spray tan tips 1 | by the skinny confidential

5 Sun Kitten Tips That Will Change Your Spray Tan

Updated: January 3, 2017

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I’m constantly confessing my absolute, undeniable love for spray tans.

Here’s the thing: I’m very much about looking like a sun-kissed goddess ( I wish? ) but not into the fake & bake Snookie, season 1 look. Yes, yes you guys know I avoid the sun like I avoid Jury Duty but really I cannot stress it enough: LAYING IN THE SUN IS SO BAD FOR YOU. SOOOO bad for you. It’s one thing I can say I’ve researched until I am blue in the face. Really though, it’s so aging.

If you’re reading this & you’re 15 or 21, lucky YOU! Stay out of the sun to preserve your youth, skin, & avoid skin cancer.

Be that girl who wears a cool hat to the market, gas station, & post office. The more your face is out of the sun the better.

Anyway, we got off on a tangent there, BUT as much as I hate the sun, I still like a pretty glow.

And that is achieved by spray tans. I spray tan 3 times a month. It works well for my lifestyle & keeps my skin out of the sun.

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Here are my ride or die spray tan tips that I’ve picked up over the years:

1.) Shave & dry brush before.

Ok this seems rather obvious but let’s go over it just in case. Shave everything you need to shave BEFORE you spray tan ( I like to shave the night before I go into the spray booth ). Dry brushing is what I live for, seriously it’s life-changing, so I can’t go too long without it. I always dry brush RIGHT before I spray tan to exfoliate & ensure the tan goes on evenly.

Also, I wait 2 days to dry brush again after a spray tan which makes me cry because I love dry brushing SO much but hey, beauty is pain.

2.) Get a manicure after, pedicure before OR do the ‘claw.’

This one’s a weird one but if you’re getting a manicure, get it after. But if you’re getting a pedicure, get it before.

Here’s why:

Manicure after because the spray tan sometimes ruins it or makes it chip faster.

Pedicure before because the massage ruins the tan & makes it look like half of your leg is tanned and the other half is pale. Can everyone picture this?

Also, for the record, I do this weird thing because I’m always running late ( & it’s more cost-effective): I get something called a polish change. Basically it’s $5 dollars for hands & $7 dollars for toes. My nail salon guy will just paint my nails instead of the whole massage, file, chip, etc.

It’s so quick & perfect if you’re constantly on the go. Ask your nail salon for a polish change if you’re interested.

SO. This makes it fine to do a pedicure AFTER because I’m only getting a paint job. If you’re getting the full on pedicure, do it BEFORE.

If you’re like me & getting a paint job toe job ( I made this phrase up ), get it after the spray tan. Because there’s no foo-foo massage.

Am I making sense?

NOW, if you’re in the predicament of already having your manicure, do the claw. Yes, the claw. Like claw your hand so your nails are clawed under. If you guys need a picture of this, SNAP message me OR I can do a tutorial? But I’m assuming you don’t want to see me butt-naked in a spray booth with a shower cap on? Just assuming though?

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3.) Put a towel down underneath your feet.

This is my ride OR die TIP! Always request a little towel if you’re in a spray tan booth. Put it under your feet BEFORE you step in ( before because sometimes there’s like old spray tan residue which is highly annoying ).

The reason I do this is because the tanning solution gets all over the ground of the booth & makes the tan go on the beds of your feet which is just not pretty. At all. Just use a towel.

Trust me, Michael has made fun of me more than 10382574 times for forgetting.

4.) Wash your hands & feet off the SECOND you get out of the booth.

Honest baby wipes save me here. I use them to wash off my hands & feet after exiting the booth.

5.) Wear a lightweight maxi & some flip-flops ( or shoes that aren’t cramping your toes in ):

Here’s another tip…always go into the tanning salon prepared. I wear a lightweight maxi all the time JUST like this bright blue one. Actually if we’re being honest I haven’t taken off this dress by Yumi Kim for a few days & plan on obviously rocking it in Mexico ( because how pretty does a dynamic blue dress look with a hot spray tan?! ). I wear a dress just like this when I’m running errands & spraying because it’s really ideal to just throw on.

You don’t want to wear like a tight sports bra with suffocating leggings & tennis shoes. Why? Because after the tan when you put on super tight clothes, it makes marks. Nasty marks. Trust me on this because it’s happened to me five million times. Wear something light weight. You can find the perfect cute dress here.

