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Lies you tell your spray tan technician

Tuesday, October 14, 2014
by John Doe

You flip open your diary and scan across to the weekend. It’s Wednesday and you’ve been so busy you’ve totally forgotten about the event you’ve got on Saturday. You’ve been eyeing off that amazing white dress and now you’ve got the perfect excuse to go buy it, but there’s just one problem – you can’t remember the last time your skin saw the sun. You could go out and buy some fake tan on your lunch break and do a DIY job but then again, you tried that once before and you’re still trying to scrub off the evidence. Take two. You ring the closest salon and pray that they have a free appointment for a spray tan tomorrow night. You’re in luck. The girl on the phone asks if you’ve been there before and starts explaining what you need to do before you come in for your spray. You pretend to listen, but really you can’t wait to get off the phone and call your girlfriends about the amazing white dress you’re getting to match your new tan.

It’s the day of your spray and you’re running late so you quickly shave an hour before your appointment, spray some perfume and you’re out the door. You’ve still got your makeup on, but who cares, right?

You sit patiently in the waiting room until your name is called. The girl calls you through and you follow her to the spray room. She asks if you’ve shaved today, you lie and say no. Are you wearing perfume? Well, you can’t smell it on yourself anymore so that’s a no. She tells you to wipe off any makeup, get undressed and apply the lotion to your hands and feet making sure not to touch your body once you’ve got the lotion on. She leaves the room and gives you time to prepare. You start putting on the shower cap and undies and check yourself out in the mirror. You know she told you to take your makeup off but you’re hardly wearing any plus you would die if anyone saw you wearing no makeup. You notice a spot on your arm and try to wipe it off.

The tan technician comes back and you get started. As she starts spraying she asks if you wiped off any perfumes, because the spray isn’t quite staying on properly. You lie. She keeps going and everything seems to be going fine until she gets to your arms. She sprays your arm but there’s still a white patch. What is going on? Then you remember, you touched your arm after applying the lotion, but surely that can’t be it. The spray is nearly finished and after she’s sprayed your face and you’re all dry, you’re free to go. You go home and wait an hour, which felt like a lifetime and in the meantime your girlfriends call you up to come out for a drink. You can’t go looking the way you do, so you wait a few more minutes (surely that’s enough time, yeah?) you wash your hair and apply moisturiser. Everything seems fine.

You wake up the next morning and check out your fabulous new tan. Only, it’s not fabulous. It’s patchy and there’s a huge weird streak down your back. Oh my god. You could kill the girl that sprayed you. You ring up and the girl who answers runs through the instructions again. This time you listen. Do not shave less than 24 hours before your tan. Do not wear any makeup, lotions, deodorant or perfume. Shower 2-3 hours after and only use water, under no circumstances are you to wash your hair or use soap as this will stop the tan developing and you will be left with streaks down your back. Crap. You’re original tone has completely changed and you feel stupid for not listening in the first place. You lied about everything the girl asked you and now you have a patchy tan that looks like a skin condition instead of an amazing bronze tan that you pictured in your head.

Lesson learned: listen carefully to the spray tan technician who is explaining how to prepare for your spray tan and don’t lie.

Make sure you concentrate on rough skin areas: knees, ankles, elbows, heels so that your skin is smooth. This will ensure that the tan goes on evenly

Shaving or waxing is fine beforehand, but ensure you do this at least 24 hours before your tan to help ensure smooth application.

Make sure these have been removed before the tan is applied as this will affect the way the tan is absorbed by your skin.

After the tan is applied, some excess bronzer may rub off on your skin and clothes. While the tan will wash out, it may leave a stain on lighter clothing. Better to be safe than sorry!

Caution: do not touch your body after you have applied the moisturiser as this will leave white marks on your skin. The moisturiser acts as a barrier cream, stopping the tan from staining your hands and feet. If the barrier cream comes in contact with the rest of your body, the tan will not be absorbed in those areas.

The tanning technician will supply you with a disposable g-string and shower cap. Put the shower cap on but you can choose to wear your own underwear or none

After the tan has been applied, make sure you are completely dry before getting dressed to avoid the tan rubbing off onto your clothes. Your technician will make sure you are completely dry, but wait a few minutes after just to be safe.

If you have sensitive skin, test it out first. If you have sensitive skin or are pregnant, the tan can be affected. Test a small patch of skin beforehand if you have any concerns.

The tan will take a few hours to develop (normally 2-3 hours). Until this time, avoid water, swimming or sweating as these will stop the tan from fully developing and leave you with an uneven, patchy tan.

After the tan has developed, only use water in the shower; just rinse off under the running water. Some colour may wash off, but this is just excess bronzer and will not affect how the tan looks afterwards. We suggest moisturizing with a tan extender after every shower as this will ensure the tan lasts longer and develops beautifully.

For the best results, we suggest holding off washing your hair until the next morning, or if you need the spray tan for that night, only wash your hair after you have had your first shower and rinsed the spray tan under running water.

We suggest using a tan extender after every shower instead of a moisturizer as some moisturizers can strip the colour of your tan. Your technician can suggest the best tan extender for you. The prices start at just $9 and will extend the life of your tan so you can be browner for longer.

Don’t worry; you won’t end up patchy after the tan begins to fade so no need to scrub your skin raw (we’ve all done it before). The spray tan will fade naturally and evenly, just like a real tan!