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Hi there! Welcome to my online journal where I love to discuss everything from my favorite wedding venues, to motherhood, and adventures in parenting. I hope you find it helpful!

Hi, I'm Amy.

My top 3 Spray tans to use before a Boudoir Shoot

Self tan before a boudoir session

Here are my top 3 spray tans to use before a boudoir shoot because in 2018, I was diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma on my shoulder. A long-time lover of the warm California sunshine, my days of afternoon naps on the beach finally caught up to me. I was only 36 and I didn’t expect to have to hang up my bikini so soon. Now, I have switched to organic sunless tanner to get my golden glow all year long. When it was my turn to step in front of the camera for a boudoir shoot, I knew I was not going to get half-naked without some color first. It was January, so my only option was to get a professional spray tan before my boudoir shoot, or do it at home. Luckily, I have three tried and true options that I love. If you are like me and want a golden glow before your session, I highly recommend these products which can easily be found on amazon. This is not a sponsored post and I am not receiving any products or credit for the links below. Just my own good old-fashioned opinion.

My Top 3 Tans to use before a boudoir shoot

Botanic Tree Self Tanner before a photoshoot

Botanic Tree Self Tanner

This is a really nice gradual tanner that smells great! It does not contain any bronzer so you can put it on and easily go to bed without worry of bronzer rubbing off on your sheets. It works quick but is best left on for 8-10 hours or as long as possible. I also need two rounds of it to feel like it gets me dark enough but it is perfect for winter when you just need a hint of color. I would recommend this for anyone very fair skinned. It does not turn orange at all.

St Tropez self tanner for a photoshoot

St. Tropez Express Bronzing Mouse comes in a close second.

This is a great “I need to look tan right now” tanning mouse and it works really really fast. I left mine on for 6 hours and it didn’t get me too dark. It smells very pleasant and the instant bronzer makes it easy to see where you have applied it. I would say this is a light bronzer and it doesn’t look fake at all.

Coco and Eve Self tan before a boudoir session

Coco & Eve Sunny Honey in Dark is my #1 tan to use before a boudoir shoot.

This is my go-to #1 choice. I love the shade of dark because one application gets me super golden. It also stays the longest. I usually need a really good exfoliation to get it off after about 5-7 days before applying another round. It has instant bronzer and it is dark. I would not recommend wearing this to bed but I have done it and its not too big of a deal. Even if it does transfer, it easily washes out. I like to leave this one on as long as possible to let the color really develop. It does have a stronger scent than the other two but it works so well that it is worth it. It doesn’t bother me but if you are sensitive to smells it might be too strong.



Exfoliate before a boudoir session

You are also going to want to pick up this glove kit. One to exfoliate with before you apply and when you want to get it off if it is fading and two for the application process. I do not get brown hands at all when I use this and it goes on evenly and streak-free. It is just what you need and they last a really long time.

spray tans to use before a boudoir shoot

How to use a home self-tanner:

  1. Always test your skin a few weeks before your session. DO NOT DO IT THE NIGHT BEFORE. I will not photoshop any mistakes for self-tanning mishaps so please be prepared.
  2. Shower and exfoliate your entire skin. DO NOT SHAVE and do not use a moisturizing soap. You want all of the oils and dead skin off. Yes, do it everywhere!
  3. You don’t have to but it does help to apply a simple lotion to the bottom of your feet, elbows, and knees. Adding moisturizer will reduce the amount the tan absorbs where skin is really dry. I do this sometimes but not all of the time. I would recommend it for your first time.
  4. Pump the tanner onto your mit and spread in light circular motions all over your body. There is no wrong way to do it. Generally, I start at my feet and legs and work up.
  5. If you are using a tanner with bronzer it is really easy to see where you have gone but make sure you are really covering everything. Take your time. Missing patches suck.
  6. Leave on and let dry as much as possible before getting clothes on. Coco and Eve dries really fast. I usually slip on a dark-colored but breathable fabric dress and wear it around the house as long as possible before putting on regular clothes or undergarments.
  7. AVOID WATER AT ALL COSTS! Don’t bathe your kids right after or do the dishes. You want to let it really sit for a few hours. If you come in contact with water it can cause blotching and streaking and if you have little babies avoid having them sleep on your skin as transfer can happen.
  8. Rinse it off with water and pat dry. You can use a light soap if you want but the more you let it be in the first 24 hours the better.
  9. Enjoy your tan!

Do I do my face?

Yes and no. Most of the brands make a face tanner but I rarely use it. My face cleaning regimen would strip it off so quickly that it really only stays for 1-2 days so it is not worth it for me. Most of the time my face gets a little more sun naturally than my legs so it balances out. If you want to you can take some tanner and your face moisturizer and mix them together and then apply. Or apply your moisturizer all over and then apply the tanner. Either way!

Can I cover up tan lines with home tanner?

Yes. I have used it just on only the lower half of my body because my arms and chest were dark enough and it helps to balance me out. The Botanic Tree is great for covering up lines.

Can I photoshop you if you mess it all up?

No. Test weeks beforehand, I am not able to “fix you”.

I am too scared.

No worries, you can also opt for a professional spray tan. I would recommend a pro tan with a handheld sprayer and not a machine that you walk into and it auto sprays you. I have also done both and the handheld is 100x better.

How soon should you spray tan or home tan before your shoot?

1-2 days. You’ll know once you test weeks prior how you like your tan and when to do it. I think I did mine a few times the week leading up to my shoot. Generally, 1-2 days should be perfect.

In Summary

I hope you have found this blog post helpful! If you want more guidance before your session, I got you! I have an entire Client Lounge just for you before your session with all of the deats. You will feel prepped and ready to rock out your session! Contact me here for more info and to book!


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