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Are you ready to become Shady?

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Everyone's skin is different, which means your Shady Tan might not look the same as your friend's- yes, even if you use the same bottle! Our formulas are designed to customize to you! But one thing is important, no matter what look you're after- taking care of your skin before, during, and after is key to faking it properly.


                        - Amanda


So it's your first time, huh?

Not sure what to expect when getting a Shady Sun tan? No worries, we've been there too. 

Checkout our step-by-step guide to getting the perfect Shady Tan at home.

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Getting Ready
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  • Most Shady Tanners have ideal results when they apply their tan 1-3 days before their event.

    • Keep in mind, Day 1 of your tan begins 24 hours after your tan is applied.

    • Our tans typically last 5-7 days on average, with many Shady Tanners keeping results for closer to 10-14 with proper prep and aftercare.

  • Get your nails and hair did at least 24 hours in advance! This is the easiest method to ensure natural-looking results. We have special methods for protecting them during the tan, so no worries keep reading.

  • If you are removing a previous self-tan and know it loves your skin, try applying a body oil prior to bathing to soften your skin and aid in removal. Pair that with a steamy shower and our Shady Removal Mitt and you should be like new again! 

  • Keep your skin moisturized (usually, a minimum of once-twice a day is ideal) until the day of your tan. 

    • Hydrated skin is key to a successful faux tan and that starts before the tan is even applied. 


  • Shower and exfoliate your entire body thoroughly.

    • You will need a good, grainy scrub- Bath & Body Works or just a loofah will not cut it, babe!​

    • Make sure to pay extra attention to knees, elbows, ankles, and any other areas dry skin tends to accumulate on your body.

    • Need some help? Pick up a Shady Removal Mitt for optimal results.

  • Body hair removal should be completed in advance.

    • Shaving should be done at least 24 hours before your tan.

    • Waxing should be done at least 48 hours before your tan.

  • This will be hard, but make sure to avoid moisturizers, traditional deodorants, perfume, oils, or makeup to your skin after you shower- you need a fresh, bare canvas.

    • These products can create a barrier on your skin, preventing the absorption of your sunless tan and your overall tan development.

    • Traditional deodorant usually contains aluminum- this can react with the self-tanning solution and turn your pits a lovely shade of neon green- it's not a cute look.

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Becoming Shady
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  • Have in mind what your tanning goals are before you apply your Shady Tan.

    • Our self-tanners work by layering- super easy!

    • 1 coat = Golden Glows

    • 2 coast = Bronzey Hues

    • 3 coast = Deep Dark Tans

  • Think about your schedule. Can you stay dry all day or do you have something to do later? This will help determine if you can apply in the morning or if you should do it the night before.

    • Both options will be equal in color results and longevity. ​

  • Make sure all jewelry is removed. 

  • If it is poor weather the day of your tan and you have a busy day- pack an umbrella!

  • Things to consider when deciding on your self-tan wear:​

    • Consider your clothing options and activities for the following week when deciding on tan lines.

    • Any tan lines created will remain for the life of your Shady tan.

Better when we're together _____________


  • Apply a light layer of oil-based lotion to palms, finger and toe nails, sides of your feet, and heels. 

    • If your elbows, knees, ankles, and/or knuckles are drier- feel free to apply a thin layer of lotion to those areas.

  • If using our Shady Foam- apply 1-2 pumps of mousse to your Shady Tanning Mitt and apply to one section of your body in a circular motion until bronzers are blended.

    • One body section = one thigh, one forearm, your stomach, etc. The smaller the better.​

  • If using our Shady Tan in a Can- spray lightly but directly onto your skin, focusing on one section of your body at a time. Blend with Shady Tanning Mitt, if needed, in a circular motion until bronzers are blended.

    • One body section = one thigh, one forearm, your stomach, etc. The smaller the better.​

  • Start with limbs first, working towards your heart, then your torso. This will help boost your circulation while bronzing. 

  • When tanning your face with Shady Foam, 1 pump works great. Blot spread mousse by pinching thumb and fingers together. Then blend in smaller circles, just like the body. 

    • ​Some find a fluffy makeup brush to be very helpful on the face. Pump directly onto the brush, dab onto your face, and then blend. 

  • When tanning your face with the Shady Tan in a Can, spray solution lightly onto Shady Tanning Mitt. Then blend in smaller circles, just like the body. 

    • ​Some find a fluffy makeup brush to be very helpful on the face. Spray lightly directly onto your face and then blend. 

  • When blending hands and feet, some find a fluffy makeup brush to be very helpful.

  • When tanning your back yourself...

    • Secure your mitt to a kitchen spoon by sliding the spoon inside and wrapping a hair tie around the bottom. This will give you some extra reach!

    • Use a mirror

  • Take your time! This is self-care, remember. ​

The Shady Life
Image by Jakayla Toney


  • While the solution tends to wash out of most clothing, better safe than sorry- rock your old or least favorite threads.

  • Wear dark loose-fitting clothing and open shoes, like flip flops, after your bronzing treatment session.

  • Do not wear light-colored or tight-fitting clothing.

  • We recommend clothing that provides full coverage to protect your developing tan from weather, kids, pets, and unexpected mishaps.

  • Please try your best not to touch your sunless tan with your hands, prior to your first water rinse. The active ingredient may transfer color to your palms. 

  • You will need to wait 6-8 hours before showering. 

  • Before your first shower you should NOT:

    • Get wet

    • Sweat

    • Accept puppy kisses

    • Apply any products

    • Wear light-colored or tight-fitting clothing

    • Sit with your skin directly on leather

  • During your first shower you can expect:

    • The cosmetic bronzer in the solution will ​rinse off. Make sure to rinse each part of your body until the water runs clear.​

    • Any "spray tan smell" to disappear

    • If you see streaks or uneven patches, rinse again. This is probably just bronzer that's washed off unevenly.


  • Moisturize at least once to twice daily with an after tan safe lotion, like Shady Afterglow.

  • Avoid mineral oil and harsh cleansing products.

  • Always remember to pat your skin dry and avoid exfoliation.

  • Stay hydrated! This is the most overlooked step, but makes the most difference in your sunless tan when it comes to quality, longevity, and even fading. 

  • We do not recommend the use of Dove products or traditional bar soaps in the shower. Stick to gel body washes, like Shady Rinse.

  • Always remember- you are your same shade of pale underneath. Sunscreen is your friend!

  • Chlorine and salt water can dry your skin and cause your Shady Tan to speed up the fading process.

  • Avoid soaking in hot baths or hot tubs.

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Now, let's #getshady!

Still have questions? See the FAQ page!

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