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Lastly, opt for sandals so your toes can breathe OR shoes that aren’t too tight. The ones I’m wearing here don’t cut off my circulation ( hello HALF MY SHOE COLLECTION ) so they’re perfect.

If you think about it, a lot goes into a spray tan, it’s basically an art. I kid, but shit!

Also, when you’re ‘sun-kissed’ opt for colors like white, black, or super bright ( like this dramatic blue dress ). Why? Because!! Your spray tan will look SO much better!

Do you have any top-secret spray tips to share with all of us? I AM LISTENING. Anything helps.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know lately I’ve been into ORGANIC spray tanning— has anyone tried this? I’m kind of obsessed because the smell is too much…& I feel better about having an organic solution on my body.

Ok that’s it for now. We are off to dinner at Market in Cabo for some arugula & pomegranate salad and POPCORN soufflé. Follow along on Snapchat to see us plan our wedding. Love having you guys be a part of the process.

OH! & you can check out the latest spray tan I had pre-Cabo, using all these tips!

Adiós, lauryn x

SHOP THE LOOK: Yumi Kim dress | shoes ( similar ) | sunglasses ( similar ) | clutchnail polish

+ this post is in collaboration with Shopstyle | photos.
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  • Stef

    I’ll be heading to cabo in a few days! First time there. What’s this market restaurant you’re going to? Any other restuarant recommendations?

  • Such a gorgeous color! you look great in it!


    Tamara recently posted..Spring Style AlertMy Profile

  • Great tips :)))
    Edith recently posted..Easy Vegan Mousse Au ChocolatMy Profile

  • Obsessed with that maxi! So cute.

    xx. The Coastal Confidence
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  • Great tips! Was wondering what you do to avoid getting the tan all over your sheets? I typically shower the day after the spray tan, which means that the tan gets all over my sheets the first night. Also, when you shower after the tan do you exfoliate like normal? I never want to pre-maturely rub the tan off, but I think I might not be exfoliating enough after because it gets on my clothes and sheets days after I get the tan!

    • If I were you I would by a set of cheap sheets that you don’t care about in case it gets on them.

  • Hey Lauryn,

    That is the most amazing blue dress!!! Just Gorge. Slay, girl, Slay. I would purchase if I wasn’t so short.:)
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  • Liz

    Nice tips! Do you have any other hat recs? Maybe some budget friendly ones too?

  • Hannah

    Love this post! I am 24 and have never had a fake tan or a real one for that matter. I’ve always stayed out of the sun as much as possible to avoid sun damage and aging however, I do wish I had a slight tan, especially in the summer. I’m blonde and I feel it would just liven me up!
    My question and fear though is working out. I workout 6-7 days a week. Like Long runs, gym, cardio, and hot yoga. How on earth does a spray tan last while majorly sweating every day ?


    • Ali

      Following this because I CANNOT for the life of me figure out how to get around this problem. Like you, I’m in the gym all the time and have a hard time with the tan lasting. I’m also majorly Casper-level pale so as soon as it starts to come off all patchy and gross, it’s not a cute look anymore. I’ve heard there are certain lotions you can use to help it last longer but I don’t know if any are really effective against a good sweat…

      Lauryn, SOS!
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  • Ahh these are good tips! I am honestly so intimidated by spray tans, but I really need to give them a try sometime I think. Thanks for sharing!

    toast the girl almighty
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  • Where do you go for an organic spray tan? What is the process called? I’m in San Diego too and haven’t heard of anywhere that does this. Thanks.
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  • LOVE that dress!! I’ve never gotten a spray tan because I used to live in LA and tan pretty easily (even if I have sunscreen and a hat!). However, now that I live in SF and feel like I haven’t really felt the sun in 5 years, I’m thinking I need a glow. Thanks for sharing these tips, so I go in like a pro!

    xo Annie
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  • Do you wash your face right before to make sure the tan goes evenly on your face too? And have you ever used one of those drugstore tanning sprays? Thanks for the tips!

