It wasn’t until my early 20s that I finally accepted that my skin was not made to tan, it was made to burn. I was so envious of my friends who would spend 5 minutes in the sun and emerge as bronze goddesses. Meanwhile, I was applying every tan enhancer in the mall and would spend my summer in two shades: pale and red. While I have embraced my natural skin tone and my inability to tan, my desire to spend my vacations as a bronze goddess never went away…and thanks to spray tans even people who are lighter in complexion can fake it.
I put a call out on Instagram for recommendations for where I should go for an amazing spray tan in Calgary. Overwhelmingly, people came back and recommended Bronze Baxx and after spending some time there last week I can completely see why. The first thing you need to know about Bronze Baxx is that it’s more than just a place to go for tanning, they are the ultimate pre/post event prep destination and my new favourite way to treat myself. Of course they offer standing and lay down tanning beds, but they also have a IV drip station with on staff Naturopaths, body contouring, cryotherapy and more. My Bronze Baxx experience was focused on two of their offerings: the Hydration Station and of course the spray tan.
I started off my Bronze Baxx experience off with 30 minutes in the Hydration Station. The Hydration Station is essentially a giant lay down pod that blasts your skin with warm steam and infared lights. It’s great before a spray tan because the steam helps to open up your pores so the tan soaks right in, while also giving your skin a big boost of moisture which can help even out your skin texture for a smoother tan. It also helps with fine lines and wrinkles, circulation and stimulates cellulite reduction.
I’m not great with high temperatures and small areas but I didn’t have any issues with the Hydration Station. Your head doesn’t go into the pod, your hair stays dry and it has a fan to keep you cool and comfortable. The pod is generous in size and didn’t feel claustrophobic at all. I was in the pod for 30 minutes and felt fine with the temperature despite the steam getting up to 40+ degrees celsius! After a long day of work, it really was like a mini spa/detox for my body.
Be sure to drink lots of water after to make sure you stay hydrated.
Bronze Baxx offers a bunch of different tones and colors of tan and works with you to determine which shade and deepness is right for you. Since I’m really fair to begin with, we opted to go for a mix of their shade 8 and shade 10. Shade 10 is their standard medium color, perfect for people who are tanned to begin with and shade 8 is a bit lighter than that. I wanted my tan to be natural but noticeable so for me this was the perfect shade. There are a lot of colors between natural and fitness competition so don’t think it’s all or nothing! Oh and, going darker doesn’t mean your tan will last longer!
Their spray tan is 100% oil free so it won’t hurt your lash extensions or hair extensions!
Bronze Baxx is different because all of their spray tans are applied by a member of their team and not done in an automatic booth. This is HUGE because their team takes into account your curves and body shape to ensure you get full coverage (even in the hard to reach areas!). The tan is applied using an air brush and is done within 10 minutes!
How much or little clothing you want to wear during your spray tan is up to you. I decided to keep just my panties on but wearing nothing at all is completely acceptable. Of course the team is very professional and 100% focused on making sure your spray tan is perfect. Ladies – you’ll always be spray tanned by a female staff member, and men – you will be provided disposable underwear while a female staff member does your tan.
Extending your Spray Tan
No one wants their Spray Tan to look perfect one day and gone the next, so it’s important that you follow the spray tan basics (the rules are a bit different for the express tan – give them a call for the specifics):
- Twenty-Four hours before your spray tan, make sure you use oil free products on your skin (including exfoliators and shaving creams!). On the day of your spray tan be sure to avoid deodorant, perfumes and lotions since these can prevent the tan from sticking to your skin.
- Leave your spray tan overnight without showering and avoid water contact! That includes no doing dishes, letting your dog lick you, working out and sweating. Don’t go for a pedicure/manicure or get waxed after your spray tan or it will look like you have gloves or socks on!
- After you shower make sure you moisturize with spray tan – friendly products (not all moisturizers are created equal!). I picked up the California Tan Color Perfecting Conplex which had a bit of color in it to help extend the length of my spray tan.
- Don’t start to build your tan yourself before getting a spray tan. I couldn’t help but think that if I started applying at home tanners then maybe my spray tan would last longer but that couldn’t be further from the truth. For best results ensure your any previous spray tans or other tanning products have faded before getting a new spray tan.
I need to get this out there: my spray tan didn’t start noticeably fading until a full 8 days into my trip and was fully gone around 11 days. Full disclosure info on my tan care:
- I showered most days and applied the moisturizer right after from day 1 – 6. I used regular body wash and did not use a sponge, loofa or any other exfoliant. Some showers were more rinses and I didn’t use any body washes.
- I spent one day at a pool and two days on the beach. The rest of the days were spent touring around cities.
- The first two days were spent in Amsterdam and we got rained on a lot! I was also wearing tight clothes and hiking boots but my tan wasn’t effected at all.
- Around day 6 my maintenance routine dropped off a fair bit since my trip was coming to an end. I probably could have gotten a few more days out of the tan if I kept going!
I was amazed by how well my tan stayed and how natural it looked throughout the whole trip. It faded naturally and evenly and I continued to get complements on my tan until the end of the full 11 days. The tan extender moisturized helped a lot and I was able to apply it without any streaks or issues.
I made a few big mistakes with my tan too: firstly, I dried off with a towel by rubbing instead of dabbing myself dry. I noticed right away after using a rougher towel on my stomach that I was stripping the tan off…I stopped that immediately and used the tan extender to fix the damage I had done. Secondly, I got a cut on my leg and used a paper towel to clean the injury…again I was rubbing the area and rubbed part of my tan right off. They key to all of this – exfoliant of any kind of not good for your tan.
Overall, I will definitely be including Bronze Baxx as an essential part of my vacation routine from now on. The spray tan gave me the golden bronze goddess tan of my dreams and definitely made me feel more confident. Looking at photos from the trip now I can really see how good the tan looked and how an hour of time spent before the trip made such a difference in my overall look.