Style Stud: Adrienne Volpetti, Owner of Baked Tanning

unnamed-5I’m pretty much the palest person in Philly … maybe the world. I’m like the close cousin of Casper the Friendly friken Ghost.

A few years back I wrote about my paleness, embracing it and making fun of it (per usual … do I ever take myself seriously)? And that is when my spray tan fairy God Mother walked into my life, Adrienne Volpetti of Baked Tanning in Queen Village.

I had only been spray tanned once before and I ended up looking like an Oompa Loompa for my best friend’s wedding … so I was hesitant to take her up on her tanning offer.

But she showed me the ways of Baked Tanning – which will be celebrating its FIFTH anniversary in June 2016. You not only feel completely pampered (she hooks it up with champagne and her space is so soothing and peaceful), but like a bronze goddess. Even me … the see-through lady.

So without further adieu, pour yourself a cocktail and get to know THE spray tan queen of Philly, Adrienne Volpetti.

Favorite item in your closet right now? Burberry Cape – who doesn’t want to be wrapped in essentially a blanket this time of year?

A perfect afternoon in Philly consists of BRUNCH! Walking around the city, shopping the Italian Market, and cooking the rest of the day, while having a glass of wine.

How did Baked come to be? I worked in UV tanning salons in College, so I was trained. I had been talking to my friends about [opening a business] for such a long time that it finally came to a head. I was 24, single, no kids, and figured if it failed I was only hurting me, no one else, SO I gave it a shot. My first year I was mobile, and then in June 2010 opened the Baked in Queen Village.

How did you learn how to spray tan and did you ever make someone orange when you were learning? Of course! Different companies will send complimentary products for you to try and some of them are awful. But my friends were really good sports and didn’t hold it against me.


What are three pieces of wisdom before getting a spray tan? 

  1. Exfoliate! Proper exfoliation will help the tan apply evenly, fade perfectly, and last longer.
  2. Have realistic expectations. To avoid looking fake, have a conversation with the person tanning you. Tell them what you’re looking for and ask their opinion. They should be experts on their product and should suggest the best tan/shade option for you.
  3. Moisturize! Hydrating and moisturizing the skin will help you extend the life of your tan.

What was the strangest spray tanning request you have ever received? Nope. Saving that for the book.

Do you ever get super uncomfortable when people get butt naked in front of you for tans? Not anymore. It’s quick and whomever is bronzing your bod should be more concerned with making sure your tan in applied perfectly.

Does Baked Tanning just offer tanning or are there other services? We offer teeth whitening (think heavy duty stain remover – two months of White Strips in 15 minutes), and a Diamond Dusting treatment. They are crushed diamonds we apply to the skin for some sparkle for a big event (I’m obsessed with them #sparkle).


In regards to spray tanning, are there trends? If so what is the trend right now? You will see a lot of different tan styles and techniques pop up around fashion week and with red carpets. Last year at London Fashion Week, a freckle tan trend was used. Recently, red carpet tans have been very natural (finally) adding just enough warmth to the client so they look sun-kissed.

There are so many spray tanning salons in the city. How do you differentiate yourself? Well I try and keep up with the latest products and education programs so we are constantly perfecting our technique. We understand that everyone’s skin is different, so we offer a number of different shades of tan so we customize the perfect tan for you. Customer service is HUGE to me. I want everyone relaxed, happy, and loving their tan.

Are spray tan abs a thing? And if so where could someone get them (totally asking for a friend … :::shifty eyes:::)? HA! Kind of? If you naturally have muscle definition then we can further extenuate that. We mostly stick to contouring, similar to makeup, which is a large part of getting that killer spray tan.


There Is No Crying In Spray Tanning!

Screen shot 2013-04-22 at 8.39.16 PMAs most of you know by now … I’m pale. Like really pale. Like pathetically pale. And lucky for me, some kind soul read my post about how pale I actually am and felt a need to aid in my search for a little sun kissed color. I woke up the next morning with a kind message from Adrienne, the owner of Baked Tanning in Philadelphia, offering to give me a spray tan … and when you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost’s twin like I do … you jump on a golden opportunity like this.

