The personal airbrush spray tan is applied by a technician with a spray gun verses the spray tan booth is fully automatic and there is no technician in the room with you. Depending on your comfort, you can wear as little as you wish with either the personal spray and spray tan booth. Some people don't like tan lines, so going nude is perfectly ok with either.
While the spray tan booth is permantly installed in salons, the personal airbrush spray tan technician can come to you in the privacy of you own home or office. This process is portable and compact!! The technicians carry their own fold-up pop up tent so that the mess is contained. With the new HVLP (High Volume, Low Pressure) airbrush spray tanning units, there is hardly any overspray, so the mess is almost non existent.
The quality of your airbrush tan will depend not only on the condition of your skin, the solution that the technician will use, but also on technician's skill. There are many very good technicians, who will give you a great tan, but there are also many not so good ones. Use the one that has been recommended or that has spray tanning experience. Ask Questions!!! It won't hurt!
The spray tan booths, if you have not "mastered" the art of the booth, could come out uneven and streaky and sometimes orange!
After your personal airbrush spray tan, you will have automatic color! You will need to wait 6 to 8 hours before showering. With the spray tan booths, you will come out lighter and not feeling the "love" of color as you will with the airbrush tan. With the booth tans you often have to wait about 5 hours before showering. Not to mention, the spray tan booths have a funky smell compared to the airbrush tans that don't!
A great advantage of a hand held airbrush spray unit is that you don't have to spray tan your whole body. You can have your legs done, or just your face.
Personal spray tans errors can be corrected or "fixed" whereas the spray tan booths can not.
Another great advantage of airbrush spray tan is that if you get a real good technician, she can "reshape" or contour your body by applying extra color or reshading your stomach, torso, hips, etc to create an illusion that they are slimmer or "buff." :) If you have swimming tan lines, she can also fill in the white patches thus creating an even, full body tan. That can't be done in a spray tan booth, where everything gets darker, so that tan lines are still visible, although they blend in better.
Airbrush tans "bronzer" comes out of clothing easier than the booth tans. Most anything you come in contact with will have the bronzer rub off on...like your clothes, shirt, jeans, bra, and undies. Also your pillowcase may have residue if you decide to sleep in the bronzer. You might be doing a load of laundry, but it easily comes out of your clothing!
Airbrush tans last longer (5 - 10 days) than the booth tans (3 -4 days). I even have clients that have a tan line after two weeks! Of course depending on how well you treat it, it can last longer!
There are some good booths out there, but NOTHING can spray a client like another human can.