The Glow Up

We talk to expert Rachael Brandt about how sunless tanning has evolved.

Lauren Bell - August 2018

The Glow Up

We talk to expert Rachael Brandt about how sunless tanning has evolved.

Lauren Bell - August 2018


Sunless tanning has come a long way since the days of that iconic Friends episode, “The One with Ross’s Tan.” In fact, there are now a slew of colors and products to ensure you won’t walk out of your session looking like an Oompa Loompa. We talk to Rachael Brandt, who is the co-owner of local mobile airbrush tanning company Two Bronzed Babes along with Beth Pugner, about how the sunless tan has evolved into something you’ll want to include in your beauty regime.

What is the difference between a spray tan and a custom airbrush tan?
Well, when spray tans started they were typically offered through a booth experience, which is very different from airbrush tanning. In a booth spray tan, there is no control over where you are being sprayed. It’s kind of a “one spray fits all” approach. With a custom airbrush tan, we are guiding and applying the solution heavier or lighter in certain areas of the body depending on that specific person.

How have sunless tans evolved over time?
When I first started getting spray tans there was only one color option, and no one would ever ask you what color you wanted or take a look at your natural skin tone to see what would work best. But there are so many different shades out there now. Each solution has a different undertone, kind of like color-correction concealers. You first need to look at someone’s skin and undertone to figure out which solution will look the most natural. For example, if someone has red undertones in their skin, you’ll want to use the solution with green undertones to balance it out.

How long does an airbrush tan typically last?
It typically lasts one to two weeks. Of course, there are lots of products that can help to extend the length of your tan, and a lot of it comes down to the prep and aftercare. I usually recommend either a tan extender lotion or an airbrush tan extender, which is great to spray over the face or on any part of your body that needs a touch up.

What is the most important part of airbrush tan prep?
Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! Do your harshest exfoliation the day before—you don’t want to do it the day of because it’s a little rough on your skin and the cells are still repairing themselves. We recommend exfoliating gloves, but really a washrag will do. I know most people want to use their loofas, but that is really not going to cut it. You need something a little more abrasive, especially around the knees, ankles, and elbows.

What are the benefits of airbrush tanning?
Well, I think the first thing is that the solutions I use have bronzers in them, so you are instantly tan. But the biggest benefit is obviously no sun damage. I also just think they make people feel good. It’s a spirit booster. I have a lot of moms that come to me post partem that want to get a spray tan to feel beautiful and to give their skin a healthy glow.

What You Need

Color Corrector:
Talk with your technician about your skin’s undertone so you can choose a solution that will look the most natural on you.

Smooth Sailing:
Make sure to spend time exfoliating your entire body before getting an airbrush tan so the solution is applied evenly.

Make it Last:
Purchase a spray or lotion tan extender to cover up any accidental smudges and to make your tan last for as long as possible.

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