Some of my favorite tips, from other Professional Technicians, I have picked up over the years.
Ask client to polish finger AND toe nails (they can use clear if they prefer) to prevent nail discoloration, or use barrier cream, or silicone hair serum product. This will protect nails and cuticles from tanning solution discoloration. After tanning, wipe nails and cuticles with an alcohol dipped cotton pad or cotton ball. You can also use an alcohol based astringent if you prefer. (SeaBreeze)
To protect hair, especially if it is very blond, very grey or porous. Paper caps are great, but don’t always cover root line of hair. Use a thick hair conditioner on these areas (rather then barrier cream) which can be easily washed out by the client. Also works great on facial hair (beards and mustaches). You can lightly blend product upto (but not into) hair line with a soft cosmetic sponge or foam paint brush.
Hands and feet:
Use a gradual tanner on hands and feet to pre-moisturize them, this adds a bit of color. Mist solution lightly only on upper hand backs or upper foot tops, to blend product from arms/legs down into the hand/foot. Moisturize hands and feet again, after spraying, with a rich moisturizer of choice, blending into entire hand and foot, and between toes and fingers. This blends product lightly into all areas, lessening lines. Wipe off palms and nails with a wet wipe, cloth or alcohol dipped pad.
Spray face and neck last so client does not look down and crease the neck, causing lines.
Start spraying at the back/upper shoulder – its less cold! This gives client time to adjust to spray feel before you reach tender areas.
Drying the client:
Use a handheld blow dryer to post tan dry client. Don’t use your expensive spray tan equipment for this, wearing it out faster then needed. Just use a cheap Blow Dryer, air is warmer, and they are super cheap at any Drugstore or online.
The Powder trick – sticky skin after tanning? Dust with powder. Client can also do this at home. See more info here.
Lightly buff upper lip with a soft micro fiber cloth post tan – if client finds solution sticks in facial hair and creates a dark area above upper lip
Tan face and neck a touch lighter, then blend down into darker chest – Great anti-aging tip. A dark face looks aged and older, and acentuates fineline or hallows. A slightly lighter color fades better, and fools the eye taking year off the face.
Apply an extra pass of solution on upper shoulders, buttocks, stomach and chest – areas that often tan a bit lighter.This can provide more even color all over.
Or if you want more of a outdoor UV tan effect – Some techs go so far, as to add a bit darker color to all areas the sun hits naturally. An extra light solution pass down outer arms from shoulder to wrist, across upper back, and along fronts and backs of legs. Areas that pickup extra sun when you are out at the beach.
Alternatively, to slim a client, do an extra pass of solution along OUTER legs, creating a darker line from top to bottom, to thin out and elongate the leg. More contouring tips HERE.
Pickup some Body Mist sprays in Vanilla or Citrus scents – scents that can naturally mask DHA development odor – spray a mist cloud in the air, and have client walk through this before they step out the door. A cloud that settles on the skin, will not harm the tan, and the light fragrance can help them feel fresher smelling. Please always ask client first though, some would rather not be fragranced when they leave.
Give client a bit of solution to take home in a small bottle they can then apply to face, neck, hands and feet to touch up color. Exfoliate skin with a washcloth. Apply solution with a fluffy cosmetic brush or water dampened cosmetic pad or sponge. You just wipe on like facial toner before bed on clean dry skin. You can apply moisturizer after 20 minutes if you choose- and you wake up tanned and fresh faced.
Pick up some body makeup to boost a faded tan – Sally Hansen Airbrush legs is one example. You can mix a bit with your sunscreen, or facial foundation to tweak tone a bit.
Use a touch up products a few days post tan to refresh color – especially on legs after shaving. This can be any at home lotion or spray tanner of choice. Tampa Bay tan carry’s some options (lotions, mousse, and aerosol) here.