Most competitors have a preference for the type of competition color used. When deciding on the most appropriate type, research the amount of application necessary, costs, and skin sensitivity. Remember, all methods are only temporary, they will rub off on clothes, and some can even stain clothing. Lets look at three of the most common methods used to achieve competition color.
|Spray tans require less work for the competitor, but are typically more costly. Many shows have professionals who attend and will apply the color for packaged pricing ranging from : $45 for one application to $150 for 2-4 coats or for both the morning and evening show. It usually involves a relatively large room where competitors are taken several at a time and sprayed or airbrushed to their desired color. Similar to all other applications, the color must dry and as it does it tends to appear darker. This type of application is not for those who are insecure about being seen in the buff by others. There is minimal privacy while being sprayed and there are usually several people in the room getting worked on simultaneously. If privacy is an issue, a similar look can also be achieved using spray tans found in salons. The only drawback is that at the salons, it is often done in a stand up booth with a machine that cannot touch up any missed or streaked body parts. There are also kits you can purchase that include do-it-yourself spray tans, but these are often costly to purchase the start up material.|
Although traditional tanning tends to give a more natural looking color, it is obviously not as healthy for your skin over prolonged periods of time and can quickly dry your skin often giving it a tanned, but leathery appearance. Many competitors choose to use tanning beds for a few days to get an even base color, prior to applying other products.
There is also the option of self-tanners that are typically applied starting a week or so prior to competition. Since they take several days for the color to set in, by the 5th or 6th day a significant difference is noticed and if coupled with a spray tan, it may require only one application without skin becoming excessively dry. Netrogena, Jergens, Aveeno, and Banana Boat all have lines of self tanners as well as many others. When applying, follow all instructions, as these products can stain.
Three of the most common self-applied competition colors include Dream Tan, Pro Tan, and Jan Tana. Dream Tancomes in several forms, with the most common being a mouse like substance that can be applied with a sponge, gloves, or brush. Because the product is so dark and thick, only one coat is often required for adequate color.
Pro Tan was formerly available in a mouse and is now only available in a liquid spray. It is typically applied with a sponge brush and gloves. It requires multiple coats to be applied usually 2-3 days prior to competition. Jana Tana, which is applied similar to Pro Tan comes in a foam type spray that includes a competitor color and a competition tan (which is a darker bronzer). Additionally Jan Tana has an assortment of exfoliators, moisturizing lotions, and glazes.
One drawback to all the products is that many competitors have skin sensitivities and allergic reactions. One technique I used was to mix the liquid Pro Tan with my own moisturizer as it was being applied. It made the application much easier, because it could be applied like lotion, went on smoother, dried faster, and prevented streaking. And similar to other forms of competition color, it darkens over time.
Use of Oils for Muscle Definition
Some type of shine is typically applied to darkened skin prior to going on stage. The purpose is to enhance muscle definition. Many novice competitors use aerosol cooking sprays such as Pam and Crisco. They are much cheaper than competition oils and can be easily applied with assistance and a towel to blot off the excess.
As with other products, cooking sprays are also being prohibitied at some shows due to the dangers of slipping on floors once slicked over with the oils. They are also near impossible to remove from carpets. There are specific competition oils by Jan Tana and other companies that are less messy and tend to smell much better than cooking spray.
They range from $15 to $35 and come in sprays or gels. Again, many shows will have professionals backstage to do all the “shining” and “bikini biting” for the ladies at no charge. If that option is available I would encourage you to use it.
Dark Complexted Skin Tones
Another common mistake among novice competitors is the belief that dark complexioned skin tones do not need to use competition color. Regardless of how flawless and or dark a skin tone may appear, under the hot bright lights on the stage everything is drowned out and appears lighter than it actually is, therefore all competitors must use some type of color.
Regardless of the method used, always remember to do your research and do a test application prior to competition if possible. Many of the colors can vary depending on your body chemistry and skin sensitivity and the last thing you want is to go on stage looking orange or green from a bad color job. Additionally, remember that when showering in between applications, caution must be used so as to not wash off all the applied color (ie-spot baths tend to work better than showering). Hey, remember, it is about looking beautiful…not smelling beautiful!