Many Technicians like the concept of customizing the solution blend products or application for each client, yet are unclear on the basic rules to implement this.

Please keep in mind, you are not required to do this. You can certainly give every client a lovely spray tan using your products out of the bottle, without any additional alterations.  Tampa Bay Tan retails a range of spray tan solution blends – each of which is already adjusted to work for its recommended use, with no changes needed.

Color Tones – Do I need to worry about this?

In general all of the Tampa Bay Tan bronzers (and solutions) are a neutral brown, except Veneto which is distinctively cool violet brown. They do not market a Blue, a Green a Red blend. Some are slightly warmer brown, or slightly cooler brown, but this is also very dependent on the clients unique skin, and porosity, and how “they” personally react with all ingredients in a specific blend. This makes them well rounded enough to work on every skintype and tone, because they are “neutral” as opposed to very warm or very cool.

So you are not required to keep a large range of products in differing tones on hand, to address every clients needs.

Rather you match the DHA level to your client based on their skin type or needs.  Each blend comes in a range of DHA levels.

You can also make adjustments using ether moisturizing or quicker drying products, based on your location, client needs, and your personal spray technique for differing blend thickness.

I will address “toning” the tan with solutions in strong cool or warm tones in a later blog.

Differences of each Tampa Bay Tan blend in Brief:

I have listed a breakdown of the TBT solutions below in brief. If you use another line, just keep in mind the specifics of each of your preferred blends, and scroll down to the sections on RULES: and apply them with your product in mind.

  • Aussie Bronze – Australian Blend: This is the Thickest blend. A very moisturizing blend, making it well suited to dry skin clients, dry locations, The bronzer is very dark, which will add a warm brown bronzer tint to the skin, as a stain that can last on the skin fro 1 to 3 plus days depending on the clients skin, providing slightly warmer tone to the DHA tan. It is almost a bit lotion like in feel on the skin. I has a lux feel, thats rich and velevety on the skin surface after spraying. The plant extracts and botanicals include many only found in Australia, so this adds their exotic skin healing benefits.
  • Natural Tan Superfruit Blend: A thick blend, though thinner then Aussie. The bronzer is also very dark, so will also stain the skin. But the brown is more neutral warm.This product is also moisturizing, making it work well on dryer skin and dry locations. This product is the highest anti-oxidant level blend, blended with multiple Super fruits. The benefits will be seen in higher anti-oxidant skin levels. Which help the skin deal better with stress and daily damage related to UV exposure, smoking, enviroment, aging etc. Its more of a “spa treatment” type product, think of a Face Mask or Treatment Serum made into a Spray On Tan. It helps prevent on going damage to the skin, and will help the appearance of dry skin.
  • Rapid Tan A thick blend, with a dark bronzer. This is a product specifically blended to enhance the DHA Chemical reaction effect, allowing client to shower off early, with the same tan results. It is a quicker drying blend, so not as highly moisturizing, as above two products..  It normally would not be a product I would mix with other blends, though you could layer it. But the product it is layered with would not have the same “fast tanning” enhancements allowing for the early showeroff. Though client would still get some color from that blend, it would not be the full effect that “non-rapid” product normally imparts with a longer wear.
  • Revive, Anti-aging Skin Perfecting Blend- This is a medium weight blend, medium level bronzer, and medium moisturizing level. An untinted version is also available. It works well in dry or humid locations. Especially well suited to aged skin, or skin that is damaged through stress, disease or UV exposure. The lighter bronzer will not “stain” damaged or imperfect skin areas as heavily. Added ingredients can smooth and even out and plump up dimpled skin areas, giving a smoother skin surface appearance. This is also a “spa treatment” type product, but thinner then the Natural Tan, and less moisturizing.
  • Tan Envy, European Blend – This is a Thin Quick Drying Blend with a very dark bronzer. Similar to Tan Extraordinaire but faster drying,  and a dark slightly cool brown bronzer. The bronzer will stain the skin, adding an extra layer of color over the DHA tan from 1-3  or more days (depending on clients skin). This is a quick dry product, making it well suited to humid location, or for use on oily skin clients. Can be a bit drying if you are in a dry location.
  • Tan Extraordinaire, 99% Botanical Blend – a medium to thick blend, very moisturizing. The bronzer is light to medium, with limited skin staining effect. This is well suited to aged skin, dry skin, damaged skin that gets discolored from the staining type bronzers. The product self levels well on the skin making it very beginner friendly. Well suited to dry locations, can be sticky if over applied, or used in a humid location (use powder as needed). Well suited for locations that prefer as close to a 100% all natural blend as possible, with little to no synthetic ingredients or colorants.
  • Tanfastic, Long Wearing Blend – This is a thin, quick dry blend. Very universal, and well rounded blend. Good if you want a “one size fits all” type product as it works well on most clients, as long as correct DHA levels is accounted for. This works well in humid locations. It is not as moisturizing as some of the other “moisturizing” type blends, so if clients are having dryness issues, consider adding in a Moisture Shot treatment with Moistaire Hydration or take home Aerosol products to your services, lowering DHA level used, and or adjusting clients daily moisturizer application and cleansing habits.  Can easily be layered for the client that like many coats of product all in one spray session.
  • Veneto Mediterranean Violet Based Blend – This is a medium weight product, with Quick Dry ingredients. The bronzer will stain the skin with a Cool Violet brown color which washes off to a cool toned brown. This will help counteract orange, yellow or brassy tones. If mixed in bottle with another product, you will lessen some of the violet tones, and may neutralize some out. A better option would be the layering steps below. Also see this post on how it looks when layered. Layering Veneto Images.   (This item is no longer available)
  • Sho Glo, Competition Blend – A specialized blend specific to the stage and competition client. Some facilities use this for all their clients, even those in non-competition events. This is a medium thick, med moisturizing, faster drying product with a very very dark bronzer. The bronzer will stain the skin, and may look “muddy” while worn in public before showering. Depending on how porous the clients skin is, and how much product is applied, how long worn, and skintype – client may see a large amount of post shower skin staining. This can look “muddy” even after showering in some cases. This is Tan Extraordinaire in a quicker drying base with a super deep brown bronzer. This is the darkest bronzer product in the Tampa Bay Tan solution, excluding the tinted Booster Drops.  (Sho Glo is no longer available)

