The Best Spray Tan Machine

Maxi-Mist Lite Sunless Spray Tanning KIT

Our Top Pick for 2016: Maxi-Mist Lite Sunless Spray Tanning KIT
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $239.00*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

While it may be bright and sunny outside, not everyone has the ability or the time to go outside and work on achieving that nut brown tan that’s so in demand these days. Today, modern tanning salons charge a premium for the usage of their tanning beds and overexposure to this type of UV light, whether you receive it from a bed or naturally, can be damaging to your skin and can lead to skin cancer, so what’s a viable alternative to traditional tanning methods? Spray tanning has been a healthier option for over 60 years now and the technology has advanced considerably. Gone are the days of streaky faux tans that smelled funny. Today, the spray tan uses naturally occurring, plant-based BHA to provide even tans for any consumer. There are many spray tan machines on the market today, and wading through them all is quite a chore, but luckily, we’ve done some of the work for you. Here are four of the best spray tan machines currently on the market.

Table of contents

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Ergonomic Handle
Powerful 300 Watt Turbine
Natural Tanning Solution
Ultra-compact
German Engineered Spray Gun With A Spray Nozzle
Professional Lightweight Plastic Composite Body
Perfect For Mobile Tanners
Provides Maximum Atomization With The Least Amount Of Overspray
Ideal For Home Use
Adjustable Fan And Flow Control Dial
Simple To Use
9 Foot Flexible Air Hose
Supports Vertical & Horizontal Fan Patterns
Lightweight
Detailed User Guide Manual

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Maxi-Mist Lite Sunless Spray Tanning KIT

Maxi-Mist Lite Sunless Spray Tanning KIT Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $239.00*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerOur Gold Pick comes from Maxi-Mist, a manufacturer who specializes in spray tan systems for both private and professional use. With a product line of at least ten spray tanners that range in price from a couple of hundred dollars to more than a thousand, Maxi-Mist certainly has all the bases covered when it comes to spray tan devices. Their Lite offering packs in just the right amount of features to provide a great tan for those who want to bronze in the safety of their own home.

This Maxi-Mist tanning solution comes with several great pack-ins that will help you achieve some great spray tanning results. These include a heavy fabric tent that you can order in three different colors, which are pink, black, and brown. This is an absolute must-have, as spraying solution around your home can get the DHA on your walls and furniture if you don’t protect them by using a tent. Two of the color choices are great, brown will blend in with any excess spray tan you miss when you clean the tent, black does the same thing; you’ll have a hard time seeing excess DHA on this colored tent. Pink, on the other hand, might show excess DHA, unless you are using a red based solution for a warmer glow; even then it might not be the best color when it comes to blending functionality.

Maxi-Mist was also kind enough to include a carry bag that will match the tent’s coloration. This will make this spray tan system a little more portable, and since it’s such a quick system, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem taking this tan to a friend’s house and applying spray tan together thanks to this added portability.

To help you get started, you’ll find several additional products for tanning. These include a three pack of Tampa Bay spray tanning solution, which is 100 percent vegetable-based, animal cruelty, paraben, and gluten-free. This tanning solution pack is great and provides an all-natural option for achieving the bronze tones that you want all year round. Having these pack-ins greatly augments the value of this kit and helps you get started tanning almost immediately.

The device itself comes in three different components. The first part is the 400 watt taper fan compressor motor that is lightweight, and sports a handle for easy transportation. It has a perfect amount of power for tanning multiple people, but it still will give you the controlled output that you’ll need to tan evenly and accurately.

The second component of this tanning system is the ten foot hose that attaches to the compressor. This is ridged to add flexibility, and the ten foot range is a great choice as this extensive amount of hosing will ensure that the next component has all of the maneuverability it’ll need to provide you with a full body tan.

The final component is the high volume low pressure machine (HVLP). This is the main output end of the device, and this is style of part is actually used in many applications on many different devices. For a spray tanner, its primary purpose is to evenly distribute the tanning solution in an even, wide layer. It comes with three solution storage containers that will each store several ounces of DHA solution. The device is designed to be virtually clog free, and even features flow adjustments for a wider choice of application. Once all three of these components are attached, you’ll be ready to activate the unit and begin your spray tanning.

