Perform a Spray Tan How to Perform a Spray Tan

 “How to perform a Professional Spray Tan?”


Dealing with a Client

Performing a professional spray tan is not as hard as some people may think.  It is understandable that you are about to paint someone’s flesh that this can make you nervous, but you must have confidence in your work to make the person having the tan comfortable.  It will be more important that your customers are comfortable with you during a tan than the actual tan it. 


Talking with your customers during a spray tan is very important.  With Tanning beds, your customer don’t have the time to really sit around with you so it is harder to build a personal relationship with them like.  Spray tanning can help you in getting to know your customers better.    Hair and nail salons will tell you that building a relationship with your customers is important for repeated business.  Think for a moment on the environment a hair and nail salon have.  Look at the way a customer and a beautician talks together openly with one another for the small amount of time that customer is in their chair.  Performing a spray tan for a customer is the same way.  Talk about the weather, or a vacation, or family.  Let them get to know you a little also and they will feel more comfortable the next time around.   Before either of you know it the session will be finished.  


Before starting a tan, ask your client if they have any questions.  Below is a list of things you should ask them so you can perform well.  At the bottom of this article we discusses these question with you more and the reasons why we ask them.

·        Do you have dry skin or in certain areas like your knees and elbows?

·        Do you have any rashes or sores that you think a cosmetic base product will irritate?

·        When was the last time you exfoliated your skin?

·        Have you applied perfume or anti-perspirint today?

·        Do you have any concerns that you would like to mention?




Before you begin explain to your client that they need to just stand still with their legs and arms held away from their body.  If you need them to move you will direct them on how to turn.


Keep in mind that your client will be standing in front of you baring themselves and that can be embarrassing.  We as people, see flaws in our bodies that no one else may see but to us they are still there.  Do not comment on a customer’s body even if it is a good comment.  This makes them feel like you are judging them and the way they look.  Keep it professional by concentrating a your performance and making them feel more comfortable.





Time to begin the Spray Tan

By now you should have already familiarize yourself with the equipment and know how to adjust it according.  In the article” How to set up your spray tan equipment?” we went over adjusting and the patterns you will use when doing a tan.  On larger spray guns you will go from side to side all the way across in a more oval pattern.  With a smaller handheld, you will be going in a more circular pattern and at a slower passé than with the larger.  Turbine systems are already adjusted to the right setting but airbrush will need to be adjusted according to your preference.


Using the Spray Gun in Turbine and Airbrushes

Swipe the spray gun starting at the top all the way to each side of the body and down in a slow smooth flow.  Hold the spray gun about ten to fifteen inches from the client.  When you reach the feet go back up in the same way.  Ask your client to then turn around and the spray the back.  Start from the top again going all the way across and down and back up again.  Have your client then turn to the right side and make sure they are looking straight ahead and that their hand is facing down Spray from the face to shoulders on down the arm in an oval pattern. Ask them to then turn themselves at an angle slightly facing you and have them to turn their hand up.  At this angle you will be able to reach their underarm areas and be able to spray down the entire length to the feet.  Then have the client to turn to the left side and follow the same steps.  When you have finished with that have them face forward again.  Your spray gun will have a built in air sprayer in it.  If you let off on the spray handle a little bit you can see the flow change to just air.  Spray your customer with just air once all over them.  This will help them dry a little fast before they replace their clothing.  And you’re done.  Just clean your equipment and spray area is left to do.


The Spray guns give a very good tan with the least amount of time.  These types of guns are great for customers on a regular bases and is a big time saver for your clients.  More clients are requesting this type of equipment due to the speed and the performance. 




Using a Hand Held Airbrush

Weather you have a single action or a dual action, you can maximize a tans performance with one of these.  Most people believe know days that since the spray guns work so well, why do I need one of these.  These little spray guns do make a difference in a persons tan.  Sometimes with bigger guns you might miss an area without really noticing.  Any slight area like this can be fixed with a bigger gun but performance wise a smaller unit will work best in fixing any problem area.  They are also better to use on the faces, hands, and feet.  Even around the knee and elbows the smaller gun can give a better tan that will last longer in these problem areas.


Using a hand held with a large airbrush gun.  After you have sprayed your client with the larger spray gun, you can then go back and smooth up areas with the smaller spray gun.  When using the bigger one do not spray much on the face, hands, feet, elbows, and knees.  These areas are done best with the smaller gun and you will see a more professional looking tan.  Do not over apply solution in these areas because they will be the first to darken and will get the darkest.  With the smaller gun, start spraying with a fine mist around the feet first.  Then move to the knees, hands and then elbows.  Remember to spray in a circular pattern in all these areas.  Any little problem or spot you see that you had missed with the larger gun, spray and fix them with the small one as you go over each of these areas.  When you come to the face ask your client to close their eyes and hold their breathe for a moment.  Spray quickly the face starting on the outside edges and work your way in to the nose.  Make sure you stop long enough for your client to catch a breath, and then you may do it again if you’re not finished.  Work around their neck area and blend the tan naturally with the other.  When you have finished ask them not to move their head for a minute to let the solution dry smoothly around their neck area.  Slowly have them turn around facing away from you and check the back area for any problems.  Fix them and then let your client dry for a few minutes.


