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The Verdict

Finding a spray tan you can actually trust is like The Holy Grail. Sometimes you hear whispers of a place that’s a ‘sure thing’, some underground urban legend where they DON’T turn you into an oompa loompa two days before your cousin’s wedding. But actually finding one is tricky. It’s always some friend of a friend’s sister’s mate’s neighbour who discovered tanning Narnia. Never you.

Well we’re here to tell you now: we found a place. It’s a tanning salon that Melbourne celebs use before big event nights and galas, and it’s in the last place you’d expect. The backstreets of Carnegie.

Tan By Zoe is a home-tanning boutique that delivers actual results. It was started a few years ago by Zoe Klein, a frustrated tanner who was tired of walking around looking like a tangerine. She bought a home-tanning machine and started doing tans for herself and a few friends. Hundreds of clients later, she realized she’d started her own beauty studio.

“As a pale redhead, no one was ever able to give me a normal looking spray tan,” Zoe says. “The tanner would assume I wanted to look like I'd rolled in mud, even after telling them I wanted to look natural.”

Tan By Zoe specializes in light golden spray tans, that last around 5-10 days (depending on your lifestyle and skin-care regime). Zoe also offers eyebrow waxing and threading, if you need to tidy up the power brows, plus temporary eyelash extensions. The whole business is run out of Zoe’s garage-turned beauty parlour, and don’t be surprised if you see a few well-known Melbourne faces on your way through the front gate.

Trust us, skip the snooty South Yarra salons. This place is the real deal. 

Image credit: Tan By Zoe