Before my Vegas girls weekend this Spring, I got a Mystic spray tan. It wasn't too bad. A tad orange-y, but I wasn't embarrassed or anything. I felt like I got my $25 worth. You can see pictures here.
But I really wanted to try the airbrush spray tan, where a person physically sprays you instead of the machine in the booth. I had heard that it looks better and lasts longer. Here's what I looked like before (and believe it or not, this is with the little natural color I got at the lake):
Just like with the booth spray tan, they advise you to come exfoliated and moisturized, and in dark, loose clothing.
You stand in a tent-type thing where a girl sprays you down like she's spray painting a lawn chair. I'm sure some people do it completely naked, but I wore underwear. It's quick and easy, except for the part where I thought I was going to faint and had to sit down for a minute. I attribute that to my pregnancy and probably isn't normal.
This is what I looked like a few hours after I got sprayed, no makeup. Note: a benefit to the airbrush tan is that you walk out of the salon as tan as you're going to get, unlike the booth sprays that develop for hours afterwards.
It looked a lot more natural than the spray tan, but it also rubbed off on my clothes that first day. It came out in the wash, but I would still advise that you not wear anything nice that day.
It looked great on my face and body. I think it was noticeable on my hands. And it might just be because I have go-go-gadget pregnancy nose right now, but I think it smelled a lot stronger than the booth spray. I could still smell it through my lotion after I showered.
Here I am on day four (still no makeup - I'm keeping it real for you guys), where it has faded some, but I'm still a lot more tan than my normal self:
It continued to fade gradually, but all in all I would say it lasted a solid week. I felt like it looked better and stayed longer than the booth tan, just as I had heard. But at almost twice the price ($45), it's not something you would want to do every week or anything.
For special occasions it's worth the splurge. But make sure you do a test run or get it done a day or so in advance of when you want to look your best.
Have you tried the airbrush tan? Would you?