Will I be orange?

  We custom mix your solution every time you come in and store that information in your file. We can adjust seasonally or by event or by dress color or even by your mood. We look at your base skin tone, we discuss what you’re getting tanned for, and we find a great shade for you based on my experience and your color level preference. No "1,2, or 3"!

We spray tan you with a hand held gun, so there’s no counting and it's much, much more controlled. There’s no worry that you are standing too close or not standing in the right position to get every bit of you sprayed evenly. Machine based spray tanning works for some people, but at Shade, we're biased. We hope after one session that you will become a convert too. 
Most of all, there’s no anxiety. Yes, you have to be undressed in front of a relative stranger, and that’s unnerving. But we are in a private room, we walk you through every step, making sure your palms and feet and psyche are protected, that you’re standing the right way, and that you are even and glowing. There’s no judging here. We are here to help you find your perfect, and that’s all we care about. 

Yes, you’ll look and feel 10 pounds thinner. Yes, your teeth will look whiter. Yes, you’ll look more awake and refreshed. But that’s just the half of it. We want you to feel great when you leave, and that’s our ultimate goal. 

What's the difference between airbrush and spray tanning?

The big difference is whether a person is spraying you or a machine. We call it "airbrush" because our techs use various versions of an airbrush gun to apply (spray) the tan.

What brand do you use?

We have several solutions that we custom mix based on client skin tone and desired outcome. We have these solution color bases shipped over from Australia and also made specifically for Shade. They are not the same solutions you will find in most tanning salons.

Which solution should I choose?

You have four options, so I will make it easy. There is a cosmetic bronzer in all solutions except the Valerie.

With the Kelly, and Emily, you will have an immediate effect once you are sprayed- that color is usually 20-30% darker than your desired outcome, though it depends on what we decide you want your outcome to be :) 

Longevity is the same for all four.

With the Emily rapid, I don't mix your color- your outcome is determined solely by the length of time you leave it on ( 1 hour is light, 4 hours for the deepest bronze). You are at full development at 4 hours.

The Kelly takes 8 hours to develop fully.  

With the Kelly, you have the option of doing a quick warm water/no soap rinse 2 hours after I tan you. As your tan is still going to develop over 8 hours, I recommend 4 hours before rinsing so you have a bit of color when you rinse (it's less jarring to go from the bronzer color to that than the lighter color you'll be after 2 hours).


Does it smell?

Our solutions are scented but it’s not that distinct self tanner smell you are used to experiencing.  Clients tell us that the tan smells fresh and not overwhelming. Don't expect the same smell you are used to with drugstore self tanners.


What are the ingredients in your solutions?

We have an ingredient list provided by the manufacturers of the solutions available in store of all of the solutions we use. Just ask for it! I can also email you a copy at any time. I make sure to review these ingredients and am in constant contact with our manufacturers regarding changes to their ingredients. I custom mix your solution with these base solutions. Most contain nut derivatives and you should always consult a medical professional before you tan. 


What is “set time” and why is it so important?

“Set time” is the time from when your tan is applied to the time when you can rinse off the cosmetic bronzer. There is no getting wet ( no sweating, no crying, no washing your hands) during your individual set time, so plan accordingly for your best looking bronze.


How long does it take to get sprayed?

From start to finish the whole process takes about 25 minutes. This includes drying time, so you can get dressed and be out the door in under 30 minutes. Wear something dark and loose and washable (no dry cleaning items). The solution shouldn't permanently stain your clothes, but be on the safe side and wear something old. Shade is not responsible for any damage to clothing. I wholly recommend NOT putting a bra back on after I spray you, but if you have to wear one, make it a strapless. Straps rub and can cause unwanted lines. Have white or light colored seats in your car? Bring a towel to put down if you have shorts on.


Why use a skin priming toner?

Mild Exfoliation: Glycolic spray gently exfoliates and cleanses skin for optimum long-lasting DHA results. 

Enhances DHA Results: Fruit Prime Extract helps to adjust the skin's pH level to enhance the DHA reaction resulting in a deeper, more golden brown tan. 

Browner, Golden Color: Lower skin pH results in a browner - not "orange", more realistic, natural looking tan. Adds Moisture: pH balancing spray is designed to add additional moisture to the skin to combat the drying effects of DHA

Real talk? I find that with toner use, your tan will fade more evenly, it will remove residue on the skin that could block the tan from developing properly, and it will allow your skin to better accept the tan, which leads to a richer bronze.


What is in the tanning solution? Is it safe? 