The Rules to use, will work with any blend:

Step 1 – What do you want to accomplish?

Before you try to customize the final tan, you will need to have a firm idea of what you specifically are trying to accomplish. Otherwise you will not know how to get to that goal.

For example -While making a cake, you need to know what the issue/problem/concern is and then work toward addressing  that specific “thing/issue”

  • Is the cake to bland? – Maybe it needs more sweetness, or  a richer or more intense vanilla or chocolate flavor
  • Is the cake to dry and or crumbly? You need to add moisture to it
  • Is the cake to plain – maybe you can add frosting, or sprinkles, or decorative  candies?

So first decide what you need or want to do.  Focus on one concerns at a time. Then look at the products you have on hand that have the elements you need or are missing. Evaluate the base products you already have on hand, and want to use, and see if you can work with these two or three items/blends to address the issues at hand.

Some recipes are below.

I need to Darken or change the color of the bronzer.  To darken a bronzer, use a product with a darker bronzer mixed with the product with the lighter bronzer.  For example, Sho Glo and Tan Envy will both darken the bronzer depth of other products they are added too, as both have very dark instant cosmetic bronzers. They are thinner blends so mix easily with most other blends.  If you want a thicker product with a dark bronzer to mix or layer, you have Aussie Bronze and Natural Tan.

If you just want to “hide” or cover a bronzer color you do not like the appearance/color of, for example you do not like the Veneto violet colored bronzer, then you would use a layering technique. Layering the Veneto on the skin as the first coat, and adding a second coat with another dark bronzer product that has the bronzer color you prefer. For example layering one coat of veneto with one coat of Aussie, or Natural, Rapid, Sho Glow or Tan Envy etc. (see an example of this with Veneto and Aussie Bronze here) Also addressed below in more detail.

Need to add in more moisture? What if you love the blend you are using on the client, but want to add in a bit more moisturizing effect? You can do a pretan spray with the Tampa Bay Hydration spray, followed with the tanning solution option you love. Or you can mix a moisturizing solution spray tan product with the less moisturizing spray tan product you prefer.  (do not mix the hydration spray directly in the cup with your solution)

For example, I love Revive on myself. In the spring, summer and fall its perfect.   For winter use, I also keep Tan Extraordinaire on hand. The Tan Extraordinaire final tan color is not quite as flattering on myself as Revive, and the moisture level is to high for humid summers. So I do not use Tan Extraordinaire myself, as it is a bit more sticky then I like (I apply about 4 ounces of product at a time)

However I can mix Tan Extraordinaire 50-50 with Revive, which gives Revive a nice moisturizing upgrade in the winter when my skin and my enviroment are dryer. This gives me the best elements of both blends, as I still use the Anti-aging aspects of the Revive, and the bronzer colorant, which does change my final tan color some.  And I add in the extra moisture I am missing for the dryer seasons.

