As a wedding photographer, spray tanning for brides has always been a concern for me. Each of our wedding booking appointments I warn my brides about the pitfalls of a bad spay tan, which I have listed below.
Things have changed though. With new spray tan products, technology, and experienced applicators or therapists, the results are more natural and better than ever before. To get the best results, which is highly recommended for your wedding, there are some steps and guidelines you need to consider.
Not being an expert, I’ve sought the help of two girls who are. Before that, here are some of the pitfalls of a bad spray tan on your wedding.
- Unnatural or orange colour: much less common now with the advent of a ‘green coloured’ base to the tan colour.
- Excess product on hands, elbows, knees and feet: can be avoided if you follow the steps outlined by the girls below.
- Difficulty getting the same look with your wedding-day make-up compared to your trial make-up session: Easily avoided if you also have a spray tan trial before your trial make-up appointment.
- Lack of self confidence on your wedding day: if your spray tan looks natural and correctly applied in a light tone, you will be beaming with confidence.
- Photos that will constantly remind you of your mistake: if you are in any doubt about your spray tan, go natural and your photographer will be able to add a little warmth in post production.
- Time consuming (expensive) to fix in your photos: If you have a ‘bad’ spray tan it can be very difficult to repair in photoshop – no matter how experienced your studio is. It can be done in most cases but it will be very time consuming and therefore expensive.
Because of this horrible list, my recommendation was to err on the side of no spray tan – natural is best. I still stand by those feelings today but am slowly coming around with more and more great tans on brides.
It’s All About Feeling Good
Having photographed so many brides, young women and being married – I understand that there is a self confidence that goes along with a bit of colour.
I’m all for that, especially for a photo shoot!
When I put the question on Facebook – Spray Tans for your wedding day – good idea or bad? I had over 70 comments! Obviously this is a topic that divides both photographers and brides.
If you, like almost 90% of my brides, want to add a little ‘colour’ or ‘glow’ before your wedding day, most of whom are a little worried, especially if new to spray tanning, read on to see what both Nicole from Shazzam Makeup Artistry and Danielle from Face On Beauty and Makeup Studio have to say.
Both girls are very experienced make-up artists and spray tan specialists. Although they use and recommend different products, you’ll find a lot of similarities in what they have to say.
Danielle: I’m in the unique position of working in a beauty salon which would apply your spray tan, I’m also a make-up artist. I see the results on the big day and am constantly asked if I can ‘fix’ any tanning mishaps… I’ve seen plenty of dodgy, uneven, patchy tans which unfortunately are very difficult to fix or repair.
It may sound that I’m against spray tans but that’s not the case. I love a spray tan when done correctly!
I spray myself at least once a week, a nice light glow all over, what’s not to love?
Nicole: I’m a professionally trained make-up artist and I have always been a fan of a ‘natural glow’ myself. Brides can follow some easy steps to ensure their wedding day pray tan will look and feel totally natural.
When looking for a Spray Tan Technician
Nicole: Have you had spray tans before? If yes, you will know if it’s the tan you are after for your wedding.
If not, do some research!
Get some referrals from friends and family. They will be able to let you know from experience if anyone they know can produce a natural spray tan.
Start trialling spray tans a couple of months before your big day. You don’t want to be trialling spray tans in the winter if you are planning a summer wedding – or vice versa. We use different shades at different times of the year for a more natural look.
Danielle: Please, please, please do your research. I highly recommend having a spray tan trial at least 4 weeks before your wedding – for your hen’s night it’s a great idea or before your trial make-up appointment. This will allow enough time for the tan to completely come off before you reapply for your wedding day.
If you have never had a spray tan I highly recommend having a trial a couple of months before the wedding, which will allow you to try a few different brands and find the perfect one for you.
No matter what your natural skin colour is I guarantee there is the perfect shade out there for you.
I have never seen one of my clients with an allergic reaction to our spray tan before but I know it can happen. If you have sensitive skin there is more reason to have a trial for you.
Getting the best results from your Spray Tan
Nicole: The day/night before, make sure you exfoliate your entire body. Remove all excess shedding or dry skin which leaves your freshest skin for your spray tan to develop. This will reduce the blotchy uneven finish you may have seen on some girls.
Moisturise well after showering! The more hydrated your skin is the more natural your tan will develop onto your skin.
The better conditioned your skin, the better the result with your spray tan but it is important NOT to moisturise following your last shower before your spray tan. This will result in an uneven coverage with your tan. Your skin must be dry for the best application.
No hair removal is advised within the 24hours leading up to your spray tan.
Your technician, In my case I use the Creme De la Creme from Naked Tan, should apply a barrier cream around your wrists, elbows, knees and feet. This helps reduce those ugly lines and over developing in the creases.
Sticky feet also help to keep your soles free from any tan developing on the bottom of your feet.
I recommend the lightest shade for brides and their bridal parties. After all, most brides are looking for just a ‘glow’. The idea is for people to not be aware you have fake tan on.