Amazingly, this device has a 96 percent positivity rating on Amazon. While this is only out of 28 reviews, the overall written consensus is overwhelmingly positive. Mostly, reviewers love the portability of the unit and its ease of use. Here is one wife’s testimonial:

“I LOVE THIS PRODUCT! I have seriously spent SO much money over the years on self tanners and this gives an even airbrushed look after my husband sprays me”

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Fascination Spray Tanning Kit Machine

Fascination Spray Tanning Kit Machine

View it on Amazon for $169.00*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerOur Silver Pick entry comes from the tanning specialists over at Fascination. This tanning machine has a lot of great features and inherent portability that’ll make it the perfect device for your bronzing needs. It has variable settings, a easy to use operation, and comes with several add-ins that really help sweeten the deal. The best part is that all of this comes at a very reasonable price point; especially considering the over time cost of tanning in a professional studio.

Let’s start with what kind of pack-ins this device comes with. While this device does not come with a carrying case, it does include a handle on the compressor itself that will make it relatively easy to transport from place to place. When it comes to included products, Fascination was sure to include a Norvell three pack product bundle with this purchase.

Norvell is currently the industry leader when it comes to DHAs and spray tan accessories. The three pack includes: Norvell Venetian Spray Tanning Solution, which is a great standard solution for applying spray tan directly to your skin, a Norvell ONE 1-hour spray tan that dries quickly, and a Norvell XLATAN pre-Sunless pH balancing spray that you can apply before your spray tanning.

You’ll have to purchase a tanning tent separately, so definitely consider this if you are planning on purchasing this item. In terms of the main device, like our Gold Pick, this tanning machine comes in three primary components. The first is the rounded main compressor, which utilizes a powerful turbine motor that has two levels of sound baffling to ensure a relatively quiet operation. The first level of sound baffling happens directly around the motor, where you’ll find a sound dampening shell. The second layer is surrounds the first, as the shell of the device itself is designed to reduce noise.

Fascination provides you with eight feet of hosing that’s ridged for easy movement and placement. Some customers have complained that the hose itself can wear in spots but the hose itself is easily replaced. The HVLP unit that serves as the output device on this unit can utilize a variable flow when in operation. Simply adjust the output caliper and you will be able to reduce or increase the stream of DHA.

Out of the ten reviews on Amazon, this device has garnered a 90 percent positivity rating. This rating represents an overall four star rating percentage of 20 percent, and a five star rating percentage of 70. Here is an example of a five star review:

“This is a good beginner machine. I love the PH spray and the norvell products. Fairly easy to clean. And the lightest setting is for drying! The medium for faces or touch ups and the high for all over.”

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Belloccio Premium T75 Sunless HVLP Turbine Spray Tanning System

Belloccio Premium T75 Sunless HVLP Turbine Spray Tanning System

View it on Amazon for $139.96*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardOur Bronze Pick packs in some of the most extra items of any of the spray tanners in this write up. It comes to us from Belloccio, a company that specializes in tanning products who has recently merged with the manufacturers of our budget pick, Turbo Tan. Belloccio also has a line of foundation that will only amplify the bronzing that is capable through their strong product lines.

As previously mentioned, Belloccio didn’t skimp on add-ins with this product. Included with the package, you’ll find a spray tanning tent that you can use to safely apply your layers without having to worry about errant sprays ruining your home’s surfaces. This tent comes in a black and grey combination and is very large so that you can easily stand in it and have room to maneuver.

In addition to this, Belloccio has included several pieces of tanning wear to provide protection for specific areas of your body while you spray tan. The first pieces are a pair of tanning booties that you can wear to protect your potentially dry feet from absorbing any of the DHA. The second and third wearable items that Belloccio provides are a set of ten disposable underwear, which you can wear during the spraying process. The final piece, a cap for your hair, will protect your tresses from the mist that occurs while you spray your head and neck.

