Airbrush Tans

So. You’ll never guess what I did this past weekend.

Well, most of you who are following the Facebook Aerial Amy page know that I had a pole photo shoot! Which was super fun and exciting– I can’t WAIT to post pictures and share it with you, I’m so much more excited about this one than any other shoot I’ve ever done, for a couple reasons. But, that wasn’t what I was going to talk about—don’t worry, I’ll give a complete rundown when I get the pics back.

The last photo shoot I did, was just a few minutes of taking pictures, and it was rushed, I wasn’t feeling pretty, I was having a horrible hair day, my makeup didn’t feel glam, and I just wasn’t feeling good about myself. And it translated into a sort of blah-ness about the whole thing: I couldn’t think of pretty things to do because I wasn’t feeling pretty.

So, this time, I decided to make it more of a big deal. I got my hair did. I got my lashes did. And…

I got my very first… airbrush tan! I mean, it’s November in NYC and the last remnants of my summer tan are barely visible. I needed! To! Be! Darker!

Oh my goodness. What a completely crazy experience! But, it made a big impact on me: I definitely felt more healthy and glowy looking (I’m generally very pale) and most importantly, it translated into confidence during my shoot.

There’s a Beach Bum tanning location in Manhattan that is pretty well known for their airbrush tans, and they came highly recommended by a friend who has really high standards, so I knew that it couldn’t be that bad. I bit the bullet and made an appointment for the night before my shoot, since I didn’t want to have it fade or wear off beforehand in any kind of weird patterns. The day of, I shaved and did a super thorough exfoliation in the shower, scrubbing really hard especially on thick skin patches like elbows, knee and elbow pits (knee holds and elbow holds), and the front of my shin (climbing). You’re not supposed to put on any lotion or deodorant so that the spray tan solution can soak in evenly.

When I got there, of course they were having some technical problems with their computer systems so there was a serious delay while they were trying to figure that out. After sitting around and waiting for a bit, I got called in to get a tan with Mark (a very gay boy). We went into the back room, and he handed me stickers to put on the bottoms of my feet (to prevent staining) and a little hair net thing to keep my hair from getting sprayed. He asked me about how dark I wanted to go, then left me to strip down.

Sooo the spray tan solution is propelled using air, but let me tell you something: that stuff is COLD! You stand there and are directed to lift your arms in various ways and to reposition your feet and thighs so that they can get solution everywhere. Be sure to lift your butt cheeks so you don’t get the dreaded white smile lines under them (important!). After you’re sprayed all over, you stand in front of a fan to dry for a few minutes, and then put all your (loose and dark colored) clothes back on. The spray solution is STICKY and it has a temporary bronzer built in, so you WILL rub off on your clothes, sheets, everything. You’re supposed to wait at least 8 hours before you shower or get any kind of wet.

Those 8 hours were TOUGH! I would accidentally get water on my face from brushing my teeth (don’t even THINK about washing any dishes) and I freaked out at the time, but after I showered the next day, I realized that the water mostly just removed the bronzer—the tanning chemicals had time to soak in I guess, because I didn’t end up with light spots after I showered. And the shower water ran off BROWN.

The spray tan was really even, and I am glad that I did it—the darkness of it added some definition to my muscles (which otherwise would have just been uniformly pale and bounced off all the light of the flash) and it made a huge difference in the way that I felt. For another big occasion, I would definitely do it again!

Have you gotten airbrushed or spray-tanned in a booth? What was your experience like, and would you recommend it?


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