How To Get A Perfect Professional Spray Tan

As much as I love being outdoors all summer, and adore a golden glow, 
I am always coated in the highest SPF I can get my hands on.
Melanoma and premature aging are both so very non-sexy.

However, unless you are Nicole Kidman or Casper The Friendly Ghost, being preternaturally pale isn’t super flattering either.

So the best option for a realistic and beautifully even tan is to get a fake bake. But anyone who has stood naked in a machine spray booth, or who uses self tanners knows that it is more likely that you will get a streaky, uneven mess than a perfect tan. So your best bet is to follow in the footsteps of almost every celebrity and have a professional airbrush spray tan.

Here are 5 easy steps to help you get the perfect professional airbrush tan:

image via

1.) Prepare ahead.
The morning of your appointment use a non oily exfoliant in the shower. Buff away all the dry skin, paying extra attention to the elbows, knees, ankles and feet. Your neck, chest and shins need to be super smooth too.
Use a good shaving foam and get the closest shave possible.
Don’t forget you face – use a gentle facial exfoliant ( I prefer enzyme masks) to make sure your skin is soft, supple and baby smooth.

2.) Dress The Part.
Wear something loose that won’t crease against your newly tanned skin. Save your gorgeous lingerie for another day – although most tanning products will wash out its better to be safe than sorry.
If you’re aiming for no tan lines and want booty-liscious perfection, plan on going commando after your tan.
Airbrush tans take a few hours to develop, so take every precaution to prevent creasing.

3.) Stay In The Holding Pattern
My dear friend airbrush tanner extraordinaire, Sarah San Marco says its best to stay put infront of the fan for a few extra minutes to make sure you are absolutely dry before dressing

4.) Make It Last.
Once you are all the way dry, try to avoid putting on anything tight or clingy. Ideally a loose, dark colored dress. Try to not let your skin get wet for the next 8 hours if you can- typically the tan will keep processing and developing for 6 to 8 hours. (at the 8 hour point I look borderline Jamaican)
Once you’ve been ok’d to shower the excess will come away and you will be left with your gorgeous perfect tan.
Maintain your tan by using body lotion after you shower everyday. Some tanning techs will give you some tan product to add to your moisturizer to boost your tan, or will advise you as to which self tanning creams are the best to extend the life of your tan.