Although she knew the risks of tanning, Tara Hale-Mies was a regular user of UV tanning beds. But when she saw how natural airbrush tans looked, she finally made the switch. Now she promotes the long-term beauty benefits of sunless tanning and shows clients how to stay bronzed without exposing themselves to premature aging and health issues. Tara only uses Body Bronze products, selected for the rich colors they're able to produce, even without Crayola's permission. Each airbrush tan lasts 7–10 days.
Every salon claims that their tanning formula is one-of-a-kind. But at Unique Tan, it's actually true—owner Sherrie Lee Meredith developed it herself. Her signature spray-tanning blend, Unique Excellence, tints skin with a paraben-free solution of organic aloe vera, berry essences, and a firming serum to stave off the signs of aging. The formula also contains erythrulose, which can produce a longer-lasting bronze glow, and, because it's alcohol-free, helps keep skin moisturized and streak-free. The salon's Smart Tan–certified staff uses this in both automated booths and custom airbrushing sessions, which harness the steady hand of a tanning artist to ensure tans completely cover skin and finally even the score with haughty bronze statues.
The salon also offers traditional UV-tanning beds, which contain comfort-adding amenities such as air conditioning, aromatherapy, adjustable facial bulbs, and easy-to-follow voice instructions. Clients can enhance their tans with the salon's line of tan-accelerating products, which extend the life of each tan by keeping skin moisturized and healthy.
In 2001, the first iTan Sun Spray Spa opened its doors. It had a simple goal—to make clients feel and look lovely with professional tanning services. Today, the spa has more than 20 branches around San Diego, each offering a slightly different assortment of tanning beds, spray-tanning booths, and mechanical spa services.
The Smart Tan–certified staff prioritizes keeping up with tanning technology by stocking state-of-the-art tanning beds such as the Sun Angel, which uses sensors to customize a blend of UVA and UVB rays, practically eliminating overexposure and the need to wear a beekeeper suit to detract from a burn. Many beds come equipped with stereo sound systems, misters, and fans. Just down the hall from these beauty gadgets, Mystic and airbrush machines bronze limbs without UV rays or tan crayons, and mechanical spa machines dispense relaxing red-light treatments, infrared-energy body wraps, and aqua massages.
Tan By the Sea in Carlsbad and Deep Tan & Spa in Encinitas keep skin bronzed seven days a week, regardless of the season. To deliver the sun-kissed look of Apollo's cheekbones, the facilities offer tanning beds—which range in intensity from the introductory Sunrise 3500 to the lamp-riddled European high-pressure TurboPower 25000s—as well as VersaSpa chambers that provide summer-worthy façades without the stern gaze of UV rays, misting clients from head to chakra with clear or bronzing solution in as little as 60 seconds. Decorating the salons are swimsuits, sandals by Havaianas, and products by Designer Skin, Hempz, and Australian Gold. In addition to tanning specialists, the spas' teams include aestheticians as well as technicians who can brighten pearly whites with dental-grade treatments.
At Hollywood Tans, epidermises are enlivened with a special alchemic process known as Tanetics. In application, Tanetics employs the expertise of an in-house skin specialist, who considers each customer’s tanning goal, skin tone, and skin sensitivity before helping to craft an ideal spectrum-shifting regimen. Five 10-minute bouts inside Hollywood Tans’ vertical Hybrid booth leave the pelt polished with a 360-degree base tan that's preferable for afternoons at the beach or scandalous nights at the laundromat. Those interested in a UV-free tegument transformation can also opt for five glow-level to medium-level Mystic spray tans ($19–$25) that de-pale pasty pigment with misty coats of bronze that can last five–seven days. Grab today’s Groupon to restore your skin’s vibrancy and enjoy the added satisfaction of doing your part to put the sun out of business.