Your therapist will be able to offer cleansing wipes to remove any makeup still in tact, but save some time and head there foundation-free. Wipe under the arms too, deodorant residue might leave its mark on your shiny, new tan. Scrub, scrub.
Time to crack out the skin sweater; you’ll need to be naked, from top to toe, to cover all areas with that shaded spritz. Take off jewellery (if you can), and slip on the disposable pants (if you want to). There’ll probably be strange sticky feet patches too, these are to stand on, quelle surprise. They’ll stop you sliding.
Now to discuss your ideal shade of bronze. It might be a good idea to show a picture at this point, of you with tan for reference. Or if, like me, you’ve never known what a real skin tint looks like, just chat to your beautician to find a depth of tan that suits. They'll help to keep things looking natural.
Once you’re in the tanning tent, or on the stand, the spritzing can begin. You’ll be told to shut your eyes, and brace for impact. Take a deep breathe, and prepare for the (rather chilly) spritz of sweet-smelling tan. They’ll usually start with the face, then work downward, but every pro has their own technique.
Things can get giggly around this point. Why? Posing. Follow instructions on how to stand; from arms up and down, to something a little like Superwoman, the pose catalogue will ensure the whole body is coated in tan (yep, those knuckles too). Two all-over layers are usually applied, so you’ll be ‘Vogueing’ it for around 5 minutes.
Once the tan is applied, you’ll be left in the room to get dressed. It’s best to wear darker clothing (or it’ll be RIP to anything white), and ideally something loose-fit. Anything tight might rub, so wide-legs on, and slip into some sandals.
Eau de biscuit? Not necessarily. Tan formulas are pretty advanced nowadays so that old-school malty scent is minimal. You can shower after 6-8 hours anyway (or less, depending on the tan). Warning: there’s no sight more saddening than washing your tan travel down the plughole. Don’t mourn its disappearance, the colour will have worked its magic by this point.
You sure can. A spray tan offers no protection from the sun’s rays (UVA or UVB), so make sure to layer up the sun cream as usual. A fake tan, that transitions to a natural tan? I’d say it’s a genius idea.
Can I get a natural tan through a spray tan? We’ve got the answers
If Ross from Friends has taught us anything, it’s that you should always do your research before heading for a spray tan (and leather pants are a bad idea, as a general rule). There’s hair nets, there’s posing, there’s strange sticky feet involved, but most importantly, there’s a golden tan awaiting that’ll stay put on your skin for up to a week. Rejoice. To prep you for some spritzing, here’s a 10-step guide of exactly what goes down in the spray tan booth.
By Rachel Spedding
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