I am a victim of growing up in the ‘90s and 2000s where worshiping the tanning bed was an important beauty ritual. Preparing for a special occasion? Tan. Bad blemish? Tan. Can’t tone it? Tan it.
Now that I’m older and paying a lot more attention to “aging gracefully" rituals, recommendations and products, I deeply regret every moment I’ve spent in the sun and, especially, in a tanning bed. I’m a huge believer in spray tanning and have tried everything from airbrush tanning at the salon, to temporary aerosol “tan in a can,” to bronzing mousses and self-tanning powders… I am a self-proclaimed expert in the category.
But professional airbrush tanning can be expensive—especially with all the travel I’ve been doing. So sometimes I use aerosol bronzers, which are great for spraying my face and arms, and perfect to layer makeup on top of.
But there are two problems with aerosols:
1) I like to do a touch-up while on the road and I was pretty tired of having to check my luggage because I could never find travel-sizes of the tanning spray.
2) When I’m home, the husband understandably wasn’t excited about turning on the shower and standing in a pool of bronze-infused water from the over-spray, so I tend to spray in the garage—and I’m not a huge fan of that either since we live in Chicago and it’s either freezing cold or crazy humid. So while I love the results of aerosol tanning, it isn’t a perfect solution for me.
I recently tried Fake Bake’s Flawless tanning system, which you may have seen on the showfloor of professional beauty trade shows across the country. Fake Bake is available in salons and spas as a retail item for clients that celebrates its anti-aging ingredients with no preservatives or parabens.
I was always pretty nervous to try a mitt-applied tanner because I didn’t want to look streaky. But my sister has had such great success and I wanted to give it a try.
I watched a quick YouTube tutorial and got to work. In each box of Flawless is an application mitt and a glove. (I didn’t use the glove because I like to live on the edge). I sprayed about 10 sprays of Flawless onto the mitt (inside the shower in case of overspray), and applied it to my skin in circular motions. I immediately saw where the product was, and where it wasn’t, because it goes on bronze. I love that—I’m not into clear formulas because I like to see exactly where my tan will be. I continued to spray about 10 sprays each time I needed to put more product on the mitt.
It smells like coconut, and easily gets buffed into the skin and into any missing spots. LOVE. I let it stay on my skin overnight, temporarily tint my pillowcase (oops) and, after showering, my skin was totally bronzed and I didn’t get that funky spray tan smell that I usually get with airbrushing, AND my skin wasn't sticky at all!
I did another coat the next night for a more intense effect and I didn’t regret it. I got the perfect level of bronzing I was after.
Would I recommend Fake Bake as a retail item in your salon? Absolutely. I love that there is a professional option now for self-tanning products because, as the Fake Bake team says, clients interested in this category are going to get the product from somewhere, and salon pros and estheticians should be the one to make that sale.
My takeaways: There was still overspray. So make sure to run the shower for a second when you’re done spraying unless you want a grumpy husband. 2) The Flawless formula is available in travel size. AMAZING. Perfect for hotel-room touch ups! 3) The longer you leave on the formula the better. So I keep it on my skin overnight. It will leave a residue on your pillow that comes off easily in the wash, but if you have fancy sheets you might want to sleep on top of a towel.
BELOW: A video clip of me after getting hair extensions: yes my hair looks phenom, but look at that glow!