They’re often referred to as Spray Tan Artists, and those who perform handheld spray tans truly are masters of an artistic craft. Their canvasses are their clients, their spray guns are their brushes and their formulas are their media. The more artistic side of sunless is a great option for customers, offering the most customizable and flattering cosmetic tans.
From a business side, you can also think of it like any form of art. Quality paintings and other artworks demand high prices at sale because of the talent involved, not because it costs much to make the product. The same is true of handheld spray tanning: You’re able to command higher margins with a lower financial investment because you’re charging for skill.
Automated spray booths require a larger investment in equipment, while handheld spray is more of an investment in education and employees. It might be easier to buy a booth and let it rake in the cash, but the relatively small financial investment in handheld equipment and training allows you to recoup your investment nearly immediately.
Because handheld spray tans are very different experiences than booth sprays, they also allow you to expand into a whole new clientele and push current spray tan clients to a higher-margin sale. The customizable results and “celebrity appeal” of the handheld services will undoubtedly be more attractive to certain segments.
“If you don’t have it in your salon you are missing out on an amazing service for your clients and doing a disservice to them, because airbrush tanning is very in,” says Blue Palm Tanning owner Christine Rich. “Kim Kardashian does it. All the celebrities do it. The first thing one cheerleader said when I popped open my tent was ‘this is so cool. It’s exactly like I saw from the celebs on Snapchat.’ It’s a feel-good thing. I think if you’re in the beauty industry, your goal is top make them feel like their own celebrity.”