DHA is a colorless chemical that interacts with the amino acids in dead skin cells on the top layer of your skin to produce a brown color change. Since these dead skin cells are constantly being shed, the color change produced by DHA usually lasts seven to twelve days.
DHA is not absorbed through the skin into the body and it has no known toxicity. 
DHA was first discovered by scientists doing diabetes research in the late 1920's who found when DHA spilled on the skin it produced a brown color. 
DHA is safe to ingest and has been listed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 1973, and has been used in cosmetic preparations for almost 30 years.
As with any salon service, we recommend you take the necessary precautions to ensure your personal safety. We provide disposable nose plugs and chap stick to protect your mucus membranes (as you should with any product you could inhale). Our service room is easily twice the size of any regulation spray area, and we have a professional overspray (exhaust) machine to filter the air, as well as additional air filtration systems in use at all times. As the technician, I want you to feel safe and am concerned about your health and my own so these precautions are extremely important to me.


Why get an airbrush tan and not just use over the counter self tanners?

Most professionally applied sunless spray tans have a higher percentage of DHA- thus giving a deeper, not orange based tan. DHA in the product we use at Shade are very fresh and of the highest quality. These high quality solutions also contain high quality anti-aging and anti-oxidant ingredients, vitamins, and organic and natural based ingredients. 

Airbrush tanning provides an instant, even result that is dry to touch in minutes. There is no mess and no guesswork. 

It's like going to a hair salon versus using a box hair dye- the results can vary based on your application and the quality of the product.It is definitely not the same to dye your hair at home versus getting it done by a professional in a salon. Self tanners you buy in the store can be difficult to apply, can leave your skin looking uneven and streaky, and aren’t professional quality. You end up spending more and stressing more to "fix" any inconsistencies and that's a waste of your precious time. 

But I don't have time to come in for a tan every 9-12 days....

We understand. That's why if you're going to choose to apply self tanner at home, we carry the highest quality products with professional grade ingredients to use. And the comparative cost is nominal. At Shade we have used all of the products we sell, so we can match you with the one that's right for you. And the one that's easiest to use. 


Can I get an airbrush tan while I am pregnant or nursing? 

Always consult your physician and let them be your guide, but we have had no issues with tanning pregnant and nursing moms. With every session, pregnant or not, you are encouraged to protect your mucus membranes by wearing nose plugs and bottoms and putting chap stick on your lips. Our solution only penetrates the top layer of skin. With that said, let your doctor and your gut decide. And let your doctor know you have a spray tan when you visit them!

As for nursing moms, we suggest wearing a top or covering of your nipple area to protect from transferring the solution on to your little one. If you want to tan topless, our nursing clients have found that wiping the area directly after we tan them has also worked well in the past.

Again, this is similar to the logic used when coloring your hair or getting another professional skin or nail or body treatment while pregnant. Let your medical professional be your guide and use precaution. 


I just got a ____________________.  Can I tan?



it must be healed or covered completely during your session. If you are getting a tattoo AFTER your tan, that's okay- just know that the area where you are getting inked will be prepped prior, and that will strip the tan in that spot.

Laser Hair Removal/electrolysis/wax

I haven't had any issues with clients who get these treatments done, but I recommend getting tanned 24-48 hours after your service and not getting tanned prior to it.

Psoriasis Outbreak

Tans can help conceal, though we recommend you keep them well hydrated. I will paint a block cream on dry, scaly areas.

Chemical Peel

Depends on the strength of the peel- ask your dermatologist or esthetician what they recommend.


Ideally, you are going to skip a spray tan when you are sunburned, because the peeling is an ugly site when it has spray tan on it. That said, if you are not peeling you should be okay to tan. Make sure you exfoliate well prior to your session.


I did the 2-4 hour set "Kelly Taylor" tan. Now that I rinsed after 2 hours, I think my tan is gone. What's going on?

This solution line is amazing because you don't have to walk around with the cosmetic guide on your skin or worry about getting wet for longer than 2 hours. But the tan still takes 8+ hours to fully develop, so when you rinse (first rinse, no soap) you are likely to be very, very light. No worries, the tan will show up.


Will swimming affect my tan?

Chlorine will fade your tan, whether it's the hot tub or the pool. Salt water will also fade your tan as it's drying and exfoliating your skin. Rinse with fresh water and use lots of lotion to help slow this process.


Will the tan rub off on my clothes (or wedding dress)?

After the first rinse, you should not experience transfer on to your clothes. If it does, you just missed bronzer during your first rinse and can get it off during your next shower. It won't affect the tan.

The exceptions: Friction and sweat exfoliates your skin and therefore the tan, so it may show on your workout clothes or wedding dress after dancing all night.


Why can't I use Dove?

Basically, the ingredients in Dove both strip the top layer of your skin and leave a residue on that layer of skin, preventing spray tan from absorbing if you use it prior to your session and stripping it off if you use it after. Here is a great article from a company we aren't affiliated with about Dove (and maybe why you consider an alternative body wash even when you don't have a spray tan- just our opinion:) ) DOVE INGREDIENTS EXPLAINED

...so what should I use for soap and lotion?

Shade has in house retail options from various professional tanning companies that are competitively priced and made specifically to not strip your tan.