  • Sarah

    I’ve always wanted to get a spray tan, but I always worry about it coming off on my sheets, specifically when I’m “in the sheets” with my boyfriend- if you catch my drift. I don’t want to leave marks sheets after! Does this happen or am I just being paranoid?
    Love the blue dress btw, stunning as always

  • OK so I like you..I’m scared of the sun. I put sunblock on every morning all over my face and neck before spf foundation. The spray tan makes m e nervous because of the chemicals…but the organic one sounds much better. I’m definitely going to look into this. This maxi on you is amazing! Thanks for the great tips! xo

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  • I’m so bad and lay out in the sun without sun screen all the time and need to stop. I love these tips and feel so much less intimidated to try spray tanning :)
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  • I used to do spray tans every month when I lived in So Cal, but now that I’m up in the Bay Area, it’s all about layering and I just go with the pale look under all of my scarves!
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  • QUICK QUESTION- Do you go to an automatic booth or a person(manual) booth? Love your posts, and weirdly have been thinking about starting a better spray tan routine… just don’t want to look like Snooki.. ha

  • I KNEW IT! I was walking to work the other day and passed you in an intersection wearing this dress taking pictures and I immediately texted my girl group chat and was like YOU ALL WILL NEVER BELIEVE WHO I JUST SAW! #FANGIRLING :)
    I’ve been waiting to see it posted!

  • Ali

    Love this post! I’ve found that putting a little lotion on a paper towel or Kleenex and using it to blend areas like wrists, feet, knees, etc works well and helps it look natural. Doesn’t totally remove tanner but just fades it. Wondering how you deal with the smell. Is it just me or do you feel like every time you sweat or even have the tiniest raise in body temp you start leaving a skunk trail of spray-tan-stench wherever you go (especially the first few days after)..? ?

  • adios* :)

  • Hi there Lauryn!

    I am the owner of Lavish Tan Organic Airbrush Tanning, located in Venice, CA. We would love to invite you in to try our patented brown-sugar organic tan! If you’re unable to make it in, we have an amazing line of take home products as well we would love for you to try.
    Please email us and check out our website if you’re interested in coming by.

    We look forward to hearing back from you! http://www.lavishtan.com info@lavishtan.com

  • Lauryn! I’m dying to know where you got your gold open collar necklace.. It’s perfect! I need it!!

  • Hi! Where/who do you get your spray tans from in San Diego? I live locally and am looking for a new place to go! Would love the recommendation!

  • I can remember the first time I went in for a spray tan and it was done my someone by hand….with an airbrush! I freaked out knowing I had to stand topless! LOL!! I have yet to get sprayed in a booth…so I just do my own at home!!

    Great tips and HOT dress!

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  • I am dying for this dress!

  • I’ve never spray tanned before, but you have me convinced, I need to start! I’m all about doing things for our body (what we put in it and on it) that protects our youthfulness. These are really helpful tips that a spray tan virgin like me would never think of, thank you!
    xox Jenna

  • I was not aware before reading this that you should shave before you spray tan. I’m glad I read this before going and then ruining it with my hairy legs. If you don’t shave how does it ruin the spray tan?

  • jen

    Gosh can I ask what camera/setting you used? I have a Nikon 3200 but cannot for the life of me figure out how to achieve that bokeh that you have here. Your pictures are incredible!

    THANK YOU in advance!!

    xx, jen
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  • Really great tips for spray tanning! I like the idea of using the dry brush before. I have shaved my legs but have not tried using the dry brush. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing!

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  • That maxi dress is amazing, I really love the color.

  • You are so, sooo right here. It’s so important to protect your skin from the sun. It will undoubtedly help preserve its youth as long as possible. Spray tans are an awesome alternative. It’s much less risky and a lot more convenient for many people. Nicely said, and great post!

  • I am just starting to look into tanning salons to get a spray tan. I am ghost white and will burn if I don’t wear sunscreen. But this summer I am going on a trip to Fiji and would love to have a sunkissed look. I have been playing with the idea of getting a spray tan but am nervous about how it will be. Thank you for all your dos and don’ts while getting a spray tan. It definitely calmed all nervousness and I look forward having a sunkissed look in my swimsuit!

  • Awesome tips! This is so useful, especially for the first timers or beginners! This is going to be so helpful when getting my spray tan on! Thanks so much for the great information and for sharing!

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  • These are awesome tips. Especially thinking about putting a towel under your feet! Thank you for sharing with us all!

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