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Faking It

A Guide to Spray Tans in Fairfield County

Eric Raisina worn by Chanel Iman, Lars Andersson SS 2013


Wrinkles, cancer, sun spots…we all know that baking in the sun is a health and beauty hazard, yet there’s nothing that makes us feel better looking than a nice golden glow. So what’s a responsible but beauty-conscious person to do?

Lucky for us, fake tanning has evolved from tanning booths to spray tan showers to the ultimate luxury, the airbrush tan. Unlike tanning showers that spray you all over, the airbrush tan involves a technician who personally directs the tanning product to give you an allover natural glow that is customized to your body and skin type. If done correctly, you should look sun-kissed, and not like an Oompa Loompa with orange feet and hands.

Worried about what exactly is in the tanning solution? These days the tanning product is all-natural, with ingredients such as coffee and sugar cane. Even still, it’s advisable to get your airbrush tan in a well-ventilated space and to hold your breath when having your face done or wear a nose plug.

Like a bikini wax, getting an airbrush tan is not for the faint of heart -- you’ll be standing naked (except for a disposable thong) in front of your technician for about 15 - 20 minutes while you get sprayed. That’s why it’s so important to feel comfortable with your tanning professional. Here are the best of the bunch:

Allura Salon & Day Spa

Located in Greenwich, Allura has been offering airbrush spray tans for ten years, longer than anyone else in Fairfield County. Their technician, Lana Miller, immediately makes you feel at ease (which is no easy task in this situation). As you get sprayed the smell of strawberry chocolate is delicious, especially since one might expect to be assaulted with a chemical stench. After getting your glow, you can take advantage of the full-service salon amenities.

Williams & Company

This tanning spot in Darien also offers airbrush tanning along with a full menu of beauty services, ranging from facials and massage to lash work and makeup. Owned by Darien native, Mary Lou Williams, Williams & Company has been in business almost 15 years and has offered airbrush tanning for the past five. Their friendly staff and elegant environment make for a relaxing and enjoyable experience.

Zen Bronze

Zen Bronze opened in Riverside just two years ago, but has already gained a cult following in town among everyone from high school girls to celebrities, and is even popular among men. Owner, Donna Buscemi has a top of the line filtration system that means that you don’t have to worry about inhaling any of the tanning formula (not that you need to be concerned, as it is all natural). She’ll even come to your private home if you want to host a tanning party. We especially loved her line of self-tanners, including “shimmer shots” which give you a splash of sun when you’re on the go.

Beach Bum Tanning & Airbrush Salon

If you’re not comfortable stripping down for an airbrush tan, Beach Bum Tanning in Fairfield offers every kind of tanning service under the sun. You can get a fake glow and keep your modesty in one of their tanning showers, which include Mystic Tan or the California Spray Booth. While you’re there you can even get your teeth whitened! After all, there’s no better combination than white teeth and bronzed skin.

Note that spray tans typically last about one week, but can be extended with self tanning products or less frequent showering. You can go in for weekly spray tans to keep your tan going strong every day!

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