The minute my Maid of Honor planned my West Indies Bachelorette Party, I had a vision of wearing all white the entire weekend. White dresses, white rompers, white hats, and, of course, white bikinis. It would make for the perfect Bachelorette Party photos! The only problem? White’s not exactly the best bikini color for someone as pale as I am!
Luckily a friend of mine recommended Sugared + Bronzed. The company specializes in two things: sugaring hair removal (not applicable) and airbrush spray tanning (definitely applicable). After scrubbing my skin within an inch of its life (hello, exfoliation), I went in for my appointment a few days before my trip.
There are two locations in New York City, one in Murray Hill and one in Union Square. I ended up going to the Murray Hill location because they seemed to have more available appointments.
When you arrive, you’ll be given the choice between the Standard or the Express tanning solutions. With the Standard solution, you tell them what shade you want and they’ll spray exactly that shade. Then you wait at least 10 hours to shower (with just water, no soap or shampoo!), and the color you are when you exit the shower will be the final color of your tan.
With the Express solution, you’ll be sprayed with a general solution, and you decide how long to wait (between 1-4 hours) before showering it off (again with just water – no soap or shampoo). The longer you leave it on, the darker you’ll be. And FYI, once you shower it off, you’ll feel like most of the color has disappeared. Don’t worry! By the time you wake up the next morning your tan will have returned in full force.
Both tan mixtures use natural ingredients, like beets, so you don’t need to worry too much about what you’re spraying all over your body. I chose the Express solution, because I didn’t want to go to bed without showering (you’ll feel a little sticky after your appointment).
I arrived early but was still immediately taken in for my appointment. The technician brings you to a private room and gives you time to undress. You can wear whatever you’re comfortable in, but just know that the less you wear, the less tan lines you’ll have. For this reason most people go nude, and I promise it’s not awkward at all.
You’ll then stand in a room that looks like a shower while the technician sprays the tanning mixture on you. She’ll have you stand in different poses to make sure she’s able to spray the tan evenly and naturally. Towards the end, she’ll ask whether you’d like your face to be darker, lighter, or the same shade as the rest of your body.
I recommend going darker. You won’t look crazy, I promise, and since spray tans fade faster on your face than on the rest of your body, you’ll be glad you did.
For my skin tone, they recommended waiting 2 1/2 hours before I washed off the tanning mixture. I ended up waiting 3 1/2 hours because I was going to be in a bikini on the beach, and I really wanted to be dark. I then went to bed, eagerly awaiting the results.
When I woke up the next morning I was darker than I’ve ever been in my life (and likely will ever be) so that took some getting used to. However, my friends all remarked on how natural it looked, and I did get a lot of compliments. Here it is, the final result:
The first time you shower after your spray tan, you’re supposed to just rinse off the tanning mixture but not use soap or shampoo. But after that, you can shower as you normally would. However, you shouldn’t use a loofah or shave, since those things will exfoliate your skin and speed up the rate that your tan fades.
They also don’t recommend that you spend a lot of time in water, because that will also increase the fade rate. This is easy to do in the city, but on vacation, between the swimming in the ocean and the floating in the pool, it’s just not possible, and your tan will fade a lot quicker. In fact, I was the only person on our trip who got lighter as the weekend went on!
But I’m still glad I did it, since even on the last day, when I was at my lightest, I was still tanner than I would have been otherwise. And there’s just something about being tan in a bikini that makes you feel awesome!
As much as I would love to have a spray tan all of the time, or at least all of the summer, it’s a bit cost prohibitive to do it every week. That being said, I do believe it’s worth it for special occasions and vacations.
You can find out more information on Sugared + Bronzed here, as well as book your appointment. They’re having a special right now for newbies where your second tan is free, so be sure to take advantage of that!
And if you have questions on how it works, you can check out their FAQ page here.
You’ll be tan in no time!