• Michelle Walters

Everything You Need To Know Before Getting A Wedding Sunless Tan


You’ve planned every detail of your wedding including found your something old, new and blue. You’ve even mastered your makeup and hair look and nailed down what your bridesmaids look will be like. DIVA? It’s ok - and guess what, its YOUR day! The last thing you want for you (and your bridesmaids) is something so easy and simple to do …. is a spray tan mishap such as the bronzers transferring off on your beautiful white dress and of course that dreaded cheetoh orange hue that you will forever be haunted with in your forever pictures. As a wedding makeup artist, I see hundreds of sunless tans gone bad on a weekly basis —- whether it’s from a bad spray tan or selecting the wrong self tanner. So I know your struggles and we want to help you get the perfect glow. We know wearing white can be daunting so you are probably going to want to get your faux glow on and so we have collaborated our BEST TIPS FOR BRIDES to you can be sure you are looking your best and have no worries about the overall finish. Once you have learned the ABCs of sunless tanning (spray tans and self tanners) you will be a pro and will never regret learning the inside scoop. 1. When is the perfect time to get your spray tan? 

We suggest getting a fresh spray tan at least 48hours prior to your wedding so you will have two showers to wash off the bronzers prior to wearing your wedding dress. By day one, your tan has already started to settle into the skin and you are encouraged to follow the aftercare instructions to keep that flawless glow. You also have time to be sure it looks great everywhere and be sure hands and feet didn’t absorb too much of the tan. And if, God forbid it isn’t right...you have time to get it fixed or touched up.

2. Is there any chance it will get on my dress? Not usually as long as you have had a chance to shower twice between the time you received your spray tan (or applied self tanner) and when you put on your wedding dress.

3.  White is an extreme color to wear with a tan. How should you pick what shade to tan with? You want to have a consultation with your spray tanner and talk about factors that would help her choose the spray tan (and you can use these tips when selecting a self tanner). You want to look at your current base color, hair color, time of year you are getting married, color of dress, etc. We don’t suggest tanning more than two shades darker than your current natural skin tone because it will look more “fake”. You also want to research what undertones would look best for you - spray tans and self tanners can vary in undertones: green, red, caramel, violet, etc. Each of these will give you a different finish. We suggest you start one month prior to wedding and book a trial spray tan so you can feel more confident in selecting the tan that looks best on you.

4.  What should you look for in a tanning salon or self tanner? Choose a place that doesn’t use the same color shade for everyone. That is a really bad sign, a REALLY BAD sign. And find out what spray tan formula including undertones they use. Most salons carry their recommended self tanners so these questions would apply to selecting the right one too.   

5. What if I wanted to look darker in my tan but I am nervous if the initial spray tan may be too dark and come off looking too orange? 

We recommend a “double dip” technique with your spray tan or self tanner. What this means is you will book an initial spray tan 4-5  days prior to wedding day and ask for the lightest formula so it will have 48hrs to settle in and provide a beautiful base tan. Be sure to follow the aftercare so you will protect and moisture your skin properly. Next you’ll book your wedding day tan (part two) for 48hrs prior to wedding and spray tan either same shade (to darken  1-2 shades darker) or one next shade darker (to darken 2-3 shades darker).  

Photo credit: Sean DeWitt Photography

Glamour: Spray Tan/Makeup/Hair by Island Glow 

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