“Pale today, tan in just a few hours,”
is the motto of Coronado Glow,
the new mobile spray tanning business on “island”.
Because my ethnic background is part Sicilian, I’m one of those people who’s naturally blessed with an olive complexion. Wearing a big floppy hat, I can sit under an umbrella at the beach for a few hours, and still walk away looking bronze. (I know the expression is bronze goddess, but I’m a realist so let’s just keep it at bronze.) I’ve never tried a spray tan before because, quite frankly, I never really felt like I needed one.
With a Hawaiian vacation planned sometime in the near future, I recently ventured on a bathing suit shopping expedition, and as I stood in the dressing room, I looked at myself in the mirror, and felt rather blah (and not just because of all the delicious pizza and burger reviews I’ve recently done.) Plagued by our cold, wet winter, I noticed that my skin had taken on an ashy, dry-looking tone despite the fact that I regularly moisturize. I certainly didn’t look like I live in Southern California, that’s for sure!
I had to decide whether I wanted to go sunbathe or try a spray tan instead. Now that I’m in my 40s, I’ve started to notice sunspots appearing on my skin, and getting a spray tan felt like a much more sensible approach to revitalizing my skin rather than exposing my skin to harmful rays from the sun.
To rejuvenate my skin and make me feel more mentally ready for my upcoming Hawaiian vacation, I decided to make an appointment with Coronado Glow, the new mobile spray tan business owned and operated by military spouse, Elizabeth Collado. With a few clicks of my mouse, I was easily able to set up an appointment online.
I’ll admit that I had a few concerns about trying a spray tan. I was terrified that I might turn out looking like an Oompa Loompa or appear too “presidential”. (Yes, I went there.) Despite my hesitations, I powered through, deciding that even if I ended up looking too orange, it would only last for a few days.
Even though I booked my appointment online, I decided to give Elizabeth a call to find out what I should do to prepare for my spray tan. She advised me to shower twenty-four hours beforehand and exfoliate with a washcloth. Additionally she asked that I avoid all lotions and perfumes so there wouldn’t be any products on my body that would interfere with the spray tan products she would be applying, and reminded me to remove my jewelry.
Setting up an appointment with Elizabeth gave me an excellent excuse to tidy up my house because rather than me having to travel to her, Elizabeth came to me to apply the spray tan. Talk about convenient!
Elizabeth was punctual, and as soon as I met her I instantly felt at ease as she greeted me with a warm smile. As she set up the spray tanning tent, we chatted for a few minutes, and she shared some pertinent information about the products she would be using to apply the spray tan. I was pleased to learn that she uses hypoallergenic, vegan products that have not been tested on animals.
With my hair tucked neatly under a mesh shower cap, I was given the choice to wear as much or as little as I wanted to wear as she prepared to spray me. I decided to remove all my clothing with the exception of my underwear because I wanted to be able to see if there were in fact tan lines afterwards. It felt mildly odd disrobing in front of someone I’d only met face to face just a few minutes before, but it was far less of an intrusive feeling than it would be going in for a physical or getting colon hydrotherapy. I’m not as fit as I’d like to be, but I didn’t feel self conscious or feel like Elizabeth was analyzing my flaws; she’s definitely a people person with a delightful disposition, removing any potential sense of awkwardness from the situation.
Elizabeth applied a barrier cream to my hands and feet, which are the trickiest spots of spray tanning because those areas that have a tendency to look uneven afterwards. Before she began spraying the Vani-T Velocity solution, she warned me that the spray might feel cold, but as she applied it, I found the temperature to be refreshing. The directions she gave me were clear and succinct, easing my mind as well. (I’m a huge fan of Friends, and kept thinking back to the episode where Ross didn’t understood the spray tanning directions, leaving him with too much tan on one side with none on the other.)
After no more than twenty minutes of following Elizabeth’s easy instructions, consisting of turning, moving my arms and legs, and holding my breath for just a few seconds here and there, the spray tan was completed. It couldn’t have been any easier! I was pleasantly surprised that the spray tan solution didn’t have a powerful or unpleasant scent. I, of course, couldn’t help but peek at my tan lines, and boy was I amazed that the results were immediately noticeable!
