray is great because you get the “luxury” experience in your own home. The airbrush doesn’t run and develops in about an hour, with full results after a day.
I will also say that Kate Somerville has a great line of products, but they’re more on the expensive side.
I’m going to suggest some airbrush locations in Cali and DFW because those are places I am most familiar with:
– Sunless Studio, The Beverly Hills Tan
Sunless Studio is where I currently work and I don’t pride myself on working there for nothing. The tan really is magic. It goes on evenly and you look shades darker instantly – except not with the faux “orange” glow that comes from a Mystic Booth. It really is remarkable. The story is this: the owner of the company wanted to find the best airbrush tan possible, so she researched for about a year and a half to test out everything – what airbrushes work best, how different solutions look, what the client enjoys and dislikes. The rest is history! We can honestly say that nobody else in California has our solution because it’s unique to our studio. Come try it out! At $45, this is an unbeatable value.
– Perfect Glow, Fort Worth Texas
I managed Perfect Glow for several months before I moved to Cali. We were one of the only places in Fort Worth to offer airbrush tanning. I will say that although PG is not as up-to-date as the salons in California, the employees do an excellent job of ensuring the customer leaves happy and is well-informed prior to their first visit. By up-to-date, I mean that the brush they use is typical of Texas airbrush standards. At Sunless Studio, we use a small airbrush for the face, feet and hands so that they are not overly saturated and then a larger airbrush – not a gun – to do the body. At Perfect Glow, the gun they used is not an actual airbrush (which is rarely used at salons, btw) but the employees are trained on how to effectively use it on all different parts of the body so that each customer feels comfortable and beautiful when leaving the salon.
– Nordstrom Spa @ NorthPark, Dallas, Texas
I haven’t been here personally, but everyone that came to Perfect Glow was a resident of Fort Worth that would travel to Dallas specifically to get airbrushed at NorthPark’s Nordstrom Spa. They were lucky to find us and most said our tans were identical. They use a solution called Brazil Bronze (http://www.brazilbronze.com) and it has been recommended by magazines such as Allure and Vogue.
Hope this helps ladies (and gents).