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Currently available at the local tanning centers Beach Bum Tanning and SunSpot Tanning, Mystic Tan applications take place in a booth roughly the size of a shower. There, a sunless solution passes through nozzles, misting the exposed skin with a fine-tuned dye for 12 to 18 seconds, while the tanners hold their breath. Forty seconds later, clients exit the booth, towel off and — presto! — a five-day tan. Side effects include a "starchy" smell, and perspiration can cause the color to rub off on clothing immediately following a session. But devotees insist the results are far from the Cheeto orange glow bottled self-tanners deliver.
Still reluctant to frequent Mystic Tan’s pedestrian locales? Upscale spas like Paul Labrecque and Acqua Beauty Bar offer their own versions. Labrecque’s "Air Bronze" technique, $125 for two sessions, is a study in body painting. Clients doff their undergarments and pose with legs apart and arms outstretched, while a technician spritzes them with solution for approximately 30 minutes, depending on how much ground there is to cover. An adept aesthetician can even provide "contouring," misting on extra cleavage, or even a six-pack of abs. Acqua’s comparable "Fantasy Tan" is $65 for each 20-minute treatment.
It’s not a week in St. Barth’s, but hey, you have to start somewhere.