Sexy Sunkissed Legs

Sunless secrets that will put the short back into short shorts


Summer has arrived and not too soon for most of us! This year more than ever, your customers will be excited about getting outside and enjoying some much-needed outdoor time. Before slipping on those short-shorts or cute little sundresses, thoughts of spider veins, post-quarantine flab, or pale legs will be at the forefront of many minds, and it will be to you they turn to in search of those sexy sun-kissed legs!

During the lockdown, many salons and spas have switched from providing services to selling products, both online and in-store. This change means that now, not only will you offer spray tans that create the desired results, but you can also sell at-home products to those who are less inclined to venture out, and teach them how to achieve stunning results at home.

Whether you are offering the service and/or selling products to make legs strut-worthy, preparation and aftercare are key.

Choosing the correct color and intensity and how it is applied will make or break the results.

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During the winter months, due to cold weather and poor circulation, our legs and feet often become dehydrated and can look and feel as if they have aged five or more years. Using an exfoliating mitt to slough away dead skin on the legs and feet will take years off and create a natural vibrancy, but not only that, the tan will develop better.

The ideal time to sluff is three days leading up to the day of the tan. For the next three days, while the skin regenerates, it is essential to recommend the use of a deep penetrating moisturizer, as this level of resurfacing removes the natural oils from the skin, and they must be replenished to prepare the skin.

Then in the morning of sunless tanning, using a gentle non abrasive exfoliate will create the optimal canvas, without creating microtears, from which to start. Enzymatic scrubs are ideal for this.


Hair removal should be done as close as possible to the sunless tan. If shaving the morning of, offer your customers an aloe-based PH Balancing treatment. This will coat the inside of the pores and prevent any dots from forming with the deposit of bronzer. If they are self-tanning at home, recommend that they apply aloe gel to their skin first. This will coat the pores as well.


Choosing the correct color and intensity and how it is applied will make or break the results. It is always best to choose a base that works best with the complexion. For example, if the skin is on the golden side, using a violet base will cut any orange out and create a cooler Mediterranean tone. If the skin is on the lighter side, using a formula with a lower DHA (Dyhydroxyacetone) will create a more natural tan without developing any orangey hues.


When it comes to at-home self-tanners, carry an array of delivery systems if possible. There are definite preferences in the world of self-tanning. Examples are mousses, gradual tanners, gels, or sprays. Of all the self-tanning options, mousses have gained popularity due to their ease of application. Together with the tanning mitt and a back applicator, it is easy to achieve a darker application without creating streaks.

For customers with a fair complexion, a lot of dark spots, or looking for a hint of color, a gradual self-tanner may be just enough to start. As they adapt to the color and see how their skin reacts, they can apply more to increase the depth and intensity.


The first step to creating flawless and sexy legs is to spray (or apply the tanner) evenly all over the legs. Once the desired intensity is achieved and the skin feels dry, begin contouring. The shape of the legs and thighs will determine where to shade. This will create an optimal shape of the upper part of the leg.

For legs that are heavier or have saddlebags, a slimmer illusion can be created by applying a darker coat to the sides of the legs. By standing on the tippy toes, the calve muscle will become more prominent. Shade directly into the line on the side of the upper leg, down the center in the indentation, and you will create a slightly more muscular appearance.

By working with the natural muscle tone and darkening the natural indentations of the muscles, your customer will forget about any extra pounds collected from ‘quaranteating’ and will automatically look and feel as if they have been to the gym.

Once the desired look has been created, take a finishing powder and dust all over the legs to set the tan. Use a shimmer powder or illuminator in the front quadrant and shin to create a youthful finish that glows. This is a trick used on models before they hit the runway!


Once the perfect look has been created, maintenance is key. Nothing says sexy summer legs like soft skin and a healthy-looking glow. Because DHA can be drying to the skin, using a water-based moisturizer enriched with vitamins, hyaluronic acid, and skin enhancers will not only make the tan last longer but will improve the condition of the skin. One thing to remember, self-tanning does not offer any sun protection, so always recommend an SPF to round off the perfect tan.

With your tanning expertise and stellar self-tanning advice, your customers will feel confident as they strut their way through Summer, whether up close or 6 feet away! Though arguably, everyone looks their best from a 6-foot distance these days!