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How to Personalize Your Tan

Sure, you're bronzed and beautiful, but that golden brown color just isn't enough. Make your tan a unique personal statement, and let the world know who you really are.


  • : Unprotected or prolonged exposure to UV rays is dangerous, and can greatly increase your risk for skin cancer and other skin damage.
  • Step 1: Pick your statement and placement What do you want your body art to say to the world, and where do you want it to be? Much like a tattoo, your graphic or phrase should represent who you are—or at least, who’ll you’ll be until it fades.
  • Step 2: Select your artist Which gifted artist will be applying your body art? Be thorough in your selection process. You may not be able to see or approve the final, painted-on design, so it’s important to trust your technician.
  • TIP: We strongly recommend that you do not do your own artwork.
  • Step 3: Grease up Change into your swimsuit. If you’re using skin-safe stickers to make your design—instead of having it all hand-painted— clean and dry the area, then apply the sticker.
  • TIP: Tanning stickers are fairly inexpensive—you can usually buy 1,000 for under $10.
  • Step 4: Apply sunscreen Apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or below over all exposed areas, and hit the sun.
  • Step 5: Apply your art Using a high SPF sunscreen as paint, have your artist quickly apply your image or phrase with a paintbrush. In a pinch, a finger will suffice.
  • Step 6: Tan Take about an hour to lie in the sun, or spend an adequate amount of time in a tanning booth. Be sure not to smudge your design.
  • Step 7: Use sunless tanner If the sun’s not for you, apply your design using nonporous liquid latex. Allow it to dry, and then use a sunless tanner based on DHA, a natural sugar that stains the skin.
  • Step 8: Show off your art Once your design is burned in or painted on, take the next five to 10 days to show off your statement.
  • FACT: An SPF (or sun protection factor) is actually a ratio. It shows how much time it takes for sunscreen-protected skin to burn as compared to bare skin.

You Will Need

  • An image
  • An artist with a paintbrush or finger
  • Sunscreens with different SPFs
  • UV rays
  • Skin stickers
  • Liquid latex
  • Sunless tanner

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