To round out the add-ins, Belloccio has provided a Belloccio four solution variety pack that includes DHA solutions that are measured in DHA content. These include eight percent, ten and 12 percent DHA Simple Tan Solutions. In addition to this, there is an Opulence Solution that will allow you to spray the full range of skin types from fair and olive colored skin to deep bronze skin tones.

The compressor uses turbine technology that is relatively loud, so Belloccio also included ear plugs to reduce the noise during your spray tan session. It has a 110-120V power output and can handle several applications in under an hour. It features a handle and can easily be carried from place to place. It can be directly connected to a flexible nine foot hose that leads directly to a HVLP applicator. A really cool feature of this setup is that there is a whole attached to the compressor that’s designed for you to easily store the applicator inside.

Out of the 11 reviews on Amazon, 91 percent have rated this device at a four or five star level of quality. Most have cited the ease of use to be a major positive factor of this machine, but some have also complained about the device’s loudness as well.

“I never write reviews, but for this product, I made an exception! It works wonderfully. I have had it for over a month now and use it once a week. It works like the first time, every time. Just remember to clean the solution out of your gun after every use. Excellent product!”

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Turbo Tan Premium Sunless Airbrush HVLP Spray Tanning System

Turbo Tan Premium Sunless Airbrush HVLP Spray Tanning System

View it on Amazon for $79.96*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickIf you are currently ballin’ on a budget, there are still options for you if you are searching for a good-looking spray tan. Developed by the aforementioned Turbo Tan, our budget pick has lots going for it, with great features and reliability that amazingly come in at a very low price point. It has good output, and several systems in place to ensure that your spray tan is even and easy to apply.

As we’ve mentioned in our prior pick, Belloccio has recently merged with Turbo Tan, and if you look closely, you’ll notice that this Turbo Tan unit has a lot of the same design notes as the spray tanner from our Bronze Pick. This is because they are a actually the same unit, but let’s hit on some of the features as this tanning system doesn’t actually include any of the add-ins of the previous units.

Firstly, the HPLV attachment has some adjustability functions that will allow you to control the output of the spray tan solution. If you turn the dial on the rear of the HPLV, you’ll find that a full rotation counterclockwise will make the trigger of the device impossible to pull. This is a safety feature that is very useful; especially when storing the device, or when having it in reach of little ones. Turning it clockwise will allow you to set the amount of output that you wish the applicator to release. This applicator continuously expels air out of the front of the unit, which can be used to assist in the drying of the applied spray tan.

The air cap on the front of the sprayer is also positionable, so that you can adjust the direction of the flow of DHA. With these different positions, you’ll be able to execute horizontal and vertical oval spray patterns and a fully circular spray patter that is perfect for spot spraying.

Out of the 20 reviews on Amazon, our Ballin’ Pick has a positivity rate of 65 percent. While some have expressed concern over a trigger that sometimes freezes up, many of the reviews on the site also express that the device works perfectly once you purchase DHA for the container. Here is one satisfied testimonial:

“It works great! Light weight and easy to use, and the price fit my budget. I’m very pleased with my purchase.”


Pre-purchase considerations

Cost of a Spray Tanner vs. Tanning Sessions

Simply put, these machines can be a bit expensive, even when you are considering our ballin’ pick, you’re going to be spending almost $100 on a tanner, but let’s consider a cost comparison between a spray tanner and going to a boutique every few days to have a spray tan applied. These sessions can cost anywhere from $20 to $50, and while these are okay when you only need a session for big trips, it doesn’t work out that well financially when you are planning to stay tanned for long periods of time. If you want to stay bronze throughout the summer and winter months, then it’s simply more financially viable to utilize a personal spray tan machine. Even if you buy a more expensive, feature-rich model that costs $300, you’ll still be saving cash by your sixth spray tan session.

High Volume Low Pressure Machines

This is the type of machine that you’ll most likely be using as an amateur spray tanner. This type of machine has many great features that make it perfect for the type of spray tan level that you’ll be achieving. It will usually have three settings of solution dispersion, high, medium, and low, and they can also feature a heating function that will allow you to dry easier. With the level of output on this style of machine, you can expect your spray tan sessions to take about five minutes topsat the most. When looking for a machine of this type, be sure to purchase one that has overheat protection, this will shut off the machine if it gets too hot.

