How To Tan Like A 49ers Cheerleader
Here are some truths about me: During the week, I spend my days surrounded by beauty products, slathering expensive antiaging creams on the back of my hand, pirouetting through bursts of fine fragrances, and carefully lining an assortment of lip colors onto my mouth to test them for opacity, vibrancy, and staying power. But on Sunday, it’s a different story. For you see, Sunday is game day, that sacred day on which not a stitch of makeup is applied for fear of ridicule from the room full of guys who reliably fill my living room to watch 12 full hours of NFL action. I’ve been a football fan since birth, as most people born and raised in Philadelphia are (go Eagles!), and while there are no pleasantries exchanged during these weekly gatherings, save for play-action commentary and occasional screaming at the television, I live for Sundays.
This coming Sunday, a new viewing audience will be treated to the hard hits, exquisite long bombs, and the skillful running plays that make the game of football such an entertaining sport. For the fourth year in a row, the NFL will stage an exhibition game at London’s Wembley Stadium to build support for its 32 franchises abroad. To help woo the 84,000 soon-to-be fans that are projected to fill the seats to watch the San Francisco 49ers battle the Denver Broncos—spectators whose associations with football typically do not include full body pads (or the use of hands)—San Francisco is bringing along a secret weapon. That would be Kelly Richardson, owner of B. Bronz, the Santa Rosa, California-based tanning destination. In addition to working her bronzing magic backstage at Miss America, Richardson spray-tans the 49ers Gold Rush cheerleaders before every home game. On Sunday, she’ll give them a “stage” color to further entice onlookers with California sun-kissed skin—something that’s as rare in England this time of year, as, say a live game of American football. Here, Richardson talks about her new line and Sunday’s game plan.—Celia Ellenberg
So is the idea really to hook unsuspecting ticket holders with tans?
Yup—that always helps when doing promo events. We’re scheduled to tan Saturday night!
Tell me about the process. Are you spray-tanning or using self-tanning lotions?
We do spray-tanning, so we have to haul the equipment with us wherever we go, and we usually spray the group the night before the event. They wait about 10 to 15 minutes before they put on clothes and then rinse off in the morning. The product is very concentrated, so we can use very little on the skin and there is no sticky or tacky feeling.
Ah, yes. Your in-house B. Bronz product. It just launched, yes?
We launched in August. The product is designed for “today’s tanner.”
And what exactly does that mean?
It helps repair the skin to make it look better. We’ve stocked it up with antioxidants, including pomegranate extracts, and there’s also glycolic acid in the tanning solution to help exfoliate.
Wait—you recommend exfoliating while applying the spray tan? That doesn’t cause streaking?
Well, it really just exfoliates as the tan is developing to help produce a longer-lasting tan. But normally, my main thing with clients is the exfoliation process before the tan. It’s important that you don’t use an oil-based product on the skin. You need to use a water-based scrub to exfoliate before spray tanning. Our Bronze Collection Body Polish is good for that. There are no artificial colors in the retail products, and our dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is Ecocert-approved! The entire line is paraben-free.
So how much “glow” are you going to give the girls this weekend? Like…Miss America glow or Ipanema Beach glow?
We use one level of solution on everyone and layer it to increase the darkness, so we can control the color. Because this a performance event, we’re doing a “stage” color, so it’s more than you’d typically do so the tan is seen from all angles.
Very important in these days of high-definition cameras, I imagine.
Photo: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images