I had only been spray tanned once prior to this experience, and quite frankly it was pretty stressful. The exfoliating, the turning too dark after waiting too long to shower, the exfoliating again, and again, and again, and dealing with parts of your body that were darker than others. Luckily Adrienne gave me “spray tanning 101” which I will share with you now so you can enjoy a painless, stress-free, almost relaxing tanning experience.

1. Exfoliate, Shave and Say Your Prayers: Don’t go insane, but get that dead skin off before the tan. You’ve been hiding your epidermis under bulky sweaters and tights for the past five months … start with a fresh layer of skin, ladies and gents. And yes … ev-er-y-where, all the good nooks and crannies. And the same goes for any unwanted hair. You may or may not be in the shower for a solid 45 minutes … I gave your fair warning.

2. Go All Natural: That means no makeup, moisturizer, or deodorant. Oh yeah … bet you didn’t know spray tanning turns deodorant green … cause it does. The Incredible Hulk look is so not hawt right now. So yeah, you may look like a hot mess going to and from the spray tan, but do what I did and pretend you are going to the gym … except … not. When people looked at me, I gave them a look back like, “oh yeah … don’t mind me … just going to pump some iron … in flip flops … yeaaaaahhh DON’T LOOK AT ME!”

3. Trust the Person Spraying You: If you don’t … walk the hell out. But usually … USUALLY … the person spraying you knows what shade of tan will look best on you. I trust Adrienne 110% because she gave me her background, told me how she trains her employees, etc. It’s okay to ask them those questions. And asking them their opinion is encouraged … they are the experts, for crying out loud. For example, if I told Adrienne that I wanted to look like I sat out in the sun below the equator for the past three months with no SPF, she would have told me I was absolutely cray and I would have respected that. Instead a natural, healthy glow was suggested.

4. Kim Kardashian Is An Idiot: If you’ve watched the entire season of Kourtney and Kim Take Miami with drool coming out of your mouth like me … then you’ve seen Kim and her blurred out nipples getting spray tanned every other day. Not just getting spray tanned … but getting layers and layers and layers of spray tanning. Turns out, there is no need to get layers of spray tan to make you darker. One layer of tan, with the right color suggested, will give you the perfect color … like I did. So Kim, maybe you should fire your fancy in-home spray tan specialist and hire Adrienne … just sayin’. I can’t image huffing spray tanning fumes is good for you either… organic smorganic.

5. Tans Don’t Just Fall Off: People think spray tans can melt off, slide off, run away without leaving a goodbye note. Nope. Let me bring it back to freshman year science class for a sec. Your skin is made up of cells. So in essence, you’re getting your cells spray tanned (ew … mental image). So when those cells die, they, along with their fierce spray tan, will fall off … making you pale once again. So you have to put effort into making those cells stay alive by moisturizing, for the love of God, with baby products. Powders, oils … yes … baby products. In my mind they may be cheaper, but I am in no way shape or form a momma, so who the hell knows.

6. No Fist Pumps or Hair Poofs: I didn’t leave Baked Jersey Shore-style … but God forbid you do … nail polish remover may be your best friend. Sometimes your ankles, knuckles, knee caps may get a little darker, and if that happens rub a little nail polisher remover over those areas and you’ll be good as gold. OR a lemon and sugar rinse will do the trick, if you’re an “all-natural” type of person.

I gotta say … this is by far the best spray tanning experience I’ve EVER had. I’m going on week two and I still have a nice, natural glow still (but I also made sure to keep my cells hydrated). And unfortunately, Kim Kardashian is a dirty liar … I did NOT feel 10 pounds lighter, but I did get a massive boost of confidence from it. I didn’t feel the need to wear as much makeup and I just felt healthier. A great self-esteem boost if you need a little pick-me-up.

And if you don’t live by Philly … I feel terrible for you, because I’m giving Adrienne and Baked Tanning my massive, shiny, unicorn sparkle stamp of approval for all fabulous ladies out there that need a pick-me-up. Not only is she a ridiculously talented spray tanner, but most importantly is no bullshit and will give you a service that will make you glow from inside and out.

So to Adrienne, I thank you so much for hooking me up so I don’t look like I’m an extra on the set of True Blood as well as taking the time to explain the fine art of how to get a beautiful and long lasting spray tan. Aaaaaaand I may be back in the next week … I’m starting to look like Casper again … ah!