How to Fake a Sun-Kissed Glow—Secrets of Celebrity Spray Tanning Revealed!

Get a golden glow with these insider tips

By Taylor Stephan Aug 12, 2015 5:15 PMTags
Kendall Jenner, BikiniInstagram

Celebrity spray tan artist Jenni Blafer, of SunKissedByJenni, knows a thing or two about proper spray tan procedure.

It's no secret that we're all after Ashley Tisdale or Kendall Jenner's undetectable glow, but truth be told: When it comes to custom tans, Jenni takes a handful of factors into account, such as where a client is going, what they'll be wearing, what their hair color is and whether they'll be seen in print, film or on the red carpet. "All of these factors determine how light/dark one can go," said the pro. For instance, she always ups the intensity for film and is "very conservative with the spray if a client is fair, blonde and or wearing white," Jenni added.

Since most of us aren't getting custom airbrush tans like the stars (which can incorporate several different tools like airbrush guns, kubuki brushes and rollers), Jenni shared her tips on what we can do to achieve a streak-free look, even if it isn't hand-painted on by an artist.


Do your research. Jenni suggested finding a location with Versa Spa machines (which give a more natural overall spray) rather than Mystic Tan (which is an older version that gives a less even finish). Versa Spa formulas come in light, medium and dark and are offered in clear or colored consistencies.

Do consider your natural skin tone. The fairer your skin the more you have to be sparse with the spray, so stick with the lightest tint. Darker melanin tones can be a little more aggressive with color, picking medium or dark shades. 

Do get other beauty treatments in before your tan. Avoid waxing, facials and massages 24 hours before a spray tan, as oils and other products can act as a barrier between your skin and the tan. Get your manicure and pedicure pre-treatment, as foot and hand scrubs will buff away the tanned layer of your skin for good.

Don't spray tan more than once a week. You shouldn't spray more than once every 10 days or once all of your old spray is off. It's like nail polish. You don't want to paint over old polish.

Do prep your skin. Before you arrive, shower, shave and exfoliate. If you spray tanned the week prior, exfoliation is extra important. To make sure that all of the spray is off before applying another layer, Jenni likes to use Dermasuri Mitt, which exfoliates the skin really well without leaving any residue.

Do wear the right outfit. It is imperative to wear proper clothing because you can disrupt the tanning process if you wear tight clothing. Avoid wearing bras, anything clingy, silk or cashmere fabrics that can easily get stained. Instead wear open-toed sandals and loose, dark clothing. 

Don't soak in water. When it comes to showering in between tans (or soaking in a jacuzzi) minimize your in-the-water time. For showers, rinse off quickly and use soap only in necessary areas. Do not exfoliate or lather body wash all over. 

Do invest in touch-up products. To prolong a spray tan and hold you over until your next treatment, try the Spray di Solé Kabuki Body Tanner and the Tarte Tan Towelettes for the face. Tan-extending products are especially beneficial if you are going to be on vacation and in the water (which instantly strips your tan).