You Glow Girl

Summer has officially started! If you like the look of the glow girl, sun kissed golden skin (who doesn’t?) then, fake it, don't bake it.


I’ve been getting spray tans for years (it’s part of my summer and pre-vacation ritual), so much so that when my husband surprised me with a trip to the Bahamas for my birthday one year, he told me 24 hours before, so I’d have time to get my spray tan. That was actually one of the sweetest, most thoughtful parts of the gift—the notice with enough time to get my glow on.

Here are a few tips to make you glow without any faux pas!

A spray tan is makeup / bronzer for your body, so the better prepared the base, the better the tan will take.

A good spray tan tech will tell you all of this in advance but here’s what I’ve found.


  • Schedule all other beauty treatments BEFORE your spray tan
  • Hair removal - plan to shave or wax 24 hours before
  • Facial 24 hours prior (avoid peels before)
  • Mani / pedi (or everything BUT polish… you can polish after)
  • Exfoliate a whole day or a few hours before
  • Dry brush is great, not just for lymphatic system and skin but also as a pre-spray tan skin prep
  • Shower at least a few hours before, you don’t want open pores going into a spray tan; if you have to shower less than an hour before, make it cold
  • Blowout should be done before (you’ll put your hair in a shower cap for the spray)
  • Make sure you take off all makeup, lotion, deodorant, perfumes, etc.

A frequently asked question is whether you have to get naked. That all depends if the glow girl likes tan lines! If you are more comfortable covering up, you can wear a bikini (black recommended), or you can use disposable underwear that the tan artist will provide.

The spray feels a little cold, but nothing crazy. It's actually quite refreshing in the summer.

It's all done privately in a pop up tent that the spray tan artist brings with them. I have also used a walk-in shower as a tanning booth.

Don't panic if you look in the mirror and think you look too dark. The true color isn’t visible until you rinse off. Only then, it continues to fully develop.

In case of emergency, mouthwash (yup, it’s true!) can remove spray tan solution.

Different tan formulas have different setting times. There are overnight versions and express formulas that are set within 4 hours.


  • Dark and loose clothing
  • Skip the bra if you can
  • If you’re sleeping in it, I recommend long-sleeve, dark pajamas and a dark pillowcase (or put a towel over the pillowcase)
  • There’s always a first rinse, either after 2-4 hours (although I like to wash my hands first) or, depending on the formula (speak to your tan artist), a shower after; usually the tan continues to develop after the first rinse
  • Moisturize, moisturize and moisturize daily to help extend the life of the tan.

While I have tried to apply self tanner to myself (nothing is as smooth or even as a professional application), in a pinch, Tan Towelettes work well on arms and legs.

My favorite spray tans locally are:

Now, Glow Girl Get ‘Em!


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