March 28, 2018

How To Get The Perfect Spray Tan | Guest Post By Kelly Mercer

How To Get The Perfect Spray Tan

Who else here LOVES a good spray tan?

I have had some okay-ish ones and I have had some good ones, but the BEST spray tan I’ve ever had was done by my sweet friend Kelly.

Kelly Mercer, owner of Kissed By Kelly, currently lives in Hickory, North Carolina but is always traveling to the clients who need her. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Elementary Education but she always knew Esthetics and Spa related things were exactly what she wanted to do!

She’s currently in school for Esthetics and will be licensed come June (woohoo)! She loves making people look and feel great in their own skin and is a firm believer that feeling great about yourself is really important.

She was gracious enough to write up this guest blog for me to help all of my seniors and brides learn everything they need to know about getting perfectly sun-kissed for their next session or event!


What do I use to make you look sun-kissed?

I have been working with Evolv Tan products for the past 6 years. This formulation is vegan, eco certified, and paraben free…AND the airbrush machine is heated. Does it get any better than that? NOPE! I think one thing I can say with confidence about my spray tans is that I specialize in making the tan look natural. I love a healthy glow and who doesn’t love a good, off the beach tan?! But I also love a client that loves to go DARK!

Last thing about myself/tans — please don’t let anything silly hold you back from coming to see me! I tan everyone, all ages, all shapes, all sizes and my only rule is NO negative about your body during your session! 😉

How does Spray tanning work exactly?

Each tanning formulation is enhanced with Tea Tree, Argan, and Grapeseed Oil, and contains a combination of Erythrulose and DHA to produce a tan that lasts longer, fades evenly, and provides a natural color for all skin types and tones. DHA has an enzymatic reaction with the outer layer of the skin, causing the dead skin cells to turn temporarily dark. Top of the line spray tan machines (like the Evolv – the one I use) have temporary dye or bronzing agent.

Clients want to see immediate results and I understand why! Unlike the darkening caused by DHA, the dye will wash off the first time you shower — or “run” when you sweat.

PS. The sun’s rays and the UV lights used in tanning beds penetrate into the deepest layers of skin. That’s why they cause lasting damage. AKA STOP USING TANNING BEDS, sorry y’all, I have learned so much in school about the damage we are doing to our own skin (the largest organ of our body might I add)!

How to prepare for your airbrush tan:

So you have just booked your airbrush tan and you are trying to figure out how to prepare for it! These are 100% the best ways to prepare!

1) Moisturize! Dry skin in the enemy of an even, natural sunless tan so you must moisturize your skin every day for 3-5 days leading up to your airbush tan. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT moisturize the day of your airbrush tan or after your airbrush tan until you have taken your first shower.

2) EXFOLIATE! And shave the night before your appointment. I recommend exfoliating and shaving the night before your appointment because sometimes products can leave a film on your skin. So doing this the night before ensures that your skin will be totally clean from products.

Exfoliating is KEY. Removing those dead skin cells will help the solution properly adhere to your body. In the Esthetic world  the word “exfoliation” is like the holy grail of skin care. Not exfoliating leaves your skin with poor texture and will make you appear older than you really are. I use a dry brush or an exfoliation mitt on dry skin for best results!

3) Keep your skin clean the day of. The day of your appointment, you want to have clean skin with nothing on it when you go in for your sunless tan so refrain from using moisturizers, perfumes, lotions, oils, or deodorants that may cause a barrier between your skin and the tanning solution.

Also, remove makeup before your appointment! I always keep makeup wipes on hand for those who forget!

What do I wear during my airbrush tan?

During your airbrush tan ladies can wear disposable undergarments however most ladies prefer spraying nude or just undies! I always say wear undies your first time so you can compare the tan to your original color! Men are required to wear boxers or bathing suits.  

What do I wear after my airbrush tan?

Bring loose clothing and flip flops to put on after your appointment. Avoid wearing jewelry, undergarments, socks, and tight clothing until after your first shower (8-10 hours after your appointment) just to be on the safe side. Remember that the color you are seeing is just the spray tanning bronzer and it takes about four hours for the solution to absorb into your skin.

If you put on something tight, like a bra, it will rub the spray tanning solution off of your skin before it has a chance to absorb. It might actually look like you wore that bra while you were tanning.

Also, it sounds silly but avoid the rain/spilling liquid on yourself before you shower. I can’t tell you how many times I have spray tanned myself then spilt water from my water bottle on my face/down my chin. Lord. Help Me. It will stain and you don’t want to rub off your beautiful tan before it’s had enough time to develop!  

How to maintain/maximize your tan:

Wash your hands two hours after you spray and wait at least 8-10 hours before showering. Basically, the longer you wait to shower, the better!

When you’re in the shower simply rinse off. On my first shower, I do not use any soaps at all. I just let the water rinse me off! The solution does contain some sugar and when sugar is heated, it melts so quick, cool showers are best! Avoid long and hot showers.

After each shower, use an approved daily moisturizer that contains active ingredients to enhance and prolong the life and depth of your tan. In my opinion, moisturizing is so very important. When your skin gets dry, that’s when the tan starts to fade. Moisturizing locks in that beautiful color and keeps your skin hydrating/glowing and that’s what we want people!

If you do decide to sleep on your spray tan remember that the bronzer has a tendency to rub off. Lay some old sheets out on your bed so it doesn’t get on your nice ones. If the bronzer does rub off it will come out very easily in the wash. Whenever you decide to take your first shower remember that you will see some color running off and going into the drain. DO NOT PANIC as this is just the bronzer in the spray tanning solution and is completely normal. Also avoid sleeping on your hands or touching your face. It will stain.

Will I look streaky or orange?

No, no, and NO! Orange and Streaky are a thing of the past. The Evolv formulations can be customized to every skin type, tone and desired color. All tans are applied carefully, ensuring you’ll receive the depth of color you desire and the most natural-looking head-turning results for your individual skin type and tone. Seriously, I promise!

How long will my airbrush tan last?

*Depending on how well your skin is prepped and how well you take care of your spray* the tan will last up to 8-12 days. Some clients can get their spray to last longer but mine typically last a solid 8 days before I am ready for a new one.

Should I get a trial run before my event?

Always. Especially all you brides out there! In my opinion, if you are having a trial run for makeup and hair, you need a trial run for your spray tan too! That way we can determine if you liked the color or if we need to make some adjustments! I always suggest spray tanning two days before your event. That is when the tan has fully developed and looks its best!

Want to see what all of the fuss is about?
Reach out to Kelly via her instagram to book your appointment today!!