For glitz beauty pageants, you'll probably need to have your child tanned, unless she's an infant. Why is this so important? Because the bright stage lights can make even a girl with natural medium skin tones can look pale. Sunless tanning gives a sunkissed look without any damaging effects from UV light.
Even if your child has a naturally dark complexion, a spray tan can provide a
n extra glow and even out the skin tone. My niece is Asian, so she already has beautiful light-brown skin, but a spray tan or other form of sunless tanning really makes her skin "pop" on stage.
If you're not experienced with do-it-yourself spray tans, don't experiment with it just before a beauty pageant. The results can be disastrous. Instead, hire a professional spray tan person. Sometimes your hair and makeup person will also do spray tans for contestants.
Don't have your child spray tanned too far in advance of the pageant. I realize that many spray tan facilities claim that the tan will look great for several days, but in reality, this isn't usually the case. Depending on the individual, the spray tan can begin to look blotchy within just a day or two. Sunless tanners "tan" only the top layer of skin cells, and these cells are constantly sloughing off and being replaced by new ones, which won't be "tanned." Most pageant moms agree that the optimum time to spray tan is the night before the pageant.
Before having a spray tan, the child should bathe and exfoliate - especially the legs. Removing dead skin cells will provide much better sunless tanning results. This can be done with a scrub or a loofah. DO NOT apply any lotions or creams.
I learned from a spray tan expert that a girl who's spent some time in the sun just prior to getting the spray tan will have better results because dry skin will "soak up" more sunless tanner.
When you get the spray tan done, think twice about tanning the face. Many contestants don't have their face applied with any type of sunless tanner. Instead, they count on their makeup artist to match the face to the neck and body with foundation or powder.
On the day of the pageant, if your daughter looks "ashy," apply a tiny bit of lotion to her legs just before going on stage. To do this, place a small amount of lotion in your palm and rub your hands together. Then just run your palms over your child's legs. Don't overdo it. You don't want the legs to be shiny - you just want them to look slightly glistening.