How to prepare for and maintain your awesome new airbrush tan!

So you are ready to get you first airbrush tan?  Or maybe you are already a pro at it…either way here are some good tips and tricks to make sure you get the most out of your new bronze look!

Here’s how to prepare:

1) Shave either the night before or the morning of your appointment.  (If you’re waxing, make sure to do it at least 24 hours before your appointment so the solution doesn’t sink into your pores too deeply— you don’t want little brown polka dots on your legs!)

2) Exfoliate thoroughly (especially in places that are rough or dry, like elbows, knees, and feet.)  If you don’t exfoliate properly, the tanning solution will look darker or uneven in those rough areas and it won’t fully soak into your skin.

3) Don’t wear any makeup, lotion, or deodorant when you arrive at the tanning salon.  These all act as barriers, which will keep the solution from soaking into your skin.

4) Arrive wearing dark, baggy clothes to avoid staining and don’t wear undergarments if you can help it.  Anything constricting has the potential to run away at your freshly-bronzed skin.

Once you get your tan, make sure you:

1) Leave plenty of time for it to soak in.  Don’t plan on showering or getting wet for at least 8-12 hours.  (Use dark sheets if you’re sleeping with a fresh tan to avoid staining, what usually comes off is the bronzer NOT your tan!)

2) Moisturize very frequently (at least twice a day.)  This keeps your skin happy, even, and soft, so your tan will last much longer.

3) Adjust your makeup routine… your skin will be darker, and your makeup should reflect that.  Just please don’t make your face scary tan dark…that NEVER looks natural!

Have you ever had an airbrush tan?  What about a spray tan in a booth?   Which do you prefer?  Do you have any special tips for making your color last?  Or do you prefer porcelain skin?  Tell me about it in the comments!



Do you REALLY know your ABC’s?

Since my surgery and starting Leilani Mobile Tan, I have had such a response to my experience.  Girls and women all over are coming to me and mentioning that they have a “spot” that they are concerned about but that they haven’t actually done anything about yet.  One of my best friends stated to me just the other day that she is scared to be in the sun, that it just doesn’t feel safe anymore.  This is the same friend that lounged on the beach with me last summer.  It’s amazing how something like this can put things into perspective.  However, let it be stated that it is ok to be outside, I repeat, it is OK to be outside.  Go to the pool, play at the park, take the dog for a walk, lounge in the sun by the lake this weekend…in other words LIVE your life and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you, just be safe about it.  Remember to wear sunscreen, especially after your airbrush tan, just because you are darker doesn’t mean that you are immune to burning!  Floppy hats and sunglasses are helpful and stylish…really didn’t you know that floppy hats are about to make a big come back (back from where I’m not sure, actually were they ever here?)  but still, ROCK those floppy, giant, sombrero hats!

Now about the alphabet and those “spots” that you may be seeing…there are 2 types of skin cancer that while they are not life threatening, as you have seen with me, they are invasive and disfiguring.  These are Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Carcinomas.  They come in many forms and shapes and colors, I have them where they stick up like a flesh colored mole and then I have some that are flat and red, others like the one on my lip get flakey and scab and bleed.  Sometimes it may just be an irritated patch of skin that just will not clear up.  All of these need to be seen and biopsied by a dermatologist, the key is catching them early!

On the other hand Melanoma is a lethal form of skin cancer that is now striking more young adults at an alarming rate.  Although it is not proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, tanning bed use may play a big part in this.  Adults that began tanning before the age of 35 are at 75% higher risk of developing melanoma…yes I did mean SEVENTY FIVE!  That is huge.  That is scary.  So the Skin Cancer Foundation has posted a list of what to look for when doing a skin exam on yourself.

The ABCDEs of Melanoma

  • A The mole is asymmetrical; the two sides do not match
  • B The mole is irregular in outline or border
  • C The mole changes color or appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored
  • D The mole is bigger than 6mm in diameter, or the size of a pencil eraser
  • E The mole evolves or changes in any way

In addition any new moles that pop up, especially after the age of 21 definitely need to be looked at as well.  And remember, it’s not always a mole, sometimes it’s just a lump that won’t go away.  Don’t wait, get it checked out!

So, on that note, do a good skin check today.  Then go out this weekend and have a great Memorial Day with friends and family.  Just remember to “reapply before you fry” and rock your floppy hats!

Helping spread the word and make cancer history with MD Anderson!

I feel so honored and blessed that out of this negative experience with skin cancer, something positive is happening!  People are noticing and reacting.  I have been featured on ABC news, and I have made a wonderful new friend at MD Anderson that helped put my blog on their website.  After just 2 hours, it has already been shared over 100 times!!!  That’s amazing!  Keep telling everyone, keep wearing sunscreen and most definitely stay away from tanning beds!  That’s what Leilani Mobile Tan is for now, we’ve got your tan covered! 🙂

My 3 Minutes of Fame…

It has been a whirlwind 2 weeks since my surgery and I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support when I decided to share this journey.  It’s far from over, but I am so thankful I have been able to help others going through the same thing or kept others from ever having to experience this by promoting safe tanning!  Anyway, here is the link to my news debut…I am really happy how it turned out!

