FAQ'S -A quick guide:

Spray tans last 7-10 days.

Your spray tan appointment (from walking in the door to walking out) is about 15 minutes. We are often scheduled back to back. It is imperative you are properly prepared for your appointment when you arrive and on time for your appointment.

Yes, a person will be spraying you, not a booth.

Exfoliating your skin = exfoliating the tan. Exfoliating is taking hot showers, scrubbing, sitting in a hot tub,sweating, tight clothes rubbing, swimming in chlorine or salt water.

Orange is not an option at Shade- we use quality solutions and choose colors that complement your skin tone.

No, we don't have tanning beds...and we never will.

It won't rub off on your clothes after your first rinse.

Wear dark, loose clothing to your appointment. The bronzer washes out of most fabrics, but we don't assume responsibility for any effects on clothing.

Most people wear bottoms (their own or disposable thong) and no top, or nothing at all, to get sprayed.

Waxing, shaving, exfoliating, manicure, pedicure, working out for the day = BEFORE your appointment.

Two days prior to your event, one day prior to vacation are the optimal times to get sprayed. More than 3 days out and your tan will need to be brightened with a self tanner.

Yes, we tan men. We ask that they wear bottoms for their first appointment.

Yes, people tan weekly. Maintenance is key for keeping an even looking result over multiple sessions. We ask you do a good exfoliation the night before between sessions.

We tan all sizes and ages and genders. Everyone is welcome here and we think everyone deserves to feel their best.

You can rinse the guide bronzer off after 2 hours (2-4 for eco-tan or Emily rapid) but the tan still needs 8 hours to develop- you will not be at full color for 8 hours and shouldn't soap, scrub, or sweat during that time.

Yes, tips are appreciated.



What is in the tanning solution? Is it safe? 

DHA is a colorless chemical derived from sugar beets that interacts with the amino acids in dead skin cell s 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 over spray (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.

Which solution should I choose?

You have several 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 solutions.

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).

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.


  • Are your tans organic?

There is no such thing as an organic spray tan. "Organic" labels give a false sense of "better" or "safer" and cosmetics such as spray tans are not regulated, so the term can be used. But it's not really organic at all.

It's that simple-no such thing. If you are being offered an organic tan, ask to see an ingredient list. DHA isn't organic, and bronzer guides have fragrance and dyes in them. 

Our Eco-tan has no synthetic bronzer or fragrance, so it's close but I still don't call it organic.

An organic label in cosmetics doesn't equal safety- generally speaking spray tans are safer than a tanning bed or extended sun exposure, and the solutions interacts with the top layer of skin only.



How long does it take to get sprayed?


20 minutes in and out with first time paperwork.



Can I get an spray 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.



Why can't I use Dove? What do I use for lotion?

Basically, the ingredients in Dove both strip the top layer of your skin and leave a residue on that layer of skin, sometimes preventing spray tan from absorbing if you use it prior to your session and definitely stripping it off if you use it after. 

Soap without sulfates is recommended.

Lotion and oils that a natural are great for post tan moisturizing. No baby oil or Vaseline ( or anything petroleum based).

We have great options for both cleanser and lotion at Shade available for sale.

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 a bit on your workout clothes or wedding dress after dancing all night.


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-it's much better than that.