As Elizabeth packed up the tanning tent and equipment, I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about Coronado Glow, and learn what I could do to maintain my new tan.
Q & A with Elizabeth Collado
What got you interested in starting a spray tanning business?
It was out of necessity. I was tired of driving off the island to get my spray tan, and it was costing me too much money so I decided to invest in my own products, and realized that maybe other people here might want the same thing.
My husband bought me the spray machine and kit. I began spraying my friends and started spraying myself, which is very interesting to do. That was that, and I then I figured, “Might as well start my own business!”
I live in Coronado, but I don’t want to go in the sun all the time. I had a skin cancer scare, and had to have a mole removed that popped up out of nowhere. The doctor warned me, “You’ve got to be careful in the sun.”
I also ride my bike a lot, and get weird tan lines even though I’m not a person who lays out on the beach often. When I go to military balls, I want a nice tan without the tan lines taking away from my gown. This started off as just something I was doing in my own house for myself, and grew out of necessity as I realized other people here were in similar situations.
Tell me about the products you use.
I use Vani-T, which is made in Australia. It’s all natural, cruelty-free, environmentally friendly, and vegan. It’s a great product because I feel that I don’t have to mix a lot into it to get good results. For me personally, from what I’ve seen out there and what I’ve used, Vani-T has a very natural bronzing effect. I wanted something that was environmentally friendly and hypoallergenic, something that’s going to be good for everybody. I don’t like buying products that are tested on animals because I have one myself.
Why can spray tanning be beneficial?
First of all, it helps preserve your skin. There’s a lot of premature aging we do to ourselves exposing our skin to the sun and different chemicals in our environment unfortunately, which isn’t as healthy as it once was. It’s a nice way to get a tan without having to lay in the sun and experiencing the harmful side effects of sun exposure.
It’s also a great confidence booster! When I have a tan, I feel leaner, like I’ve lost ten pounds. You see more definition. Body builders get spray tanned often because it shows off every bit of definition.
For me personally, the biggest benefit is how it preserves my skin and makes me look. People who are getting ready to compete in a dance competition may want an even color so there are no distractions while they’re performing, and it’s also great for women who are preparing for a formal event where they don’t want to have farmer’s tan.
What steps should clients take to prepare for spray tanning?
I recommend that you exfoliate and shower twenty-four hours prior to your appointment (eight hours at a minimum, if it’s in a pinch.) You do not want to apply any lotions, perfumes, creams, deodorant, or anything prior to your appointment because that’s going to change your pH balance, and it could throw off the tan completely and/or make you patchy. If you’re getting your nails done, do that beforehand. You don’t want to stick your feet into the foot spa or have them work on your hands because the spray tan will come off. That’s really it.
How long does a typical spray tan last?
It all depends upon the tanner. I can’t guarantee how long anyone’s tan is going to last. Everyone’s body is different. Typically spray tans last seven to ten days, sometimes five. It really depends on how your skin takes to the tanning. It also depends on your post care.
What steps should clients take to ensure that the spray tan lasts as long as possible?
After care if pretty simple! Right after the spray tan, avoid contact with water. Don’t go wash the dishes. No contact with water depending on the type of tan that you get. (It’s nice that Elizabeth sprays clients in their homes because it would be a huge disappointment to get spray tanned, and then have to go outside in the rain to head home, messing up a freshly applied spray tan!)
Wait a minimum of four hours to shower with the rapid full body spray tanning. I suggest waiting six hours, and if you can wait eight hours even better. You can develop it as dark as you want it to look or as dark as it will allow you to go. The longer you’re able to wait to shower, the deeper a tan you’ll have.
Use a mild soap when you shower, and afterwards use proper skincare. Don’t exfoliate too hard afterwards, and, if you can, I’d suggest patting dry. I simply use a washcloth to lightly and evenly exfoliate my skin. Remember that it’s a spray tan; it’s not permanent. Your skin cells are going to fall off, and you want the tan to evenly fade. You may exfoliate the bottom of your feet with a pumice stone if there’s any residual tanning there.
