If there's anything you need to know about me, it's that I love being tanned. There's nothing better than that no makeup bronzed look after a day of soaking up the sun. Let's be real ladies.. who doesn't feel confident with a tan?
From a young age, my father Issie always worshipped the sun. I remember going away to Florida with my family as a young child and always seeing my dad soaking up those rays. My mom would take his 8 SPF bottles and switch them with 60 SPF and beg my sister and I not to tell him. To this day I have never been more tanned than my own father.. who somehow manages to stay bronzed all year round.
Here's my parents as teenagers.. and my dad has a killer tan.
Here we are on one of our many trips to Florida. Issie looks so tanned.
Have you ever seen a man with such a flawless tan?
Here we are as babies.. my dad rocking his tan.
When I first heard about tanning beds I was intrigued. Coming from Canada, it's not easy to be tanned. Winters are cold and long.. and its impossible to stay tanned once the Fall hits. I remember going to my first session. The woman behind the counter asked me for my name.. and said it looked like there was already an account registered. I was confused.. I had never been to this place, let alone any tanning salon. "Here it is", she said. "It's under Issie Hefter." That was the moment I finally realized why my dad was tanned all year long. From that day on, I used my dads membership and never paid for a single tan. When I finally ran into him one day at the salon, he immediately realized why his membership points were running out faster than usual.
For the next two years I continued to go to the tanning beds at least once a week. To this day, it haunts me to know how much damage I did to my skin. It took me years to understand how horrible these salons are. A few months before my wedding, I started to experiment with spray tanning. This was before I met Crystal from Nouv Tanning who truly changed my whole outlook. ( More about that later.) My only wedding regret was deciding to use the beds for my wedding glow. I was afraid that the spray would look orange and rub off on my dress. My wedding was in November.. once October hit I lost my Summer glow and went to tanning beds instead of getting a spray tan for my wedding. For Leanna's wedding.. we were spray tanned and I was much happier with the outcome.
This Image was from my wedding. I am definitely tanned, but could have achieved this in a much healthier way.
Here's an image from my sisters wedding where I had a spray tan using SunnaTan.
Since my wedding, I have yet to step back in a bronzage salon. I found amazing alternatives and tricks to staying tanned all year long... without the beds.
Here's my guide to sunless.. SAFE.. tanning.
1. Find a spray tan solution that works for your skin.
A few months after my wedding, I met Crystal from Nouv Tanning. She runs a mobile spray tan company that uses only SunnaTan products. I've tried many other spray tans.. but this solution works the best on my skin. I pushed Leanna to find someone in Toronto who uses this solution. She found an amazing girl named Anna who uses the exact same solution as Crystal. The glow is so natural.. I even prefer this to a real tan!
Loving my fully body spray here. This was before an event.
Only our faces were sprayed here, which is also a great alternative in the winter. More below.
2. Find a spray tan salon in your neighbourhood for face only sprays.
In the Winter, I don't always spray tan my fully body. I don't find it necessary unless I have a wedding or a shoot where I will show my arms and legs.
Once of my best kept secrets is running to Barbarella biweekly for just a face spray. It costs $9 each time. No body.. just face. They have a location super closer to my apartment and it's so easy for me to run over there for a quick glow! Their solution is different than the one from Sunnatan and I find their "express" solutions to be the best. Instead of sleeping with the solution you can wash it off after 5 hours. They even have an "express express" that you can wash off after 2-3 hours!
For this shoot, I only spray tanned my face. As you can see my hands are pale but my face has a glow!
3. Find products you can use at home
I have tested out soo many take home products.. and Tahitian Tan Mist is truly the best. This is THE BEST take home self tanner on the market.
This literally is an at home spray tan. You can use it on face and body.. but I use this only my face and spray it almost every morning under my makeup. I wash it off at the end of the day. Not only does it give you an amazing natural glow, it also helps to preserve my spray tan for at least another full week! If you are as obsessed with being tanned, this product is for you! Click here to shop.
Another product I love is Clarins Radiance Glow Booster. A couple drops with your moisturizer under makeup and you will glow all day long.
Last but not least is Airflash Dior Spray. I use this as a bronzer AND foundation. Every time I purchase this the woman behind the counter always tells me I should use a lighter shade because it is meant to be foundation. I don't agree.. I use this as my bronzer and it gives me an amazing long lasting glow all day long.
Hope these tips helped you guys realize that there are so many amazing alternatives for tanning. There's tons of AMAZING harmless solutions that are much better for you than tanning beds.
Stay bronzed and beautiful folks!