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Here at Bronze Booty, we believe in getting your tan on anytime, anywhere! We’ve discussed all things tanning from tanning beds and sunshine to self-tanners and spray tans. That last one though–spray tans!
Spray tans are one thing that most people don’t consider as an in-home option, but with the magic of the interweb, we have access to virtually anything right at our fingertips! Whether you’re looking to purchase a machine for personal use, professional use, or even just for a party with friends, there are plenty of options to suit your booty!
Having your own at-home spray tan machine may sound like a luxury, but it’s definitely not impossible. We’ve located many quality, affordable spray tan machines for you to consider, so say goodbye to frequenting the salon, and say hello to my little friend! (*Aims new, awesome spray gun!*)
What to Look For in a Spray Tan Machine
As with anything on the market, you’re going to find varying degrees of quality, functions, bells and whistles. You’ll find all-inclusive packages and individual parts. With so much to look at, it can be difficult to decipher what’s important in a spray tan machine and what’s not-so-important, so let’s discuss a few things first, a little info sesh, if you will…
You Get What You Pay For
As with most things you buy, the old adage “you get what you pay for” holds true; however, when it comes to spray tan machines, this isn’t always the case, but it is mostly.
Avoid the cheapest machines. Although you may be tempted by a lower price tag, cheap machines, often engineered in China, are prone to clogs and often break prematurely. These no-name machines can be found all over. This might be an O.K. option if you’re looking for a machine to use once at, say, a tanning party, but you could end up throwing good money after bad! Tread carefully!
Most expensive does not mean the best, either! If you have extra money to spend on one of those really pretty machines, all the tanning power to you! Be warned that a higher price tag is often just to pay for the beauty of the machine, with the internal parts having equal quality to one of its slightly unsightly counterparts. It’s like paying extra for those little pinstripes on the side of a brand new car; it looks better but doesn’t increase the horsepower or fuel economy!
How Will You Use It?
When it comes to deciding on which spray tan machine to choose, it’s important to factor in how lightly or heavily you plan on using it.
Will you be using it strictly at home? If it’s something you’re looking to buy for home use, then chances are you are only planning to use it for yourself, and maybe the occasional friend!
Will you be using it for income? If so, is it for a mobile tanning salon? Will you be doing many spray sessions back to back? You have to spend money to make money if you’re looking for a machine to last for years!
Components and Accessories
In the world of spray tanning, you’ll find all kinds of parts and packages. Here’s some basic information about the setup:
Main parts: The three main pieces of equipment are the compressor, the gun, and the hose. Don’t forget, though, that you will need a place to spray (pop-up spray booth, anyone?) and the tanning solution of course! That’s pretty crucial.
Additional accessories: Pay attention when shopping to make sure it will come with everything you need, or that you purchase anything that may be missing. It also doesn’t hurt to purchase other replacement parts such as a longer hose or additional filters. Look for bundles for savings!
Look for 2-6 Inch Spray Pattern
A spray pattern of 2-6 inches is ideal considering time and money. Sticking within this range allows you to complete a tan in a reasonable amount of time. Some spray guns have the ability to adjust the spray pattern, whether it’s horizontal, vertical, or circular, while others have a single setting.
Keep in mind that a larger spray pattern will lead to a bunch of waste, which is a nightmare if you’re running a business. You might as well spray the walls with product before your client even steps in–same thing! Wasted product = wasted dollars, plain and simple.
A smaller spray pattern may not waste any product, but it will certainly take longer. It can also cast overspray into the air which is not good for health. Longer tan sessions mean you can get fewer tans done in a day. It also means holding a tan gun for extended periods of time and more repetitive motions, and that’s exhausting for the arm muscles! Think about how much more exhausting it would be to use a weed whacker on your lawn instead of a lawn mower. Exhausting, indeed! (But hey, you can catch a tan that way, too!)
Which Type of Machine Should You Buy?
Depending on how you plan to use your machine, you’ll probably want to look for the right kind of machine for the job! After all, they are not created equal! If you’re a busy entrepreneur with a line of clients waiting, chances are, they won’t want to wait a long time to get their turn! However, if you’re only using the machine for personal use, it won’t really make much of a difference in terms of the finished product (that beautiful bronze, that is)!
Airbrush Tan Machines are best for finer areas as it has a small spray pattern. This means they take longer due to needing more passes in any given area but overall, they are still effective! A plus side to having the airbrush tan machine is that it’s less prone to streaking, leading to an overall seamless tanning experience. It just takes longer, but all good things are worth waiting for, right?
Spray Tan Machines deliver better coverage with fewer passes as they have a broader spray pattern. This means that they provide a faster method for tanning, meaning you can spray out clients or friends more quickly than you will with the airbrush technique.
Siphon-Feed vs. Gravity-Feed
The location of the cup which holds the tanning solution ultimately tells you which kind of feed you’re looking at. You might not think at first that it matters where the cup is located, but the truth is, it matters, especially if you’re purchasing for commercial use!
Siphon-Feed is exactly as it sounds as it uses a siphon to get the solution to where it needs to go in order to be dispersed. Siphon feeds are the easiest to change as the solution cup is often on the bottom or side of the gun. This type of feed requires more pressure in order to be distributed.
