Sonia posts on Facebook, ‘Looking for a spray tan Thursday night.’ There’s a myriad of responses with techs posting links to their page and then you see the bargain of the year, or so you think. ‘I’m available, I charge £10…….and I’m mobile!’ Red flag! Red flag! Huge big fat hairy red flag warning!

Now, we’ve all been in financial dire straits at some point in our lives and I’m not for one minute knocking folks facing hardship but for anyone offering spray tanning services for £10, stay away, even more so if they’re mobile unless of course, you don’t care how your tan turns out.

And here’s the reason why……..

Scenario 1

Tina’s Ten Pound Tans takes 20 minutes to pack her stuff. She drives 20 minutes to your home. Takes 10 minutes to set up where she pops her tent on your lovely new Axminster deep pile cream carpet. It’s ok, she’s placed a towel underneath. She gives you her top chat as she sprays you. Then packs away her stuff whilst you’re drying your tan with your super blaster hairdryer. So in total say another 30 minutes. Then whoopsie, Tina’s spilled dark brown solution on your dream carpet and then the dug walks through it. That’s ok, Tina’s insurance will cover it. Oh wait…………. ‘As she shouts, ‘See ya Sonia.’ Tina drives the 20 minutes home or to her next Client. Tina’s total time is 1 hour 20 minutes plus your new carpet all for only £10! Ca ching! BARGAIN!

Scenario 2

You arrive at Tina’s Ten Pound Tan’s salon/house to be tanned for the gala event of the year. Tina uses a well known brand with the initials BS! What you don’t know is that it’s loaded with the cheapest ingredients, parabens and contains more petrochemicals than a nuclear power plant. Trust me when I say BS is basically radioactive. She asks if you’d like the all new ultra uber dark. You’ve got red hair and your skin is a whiter shade of blue and you’d love to, just for this once, look like the dark side of the moon. You know where this is heading.

Tina gives you a damn good clart (clart is one of my most favourite Doric words) but her next Client is here so she has to politely hurry you on. Tina says it’s ok to get dressed in your unicorn jammies whilst still soaking wet. You pay the £10 and get in your car and take the standard selfie which does not in anyway resemble your passport photograph. As you’re driving home, you notice you’re looking more like a very angry Dr David Banner, you’re itchy and your tongue begins to swell. You forgot to tell Tina about your nut allergy. The £10 tan didn’t allow for consultation and the last thing you remember is reaching for your EpiPen.

Fast forward to next day (I’ll miss out being rescued by handsome firemen and then blue lighted to ARI), and you rinse the green guide colour off and Jesus H Christ, you are as orange as the sunshine! You shower and scrub to absolutely no avail. You still look like a Heinz Baked Bean (other baked beans brands are available) You can’t been seen in public and children are scared of you. You pay the hair and makeup cancellation fee and ASOS won’t take your dress back. You call in sick at work. No sick pay! £10 bargain.

OK. OK. I know. Highly unlikely and exaggerated scenarios. Here’s the deal. Tina doesn’t care about spraying you with the same ingredient as anti freeze. Tina doesn’t know about contraindications and Tina most definitely doesn’t have insurance. Tina won’t invest in her education and increase her knowledge about ingredients or application. A £10 tan, you definitely get what you pay for.

Now for the Tina’s of the world. If you’re just starting out, spray friends and family to boost your confidence. They’re your best critics. Break down the cost of insurance, solution, equipment, sticky feet, hair nets, disposable knickers, masks, nose filters……….. not to mention petrol, travel time and labour. Join forums. Reach out to your mentor for advice. Who wants to work for buttons? Don’t be a Tina. Show your worth.