Layering :

Layering is a method of applying two different product solutions, adding Layer one as one product, then within a short time (after coat one absorbs) applying a second layer (coat) of an alternate product. This is used when you do not want to dilute any ingredients in ether product, but want to alter the appearance of the final bronzer coat dramatically, or want to add in the full strength benefits of both products.

This would be used if you like the final tan color of Veneto, but do not like the appearance of the final bronze color on the skin. So the first coat will be the Veneto. This is the main tan effect you want.  Then you would add a second coat of another product of equal or heavier weigh as a second coat. For example, top it off with a second coat of Aussie Bronze, which is thicker and has a heavier warmer brown bronzer. The final result still gives you some of the color canceling effects from Veneto, with a more attractive “walk out the door” bronzer color.  See this Blog for pictures and Specifics. Love Veneto, but not the bronzer color?

This can be done with any blend, for example you may like Revive, but want the darker bronzer look from Aussie bronze, Natural Tan, etc.  You could mix together in the solution cup, or use the Layer Technique.

Thin To Thick Application when you layer

– Note that products should normally be layered THIN –> TO–> THICK.  If the products have two different thickness weights, spray the thinner product first. This will improve absorbancy, the thinner product can absorb well, before applying the thicker product. If a thick product is applied first, and topped with a thinner product, the thinner product layer may not absorb as well or as evenly. You will still see the bronzer color, but the tan may be lighter because the second thinner later could not absorb as well. This would be most true with oily skin types.

If products are equal weights, you can layer in any order. So if both are dryer or thinner blends, layer in any order you choose.

The TBT solutions above are color coded.  Thick blends that absorb slower are Red Brown. The thinner (med or thin) products (they would be a first layer) are coded in Green.


Mixing would be used if you have two similar products, that may have benefits of each you want, without cancelling or diluting out something you also want. For example – you would not normally mix any other TBT product with Veneto because the opposite bronzers colorants can start to cancel out some of the Veneto Violet tone, which is needed to allow this product to Neutralize yellow and brassy or orangy tones.  (you can layer it however).  However if you want to use one of the other blends, with a small amount of “cool” tone added, then you could mix some Veneto into the solution cup with the other blend.

Mix Like with Like: (thickness)

When mixing solutions together,  try to use like weight blends.  Mixing the thick blends with a thinner blend will not always blend evenly and uniformly. Mixing two thick blends will usually work but product age and temperature could become a factor. So test on your self first. Only mix the needed product, as you use it. Do not pre mix in the bottle, and store for later use, or you may have product separation.

I have personally found that Tan Extraordinaire, though a thicker blend, does mix well with TanFantastic, Tan Envy and Revive.  I have not had separation with any of these mixes, even when Premixed and stored

Different Application amounts to different body areas.

Though not in the same class as above, this is a very common technique, that more techs SHOULD use, if needed.

Different skin and body areas will tan lighter/darken then others. This is normal. The skin differs in thickness, oiliness and porosity from one area to another. It is not uniformly the same everywhere.

Often the stomach, buttocks, and “body” tans lighter then the arms and legs.  Areas exposed to the elements (arms and legs) are thicker skinned to better protect the limb which is exposed to environmental assault regularly. It is also normally more porous.   Areas with clothing protection are less damaged from the enviroment and UV exposure, so skin is denser, and thinner.

Apply an extra coat of solution in lighter tanned areas, can help the clients tan appear more even and uniform.

For my personal application I apply extra product to my body, my chest and shoulders.

Different products in Different Body Areas:

For client with Aged or UV damaged skin, or skin with fine lines, a clear product may be a better option for their needs.  Especially true on the face.  However the client may prefer the look or color of a tinted blend.  (information on when to use a Clear blend is detailed in this Blog Post HERE)

One option is to apply a Clear product to Face, Neck and Chest, Apply a tinted product to all other areas, blending across the chest to merge the two products together.

If the legs are very dry, you can apply a moisturizing solution to this area, and an alternate product to other areas, that may not need this amount of moisture.