Gravity-Feed I’m sure you can imagine, is fed from the top of the gun and relies mainly on gravity to get the solution to where it needs to be. With the help of gravity, this kind of feed does not need as much pressure to disperse the liquid.
Single-Action vs. Dual-Action
When shopping for affordable spray tan machines, you might run into wording such as “single-action” or “Dual-action.” These terms are not to be skipped over!
With a single-action gun, it’s basically preset with how the spray flows out of the gun with the air, controlled by an on/off switch or a trigger. You can still have the ability to manually adjust the spray zone, but that’s about it! It gets the job done, for sure.
With a dual-action gun, you have more control a bit easier. You can essentially control the spray zone by how hard or how soft you press on the trigger. Pressing lightly on the trigger will give you a finer pattern while fully depressing the trigger will give you broader coverage. This is good because some parts of your body have more area to cover. Think spraying a torso versus spraying appendages.
Choosing the Right Compressor
You’ll generally run into three types of compressors: Air Pump Compressors, High Volume, Low Pressure (HVLP) and Low Volume, Low Pressure (LVLP). Don’t feel pressured to make a choice until you figure out which kind would work best for you!
Air Pump Compressors are what is used for airbrushing. This is the method that takes the longest to complete a tan, but not before producing copious amounts of overspray! These were used mostly when spray tans first became a *thing* but it still gets the job done, beautifully and, well, slowly.
HVLP are what is used by most professionals as it produces a nice, consistent flow while reducing the chances for overspray. The high pressure refers to the PSI (the force in which it can release air) and is typically between 4 and 10 PSI. With more air pressure, you can tan out more clients in a shorter period of time!
LVLP is another compressor that can help get tans done more quickly at around 1 PSI. While the volume isn’t high, it has a much quieter motor which would benefit your ears if you do a lot of tans! These machines tend to be lighter and smaller than the HVLP, making for a favorable option if you need to cart your machine around!
The Finer Details
If the information above wasn’t satisfying enough, here’s some additional details to consider when shopping for spray tan machines!
Weight: Spray tan guns are made from various different materials, making some heavier or lighter than others. Obviously a metal gun will be heavier than a plastic gun, and this might be something to take into consideration when thinking about how long or how often you will be holding it.
Capacity: The cup capacity matters, and you should look for one that can hold at least 2 ounces. Rule of thumb says it takes about 2 ounces to complete a tan, but understand that bodies come in all different shapes and sizes!
Compatibility: You want to make sure that whatever you choose is compatible with each other, as far as parts, compressors, solutions, etc. It’s also a good idea to check and make sure you won’t have a hard time finding compatible replacements when parts start to wear out.
Life expectancy: Many machines list the operating time that they are rated for, and if you plan on using the machine a bunch, you want to make sure it’s up there! It’s also good to check how it’s powered: Does it run on a battery? Is it rechargeable? Does it depend on electricity?
Noise level: If you’re doing a bunch of indoor tans, you’ll probably want to make sure you choose an option that is on the quieter side, especially if you’ll be working in a spa setting!
Ease of cleaning: In order to keep your equipment running in tip-top shape, it’s best to clean it after each use. You might want to make sure this is an easy process if you’ll be doing many tans. Otherwise, it’s just a minor inconvenience.
Have all of the information you need to make a purchase? Don’t go so fast! It’s still important to read reviews. What’s even more important is answering any questions that you may have by searching the reviews for certain keywords! There’s nothing more vocal than an angry consumer, so if there’s ever anything negative to be found about anything, it’s in the reviews. Try searching for terms that hint around to overall quality.
It’s also a good idea not to depend on the stock photos for pictures of the product because it’s essentially their visual aid for sales, so it has to look nice! Refer to IRL (In Real Life) pictures posted by reviewers to get an idea of what you’re to actually expect!
Having said all of the above in a single breath, we provide you all with this list of awesome spray tan machines that you can afford along with some tidbits about each one!
Maxi-Mist Evolution TNT Spray Tanning HVLP System
Touted as a great machine for beginners, it’s also the perfect choice if you’re using it for business! It’s stated that it can handle 25+ uses per day which is more than enough to bring in the bucks! Weighing in at just 8lbs, it won’t be a pain to lug from one place to the next!
The spray gun design is such that it makes it difficult for it to clog along with a non-stick, low-clog needle. Nevertheless, it comes with spare parts for those just-in-case occasions!
Also included is a pop-up tent, carrying bag, spray heads and cups. Let’s not forget about the package of spray tan solution it comes with to get you started!
Norvell Sunless Kit – M1000 Mobile HVLP Spray Tan Airbrush Machine
Up next, we have a bundle from a top-rated professional brand, Norvell! This contains a plug-in mobile HVLP spray system that is lightweight making it the perfect system for the traveling spray tan artist! Oh, and it has an adjustable spray pattern!
One of my favorite parts about this bundle is that it comes with not one, not two, but three bottles of tanning solution, in Cosmo, Venetian, and Dark. Their tanning solutions contain none of the garb found in some of the other solutions, meaning no artificial fragrance, GMO’s, phthalates, parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, or triclosan.
