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  • Writer's pictureKim Van Tussenbroek


Updated: Sep 1, 2019

The first thing to remember when sampling new solutions is NEVER sample them on a paying client. Samples should always be used on people you can trust to sample the solutions on, who are going to give you truthful feedback and help follow the recommendations I have listed below with what a "testing client" should do, and who you are not at risk of losing as a client should the sample results not be as expected. Every solution is manufactured slightly different, with the bronzers, the viscosity and many other important factors, so this is as much a trial to see if you like using the solutions as well as what the results are going to be.

The best way to test a solution sample is to spray tan the whole body... Sample sizes should be enough to spray 2.5 people with each sample bottle.

Select somebody that the solution is going to be suited to.. spray them and ask them to leave on for 2 hours... This will give you the lightest result for that solution.

Make sure that they have done all the correct pre-tan prep and that they are instructed to do the proper aftercare as well... Take note of the bronzer colour... but don't judge the solution or the result based on the bronzer colour itself.. you need to see the final result...

Get them back in so you can see the result of the spray tan once it is fully developed. Then they should be taking a photo, or at the very least reporting in to you every day/second day as to how the tan is going... You need to see the results for yourself, so a photo at the very minimum if they can't come and see you every 2nd day.

They need to let you know:

  • How long the tan lasts

  • How well the colour holds up

  • How long before a drop in colour commences

  • Did it dry the skin?

  • Did it wear off smoothy, or did it give them "alligator skin" on it's last few days?

Then once the tan has completely worn off, you get the SAME person to prep properly, come in again and spray the SAME person with the same solution and get them to leave the solution on for 8 hours (or overnight for convenience sake), and go through the same procedures as above.

Remember 8 hours is the longest you need to leave a solution on for, after 8 hours it's like "dead" solution sitting on your skin and doesn't give any added benefit for keeping it on there..

You need to see with each solution the lightest colour that it will develop (left on 2 hours) vs the darkest colour that will develop (left on 8 hours or overnight for convenience), and you need to compare how the tan lasts with leaving it on the skin for both amounts of time to see if there is a huge difference with leaving it on for the minimum amount of time vs maximum amount of time.

Do not spray just an arm or a leg, and do not just do a stripe swab of colour as this does not give you a true indication of the true result of the spray tan. Not only do you want to see the full overall colour of result, you want to see how the solution wears with every day use over the whole body.

Sampling solutions takes time and effort and you should give the product the best chance possible to show it's true results. You shouldn't rush trialing solutions and just spray a section of the body. Each solution you test can take a minimum of two weeks to test, but it will give you a true result and true indication on on how the solution looks and how long it will last.

If you have several Brands you are testing it is best to test the same type of solution (say same DHA%) on the same person, so you and they can compare results from one solution Brand to another. Worst case scenario you can spray on different people, but if you want a true comparison - Brand vs Brand - you need the same person to test all the comparable solutions.

Testing takes time and should be taken seriously if you want to really test the solutions to their full potential.

When I am in the midst of trialing and testing my new solutions this is the way that I test (with a broader range of clients), so I can really compare results and see overall results for the whole duration of the spray tan "life"... Then depending on the client feedback and what I can see from the spray tan i tweak formulation when necessary... and start the process over again. I don't sign off on formulations until my clients are 100% happy with the results.. The clients always have been the ones to decide when they are happy with my solutions and I won't run production until I have happy clients... That way I know my solutions are going to develop and last the best that they can.

This is the way that I have always tested other solutions as well before releasing my own Brand. So, for you I suggest you doing what I have suggested above... take your time and really give the Brands that you have selected to test a chance for their solutions to really show their potential. Testing can take months depending on how many solutions you have, but I wouldn't do it any other way than I have indicated above to get true results from the solutions.

A big mistake a lot of spray tanners make when they are testing solutions is that they get somebody else to spray them so they can see the results on them... You need to spray tan people so YOU can see the results that YOU get from the solutions...

Everybody has a slightly different tanning technique and there are so many different tanning machines out there, so your technique and machine plays a part in the results also, so how somebody sprays you will be slightly different to how you may spray your clients, they may use a lot more solution than you, and hence the results could be slightly different. You may have more experience than somebody spraying you or vice versa, so results may differ.

Not every spray tanner is going to be suited to every solution, so you need to find what works best for you, your spray tanning technique and the equipment that you use, so definitely make sure that you are using the solutions to test on your clients using your machine and your own tanning technique. If you have any questions with regards to this blog please post below or email

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