Though the bright colors and mod furniture of South Beach Tanning’s numerous salons may tempt clients to kick back for hours, that’s not the staff’s goal. Instead, they strive to provide swift, hassle-free tans that get clients out the door quickly to enjoy the day. Each of the chain’s salons boasts a floor plan that is twice as large as the average tanning salon, which increases the likelihood that a bed will be free and therefore reduces annoying wait times. Guests can choose from five tiers of UV beds, whose successive levels beget increased bulb output and more amenities to imbue swifter, more comfortable tans. For a UV-free glow, customers can opt to hop in the salon’s automated VersaSpa booths, which guide jets of pigmented formula from head to toe in only 46 seconds to grant a look as summery as boat sails composed of stitched-together bikinis.
Boca Tanning Club salons bronze clients with the help of super tanning beds and booths, as well as UV-free VersaSpa spray-tanning booths. Clients walk past the painted vines, rocks, and rainforest-themed decor before stepping into the spray-tanning booths, which gild limbs in 60 seconds, or into a super bed, which caramelizes skin in less time than a traditional bed. In private rooms, technicians wielding airbrush systems custom shade and contour muscles while de-emphasizing vestigial tails.
Live tropical plants. Sultry warmth. Bright green and blue murals that cover the walls, floors, and ceilings, depicting rainforest flora and colorful parakeets. Although Boca Tanning Club’s dozens of locations are actually located throughout Florida, New York, and Texas, they exude a decidedly tropical vibe. Considering how seriously their technicians work to get clients beach-ready, it’s a pretty logical choice.
Each venue presents clients with a variety of sunless and UV tanning options, including VersaSpray and Evolv booths. Some locations also feature powerful high-pressure booths that you can adjust to deliver your desired amount of sunlight substitute.
Sunny Kisses Tanning Salon features UV tanning beds and booths, Mystic Tan spray-tanning booths, and airbrush tanning. An area staple for more than 20 years, the salon prides itself on its helpful staff. The crew can answer all of clients’ questions and help them choose tanning methods that are right for them. With a large stock of lotions, accelerators, bronzers, and moisturizers on hand, Sunny Kisses is equipped to provide its clients with healthy, even tans.
The staffers at Sunsets Tanning declare that their mission is to make clients “look good naked.” To do this, they put their Smart Tan certification to use to outline a tan plan based on each client’s skin tone and desired shade of bronze. Then they guide clients into private treatment rooms for airbrush tanning or show them how to hop into tanning beds—like a bunny, preferably. Both the rooms and the beds within them are meticulously cleaned by the spa’s staff. They also change each bed’s bulbs after 200 hours of service so that they always shine as brightly and evenly as the fluorescent scales of justice that hang outside of the Supreme Court.
Anticipating the arrival of a client he knows both by name and music preference, Glow Tanning Center co-owner Brandon Kemp strides down to the client’s usual chamber and tunes its Pandora radio to her favorite tunes. Kemp also helps clients navigate the center's three levels of UV tanning by creating custom "game plans" and by unfurling a spool of thread to follow back to the front door. The plans combine the use of tanning lotions with a varying regime of visits to the center’s high-pressure UWE beds and speedy upright booths that clients use in 10-minute increments.
In an adjacent room, co-owner Meg Dewall loads a color cartridge into her airbrush. Dewall has airbrushed the toned abs of fitness models and bodybuilders and the rippling upper lips of Elvis impersonators for a decade. Through years of creating quick, custom tans, she has come to rely on a bronzer from Norvell, a formula that eschews dyes because they can cause skin to look orange. The equipment is minimal, so she can also bring her monochrome art kit and a special tent to hotel rooms and private residences for tanning parties and convenient touchups.