Using only a hand held Airbrush.  Airbrush spray tanning basically began with this type of small airbrush and with time they have only gotten better.  Performance wise these airbrushes give the all around best airbrush tan. With the larger spray guns now days that offer tans in less than five minutes, these do pertain to a customer interest and customer service.  If you do weddings, or other special events it is highly recommended that you do have a smaller airbrush.  Because of the performance of these smaller airbrushes these type of client will not mind giving you the extra time to perform a spray tan for them.  Spray tans with a small airbrush will take fifteen to twenty minutes once you get use to them. 


To give a spray tan with a smaller airbrush is different than with the larger ones.  First your going to hold the gun about six to eight inches away from the skin.  You’re going to spray in a circular pattern about the size of a bowling ball.   Once you are comfortable with the airbrush and have adjusted it accordingly you can began the tan.  The first part of the body you want to focus on is the front upper body.  Start around the upper chest spraying in a circular pattern across.  Keep moving down the body going from side to side.  Once you start spray make sure you keep the flow coming through the airbrush at a constant pace.  Let off and then starting again can cause a spurt of solution to come out.  Once you have finished the chest and stomach area, move down to the left leg.  Travel in the same pattern, but try to angle it slightly around the sides of the legs.  Don’t worry about getting the inside of the legs just yet.  Once you have sprayed down the leg, spray back up it moving along a little faster.  You are just going over it again to cover any small area you might have missed.  Do the same to the right leg going down and back up.  Next you will want to get the inside of the legs.  Ask your client to turn their foot outward for both of the legs and spray then up and then down. 


The next part of the body you going to spray is the left side.  Have you client turn slightly to the left and start spraying around under the arms and work your way all the way down their body and back up.  Have them turn slightly to the right and do the same to the right side of the body, starting under the arm area.  Once you have the side of the body finish, look again at the chest a stomach area.  This chest area will not want to tan as well as other parts of the body so you will want o check this area again.  Spraying too much the first time can cause problems but going over this area again after it dries some will not.  Spray this area again lightly working from the lower stomach area all the way up and around the neck and shoulder areas.


Now it is time to move to the back.  You will start around the backs of the shoulders and neck area moving in the circular motion all the way across the back area.  As you go, look to the sides of the body and you can see the area where you have already sprayed.  When spraying connects the area you are working on the area at the sides that have already been sprayed.  When you come to the lower back, keep spraying downward over the buttocks area.  Make sure you are connecting the tan at the sides of the body.  Then work your way down the legs the same as you did in the front.  To make sure you have an even tan on the inside of the legs, ask your client to step outward with each leg.  Spray the area quickly starting at the bottom working your way back up again on each leg. 


The arms will be next.  Have your client turn to their side and make sure the palm of their hand is pointing downward.  Spray from the top of the shoulders down to the hand and then back up again.  Repeat this step with the other arm.  Then you will want your client to face forward again.  Ask them to lift their arms straight out with their palms up.  This will help you see the area left under the sides of the arm you hasn’t reach yet.  Spray them quickly starting at the upper underarm area and moving down again.  Ask them to keep their arms like that for just a moment so they can dry on the inside in order to cause streaking.  Look around the body and make sure the tan is connected at the sides and front in a smooth looking tan.  If everything looks good, then all is left is the face area. 


To spray the face you are going to want to start on the outside and work your way in.  Spray along the ears and the sides of the face, working around to the forehead area and the neck area.  When you come to the area around the eyes lips and nose, Ask them to close their eyes and hold their breathe for ten seconds.  Spray quickly the inner area of the face.  If you need more time, stop for a moment and let them take another breath.  Repeat if needed and then you’re finished.




Question from the top

Do you have dry skin or in certain areas like your knees and elbows?  Having moisturized skin is very important to spray tanning.  Dry skin will lose a tan faster and also can cause your tan to look rusty in areas around the knees, elbows, feet, and palms.  For these areas it is recommended that you spray less solution on them.  This area will get darker as time paces and so your customer will not see a difference in there tan.  Please remind your customers to use a tan extender to preserve the life of their tan.  If not a tan extender then a good moisturizer each day will be able to help them keep it fresh looking.


Do you have any rashes or sores that you think a cosmetic base product will irritate?  Cosmetic can irate skin rashes a sores in any kind of makeup base.  Your client needs to be aware of this and the possibility of making their skin problem worse.  All though it is most likely the solution will not bother them they do need to know before hand. 


When was the last time you exfoliated your skin?   Exfoliation of the skin takes away dead skin cells.  It is recommended that a client exfoliate before having a spray tan because it can give a better tan and the tan will be able to wear longer on the skin.  This is not a requirement but only a suggestion to your clients for the future.


Have you applied perfume or anti-perspirint today?  Some body sprays, perfumes, and deodorants can cause the solution to change color to a green.  This is why it is important for your customers to come to you after they have bath and not applied any kind of products to their skin, with the exception of moisturizer.


Do you have any concerns that you would like to mention?  Clients sometimes have concerns about scares, birthmarks and tattoos.  Let them know that spray tanning will not hurt them are make them noticeable.  If anything spray tanning can reduce the appearance of scars.

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