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June 25, 2015

We Tried It: The Professional Airbrush Tan at Benefit

Confession time. In my 26 years I’ve never had a spray tan. I missed the boat on homecoming dances, weddings and everything in between, so I decided to mix things up this summer by hitting up Benefit in Chicago for my very first spray tanning adventure!


Yep, in addition to the products + perfectly arched brows, Benefit is now doing airbrush tans for $40 at a handful of its boutiques around the country (click here for locations). I had heard often about how good they were so thought it would be the perfect spot for a first timer. Thankfully, the rumors were true and I walked out with a sun-kissed glow in 15 minutes flat. Here are a few and tricks I learned in the process to get the perfect, long lasting sun-kissed glow:


* Prep your skin for bronzed success by exfoliating your entire body the day before spray tanning.
* Make sure you wear dark clothes (no whites please!) so any tanning spray doesn’t accidently stain your clothes.
* Shave your legs (and anything else…) the day before your tan.
* Resist the urge to moisturize prior to tanning, which could lead to uneven application.
* Plan what you’re going to wear in the booth. Most people go topless. Now is not the time don your favorite lace undies.

*Remove all jewelry to avoid any awkward tanning lines (we’ve all been there)
* Wash your face so it’s free of any makeup or residue. Benefit will even cleanse your for you before you pop into the spray tanning booth!
* Snag a hair tie before you get your tan on to easily sweep up any extra strands that escape the provided hairnet.

* Wait 8-12 hours prior to showering or working out. I know a few friends who swear that it’s worth waiting 48 hours for, but who has the patience for that?!
* Always apply lotion to your body and face after showering to help your tan last longer and keep it streak-free.
* Avoid exfoliating your face and body until your tan has faded—usually about 5-8 days after spray tanning.


And there you have it—you’ll have a pretty faux glow that will last for days (and sometimes weeks!), without any appointment necessary.  Any other tips that I missed? Share your favorites before we go back to Benefit – because we’re for sure going to make this a regular thing!

  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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