Airbrush Tanning

"Tanned" and ready for a night on the town.

I have freckles. I am the daughter of a redhead. Therefore it’s no surprise to realize that my natural skin tone is just a shade darker than translucent, particularly in the early days of spring when I haven’t seen sunlight in months.

In April, we had a wedding to attend in Vegas. I bought the slinky, Vegas-worthy dress and was all set to go… except for the fact that I was bright white. I debated about attempting self-tanner yet again (these things must have improved in recent years, right?), but my similarly pale friend Kelly advised against it and pointed me in the direction of airbrush tanning.

Unlike lotions that you try to smear on yourself — often unevenly and with a creepy orange glow — the airbrush tan offers an even spray and a color that actually looks like a real tan. I was sold on the idea.

There are plenty of places to go for an airbrush tan in northern California, but the one that was most often recommended was a mobile tanning system. Yes, that’s right: mobile. Racelle from Bella Bronze showed up at my house, set up a small tent in my garage, and proceeded to airbrush me to a nice, golden tan. Because it’s custom-applied, she could control the amount of color so that I looked natural. In fact, it looked so natural that I almost didn’t realize how much color there was… that is, until I looked at my “tan” line. Huge difference!

The color is supposed to last from 7-10 days, depending on whether or not you properly moisturize. I tried to moisturize as obsessively as I could, but the dry Vegas weather didn’t help my hydration. It was pretty clear that my face and legs faded faster than the rest of my body due to frequent washing and shaving, respectively, but I still had a respectable amount of color at the end of the first week.

Overall, I loved the results and would absolutely do it again for a special occasion.

Have you ever had an airbrush tan? What did you think?

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