It's Tan Line Season: Quick Tips to Blend Tan Lines

The weather is warm, the sun is out, and summer is finally here! More time in the sun brings tan lines and we are here for it!! During the season of tan lines, spray tan artists are often asked to cover tan lines for weddings and formals or fix farmer’s tans before vacations. While techniques for blending tan lines vary, we’ve got a couple tips to help you best serve your clients seeking an even tan!

First, give your client clear and realistic expectations. Help them to understand that a spray tan does not cover the skin, rather it is absorbed into the skin and changes the color of the outermost layer. With that being said, a spray tan cannot “cover” skin imperfections like bruises, cellulite, scars, tattoos or tan lines. However, a good spray tan can blend these imperfections and make them less noticeable. When it comes to tan lines, a skilled technician can carefully darken the lighter area and blend it with the already tan area. The result may not be seamless color, but it will help to lessen the contrast between the light and dark to even things out.

Second, while there are many techniques to blending tan lines, the main objective is to make the light skin match the tanned skin as closely as possible. This can be achieved by applying DHA to the light area first, while being careful not to overlap the tan area, then spraying the entire area evenly. Application to the lighter area can be done many ways: with an airbrush (like used for contouring), using your HVLP spray gun (on the smallest, circular setting and at low pressure), with a Q-tip saturated with tanning solution, using a makeup sponge saturated with self-tan product… the list of techniques is unlimited and there is no right or wrong way to apply.

After carefully applying color to the light area to match the dark area as closely as possible, then proceed with a full body spray as normal, spraying over the touched-up area. The color difference will be noticeable improved, but you may still see distinct tan lines. After the tan is developed and rinsed, the lines should be less noticeable and blend in with the spray tan. Additionally, the tan lines will be much easier to cover and blend with a cosmetic bronzer if your client is seeking full coverage. It is important to note that if your client is sunburned, they should NOT get a spray tan and should wait until their skin has completely healed. More on that in the next post!

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