Gone are the days of over-the-top makeup, big hair and tangerine-tinted skin. Today, getting back to the basics is the name of the game. While a spray tan is a great way to warm up your skin and hide imperfections, it should never cross the line into making you look like someone else.
Inspired by the effortless style of sun-kissed surfers, here are the essential steps you need to follow to achieve a natural spray tan on your unique complexion:
1. Get your feet wet at a professional salon. If you’re relatively new to spray tanning, you might want to hold off on the do-it-yourself approach. Without any experience, applying at-home mists is tough enough. Building a natural spray tan in your own bathroom is even harder. At salons, the process is automated, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty. Another perk of going pro is that you can ask your technician for tips on colour selection, application and maintenance.
2. Love the skin you’re in. Even if you invest in a high-end spray tan, you can’t get flawless results if your skin is less than perfect. Since tanners work on the skin’s surface, every bump, dry spot and crack can ruin your colour. For silky smooth skin that makes the ideal base for tanners, use a nutrient-rich daily moisturiser and always wear sunscreen.
3. Shave the day before your tanning session. If waxing is your preference, make that two days to give your skin plenty of time to recover. Because it affects the outer layers of the skin, hair removal after application can turn your natural spray tan into a blotchy mess.
4. Polish your body about a day in advance. Exfoliating removes colour-blocking impurities, so skipping a head-to-toe scrub isn’t an option if you want your spray tan to look real.
5. Leave your beauty products back on the shelf. Deodorant, makeup and fragrance all contain chemicals that can change the way tanning agents behave. For a natural spray tan, go in with naked skin.
6. Wear loose-fitting clothes in dark colours. Spray tans dry fast to the touch, but your skin still needs special care until your colour develops. Anything that can make you sweat or that easily shows stains is out until you’re done with your first shower.
7. Be patient. Although you might see some pigmentation almost instantly, spray tans need at least eight hours to finish developing. If you can wait, overnight is always best for creating richer and longer-lasting colour.
8. Keep your spray tan fresh with tan enhancers. Rushing back to the salon for weekly touch-ups is pricey and unnecessary. Using powder bronzers for temporary colour and filling in faded spots with gradual tanners can help you double the lifespan of every application.