Additional Materials That’ll Make Your Spray Tan Better

There are a few things that you can buy that will help increase the quality of your spray tan experience. These will, of course, cost you some extra cash, but using these can also save you money too. Here is a list:

Pop Up Tent – This is a portable area that you can use to apply your spray tan without getting the solution everywhere. Even though it’s plant-based, DHA can still stain some areas, so it’s best to protect your surfaces with a tent like this.

Black or Brown Towels – These will help you mop up any excess solution. Their coloration will ensure that any spray tan won’t show up too visibly on their surface, though they may experience some color change. It’s a good idea to have these set aside as dedicated spray tan helpers.

Blend Friend Barrier Cream – This will prevent dry areas of your body from soaking up too much of the spray tan solution. It’s a good idea to apply this cream to your ankles, knees, or hands. Barrier cream will also serve to moisturize these dry spots and add a supple feel to your skin in these areas.

Hair Caps – This will keep the solution out of your hair, and make doing your face a quick and easy process.

Foot Booties – This will keep your feet from collecting too much spray tan when you are applying it to your body.

Blending Brush – This is for blending any rough areas, so that your spray tan will be even and smooth. Some areas to consider using a blending brush are, the base of your but, the tops of your feet, and around your shoulders.

Step by Step Spray Tanning

If you are going to buy a tanning machine, it’ll help to know how to apply your spray tan evenly and attractively, so how do you spray tan? Once you have your new machine, you’ll need to know how to hit every area evenly. Here is a quick guide that will walk you through the process of achieving a even, lustrous looking tan across your entire body:

1. Rub your barrier cream into your dry areas like your feet and ankles. Rub the remainder into any crevasses that might not absorb the spray tan solution.

2. For your first application, apply the spray solution to the bottoms of your leg;, try to go from side to side, from the bottom to the top, and constantly being sure that you are wrapping your entire leg in the spray tan so that you have an even spray. Once this is complete, move on to the other leg.

3. Be sure to move each of your legs so that you get full coverage. This is very important so that you don’t have any darker areas or streaks. After you are done with your legs, you can move on to your butt. Once you are done with your lower body, you should use them as a template for how dark the remainder of your body should be.

4. Next, start with your hips. Apply an even coat in this area and wrap your spraying around to your stomach and coat that in the same way. Some apply a darker coat to their stomach area, but that’s up to you. After this is done, switch to your back. Some people change up their grip here as it gives a better tanning angle if you pull the trigger with your index finger rather than your thumb when spray tanning your back.

5. Once done with your midsection, hit up your arms. The same rules for your legs apply to your arms; be sure to get an even coat and move outwards from your shoulders to the tips of your fingers with the sprayer. Be sure to twist your arms so that you get precise coverage. When it’s time to switch arms, coat your chest on the way to your other arm.

6. Next hit your shoulders. You can utilize a mirror here to make sure that your shoulders match the rest of your body or you can go for a darker coat.

7. Finally, hit the tops of your neck and face and you’ll be done!

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

Safely attaining the beautiful bronze coloration is made much easier when you use a personal spray tanning machine. The selections that we’ve provided are the perfect items for evenly distributing that coloration that is in such demand during the summer months and beyond. If these devices don’t work for you, take a look at our pre-purchase considerations and you’ll know what you need to find a device that works well for you as well as how to apply your spray tan when you’re ready to.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. battgirl (forum member), MaxiMist Review, Tan Talk, May 20, 2010
  2. Maxi-Mist Lite Sunless Spray Tanning KIT Review, Skin Adore
  3. Pinups&Pearls, MaxiMist Spray Tan Machine/Norvell Review, Youtube, September 9, 2015
  4. Making a Comback! The Fascination 700 Spray Tan Systems, Spray On Tans, June 4, 2015
  5. Belloccio Makeup, Turbo Tan Equipment Set Up and Usage, Youtube, March 9, 2015
  6. How to Spray Tan: A guide to achieve perfect sunless color, PalmBeachTan.com

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