The description calls for use with a Norvell brand tent (not included) but I’m sure you can use what you have on hand or go with whichever tent you want!
Maxi-Mist Lite Plus Sunless Spray Tanning KIT Tent Machine
Here’s another Maxi-Mist brand machine. What can I say, they make great products! Well, their reviews speak for themselves! Yet again, this comes in a package with the tent, carrying bag, some solution, and of course, the machine!
This spray tan machine is designed for lighter use than the other Maxi-Mist machine, rated for about 60 uses per week, which is still great if you have a mobile business! It also weighs only 5lbs, so it’s definitely a great option for taking from place to place.
I like that the cups that come with this are shaped like a cone at the bottom, making it so you waste less product when you get to the end of the solution. The bases of the cup are wide which makes it much easier to set the gun down or refill it!
Aura Allure Spray Tan Machine Kit
This bundle, I found both fascinating and convenient! While it may come with a three pack of Norvell tanning solution (score!), the rest of the bundle is Aura Allure brand.
The machine boasts of amazing atomization while steering clear from clogs as much as possible, along with a nozzle that provides a fine, ultra-silky mist. A quiet turbine means you don’t have to speak over loud noise, making it suitable for the quietest of environments. An 11.5ft. hose means you can keep your machine further away, preventing any buildup that can shorten the life of the machine.
Aside from the easy-to-use machine itself, this bundle comes with a pop-up tanning booth with the industry-standard skylight feature. If you didn’t already know, many booths are comprised of a mesh top, allowing more light to come in so it’s easier to see!
Oasis Spray Tan Machine Kit
With the company touting this machine as “the spray tanning revolution,” it’s justified as being small and powerful, and as easy to use as a hair dryer! It looks very much like one, too! Crazy, right? It’s literally an all-on-one handheld system, with no hose, because one simply isn’t needed.
This package also comes with Norvell tanning solutions, which is awesome in itself! Oh, and let’s not forget about the 25 pairs (25!!!) of eco-friendly disposable sandals. It’s worth a look!
Maxi-Mist Allure Xena Sunless Spray Tanning System
Alright, one more Maxi-Mist! I couldn’t help myself, it’s hard to choose from the best of the best! This one is yet another of this brand that can handle 25+ uses per day.
What’s awesome is that the turbine comes with a 2 year warranty, so it gives you some peace of mind to know if it breaks down, the company will have your back! (that is the hardest place to reach, after all!)
With an adjustable spray pattern, a clog-free design, and with the bonus of having Tampa Bay Tan solution products, this package has everything you need, just shy of a tanning booth!
Ultra Pro Plus T85-QC-11 High Performance Sunless Turbine Spray Tanning System
This machine comes with pretty much everything you need! This set includes an HVLP turbine compressor paired with a metal spray gun, tent, and a variety of solutions to suit all skin colors! It also comes with the tent, so it’s one less thing to order!
Along with the aforementioned, it also gives you online access to some “how-to” videos, which, to me, is a huge plus! I’d much rather watch videos than try to learn strictly from reading instructions, as do my fellow visual learners!
Let’s not forget an honorable mention for the bonus extras! This kit features all of the tanning accessories that we all love: A bikini top with bare-minimum bottoms, a cap for your hair, and some tanning flops (er flip flops, shower shoes, whatevs). Take a peek!
Fuji 3350 hvlpTAN GLO Spray Tan System
With only a few reviews, sometimes less is more! Glowing reviews rave about how much they love this machine. One review even referred to it as “the Ferrari of spray tan guns.” Although only one review hints that it’s not good for business use, it appears to be easy to use while providing a quality tan!
This system is lightweight at just over 4 lbs, even with a metal spray gun. If you’re looking for a little somethin’ somethin’ for personal use, you should definitely give this one a lookie!
Bare in mind that you’ll need to purchase tanning solution and accessories to get started. This machine comes with a 12 month warranty, so what do you have to lose?
Belloccio Salon Pro Plus T200-11, 2 Stage Turbine Sunless HVLP Spray Tanning System
This machine says it all in it’s model name, alone! “Salon Pro Plus.” That can only mean it would make a great machine for business use! With a 2 stage turbine, you can expect the unit to run rather quietly, and with a 2 year warranty, expect it to last!
This system also comes with free e-training videos along with a bottle of Belloccio’s Opulence solution, which the company touts as the best on the market. But don’t take their word for it or ours, check it out for yourself!
SunFX Pro Spray Tan Applicator
Last, but certainly not least, we bring you SunFX Pro Tan Applicator! Although this isn’t a full machine, this is a must-have if you decide you don’t like the spray gun that comes with your machine, or if you’re simply looking for something more superior!
It’s engineered to give you the best kind of mist possible, providing minimal overspray, giving you the most tan for your tush! 25-30 tans per liter? Yes please! Consider it a royal upgrade!
So what are you waiting for? Snag yourself one of these top-notch spray tan machines that won’t break your bank! There is a machine whispering your name…which one is it?