Is there a difference between an “airbrush tan” and a “spray tan”?

Airbrush tan, spray tan; tomAYto, tomAHto… right?  Not exactly. Not all tans are the same! Let’s explore a few different types of tanning…

Spray Tan Booths

Spray tan booths are large booths that you stand in, and the tanning solution sprays out of nozzles and onto your skin. There’s no one there spraying you, you’re on your own.  If you accidentally turn your arm the wrong way or clench your legs together in the booth, the spray might not hit you evenly, leaving you with an unnatural looking tan. You need to be extra vigilant in order to get an even tan. You also need to be wary of tanning areas like your underarms or palms of your hand which might look unnatural with a dark bronze color! Booths can also make people feel slightly claustrophobic, so if you feel uneasy in tight spaces, this might not be the method for you.

 ♦ Self-Tanners

We’ve all seen these, and let’s be honest – most of us have tried at least one variety. They’re cans of spray-on liquid or lotions found everywhere from posh salons to your local drug store, and they promise perfect golden skin in the privacy of your own home. But how well do they work? I’ll be honest, you MIGHT be able to find one that you’ll swear by. But chances are, it will take a lot of time, money, and misery before you do. There are so many different formulas out there, and everyone’s skin is different, so it’s hard to tell which lotions, potions, and sprays will look natural on you. Some are made from dyes that stain your skin and look orange, some are made from other chemicals that might irritate your skin, and some are just plain ineffective. It’s also hard to apply sprays and lotions evenly on yourself, so you might need a friend to help. You might THINK you’ve gotten every inch, but the next day you look in the mirror and there’s that big patch of white skin, or even worse, thick streaks or blotches of dark color! Many at-home products will not only color your skin, but leave stains on your clothes, sheets, and furniture as well, so you’ll need to be careful. As the saying goes, you usually get what you pay for. You’ll get much better results letting a professional handle it. Which leads us to….

Airbrush Tanning

Airbrush tanning is the preferred method for many people, including Hollywood’s biggest celebrities. With an airbrush tan, you’re working with a professional technician who knows how to pick the perfect formula to make each person’s unique skin tone look naturally colored.  They will then spray you by hand to ensure that the solution is applied evenly to all areas you want to tan, and eliminate excess spray from getting into areas you DON’T want – like knees, elbows, and underarms! It’s not a dye or stain like other self-tanning products. The active ingredient is something called DHA which is an organic compound that safely and naturally causes a tanning reaction in the very top layer of your skin. Airbrush technicians can touch up specific areas to even out skin tone or eliminate tan lines, and can even do things like give definition to thighs and abs. Airbrush tanning won’t leave streaks or stains like most at-home products, and it only requires one application. An airbrush tanning session is a truly personalized experience. You can even have an airbrush artist come to your house! They will bring all the equipment necessary to give you a great tan in the privacy and convenience of your own home.

For an affordable airbrush tan in Denver, Shine salon is the place to go!  We can also come to you and we offer special group packages for spa nights, bachelorette parties, weddings, pre-prom, etc. Give us a call to make an appointment and see why airbrush tanning is the best kind of spray tan you can get!  (303)-722-4040


Airbrush Tanning Vs. Self Tanners


It’s too cold to get a natural tan outdoors, and you’ve heard all about the dangers of tanning beds, so your options are limited if you want to get a great tan during winter.

You can:

A.) Go somewhere tropical (take us with you!)

B.) Use a self-tanning product

C.) Get an airbrush tan


Self-tanners come in many forms. There are plenty of sprays and lotions that you can choose from and they range in price from a few dollars at your local pharmacy to hundreds of dollars at a fancy salon. The ingredients vary from product to product. Many of them use dyes to stain your skin. Unless you’re very familiar with the product and how it looks on your particular skin tone, it’s hard to tell what shade of tan you’ll end up with. This sometimes ends up leaving you with an unnatural, embarrassing orange color.

You also have to be careful applying your self-tanners. If you miss a spot, your tan will look patchy. You have to properly rub all the solution into your skin or you will end up with streaks or splotches of darker color. Sometimes this is hard to do on your back or in places that you can’t easily see or reach. There are some areas that you don’t want to be as dark as the rest of your skin, too – such as the back of your knees or palms of your hands. It looks unnatural and stands out as a fake tan, when the goal is to have a tan that looks natural! Certain self tanning products can also stain your clothes or furniture, so you’ll have to be cautious around fabrics.

Getting an airbrush tan eliminates many of these concerns, however!

When you get an airbrush tan, your technician will be able to help you find the right shade for your skin tone. They’re experts at making sure your color won’t look too dark or too unnatural. Airbrush tanning solutions don’t use stains or dyes to create that color. There’s an all natural, organic compound called DHA that reacts safely and naturally with the outermost layer of your skin to create a darker pigment naturally. This is added to a bronzing agent to create the perfect glow. All of our products are vegan and never tested on animals.

Having an expert technician apply the solution also ensures that there will be no missed spots, no streaks, and no unnatural looking tans on areas that you DON’T want!

All of this is much less expensive than you think, too! Check our website for prices and specials. Make your appointment and start looking and feeling amazing with an airbrush tan from Shine!