After exfoliating, I recommend using a light lotion like Aveeno. I will eventually have tan extender lotions for sale, however, I’ve never needed them. I’ve had great results with Aveeno. I’d also recommend not spraying perfume directly on your skin, and instead spray it on your clothing. There’s alcohol in perfume that can actually break the tan down quicker.
Is there anyone who should avoid spray tanning?
If you’re pregnant, you should make sure your physician clears it first. It’s not that spray tanning is bad, but there’s DHA in these products, and directly inhaling anything isn’t necessarily good. I wouldn’t want to spray tan a pregnant woman until I knew for sure she spoke with her doctor first.
Otherwise anyone is a good candidate for spray tanning. If you have really dry skin, it’s good for you. Sometimes if you have a lot of freckles, they’ll come out more, but that happens in the sun too.
I won’t know how anyone’s body will react until I spray him or her. Everyone’s different – different hormone levels, whether it’s their time of the month, whether they’re on hormone replacement therapy, whether they’re going through menopause, etc. There are lots of different factors that attribute to how a spray turn will turn out. If someone already has a spray tan, the body needs to be completely free of the previous spray before another spray tan can be applied. Exfoliate! Exfoliate! Exfoliate!
Do you offer any group rates, military discounts, or frequent flyer rewards?
Right now I’m offering a $30 introductory rate for Coronado residents and military members – it’s an even rate for everyone at the moment. I’m probably going to be keeping those prices for the next three months. Prices will go up eventually, and then I will be offering a military discount. I’m offering the introductory rate to give myself a chance to learn about my clients, and get my name out there. I definitely don’t want to break anyone’s banks; I want people to be able to do this.
I will be coming out with package plans, such as buy nine tans, get the tenth free. I do group discounts too for six or more. It’s great for brides, who will tan for free, and then the rest of the bridal party can pay. For groups of six or more, the host will get a free tan. It makes it easier to do it all in one shot!
What forms of payment do you accept, and what are your business hours?
I have Square, and I also accept cash and personal checks. I take it all! I apply spray tans Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.
For a full list of services offered and to book an appointment, click here. (Additional photos are also provided on the Coronado Glow website.)
I was planning on waiting eight hours to shower, but decided to shower after six hours because I noticed how dark I was getting. When my nine year old daughter returned home from school, she immediately noted my new tan, and assumed with a bit of envy that I must have spent the day at the beach. Ha!
As Elizabeth informed me in advance, I noticed a lot of color washed off the first time I showered, but later when I took a second shower the water ran clear as usual.
I woke up the next morning feeling a bit leaner just as Elizabeth said, which, of course, was a very welcomed feeling. My legs no longer had that ashy and dry looking color, making me feel confident enough to wear shorts. It was nice looking in the mirror and seeing my reflection with a tan, making me feel like summer is already here. Along with rejuvenated skin, I felt like I had a refreshed attitude, and I liked that the spray tan covered up my tan lines from running.
The only part of my body that had any hints of orange, and they were minor at that, were the palms of my hands, mainly the base near my wrists and my thumbs. If it truly bothered me, I’m sure I could have scrubbed it off, but it wasn’t obvious so I left it as is. Elizabeth stopped by two days later to check on how I was doing, and told me that it is common for the palms to take on a little of the spray tan color. She advised me to use fresh lemon juice, mineral oil, a pumice stone, or even the rougher side of a kitchen sponge if I wanted to remove it, but, as previously stated, it didn’t bother me. After three days, the orange tinge on my palms disappeared.
I was impressed with Elizabeth’s attention to detail, especially how she checked in with me the next day to see how my tan was. She assured me that if I noticed any blotchy areas, that she would come back and respray me at no additional cost. Overall the entire process was effortless, and I would definitely consider getting another spray tan. My husband, who’s Irish and fair-skinned, is thinking about booking a spray tan session with Elizabeth before we head to Hawaii so he will look and feel tan even though he will be slathered from head to toe with sunblock since he burns so easily. Aloha and mahalo, Coronado Glow!