When it comes to fake tanning, I'm the newbiest newb who's ever newb'd. I've used self-tanner exactly once in my entire life, and at the time, I had no idea what the bottle meant by "gradual tan." The only thing I remember is that as this particular drugstore body lotion mixed with self-tanner wore off, it left my legs looking dirty, scaly and horrendously patchy two days after I applied it. To say I was not a fan would have been an understatement.
Fast forward a few years and with a mini bottle of St.Tropez in hand, I finally felt ready to tackle the fake tanning beast once again. However, reading and watching countless blog posts and videos regarding exactly how to self-tan left me ultimately feeling overwhelmed and intimidated. Luckily for me, Sunless Inc., who owns VersaSpa and Mystic Tan, offered to let me try out one of their sunless tanning booths at the perfect time.
The day after my first spray tan - Success!
I went to a local tanning salon that had VersaSpa booths and was pleasantly surprised by how clean and fancy they were. I tried out the VersaSpa Pro booth and seeing as how I tan quite easily but was rather lacking in color at the moment, I went with the Level 2 color.
In preparation for my spray tan, I exfoliated my entire body and shaved the morning of to create a smooth and even canvas for my tan (no moisturizing though!). Once I was in my tanning room, I applied their blending lotion to any chronically dry areas on my body, including my feet, ankles, knees, elbows and hands. The tan likes to latch on to dry skin (which will turn it darker than the rest of the body), so lathering up those problem areas with lotion is particularly important for even color.
Once inside the booth, I pressed a green button to start up the process. There is a voice that walks you through each step, like telling you to put your heels on "4" and toes on "2," and the ladies at the salon were extremely helpful in explaining to me the three different standing positions beforehand to ensure the most even tan possible. After each pass of spray tan, there was a pass of the heated drier to help dry the tan and so that you don't get cold standing there in your birthday suit. In total, the process took less than five minutes!
Although you can technically wash off the tan after only four hours, it's recommended to leave it on longer in order for the DHA to continue to develop the color. During this time, it's important to stay as dry as possible (i.e. don't get wet and try not to sweat!) to prevent streakiness and ensure the tan doesn't come off before it's able to do its thing. I felt a bit sticky and uncomfortable during this waiting period (it would probably be ideal to get your spray tan at night, sleep with it on and wash it off in the morning), but on the plus side, I noticed there was a complete absence of the much dreaded fake tan odor! I showered eight hours later and was extremely pleased with my medium tan that was neither too brown nor too orange. I naturally tan quite brown and ashy, but Level 2 left me looking much more bronzed and glowing. It was the perfect shade of tan for me.
Moisturizing is crucial for maximizing the life of a spray tan. Although I typically only moisturize once a day after my shower, post-spray tan, I lathered up morning and night. I also refrained from exfoliating during the week after my spray tan, minimized shaving as much as I could, and gently patted myself dry with a towel post-shower. Remember, exfoliation of any kind means the color will come off more quickly! My color lasted through a solid seven days, after which I noticed significant fading. There were particular areas (like my chest) that did turn a bit patchy, but only once most of the color had faded anyway, so it was hardly noticeable.
The cost for a VersaSpa spray tan varies by location, but my VersaSpa Pro spray tan costed $40 at the particular salon I went to. Pricey? Absolutely. Worth it? Perhaps for a special occasion! Overall, my first spray tanning experience was a huge success.
Before (top) and After
Now on to the best part of this post - the giveaway! Sunless Inc. has generously offered to let one of my lucky readers try out a VersaSpa spray tan for themselves. Simply enter through the widget below:
Disclosure: Sunless, Inc. provided me with a complimentary gift card for a VersaSpa spray tan and will be providing another gift card for this giveaway. I am not affiliated with the company, nor am I getting paid for this post. The opinions expressed in this post are based solely on my own experience.