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.

You will need

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

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.

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.

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.