Summer's here and everyone's trying to get that sexy, bronzed look.

I love how I look when I'm tan, but I'm all about doing it the safest way possible!

Hate to break it to you, but there is no safe way to get color by laying out in the sun or in a tanning booth. Enter the spray tan.

It's the best way to way to get the glow you want without the increased risk of skin cancer and accelerated aging.

That doesn't mean you have to settle for looking like an Oompa Loompa.

Spray tanning has come SUCH a long way in the last few years, and my favorite way to get it done is to have a technician airbrush tan me by hand.

Full disclosure: I've never done the spray tan in an automated booth (mostly because of THIS scene on Friends.)

The best part about the hand airbrush is that the tech can apply the tanning spray based on your body shape so it looks really natural.

You WILL come out looking insanely dark, bordering on ridiculous at first -- see the video--, thanks to the bronzer in the solution. (This helps the technician see where the spray was applied.) That washes off in the shower, and makes it look like you're pouring tea down your shower drain.

The tan itself stays on through showering, and depending on how you care for it, will last about 7-10 days. Keeping your skin moisturized will help it last longer, and things like chlorine or exfoliating loofahs will fade the spray tan faster.

It's super important to remember that a spray tan does not offer your skin any kind of "base tan protection" and you still need to apply sunblock when you go out to keep your skin safe and healthy.

Some tips on making your spray tan look its best?

  • Exfoliate before you go! Use a good exfoliating scrub over your entire body to help the tanning solution go on smoothly and really adhere to the skin. (You want to really focus on exfoliating naturally drier areas like elbows, knees, hands, and feet!) If you need to shave, do it at least 6-8 hours before your appointment.
  • Use water-based moisturizers only -- both before AND after your spray tan. Oils can keep the solution from soaking into the skin. After the tan, oils can interact with the solution and cause streaking. If you moisturize before you go, make sure it's at least two hours before your appointment.
  • Wear dark, loose clothing to your appointment! This will keep your clothes from rubbing against the skin when the solution is first applied, which could cause blotchy and uneven areas. It also keeps your clothes from getting stained while the solution dries.
  • Don't wear any makeup or jewelry...it can keep the solution from properly soaking in, and the jewelry will get stained AND cause weird tan lines!

Thanks to The Body Wrap Shoppe in Toms River for hooking me up with this spray tan. Call 732-323-3000 to find out more and make an appointment to get yours!