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Airbrush versus Booth? You Decide!

Updated: Mar 19




Most people who have tried a custom airbrush tan know that is a completely different service than a spray tan booth. However, sometimes we are compared to a booth by people who haven't tried both, or maybe they've had a poor spray tan experience. Let's define "custom airbrush tan" before continuing. At You Glow Girl, that term means a sunless tan that's truly customized from the solution blend to the color depth and all the steps in between. Let's take it a step further to define with a luxury experience means to us. Luxury means including rapid solution options and our Glow Dust for every appointment with no up-charge. Do you want to be more golden or brown? We can do that too! Every client should have these options to elevate their result. It also means truly listening to the client's desired outcome and doing our best, through color matching and artistry, to make that happen! Now, let's break down the pros and cons of each!


Booth - (1) A booth is convenient if you don't want an appointment and prefer to pop in. This can be a good thing, but it can also be a negative if there are long wait times, which is often times the case in busier seasons. (2) A booth may be a good option for the day to day if you don't care about how your hands and feet turn out. A knowledgeable spray tan artist knows to spray those areas lighter because they develop quicker. Technology hasn't advanced enough yet with a both to know the difference. (3) A booth may be a good option for someone who is very shy or modest. With a hand spray tan, you can wear whatever makes you feel comfortable, but sometimes, people don't like the thought of being in front of someone else in a bathing suit. (4) There may be a couple options for different solutions with a booth, but there is not much variety, and the mixture is definitely not custom blended. (5) Oftentimes the solutions being used in a booth are brands that are mass-produced and bottled way in advance of when they are actually used. Solutions have a shelf life of 6 months so if you're not getting a fresh batch, you may be disappointment in the outcome. I would ask before tempting fate! (6) Sometimes larger companies are able to do heavily discounted, if not free, spray tan events, which can be nice for your pocket book.


Custom airbrush tan - (1) Most often you need an appointment for this service. Type A personalities, like myself, may prefer this, but others may not. An appointment will save you from having to wait. (2) A quality airbrush tan can be more expensive, but there is a reason for that. Solutions are often more expensive, other products are being used, and you're paying for someone's skill. (3) VENTILATION! To me, this is the biggest deciding factor in what direction to go. At the end of the day, DHA is a chemical. It's in all spray tan solutions and sunless tanners. You want to limit how much you are inhaling. A booth has a system set up to extract some of the fumes, but if you've been in one, you know you're still choking on the spray tan leftovers. You shouldn't be able to smell much of the spray tan, and you definitely shouldn't taste it. (4) Behind ventilation, the biggest advantage an artist has is to truly tailor each customer's experience in every way imaginable.


These two services really are very different! It really is amazing how far the sunless industry has come, and it is nice to have options. It's constantly evolving, which is part of what makes it so fun! There are always new solutions to try with shorter rinse times and truer brown undertones. There is always a new gun, new drying powder, or ventilation system to up your game. We are so grateful to be in the sunless biz and able to provide Knoxville with beautiful tans!



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