Bronze is the colour

As synonymous with summer as Santa is with Christmas, now is the time that sunless tanning really takes centre stage in salons all across the country. So what are clients looking for this season? And what should you be retailing?

Spray tanning and sunless tanning products are no longer confined to just summer – most businesses will report a steady trade all through 
the winter months, particularly around the Christmas party season, but it's also true to say that spray tanning experiences a big surge as the better weather comes in and people start peeling off the layers and prepare for holidays. Gone are the days of the orange fake tans; now 
formulas and products have become increasingly sophisticated, giving everything from a dark tan to a subtle sheen, basically whatever the 
client wants. 

Irish pale skintones in particular used to pose an issue for many therapists and brands, as it was traditionally tricky to achieve a believable colour on a tone that didn't tan easily. However, brands specially developed for those skintones, such as He-Shi, put paid to that, and now many other brands have the capability to create a great 
colour that can be built up on even the palest of skins.

In addition, more emphasis has been placed on the skill of the therapist. Spray tanning is no longer a shut-your-eyes-and-spray operation. Now the therapist can be trained in various techniques to enhance and emphasis certain parts of the body. Want a subtle “six pack”? A skilled spray tanner can help. Strobing and layering became common techniques used by the clever spray tanner to make a client look their 
very best when in a bikini.

So what's hot this year? Irish Beauty caught up with Katie Everitt, an elite trainer at The Beauty School and owner of The Brow Beautique salon in Drogheda who has spray tanned a huge portfolio of celebs from former Miss Ireland Niamh Kennedy to the cast of RTÉ One's Dancing with the Stars, to find out the tanning trends this season.

Top trends
Katie explains that trends are being led by the technology – and a realistic natural glow is now the most wanted look. “Last year was all 
about tan layering and strobing, although this is still very much sought-after look we find that more clients are looking for that perfect natural glow! This year seems to be all about the skin. Tanning techniques are getting so advanced now. Tan used to be something you apply on your skin before you go to bed and allow to develop overnight; however, so 
many amazing brands have now refined and perfected product ingredients to provide us with tanning products that take within three 
hours and dry within 60 seconds (some even 10 seconds!). So there is no need to sleep in tan anymore. This is also both with sprays and home tanning.”

This technology is not only making tan so much more pleasant to use, but it also has a pay-off in terms of colour, with clients now being able to choose the effect they want from the one product. “Tanning used to be ‘one colour suits all', which did not always suit the clients' skintones; 
now with different tones and shades available, it is so much easier to ensure all clients have the colour and tone that will work perfectly on their skin and easier to give the client the results they are looking to achieve. Most tanning brands also have a product that allows you to  wash off after three hours for light colour, six hours for medium colour, and overnight for dark results, or specific lotions and mousses in different shades.”

Buy Irish
Not surprisingly, in the quest to find the perfect colour, many Irish brands have stepped up to develop tanning products specifically for Irish skintones, and offer a range of user-friendly retail products for home use. “I really feel that tanning consumers are more likely to buy an Irish brand as of late these brands are more in tune to what will suit the typical Irish skin tones as well as others,” says Katie. “By brands having a wider product range they can now provide a tanning product to suit each skin type and tone, like the gradual tan that can be built up, benefits dry skin and a lighter tan finish that the colour can be built up over a few applications. The light, medium and dark tan lotions and mousses mean that you can now choose the intensity of colour you desire!”

The subject of retail products is an important one. Despite tanning products being widely available in supermarkets and chemists, the 
therapist is in a unique and important position to recommend and sell products after a spray tan has been done. The average client going 
on holidays will be open to a product that will prolong their colour or ensure that their colour fades evenly and naturally – don't feel that 
retail products will replace the professional treatment; on the contrary, the retail products will complement the treatment and enhance your role as a tanning expert in your client's eyes.

“With a wide range of home tanning and homecare products retailing alongside spray tanning should be easy,” says Katie. “I find the gradual tan is a great seller as clients can start using this 48 hours after spray, this will keep the skin hydrated and prolong the colour of the spray. Tan exfoliators are also a top retail product to remove any residue of tan from the skin and to remove dead skin cells to smooth and prep the skin prior to at home tanning or professional spray tanning.”

Honing your skills
While products are getting more and more sophisticated, there's increasing pressure on therapists to deliver a great spray tan each 
and every time. The key to this is to use great products – but also to work on your skill as a professional tanning therapist. “Client care is paramount when doing a tan,” says Katie. “Sometimes many clients 
can be nervous, so you must put them at ease. You also need to decide the right colour to use, assess the client's skin, apply barriers if and where needed, and finally apply the tan perfect. The latter is trickier than it sounds, for instance, you need to find the correct setting for the gun so it gives flawless and perfect application. You must also ensure perfect hygiene during and after the treatment and provide your client with the correct aftercare to ensure their tan will be perfect after washing the spray off the skin."

Top Tips
Katie gives us her top five tips for great tanning this summer

•  Do not underestimate the importance of exfoliation. It is so important to exfoliate your skin a day before tanning to remove any dead skin cells so your tan can develop on a new layer of skin.
•  All hair removal should be carried out 24 to 48 hours prior to tanning
•  Do not moisturise or apply any deodorant or perfume the day of tanning, as moisturiser acts as a barrier so the tan will not take properly to the skin. Perfumes and deodorant that are scented may turn the tan green in certain areas.
•  If there are any areas of dry skin, eg elbows or knees, apply a barrier to the area to avoid the tan gathering in these areas.
•  Be confident! Remember that you are the professional, and confidence in your abilities will put your client at ease.