Bronze Baby

spray tan


Most of us lust over that sun-kissed glow this time of year but if you’re like me (and desperately trying to look closer to 24 than 42!) you know a thing or two about the dangers of the sun and the importance of lathering on the SPF.

But covering up doesn’t mean you have to look washed up! With the plethora of faux tanning options – you can look like a beach baby in 8-hours flat (or less!) I’ve learned through trial and error (mostly error!) that when you want to look like real deal you have to go to the top and go to a professional. Tanning pro, Amber Bucci, makeup artist at Suede Salon and Spa in Marlton, shared her top tips for spray tans, tanning lotions, and bronzers. What’s in, what’s out and, most importantly, what will make your hard-earned tan–and your summer dreams–last and last. Taking your tan from summer to fall should be a breeze with tips from an expert so here goes.

Amber has many years of experience with airbrush tanning, which she highly recommends. One caveat: You need to be committed to following the program to the letter to maximize your tanning experience! First off, you should have a consultation to decide on the skin tone that you like and that is right for you; your clinician will make recommendations and help you decide what works best. Wear loose, dark clothing in preparation for leaving the salon, and please, no lotions or deodorant – the word for the day is BARE! She advises the skin needs to be bare, with nothing acting as a barrier to having the newly-applied tan develop evenly. The day before the treatment, you may want to gently exfoliate with a scrub or a simple washcloth to get all the dead skin off.

Airbrush tanning is hands-down the way to go. It’s very safe and effective, as it uses a full-body UV free tanning spray that reacts to your own melatonin in your skin while at the same time only penetrates into the top layer of your skin. With a professional technician, airbrush tanning can last 7-10 days as long as you follow the directions for maximum exposure. It is recommended that you use moisturizers to keep the skin hydrated (but avoid oils which can lighten the tan) and totally avoid any exfoliation procedures in order to keep your tan intact. There are several more hard and fast steps that must be taken to ensure that you are happy with your new airbrush tan. You must be sure to wait at least 6-10 hours before you sweat or shower, or get wet; your spray on tan must “dissolve and develop” in this period of time.


There is also a plethora of tanning options are available for the do it yourselfer too! Tanning lotions and moisturizers are available which are a form of sunless tanner that you would apply by yourself and could gradually build up to the tan you are seeking.

Simple brush-on bronzers can do the trick if you’re trying to achieve a tanned look on the go or in a rush. Most cosmetics aisles can offer a full selection of bronzing powders, creams, and lotions for every skin tone and every budget. Bronze away!

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