Yes, my views on spray tanning are changing. Andrew, Impact Images
Danielle: Before you tan you should do a full body exfoliation in the shower (this can be done the night before your spray tan). Use rough mitts and a body scrub of some kind, try not to miss anywhere if possible.
If you are doing your skin preparation on the day of the spray tan,make sure you do not apply any moisturiser or deodorant after your shower as this will stop the tan from developing on these areas.
All your moisturising should have been done in the day/s leading up to your last shower before your spray tan.
If your knees, elbows or ankles are especially dry, your spray tanner may want to apply a light cream but I suggest not to do this yourself – leave it to us.
Explain to your therapist what sort of colour you are trying to achieve. My professional recommendation is to go for a natural colour for your wedding day or whatever you are used to if you know your therapist and tans.
She will then determine what shade to use and how many coats should be applied. It should only take about 15 minutes and the developing time for tans varies from 2 – 8 hours.
Two days before your wedding is an ideal time to tan. The day before is okay but you have to make sure that any excess tan is washed off thoroughly. This will keep any residue rubbing off your skin and onto your dress.
After Your Spray Tan – Keeping it Looking Good
Danielle: Make sure to moisturise all over after every shower following your spray tan. This will ensure that your tan lasts all week – great for the honeymoon too! The thorough moisturising will also result in a nice, even fade without going patchy.
Tanning agents do not penetrate the skin but sit on top. If your skin becomes dry and flaky – the tan will come off.
Try not to wear anything too tight (eg. tight bra straps or swimmers/thongs) after your tan and before your wedding as any friction will also rub off your tan.
What to wear during and after your tan?
Danielle: Most brides don’t wear anything to avoid any tan lines but you can certainly wear a g-string or your normal underwear.
Don’t wear a bra as it’s hard to determine the cut of your wedding dress.
Wear loose fitting clothes a baggy shirt and shorts or a dress is fine.
Make sure to take an umbrella if it is raining.
If your hair is really blonde make sure to wear a hair net to keep tan off. Remember to keep your ears out and the net high enough to avoid a white line across your forehead that no amount of makeup would cover!
Nicole: Wear loose, dark clothing to your spray tan appointment to avoid rubbing any tan off – especially in the first 2 hours after application. This will prevent an uneven looking finish.
I use the brand Naked Tan which has a strict 2 hour wash off time. I make it very clear to all my clients to make sure they DO NOT exceed this time as they risk the solution over developing. This can result in the ‘orange’ look… not good!
After you have washed your tan off, moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. There can never be enough moisturiser for a spray tan as this helps keep the skin and the tan hydrated to fade evenly. Moisturise morning, night and definitely after your showers.
What about Cost?
Danielle and Nicole: The cost of a spray tan is usually between $25 to $40 depending on the salon and the brand used.
Any final tips words or advice?
Nicole: Yes, if you have a spray tan, your bridesmaids should too. You don’t want your photographer to have a hard time correcting your photographs so not just one person stands out like the sun!
I believe it is healthy and looks great to have a spray tan for your wedding day if it’s done correctly!
Danielle: Tans are a safe, easy and inexpensive way to create a beautiful glow and help to even out any skin discolourations.
It really makes you feel great (and slimmer), although I should warn you once you have found that perfect shade it does become addictive.
Hope this helped answer any questions you had and I hope you have a wonderful wedding day!
Thank You Girls!
Theres nothing more I can add to what the two experts have said but I will stress as the girls have, make sure you have a trial, particularly if your wedding will be the first time you will are giving spray tanning a try.
If you’d like to speak to Danielle or Nicole, who both service the Central Coast I have included their details below.
Not from the Central Coast or not having a Central Coast Wedding? No problem. Follow the advice from the girls above and whether you are having a Newcastle wedding or have the perfect Hunter Valley Vineyard wedding planned, you’ll be able to find the right spray tan for you.
If you are still at all unsure about how your wedding photography will turn out following a spray tan, speak to your wedding photographer. They will either have their own opinion or in our case at Impact Images, we’d suggest an engagement shoot following your spray tan trial. This way you’ll be 100% confident going into your wedding.
For me personally, if you look and feel good within yourself, you will look amazing in your wedding photography. If you need any more proof, take a look at the photos of Danielle and Brett’s wedding in the Hunter Valley. It’s the same Danielle as above and she is positively beaming with confidence and looks amazing – spray tan and all!
Yes, my views on spray tanning are changing.
If you want the very best wedding photographers to help you look absolutely amazing in your wedding photography, make sure you see what Impact Images can do for you and what makes us so special when it comes to wedding photography on the Central Coast, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.
Finally – here’s a comment from Kahli Anne Winters, a full time professional model regarding spray tans, in particular ‘Naked Tan’ that I grabbed from a Facebook comment she made:
Always friendly, professional and fantastic value for money and they look really natural.
I am sure to be a regular customer!