Hello fellow wedding beauty professionals, my name is Kathryn and I own SunSpray by Kathryn Airbrush Tanning. A spray tan boutique located in Perrysburg Ohio. I do lots and lots of spray tans for all sorts of events.
But my specialty is the bridal spray tan.
I have worked in the spray tan industry for 17 years. And during this time I have had the pleasure to meet and work with so many wonderful professional makeup artists and stylists here locally in NWO. I love it when the brides forward me their wedding photos and I get to see the end result of everyones hard work and creativity.
Recently I have gotten some spray tan questions from a couple of the makeup artist that I work with. Often a bride will turn to her friends or the wedding forums for advice on spray tans and makeup. Unfortunately many of the wedding forums such as The Knot and Wedding Wire, are loaded with bad advice about spray tans and how they best work for a wedding .
So I thought I would get all the spray tan wedding instructions in one place to make it easy for you as the makeup artist to share with anyone that you may think would benefit from this info.
When To Get A Spray Tan Before A Wedding Or Event
You guys know how I LOVE rules!
Common areas of confusion are timing of appointment and when to shower.
Often when a bride calls me she will say:
- I need to get sprayed a week before my wedding so it’s not to dark.
- I need to get sprayed the day of my wedding so the color is fresh.
- I need to have you spray me extra dark so it shows up in my pictures.
- I’m not supposed to wash the spray tan off before I have my make up done because then I won’t be tan
- And last but not least is……Will there be bronzer all over my dress?
Then I know that she was on the wedding forums before she called me.
First a HUGE thank you for sending me your clients and suggesting they have a spray tan included in their wedding beauty routine!
I appreciate you sharing your clients with me. I hope to make you proud and send you beautifully bronzed brides that you can polish with your amazing make up artist skills.
Here are the specifics on how the spray tanning process works for brides and their wedding party, co-ordinating their wedding makeup and professional wedding photographs for the best outcome.
Let’s get started:
Here is a brief overview of spray tan solution and how it works.
Most spray tan solution has 2 parts. A bronzer (cosmetic) and a sunless tanner that creates the tan in the skin but also contains ingredients to help the tan dry and not be sticky and keep the skin hydrated.
There are sunless tanning solutions that contain NO bronzer and there are bronzing solutions that contain NO sunless tanner. The latter is NOT recommended for bridal spraying as the bronzing spray must be applied the day of an event. Recommended use for this type of solution is fitness or bodybuilding competition–we will talk about how to handle makeup with fitness/pro sprays at a later time. If used for a wedding can be transferred to the brides gown causing unsightly stains and brown marks. Not what any bride wants for her special day and photos.
In a traditional spray tan solution that contains both bronzer and sunless tanner the bronzer piece washes away when the clients showers along with the hydrating ingredients leaving the skin soft and ready for you the makeup artist to take it from there in completing the brides preferred look.
There are also “clear” sunless tanning sprays that do not contain any bronzer only the sunless tanning solution. These are wonderful for wedding spray tans. A word of caution: be careful who you are recommending. The spray tan artist MUST be experienced with this type of sunless tanning solution and also have a solid base of experience in sunless tanning. This is not for a new spray tan technician.
- Organizing Your Beauty Timeline For Your Wedding
- When To Schedule Your Mani/Pedi So You Don’t Ruin Your Spray Tan
- How To Get An Appointment With Kathryn
When recommending one of your clients get a spray tan here are the rules for when to schedule their tan in relation to their wedding.
How long does a spray tan last?
A spray tan lasts approximately a week.
Keeping this in mind, if the brides spray tan appointment happens too early it will be fading by the time our bride gets to her day=sad pale bride. If the bride gets her tan too close to her wedding day or on her wedding day (HUGE NO NO) then we run the risk of the tan being too dark in her photos. Or having bronzer rubbing off on to the white dress. This is not good either. More info on showering below.
How many days before the wedding should they get their spray tan?
The sweet spot is 2-3 days before THE DAY.
For Saturday weddings I love Thursday, for Friday weddings, Wednesday is the perfect day.
Then we have a day for the tan to soak in and develop, a shower, a rehearsal dinner and then a shower and a white dress.
Our bride does not have to wash her hair if her hair stylist is wanting her to have it a little dirty for her style to hold up. (I love my hair stylists too, we are a team!!)
When to shower after the spray tan?
Timing on how long to wait before the shower varies with the brand of solution that is used. The spray tan artist should inform your bride when to shower. It can be as little as 2 hours and as much as 24. At my shop the girls needs to stay dry for 8-10 and then hop into the shower.
Should you recommend that your bride wash or just rinse?? Wash please! If you do a quick internet search you will see all sorts of bad advice on showering and spray tans. You don’t want bronzer and hydrating ingredients hanging out on the brides skin before a white dress and professional makeup application. None of that is gonna go well. Her makeup won’t last thru the day and leftover bronzer will rub off onto her gown. A soft wash cloth or hands with a mild unscented soap is what I recommend. My article on what to wash with after your spray tan gets into the specific products that I love. Wash, gently and don’t forget under the arms. This is where bronzer can hang out which then can transfer onto the dress. If the shower is done properly then there is nothing to worry about.
Two showers ensures that all the bronzer is off our lovely bride letting her slip into her gown without worries. Also the color of her tan has softened just a bit allowing a beautiful glow that will show naturally in her wedding photos and letting you her makeup artist contour and blend without struggling to correct any unnatural color.
A note on photography:
Just as with makeup application for photography having its set of rules, there are rules to how the spray tan plays into the photos as well. Spray tan is picked up by the camera in a more intense way then it is by the naked eye. If the tan is a shade lighter than you think you want it on your client it usually is the perfect color for the photos. Less is more when it comes to professional photos and a spray tan.
My job as the spray tan artist is to create an even palate for you the make up artist to work with. I’m step one, make everything smooth and even, you are step two make her stunning!!
We are a great team!
If you are a North West Ohio makeup artist who sends her brides my way again thank you for the referrals. Not a makeup artist in the Toledo, Ohio area, no problem at all, I hope this advice was helpful and if definitely applies to how sunless tans work where you are too.
Are you are a bridal beauty professional and would like to link to or share this blog post? Feel free and thank you.
Did you check out my gallery to see all the beautiful girls I’ve sprayed??
Are you one of my beautiful SunSpray brides? I would love to see your beautiful wedding photos! You can send them to email@example.com
Make sure you let me know who your makeup artist and wedding photographer are so that I can give them credit for their work!
Spray Tan Business Pros:
Do you have a mobile spray tanning business, home based spray tan business, or are you looking to start one? Then check out my tools of the trade area of this website for help in setting up your own airbrush spray tanning business.
- Professional advice on choosing the best spray tan equipment
- Spray tan equipment and product reviews
- Spray tanning business resources to help you learn and grow
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