Or tan the entire body with one product, but do an extra layer to highlight sun-kissed areas, using a product with a Darker bronzer such as Tan Envy, Aussie Bronze etc. Or a higher DHA level, or with added Booster drops.  Mist over sun-kissed areas – the tops of shoulders and arms, down onto upper chest. Cheek tops and forehead, nose tip and chin.  Tops of legs etc.  Wheree ver the sun “touches” more heavily when shinning from above, when you are out taking a walk.

Customizing we DO NOT personally recommend

Adding in fragrances : the fragrances in the Tampa Bay Tan products are a water based formula certified for safe use as a cosmetic ingredient.

Many fragrances are oil based, which will separate and not stay mixed with your product.

They should normally only be used in very small amounts, as to much can cause skin sensitizing, irritation, sinus irritation or respiratory concerns. This is true even for fragrances listed as “safe for cosmetic use”. The most common irritant in cosmetics and skin care products are the fragrance additives. Normally when a client reacts to a product with a skin irritation, or rash, it is from a fragrance.

With this in mind, fragrances need to be used carefully (correct amounts) keeping in mind how the final finished product will be used.  For example a fragrance added to a hair shampoo product may not cause a concern, its only on the skin surface (scalp and hands, and back when its rinsed off) for a short time. And its only on a small body area, the scalp and hands mainly, which are normally not areas that get easily irritated.  However adding the same fragrance ingredients to a spray tan product creates new concern

It is applied on the entire body, including near eyes, lips, genitals, where it absorbs differently. Some skin ares such as under arms, knees bends, legs (that may be freshly shaven so more sensitive) tend to be more likely to react to a product applied to the skin.

It will be left on the skin for an extended time period (which can increase the likely hood of sensitivity issues and concerns), and a larger surface area of skin is being covered, so absorbancy levels differ.

The client will be breathing this product in directly for an extended period, as the product is often applied to face and upper body, and is worn 8 + hours before showering.

All these must be considered when using any fragrance, even one for cosmetics use. Please make sure it is formulated for SUNLESS TAN use, and that the solution blend you use will mix with the fragrance. Most companies that sell drops, sell a specific blend, that is formulated to work correctly with their drops line. Not all drops will blend with all solutions.

Essential oils:

See all the issue noted above. The second most common skin irritant would be plant extracts and botanical products. Essential oils are concentrated, and should be used very carefully at correct amounts.  They are not well tested for use as a sprayable product, that the client and technician would inhale during a typical spray tanning applications session.  They can irritate skin, and sinuses as well as eyes and genitalia.

Other skin care ingredients or treatment drops

These are items that have not been approved or tested as being safe for spray tan use where they can be inhaled by the client or technician.  Some can be very concentrated, and should really be limited in “dosage” amounts. The irritation potential is high.

These would be things like “Vitamin Drops”, Skin “Treatment” Activities, and other items that might be safe when applied topically, but have not been tested for safe continued use in a spray format.

This is really a product its best to use separately from your spray tan session.

The “When and how-to’s” when you are trying out new things:

  • Test on yourself first – not a paying client. Unless they are a friend or family member or are getting a freebie application while consenting to be your guinea pig. I would always give the tester a freebie session or two, because you are using this as a Trial and Error experiment, so you will gain from the knowledge and experience results. And since the client gets it “free” if their is an issue etc. they are less likely to be irritated at you, because they did not pay. Of course you can always refund later – but starting with them knowing they are getting a “freebie” to be a tester, makes them more comfortable and positive, in case things do go other then they expect.
  • Test more then once, and on more then one person. Results can differ dramatically due to individual skin differences, time of year, diet at the time etc.
  • When testing new mixes, mix small amounts as needed. Do not premix, as items can separate, and ruin your entire product batch.

When testing on yourself:

Spray one leg or arm, with the new “mix” or layer application,  and spray one leg/arm with the “normal” unaltered product. Then shower as normal post tan,  and check color, wear and fade, comparing legs/arms side by side. This can help you see if the mix surfers and integrity issues when mixed and fade weirdly, or unevenly, or if the color looks off.

It also helps you judge if the new mix/applications technique made any “changes” from the non-mixed products.  So you can decide if this is worth the time/effort to pursue.

Then try the same blending or technique on the full body, to again assess results.

Skin should be clean, dry, and free of any old solution color. So you should be back to a clean, untanned, pale canvas on all tests to maintain consistency on testing phases.