Learning how to contour has helped my business tremendously.
From vacationers, pool party-goers, models and athletes alike, everyone wants to look toned and thin! The instant gratification that airbrush contouring provides is an absolute win-win for both the technician and client. The client gets a nice, lean, toned appearance and the tanning technician makes some extra dough for their expertise in the field.
Personally, I charge $80 for a whole body contour for my clients which is almost double that of a regular spray tan. I spend approximately 45-60 minutes carefully contouring each section of the body in order to get their natural muscles to POP! From their face all the way down to their calves, I sketch every little muscle line to enhance their appearance (check out some of my work here).
Here are a few tips on how to start your journey as a body contouring artist… and please take note that this is an art that takes some practice, dedication and some patience to learn but once you get it down the possibilities are endless for you and your clients! YOU will be seen as the expert and YOU will attract new/more clients because of this art.
1. Get the right machine!
Airbrush compressors and guns are different than HVLP spray tanning equipment. You need to do your research when it comes to choosing the right machine for your business. Basically, choose a gravity feed, dual action, internal mix airbrush from a manufacturer like Badger, Iwata, or Paasche. If I’ve lost you, check out some of the airbrushing terms here. (Note: I use an Iwata Dual-Action airbrush.)
2. Learn the male and female anatomy.
You can’t just throw lines every which way and expect to get great results. That is not how it works. You are going to learn pretty quickly that you are going to have to get familiar with the human body, particularly the location of muscle groups that you want to enhance as well as the movements your clients will have to make in order to make their muscles show best. Learning this will make your life A LOT easier, I promise you! (Note: If you take a body contouring training they should be teaching you about this!) I would highly recommend educating yourself through books or enroll in a training program to help you.
3. Learn the art.
Contouring has been one of the most difficult techniques to learn in the spray tanning industry. Whether you are a beginner or advanced spray tanning technician, I encourage you to take a professional training (online options are available) that include videos, on going support and a comprehensive manual. There are so many ways to “contour” so I would advise to cut
your learning time and save your energy by investing in a good program to get you started. That is one of the mistakes I made:practicing on clients which, in turn, tarnished my reputation a bit and made me crawl back into my little cave for a while because I could not figure out the technique. It was until I worked with an advanced technician that I was able to gain my confidence back and go full force with it. Now, I have clients driving from hours away (particularly from LA for films and modeling shoots) to get contoured! It isn’t a technique that is offered by many technicians and that in itself helps me stand apart from my competition.
Gather your friends and family together and start sketching ’em out! We all have similar muscle groups but different body types
which can make it easy or difficult to contour. Get as many different body types as you can to get to gain experience and get the confidence you need to start offering this service to your clients! Before and after pictures are an absolute MUST and make sure to get a few testimonials from your models about their experience as well. Before you know it, you will be the talk of the town!