WTF is a comp tan? Fitness competition tans.

Fitness competition tans in Minneapolis  Session 1, Session 2, Bronzer, Glaze.

After years of being a Minnesota spray tan artist or any business you begin to learn who your core clients are. Our strong clients are bridal party tans, fabulous women who won’t use a tanning bed and of course bodybuilders. Bodybuilding has a tan all its own, which most of our clients are not seeking at all. For those brave and stoic enough for the stage – especially the bikini bodies – we love and cherish your tans.

Why do you need to be so tan?

A spectator or new to the sport of bodybuilding, you may wonder why competitors need to be that deep dark tan and how they do it. Competition tans are like other forms of stage makeup. If you have seen stage makeup for a play, you know that actors use dark lines to show facial expression to the distant audience. Your first time seeing stage make up can be like seeing an unblended contour makeup face, somewhat shocking. The bright lights of the stage make skin appear flat. Now imagine spending hundreds of hours in a gym, working on the very thing lights are reducing. Dark tans are used for more defined muscles. Those dark complected to start with use dark tan to even out any skin issues.

Dark Tans: Did she jump in a mud puddle?

Believe it or not – acquiring a dark unnatural tone is not a mistake or quick.  In order to make sure your spray tan is even, take care of your skin the weeks coming up to your competition. A weekly routine of exfoliating with a sugar scrub a few times a week, drink plenty of water, and always moisturize. If your life is already bogged down for time use spray moisturizer. We love anything that sprays on 🙂

A competition spray tan begins like all other spray tans with clean and dry skin. Shave and wax 24 hours or more before your first session. Remove all makeup, deodorant, lotion or anything oil based on the skin. On the day of your first session use a handful of baking soda mixed into a paste with water to exfoliate in the shower. Book a trial appointment to test and know your show day glaze does not run. When you book your tan appointment, think about the rest of the day and what you need to get ready for your upcoming competition. Remind yourself to do the laundry and dishes before heading out to your local airbrush artist. Liquid ruins your tan- that’s another blog post.

Two spray tans?  

Your first session is like a base tan for the rest of the process. Wear dark loose fitting clothing and avoid putting undergarments on after your tan. The first coat is dark but not to a point of causing running, streaking, or blotches from over saturation. The second session increases the darkness within the tan. Second sessions should be done 4 hours before you the show starts. During the entirety of this process you will not shower. Be mindful of if you need to wash your face. Request that your artist does not tan your face and be prepared with gloves and dark foundation for the next day. Note with that – all your stage makeup should be dramatic, just like your tan!


Fitness Competition Glaze….like a donut.

Comp tans, like a donut – must be glazed. Glazing occurs about one hour before you step on stage. Book a trial appointment with your glaze before the big day. Worst case scenario, your first session tan can be rinsed off if your glaze ran. At Tanning Cabana we use Aviva lab’s shimmer shot, a solution of glitter. You will light up with the stage lights thanks to this layer.

Wait…I have to pee

Peeing after a spray tan for a girl can be difficult. As stated above and all over our prep guide, water is spray tans only risk. Hover, straddle, or pee in a cup, you can find more information from competitors Amanda Louise, Wendy Watkins, and Heather Owens by clicking their name.


Just beginning your journey to the stage? We have found the best gym in Minneapolis to be Los Campeones, regardless of if you are body building or just trying to shape up.

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