Trying to prevent others from excessive tanning

Are You Taking Your Vitamins?

Vitamin D that is.  There is a lot in medical news these days about Vitamin D deficiencies.  Ironically, even with my overexposure to UV lights from tanning beds and unprotected outdoor tanning, I too was diagnosed 2 years ago with a deficiency in D vitamins.  So, what is the best and safest way to make sure you are getting enough, and what is enough?

According to Medical News Today, “Vitamin D is a steroid vitamin, a group of fat-soluble prohormones, which encourages the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous. People who are exposed to normal quantities of sunlight do not need vitamin D supplements because sunlight promotes sufficient vitamin D synthesis in the skin.”  It is also thought to prevent certain cancers.  So, that begs the question, how can we get adequate amounts of Vitamin D AND protect ourselves from the dangers of UV light.

There are plenty of food sources that are high in Vitamin D, for example shitake mushrooms, salmon and sardine.  However, they are not rich enough to provide what you would need for a daily recommendation. Supplements are also beneficial.  Most are sold in 1000 IU.  There are all sorts of different studies advising the proper amount of D that you need daily.  These range from 200 IU to 4-5000 IU daily.

The most important thing to understand is that you do not need to be out in the sun for hours and hours at a time to get the amount of Vitamin D that you need to survive, sometimes it’s just a 10 minutes outside in the morning and evening and that is sufficient.  One of the misconceptions that you may hear about is that you should tan in tanning beds during the winter months to get the UV exposure that you are missing from the warmer times of the year.  PLEASE do not trust in this hype.  Tanning beds accelerate your exposure, hence the reason a 15- 20 minute snooze under the glowing blue lights of a bed will leave you bronzed and sometimes even burnt!  If you are deficient in Vitamin D, then up your intake during the winter.

I could go on and on regarding this topic.  There is a lot of good information out there and also a lot of BS.  Here are a few trustworthy sites with some very informative facts regarding Vitamin D that I suggest you take a look at.

11 days post op

Ok, I promise I won’t keep posting these pics…to be honest they are more for me than you…so I can remind myself with the next one that “this to shall pass”.  My doctor wasn’t so impressed with Mederma when I asked him about it and really based on the ingredients it is mostly aloe vera extract, but I do not have an aloe vera plant sooo…. Anyway this is my scar since my surgery last Monday the 30th of April. 


I am so happy with it.  And just to note…the area treated with Mederma above my lip is so much smoother and soft than the area on my lip…my advice is to rub it all with Vitamin E gel or aloe, honestly its the massaging that helps the scar tissue break down more than it is what you put on it! 
On a side note…thought I would ask…did you wear sunscreen today?!!

Stitches Are OUT of Here…

YAY!  I had my follow up appointment yesterday and finally got those itchy, annoying stitches removed, which is good because I was very close to removing them myself!  It wasn’t a bad experience, it did leave the incision site a little red and swollen, but so much better than having them in!  I know a lot of you have wanted to see how it is healing so, drumroll please….It’s a little blurry, but as you can see just really red.  My lip is still swollen and I only half smile.  I kind of look like I’m smirking, but really I am smiling…promise.  Anyway, I feel so much better now.  My doctor, who by the way is named Dr. Ryan Ahern, wants to do my nose next.  As in end of May…I’m really not trying to put it off, but that is just so soon and I have so much going on with kids and school getting out and Emma’s birthday and swimteam…those are legitimate excuses, right?  Then if I push it to mid June, I worry about healing before my annual visit to see my family in Alabama.  So, that is my big dilema right now, trying to figure out when and how to schedule the next surgery.  The nose will most likely be as big a surgery as my lip…ugh.  Maybe I can convince him to do both of my shoulders or something?  Anyway, guess I will figure it out.

I also made a wonderful new friend through MD Anderson Cancer Center, she and I met and I shared my story about my journey so far with skin cancer and my 3-4 day a week habit with tanning beds.  May is Skin Cancer Awareness month and she would like to tell my story on their website , of course I am thrilled!  I will let you all know when it comes out so you can share it with everyone!  I hope that the idea will be that skin cancer is not just for older people.  This happened to me starting at the age of 23!  I am only in my 30’s now and covered in “spots”.  Be smart and know how to take care of your skin, it’s your most important organ, it’s what protects the rest of you!  I found this link to the Skin Cancer Foundation website that has some good tips on how to reduce your chances of developing skin cancer.  Please take a few minutes and read it!  I’ve got to run, just found out ABC Channel 13 will be at my house in the morning…just a little excited!!!!