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Tips for a flawless DIY tan 

Airbrush Tans

$55 at Fini: A Beauty Boutique (6250 Gen. Diaz St., 504-304-0633; www.finiboutique.com)

ABOUT: A trained technician custom-blends the color for clients' skin and sprays them with two coats of the tanner in a cold mist. Once clients are dry (after five to 10 minutes), they are dusted with powder to mitigate the stickiness of the tanner. The whole process takes 30 minutes or less, and the tan develops in eight to 12 hours.

PROS: Expert application takes the guesswork out: You're guaranteed a smooth tan, even in hard-to-reach areas like the shoulder blades or notoriously prone-to-turning-orange areas like the palms of the hands.

CONS: The tanner includes a built-in bronzer, so you may leave the salon looking unnaturally dark.

TIPS: "The best time to do it is afternoon or evening, because you don't want to get wet after you get sprayed," says Fini co-owner Kendall Jenkins. Wear loose, dark clothes that won't be ruined if they get sprayed with bronzer. Moisturize each day afterward so the tan will fade evenly, and avoid soaking in a bath or hot tub. "That makes it fade more quickly," Jenkins says. "Take showers, not baths."

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