I’m a wannabe tan person. Try as I might, when the sun comes out, I don’t tan, I freckle. So before I geared up to head down the aisle two years ago, I went in search of the perfect spray tan. I found a place at home in Wisconsin that was amazing: golden, streakless, and it lasted through the honeymoon. Ever since, I’ve been in search of an equally fantastic faux glow here in the Twin Cities. I’ve tried a handful of locales, but none were quite right: some were too dark, others too lite, a few too expensive, and the worst of them left a mess around my ankles and hands.
Then I went to The Glow Lounge in Edina. The tiny studio was like a beacon of artificial light that left me golden and glowing in all the right places. Not only is the color rich and dark, but owner Mollie Michura has the process down to a cool 20 minutes. Upon arrival, my tech worked with me to determine the right tone for my skin color—I recommend starting with level one, it still felt pretty dark and you can always go stronger next time. Then she used a heat-infused airbrush system to keep me warm while she sprayed. On my second visit, as I was gushing about the length of time my tan lasted, my sprayer mentioned that the heat actually helps to open your pores, which is why the color stays rich for so long (for me that was nearly two weeks) and it fades evenly. The heat also allowed my tan to dry instantly, which meant no sticky mess for the remainder of the day. Twelve hours later, I was rocking the best faux glow of my life.
Before you head on over to France Avenue for your own dose of sunkissed goodness, keep these tips in mind:
- Bring dark, baggy clothes to wear home. You’ll be more comfortable and don’t want to risk smudging the bronzer on something white.
- Be prepared to look dark—I mean really dark—before your shower. I usually go for a 5:00 p.m. appointment and then shower the next morning, and I’ll admit, I was a little alarmed by how dark I looked after that first time. But once I rinsed off the bronzer, the color was perfect—so don’t fret.
- Do a trial before your wedding day. What works for me in terms of color, may not work for you, so give it a try well in advance. Consider getting sprayed for another, less important, but still fun event such as your bachelorette party.
- Start light. It’s better to be under tanned than over tanned.
- Shave and exfoliate a day before you go. Also, don’t wear any makeup or lotion to the appointment. You want your skin to be a blank canvas.
4352 Frace Ave. S., Edina, 612-599-2911, theglowlounge.com
**Editor's Note: Since having a daughter a few months ago, my need for a special occasion spray tan has greatly decreased. The above photo was taken two days after my first Glow Lounge tan at my niece's tutus & mustaches birthday party.