things to talk about with your spray tan

4 Things to Talk about with Your Spray Tan Artist

You know just how specific you are when you order your coffee right?  You’ve got that venti soy sugar free caramel macchiato with two Splendas, an extra shot of espresso, and extra sugar free caramel syrup order down pact!  (Don’t worry I have my order memorized too!) It would be great to talk to your spray tan artist with this much detail!

Taking the time to really think about what you want out of your spray tan and then talking about it with your spray tan artist is always a good idea.  Don’t forget, your spray tan artist will literally be changing the color of your skin on your entire body for the next 7-10 days.  Skipping this part of the spray tanning process isn’t the end of the world.  Most of the time, with their best professional judgement, your spray tan artist will give you a beautiful tan, but it might not be exactly what you wanted.  I mean good coffee is good coffee, but the coffee you really wanted is always best!

You’d be surprised at the number of times I’ve heard “Just give me what you think is best” or “I’m not really sure, just do what you think”.  It always surprised me because we all know what to ask for when we’re getting our nails done or when we are at the hair salon.  Then I realized that getting a spray tan is often a new experience for a client.  It is common for a client to have had less than 5 spray tans – ever – and that’s really pretty special for me.  If this is you or if you just need some pointers on things to talk to your spray tan artist, then this article is just for you.  When you’re done with the small chit-chat or even in your response to the spray tan artist’s confirmation e-mail, here are some things you can talk about:

1. Is this your first time?

If this is your first time getting a spray tan, it would be a good idea to let the spray tan artist know so that they can give you as much information as possible.  Taking the steps to properly prepare for your next spray tan is hugely important.   They’ll have multiple spray tan solutions that they can explain to you and may even have some before and after pictures in a portfolio that they can show you.  If you’re a regular spray tanner that’s wonderful, but it’s still ok to ask questions.  There are dozens of products readily available for spray tanning and there are many new products being released very frequently.  Your regular artist or a new artist may have access to some new equipment and/or products that you may not be familiar with.

2. What color are you looking for – honestly?

You’d be surprised at how often this isn’t talked about.  You know you’re getting a spray tan to give you an instant tan, the spray tan artist knows that you’re getting a spray tan to give you an instant tan… it’s not a big secret between you two.  Soooo… talk about it.  It’s ok.  As a matter of fact, it may even help you get the exact look you’re going for!  Who would’ve thought?!?!

Generally, the level of darkness is determined by the amount of DHA in any particular spray tan solution.  Each solution will display the amount of DHA in the ingredients as a percentage (6%, 9%, 12%, etc.)  While each spray tan solution brand can be different, the amount of DHA in the solution will correspond to a specific name or blend for each solution.  The names will be something like:  Light, Medium, Dark, and Ultra Dark ranging from the least amount of DHA (Light) to the most amount of DHA (Ultra Dark).  So what does Medium or Ultra Dark really mean?  Your current skin tone will have a lot to do with the amount of DHA eventually selected by you and the spray tan artist, but here are some of the basics:

  • If you’re looking for just a “glow” you’ll want to start with Light. 
  • When you’re looking for a “noticeable tan, but nothing too dramatic”, you’ll want to select Medium.
  • If you’re looking for the “just got back from a week at the beach” look, you’ll want Dark.
  • If you want the “body building stage competition” appearance, then you’ll want Ultra Dark

3. What’s expected and needed?

If you are going to have the spray tan artist come to you, then they will be bringing everything they need to give you a spray tan with them.  At a minimum, they’ll have multiple spray tan solutions, a spray tan machine, and a 5/spray tan tent.  Many spray tan artists will have additional equipment that could include fans, lighting equipment, barrier creams, foot pads and other varies accessories.  You’ll want to talk about:

  • How much space is needed and how many power outlets they will need?  This’ll help you select the appropriate spot at your place for them to use.
  • How much time will they need?  This’ll help with your planning.
  • How loud will it be?  This would be good for you to know if you have children, pets, roommates, or other similar situations to consider.
  • Do they have a preference for where to set up?  Depending on your city/state, there may be some places that are more conducive to setting up the spray tan area like a garage, basement, master bathroom, etc

If you are going to a spray tan salon, then the types of questions will be different for the expectations and needs.  In this case, you’ll want to ask about things like:

  • How much time will it take?  This’ll still be an important question for your planning.
  • Is there a waiting area in the salon?  This would be important to know if you plan on going to the salon with other people.
  • Is there a private area in the spray tan booth’s location?  This will help you understand how much space you’ll have to get ready for the tan and to get yourself together when the spray tan is complete.  This might also be important to you if you will be arriving with young children that you’d like to keep at your side.

4. Are you looking for any additional treatments?

While you’re getting your spray tan, you may be interested in receiving some additional treatments for your skin.  While this will often be made available with an additional charge, take the time to talk about this with your spray tan artist.  Your skin will be prepped and ready so there’s no harm in asking about what the spray tan artist has available.  Each artist will have their own specialty and collection of items in their kit, but here are some basic items you can ask about:

  • PH Spray – Usually done before a spray tan, this will prep the acidity of the skin so that it’s ready to accept the spray tan solution.
  • Double Pass – Usually done during the spray tan, this will give you a second coating of spray tan solution across your entire body.
  • Moisturizing Spray – Usually done after the spray tan, this will help the spray tan last a little longer and will moisturize your skin at the same time.

You really can’t go wrong when getting a professional spray tan as long as you take a little time to ask questions and correctly prep for the tan. I really cannot say this enough, please, please, please, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE READ AND FOLLOWED THE STEPS TO PROPERLY PREPARE FOR YOUR NEXT SPRAY TAN! Simply put, it’s a game changer and by far the most important part of ensuring your spray tan results are even and long lasting. Be prepared to talk about your skin concerns, desired color outcome, potential add-on treatments, and discuss the specific needs for the spray tan location. I would definitely compare this with going to a hair salon, just like your hair stylist, your spray tan artist will be asking you very specific questions so he/she can provide the right services. I personally think bringing a couple photos or referencing certain celebrities to give a better idea of your desired outcome is a great idea. It can definitely be intimidating standing half (or completely) nude in front of a stranger, but you just need to remember that the spray tan professionals do this for a living and you have nothing to worry about! They have seen it all and have been asked 100’s of questions from newbies just like you. They are perfectly skilled professionals whose main goal is making sure that you feel comfortable and look amazing! 

What are some items that you talk about with your spray tan artist? Post some of your thoughts in the comments below.

Interested in learning more about the do’s and don’ts of all things spray tanning? Head over to our most inclusive article The Ultimate Spray Tanning Guide for all the goods!

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