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  • Writer's pictureThe Launch Gateway Spray Tanning Blog

Tips on Applying Bodybuilding COMPETITION Spray Tans

Updated: May 25, 2023

Be informed before applying a bodybuilding competition spray tan.
Don't Be Intimidated Applying a Competition Spray Tan

When you think of bodybuilders strutting their stuff on stage, you may think of bodybuilding competition spray tans that don’t look real, or even unnatural looking. Sometimes they may seem as dark as a chocolate bar, or as orange as an Oompa Loompa. In the world of competition spray tanning, the most important thing is to help your client gain as many favourable points as possible. Applying a competition spray tan properly will help maximize the appeal of the competitor's perfectly sculpted muscles making a good impression on the stage. How a spray tan is applied can make, or break your client’s hard work going into the competition.

There are many important factors consider. As a professional spray tanner, you want to ensure that you highlight and show off the bodybuilder, the fitness competitor, the model and the dancer so they become your loyal clients. Being informed and prepared is of utmost importance.

You may have been a spray tanner for years, but becoming a competition spray tanner can be intimidating on the get go. Let’s face it, the expectations of your client will be high and differ quite differently than the spray tans that you do on a daily basis.

This article will give you a few recommendations and tips as you take your first steps into the world of competition spray tanning.

Skin Prep Before a Spray Tan

Most competition clients will have put their body through high levels of fitness and dieting that will take a toll on the health of their skin. They have been through excess training, sweating, stress, food and water rationing. All of these things will be factors in how their skin will look and feel leading up to competition day. Their skin may look quite neglected, but with good preparation these hurdles can be overcome quite easily.

It is important to communicate with your client by ask ing them what type of regime they are currently using for their skin. If they have neglected skin, a liberal application of Aviva Labs Velvet Soft Moisturizing Crème will help remedy their dry skin in the days before receiving their competition base tan. Also, exfoliating their skin with Aviva Labs Deep Clean Pecan Shell Exfoliant will give them clean (naked) skin for the best possible palette for their base tan application.

Being Informed, Trained and Practiced

A good understanding of the different choices of spray tan solutions and the expectations leading up to the application of your client's spray tan will help them make an informed decision. Your goal is to make them look their best before they go under the stage lights to be scrutinized by the judges.

Let your client know the best type of spray tan solution that will accentuate their skin type and highlight their muscle definition so it draws attention to all their hard work. This will give them confidence as they strut their stuff and pose before the judges upon the stage. Make sure special attention is heeded to certain parts of the body, such as the underarms and the glutes so that your client will not lose any points.

Understanding the proper techniques of applying a spray tan on the competitor will not waste your time, or your clients by making the mistake of over spraying, or dousing the client with too much bronzer making them look unnatural. Being informed, trained and practiced will avoid any unnecessary results that could affect your client’s competition outcome.

The Competition Spray Tan

Important tip! A competition spray tan should highlight and contour the muscles, not hide them under a heavy batter of bronzer.

Applying a bodybuilding competition spray tan such as Aviva Labs Atlas Tan Instant Competition Bronzer requires a slower action of strokes that allows for a more defined sculpted look. It is much slower than the technique of the lighter softer applications of everyday spray tans. Make sure you do not go too heavy on the underarms and face so the tan does not look caked on, or clumpy, but rather giving an even natural look. Atlas Tan is designed to accentuate the defined muscles of bodybuilders and fitness models under bright stage lights.

Make sure you let your clients know the differences between the types solutions that you use, how it is applied and post care giving them the best service possible with an ultimate performance colour that will be the envy of the other competitors. Remember, your piece of art is on display with the potential opportunity to gain more clients.

Prep for the Application of Base Spray Tan

Your competitor should have well moisturized and exfoliated (naked) skin before the first application of their base tan. Great products, such as Aviva Labs Gimme Brown 14% DHA, Gimme Brown 16% DHA or an Aviva Labs City Tans (Honolulu, Vegas or Miami) that have a darker colour are all great considerations for a base tan application 1- 2 days before the competition. Allow the tan to develop overnight (less with a City Tan) and get your client to come back for any touch ups if needed and to address any concerns that they might have leading up to the day of the event. Make sure that they avoid exercising, or sweating excessively while their base tan is developing.

Important note! Judges prefer bodybuilders to be shinier on stage, but bikini girls don’t need to be shiny. It is important to understand the particular demands of the industry so as to not sabotage your client with the wrong type of spray tan for their particular competition.

Informing your client of the proper preparations will avoid any lacklustre spray tan results. Exfoliating before the base tan application with an oil free product such as Aviva Labs Deep Clean Pecan Shell Exfoliant will help turn your client's skin into a clean slate. Make sure to communicate to them that they are to avoid the use of soaps, deodorants, perfumes and creams, or any other skin products that have oil in them. Good communication between you and your client will avoid any unexpected obstacles, unnecessary results and any stress between you and the competitor.

Clean fresh skin is the palette for success!

Good Preparation Before the Competition

Additional Note! A clean shaved client before the body gets sprayed will not impede the areas that the judges expect to be aesthetically tanned and clean.

On the day of the competition some spray tan clients may ask their spray tanner to accompany them to the event so that their competition bronzer can be applied just before they hit the stage to avoid any possibility of streaking, or blotching that might happen if the bronzer was applied the night before.

Your goal is to give them the best spray tan application possible to highlight your client’s hard work as well as yours too!

If your client is wearing an outfit for a particular competition, make sure that all the areas that are expected to be tanned are sprayed to ensure no spot is missed, or any tan lines showing. Avoid wearing a hat if possible so the bronzer does not smudge the forehead if it is taken off, or wear a looser one if required. Make sure your client wears loose fitting clothes, as the competition bronzer is heavier than the standard spray tan solutions.

Also, tight drawstrings could smudge, or rub off the bronzer if pulled too tight on loose clothes. Try to avoid eating citrus fruits as they may squirt on the bronzer and alter the colour.

Being well informed on these spray-tanning tips will help you avoid any unexpected hiccups.

Depending upon your experience, your client should only need one full tanning session for their base tan, but may require touchups depending upon how prepared you are and they are beforehand. The day of the competition will require the bronzer application session with the possibility of touchups too.

The initial base spray tan can last up to fifteen days, but that is all dependent on the status of your client’s skin and what types of pre and post spray tan skin products they use. Post care skin product can extend the life and investment of a spray tan. Aviva Labs DHA laced Shower Glow coupled with Aviva Labs Skin Glow Light Tan Extender or Aviva Labs Tan Restore Gel can help to extend the life of a spray tan allowing for even fading, and most importantly help keep the skin vibrant and healthy.

A Premium Service

Many ask how much they should charge for spraying on a competition tan.

The truth is that a competition tan requires a lot of work and preparation for both the client and the spray tanner. It is a premium service and will cost more than a traditional spay tan. Some businesses give competition spray tan package with a one-time fee, while others charge based on the amount of solutions and the types of skin prep products used. Also, it is important to factor in whether the spray tanner is travelling with their client to the competition, or event.

Competition tans are a work of art and can really make a competitor shine. It is of utmost important to be prepared, practiced and well informed. These are some of the keys to your success, and your client’s success too.

Hopefully you will not be intimidated by competition spray tans, but see it as another revenue stream in the fun and exiting world of competition spray tanning.

Happy Competition Spray Tanning!

Get in touch with Aviva Labs Canada and discover what it is like to receive a natural spray tan that dries instantly and goes on silky smooth. It’s time to feel good by showing off your healthy tan.


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