We wish we all could be California girls — or at least look like them. Yet, as documented by The Skin Cancer Foundation (www.skincancer.org), tanning can lead to premature aging of the skin or skin cancer. Air Beauty Bar, a new business at Redmond Town Center, offers a safe alternative to sunbathing or tanning beds, which are also linked to skin damage or disease.
Clients at Air Beauty Bar can obtain an “airbrushed” glow as technicians carefully apply a sunless tanning product that is 100 percent certified organic, made from sugar cane and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Air Beauty Bar owner Heather Walsh has been a local realtor for 15 years but decided to launch her new career after what she called “a life-changing experience.”
Walsh explained, “I grew up in California, was always out in the sun, moved here in high school and still wanted to have that glow, so I went to tanning beds.”
One day, while meeting friends at Carillon Point in Kirkland, Walsh decided to pop into her dermatologist’s office. She asked the doctor to take a look at “a scab that kept coming back.”
She was shocked to learn it was no ordinary scab. Both of her parents were diagnosed with skin cancers, too. That’s when Walsh began researching the pros and cons of various tanning systems.
Although spray-on or “mistic” tans have been around for a while, the usual application method is unhealthy and inconvenient in several ways, Walsh noted.
“With mistic tans, in a box, you are expected to hold your breath. The box is very enclosed, full of fumes which are very harmful to soft tissues like the inside of your nose,” said Walsh. “If you get nose plugs, then you have a weird line under your nose. They also don’t tell you that your knees, elbows and all the drier areas of your skin will absorb color faster, so the tan will be uneven or blotchy.”
At Air Beauty Bar, an initial consultation takes about 30 minutes, during which Walsh or one of her technicians will analyze a client’s skin tone and condition and recommend a custom-blended solution for their needs. A precision wand, directed by a trained technician, controls the flow of the solution, which can be odorless or infused with a fragrance of the client’s choice. A reverse fan system ensures that clients or technicians aren’t inhaling the solution.
A single airbrushed tan at Air Beauty Bar costs $38. There are also package deals based on the number of visits, as well as a Sunday morning discount — $17 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Walsh said clients can return for free touch-ups within two days of application. “I want everyone to have complete satisfaction,” she remarked.
In addition to airbrushed tanning, Air Beauty Bar sells temporary, airbrushed tattoos that fade away or can be removed with rubbing alcohol.
Air Beauty Bar client Cristiana Thillmann said she discovered the shop through a Girls’ Night event and had positive experiences with both the airbrushed tanning and temporary tattoos.
“I tried airbrush tanning because I was looking to find a healthy alternative to UV tanning,” Thillmann commented. “Also, I feel that airbrush tanning is more controlled coverage than a typical ‘spray tan’ … The product they use is also organic and smells nice, which are huge selling points for me. … My experience was very personalized and felt more like a salon than a tanning service.”
Customer Kim Kurtz concurred, “It is a healthier way to tan. It is safe and fast, plus looks great. Past experiences, with other spray tans, I looked a tad bit orange and felt gross after getting the spray tan.”
Kurtz described the staff at Air Beauty Bar as “friendly and (with) reasonable prices for the exceptional service.”
Air Beauty Bar is located upstairs at Redmond Town Center, 16492 NE 74th St., Suite B235.
For more information, call (425) 869-0247, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.airbrushed-tanning-tattoos.com/Home_Page.html.