Your tanning paint should be perfect! Your tanning paint should also be chosen according to your skin tone.
Choose a tanning paint that compliments your skin tone the best and also apply every coat as needed including any touch-ups during pre-judging and the evening show.
What tanning paint to use
I recommend ProTan as a base coat. It is the most natural looking tanning paint that I have seen so far. If anyone knows of something else, please feel free to suggest it.
How to apply?
The best way to apply ProTan is by just spraying it directly onto the skin from about 6-12 inches away. Do not use it sparingly. Go ahead and cake it on. The stage lighting is going to make you look about half as dark as natural lighting will so lay it on thick. You don't want it to run, so be careful.
Each bottle of ProTan should come with a foam brush shrink-wrapped to it. Use this to blend any runs or smudges.
Do not use latex gloves to smear the tanning paint! Latex gloves leave terrible streaks and handprints. The only reason to wear latex gloves is to keep your hands from getting too messy.
When to apply?
You should start applying your first coat the Thursday evening before the show (assuming your show is Saturday morning). Be sure to shower, exfoliate your skin and COMPLETELY shave before you begin applying any tanning paint. Do not use any lotions or non-clear deoderants.
Applying tanning paint can take anywhere from 1-3 hours per coat. So make sure you set aside plenty of time. A women may through about 1 1/2 bottles of ProTan and a man may through about 4 bottles of ProTan per show. So keep that in mind when purchasing. I would suggest 2 bottles for anyone over 150 pounds. If you don't use at least the entire first bottle, your tan isn't dark enough!
After you apply the first coat of tanning paint, it is wise to lay down an old or dirty sheet or something to keep from getting the tanning paint all over everything you touch.
Do not take a shower. You will lose half of your color and will have wasted all of that time and tanning paint. So don't sweat either.
Apply the second coat on Friday morning and the third on Friday evening. By Saturday morning, you should only need slight touch-ups.
Where to apply?
Anything the judges can see should be painted with the exception of the bottoms of your feet and your palms. Although they will probably get tanning paint on them anyway. It is almost inevitable.
So what all does this include EXACTLY?
If you want, you can apply a "top-coat" of Dream Tan for a little bit more of sparkling sheen. It looks pretty good under the right lighting. But this stuff is EXTRA MESSY! Use with care!
In order to keep from streaking the tanning paint, slap the skin (lightly!) Do not rub and smear.