I try to talk to people who compete and ask a ton of questions. Some people I have met say you should always use the tanning company at the show, others have said its better to tan yourself.
To save money I decided to tan myself, and have done my own tan for all my shows. This is certainly the most affordable option, so it that’s what you are looking for I will share my experience with you. There are a few different tanners that are recommended; I have heard of Pro Tan, Jan Tana, and Liquid Sun Rays. I personally heard to use Jan Tana, so that’s what I have used. It’s quite affordable for a bottle I found it for $15 + shipping. I also ordered the Jan Tana skin prep and Jan Tana skin lotion. I have only used Jan Tana, and it works really well, so I will stick with it. From all the talking and googling here is what I have done for tanning:
One month out start applying lotion after your showers, I just bought a big bottle of lotion and used it every morning. One week out start using your exfoliator, I just bought those gloves from Wal-Mart for $2.00 and scrub really good every shower. I have noticed problems with my stomach area so be sure so scrub extra well on stomach, I know in the future I will.
Usually shows are on Saturday. If so I start my tanning on Friday. You can determine when you put on your first coat, but before I start I shower and exfoliate one last time, but do not lotion after this shower. After I am fully dry you can start your first coat. I do recommend gloves so you don’t over expose your hands. Your first time applying it can be very surprising, its super dark, and its only your first coat. Jan-Tana comes with a puff, I just spray some tanner on the puff and start with my legs and work my way up, the back can be hard to do on your own so if you have someone to help that’s probably best. I usually do not do my feet or hands until my last coat the next morning. Also for my knees and elbow areas I wait until the puff is empty and then use it to lightly blend my knees and elbows. Also, I use the tanner up to the jaw bone area, but also try to keep the neck a little lighter than the rest.
After I get my first coat on I wait a few hours, and then put the next one, then a few more hours and get the next one on. The last coat goes on in the morning, this is when I deal with my hands and feet. For me to far Jan Tana goes on quite well, it’s not streaky, and easy to blend in. I make sure I have a full bottle for a show, I also bring my puff and bottle with me to the show in case I need any touch ups.
After you get your tanner on be very careful of anything, going to the bathroom, going outside, the tanner is very sensitive to water. Little water spots will show up if you are not careful. Also note that it gets everywhere, and on anything, be careful of your toilet seat, be sure to use special blankets and pillow because some will wipe off while you sleep.
I have found that my tan looks best with 4 coats of Jan Tana.