Spring is officially here, which can only mean one thing—spring break. But even if you can’t skip town for the real deal—siestas, Tequila Sunrises, and sun—your hopes of being a bronzed god/goddess aren’t completely dead, thanks to a handful of grade-A airbrush pros who specialize in the best faux tans in town. Whether you’re looking to gain a base tan pre-travel, extend the golden hue you garnered on spring break, or fake it till summer, head to any of these sunless tanning talents for a believable golden glow.
Jennifer Dieas began spray tanning in 2008, and it wasn’t long before she became known as Jenn the Golden Girl. That led the Florida native to open her own one-stop-shop in River West, where a team of pros handles all things beauty, from signature spray tans and blowouts, to braiding and makeup (plus private parties, to boot). If you can’t swing the 12-hour shower wait time, head here: an express tan means you can hit the tub in just three hours. 529 N. Milwaukee Ave., 312-605-0905
This Gold Coast tanning destination has been giving Chicagoans a glow ever since founder Riane Schneider opened its doors in 2010. The team here takes time to customize each tan for the client, paying attention to the occasion, too. “If it's a wedding, a light glow is usually in order; if it's for a vacation, we get you looking like a bronze goddess,” says Schneider. “Airbrush tans can be high maintenance, but once you do it a few times and follow our prep and maintenance, the easier it becomes, and the better the results are.” 1 E. Delaware Pl. #215, 312-787-8677
There’s no shortage of options at this San Francisco-based beauty haven—an array of services, from brows and waxing, to lash application and makeup, are on offer at all five Chicago locations. Still, spray tans are one of their best known, thanks to an Eco Cert-approved solution and a process that is as comprehensive as it is speedy (read: 15 minutes, tops). What’s more? Feel free to wear makeup to this one, or leave it to them—an onsite “mini make-upper” is complimentary and ensures an instant pick-me-up. Multiple locations
This neighborhood favorite may be on the move now (expect a new location come April), but in the meantime, they’re making it up to clients by coming to them. In addition to offering mobile services citywide (and in the western suburbs), this team takes its tans seriously, using two different kinds of airbrushes for every treatment and calling upon contouring techniques toward the conclusion of the service. 312-725-6156
It was only after some intensive research on the sunless industry—i.e. the “gaps” that were causing clients to not trust the “orange,” faux tan results—that this shop debuted in 2009. Today, clients can head to three locations citywide, where an organic product sans streaks, smell, or orange color is applied by one of the on-staff airbrush experts. Post-spray, visitors head to an extraction booth that omits any excess solution that might otherwise be inhaled. Multiple locations
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY BLOWOUT, COURTESY BENEFIT