One of the worst-kept secrets of the professional and high fashion makeup world is the use of airbrush makeup.
Celebrity and runway trends are making their way into the mainstream makeup scene. If you’re a fan of late night infomercials, you’ve likely seen an airbrush makeup kit for sale. In a matter of seconds, and with a few passes over the face, airbrush can instantly hide imperfections and even skin tone.
You’re sold on the idea, now the only question to answer is: How to use airbrush makeup? How do I get that flawless finish? It’s might be difficult to learn airbrushing for the beginners. However, in this tutorial you will learn everything step-by-step. The first thing you’ll need is get to know the medium you’ll be working with.
What is airbrush makeup?
Airbrush makeup is light, often water or silicone-based liquid makeup made specifically to be used with an applicator commonly referred as ‘airbrush wand’ or “airbrush gun”. The airbrush gun is powered by an air compressor, which allows for a fine mist of makeup to be sprayed evenly onto the skin.
The most common type of airbrush makeup is foundation. In addition to foundation, airbrush makeup can also be used for blush, contour, and highlight. The airbrush technique allows for a seamless and natural-looking finish that is difficult to achieve with traditional makeup application techniques.
One of the major benefits of airbrush makeup is its longevity. Airbrushed makeup is often more long-lasting and transfer-resistant than traditional makeup, making it a popular choice for events like weddings or photo shoots. Additionally, airbrush makeup is often more hygienic than traditional makeup application, as the airbrush gun does not come into contact with the skin.
How does airbrush makeup work?
Think of spray can paint. The basic idea of application is the same, but the propellant is an electric air pump, rather than gaseous chemicals.
Airbrush makeup is often sold as ‘systems’. These are essentially starter kits, and most are packaged with 2-3 shades of liquid foundation, an airbrush wand, and attached air pump. These kits sell anywhere from $100-500 depending on the brand with refills costing $20-45 for single shades.
How long does airbrush makeup last?
Generally, airbrush makeup can last anywhere from 8 to 12 hours depending on a variety of factors.
Silicone-based airbrush makeup is known for its waterproof and transfer-resistant qualities, making it an excellent option for long events. This type of makeup can last up to 10 to 12 hours.
On the other hand, water-based airbrush makeup is more lightweight and breathable. While it may not last as long as silicone-based makeup, it is ideal for everyday wear and can last for up to 8 hours.
To ensure that airbrush makeup lasts as long as possible, it is important to properly prepare the skin before application. This involves cleansing the skin, moisturizing it, and applying a primer to help the makeup adhere better.
How long does airbrush makeup take to apply?
For a simple, natural look, makeup airbrushing can be completed in just under 10 minutes. But for a more intricate look with multiple shades and details, it can take upwards of 30 minutes to complete.
The complexity of the desired makeup look plays a role in the application time. The experience level of the user can also impact how long it takes to apply airbrush makeup. Beginners may take a bit longer to learn the technique to achieve the desired result. However, with practice, the time can be reduced significantly.
It’s important to note that the time spent on airbrushing is often well worth it. The finish is typically more seamless and long-lasting than traditional makeup application techniques, and it can save time in the long run as touch-ups are often minimal.
Benefits of using airbrush makeup over traditional makeup
There are many benefits to airbrush makeup over traditional makeup.
The most obvious and widely praised is the ethereal, flawless finish. Airbrush makeup has exploded in popularity for use in bridal makeup because of this feature. The fine mist of foundation provides the most even coverage possible with minimal changes to the skin’s natural texture. This makes airbrush makeup perfect for modern high definition television. By comparison, traditional makeup can look stiff and patchy on camera. Even when it’s applied by an expert!
Full coverage yet lightweight
One of the major advantages of airbrush makeup is its ability to provide full coverage with minimal product usage. The lightweight formula of airbrush makeup is also better for your skin. Normal liquid foundation is thick, blocking pores and eventually causing blemishes. Airbrush foundation lets your skin breathe, so it feels and looks more comfortable and natural on your face.
Long lasting & water resistant
Once applied, airbrush makeup can last for up to 12 hours without the need for touch-ups. This makes it ideal for special occasions such as weddings, photo shoots etc. where the makeup needs to stay intact for long periods.
In addition to its longevity, airbrush makeup is also water-resistant and sweat-proof. It does not smudge or transfer easily, making it an excellent choice for outdoor events or activities.
Disadvantages of airbrush makeup
While airbrush makeup has become increasingly popular due to its flawless finish and long-lasting results, it also comes with a few disadvantages that should be considered before investing in this technique.
One of the most significant drawbacks of airbrush makeup is its cost. Compared to traditional makeup, airbrush makeup can be quite expensive. This is because it requires specialized equipment, including an airbrush gun, compressor, and makeup formula. Additionally, the technique requires professional training, which can add to the overall cost.
Another disadvantage of airbrush makeup is that it can be challenging to apply on your own. Unlike traditional makeup, which can be easily applied with brushes or sponges, airbrush makeup requires a specific technique to achieve the desired results. This means that if you’re not familiar with the process, you may end up with a less-than-perfect finish.
Another potential downside is that airbrush makeup can be time-consuming. The process of applying airbrush makeup can take longer than traditional makeup application, especially if you’re not experienced with the technique. This can be a problem if you’re short on time and need to get ready quickly.
Lastly, airbrush makeup may not be suitable for everyone. Those with dry or sensitive skin may find that the formula exacerbates their condition, leading to discomfort or breakouts.
How to Apply Airbrush Makeup (Step by Step)
Now that you know just what you’re dealing with, it’s time to break down the steps to using an airbrush makeup system. While it may seem tricky to get the hang of at first, these steps will become second nature to you quickly. This will cut down your makeup application time significantly and make you photo-ready for any occasion.
1. Selecting Makeup Shade
The first step is selecting your makeup shade. Airbrush foundation comes in a wide array of shades. If you’re feeling adventurous you can even mix them together to create your perfect match. No matter what airbrush makeup system you have, you will need to use 2-5 drops of your specialized foundation in a small container or compartment on your applicator. The more drops used, the more full your coverage will be.
2. Applying Airbrush Makeup
The technique for applying airbrush makeup is very precise and can take some getting used to. You’ll want to hold the applicator 6-12 inches away from your face, again, depending on the coverage you would like. Holding the applicator closer will give you more coverage. While holding it farther away is a lighter, more natural look.
Apply in a gentle circular motion all over the face, being sure to keep the applicator upright. These circular motions are key to making the ‘airbrushed to perfection’ look everyone’s abuzz about. If you let your hand stop moving for too long you can end up with unsightly splotches of caked on makeup. If you have a problem area of skin, simply continue airbrushing in circular motion over the area until you’re satisfied.
3. Final Touch
Most likely you’ll want to apply other makeup on top of your airbrush foundation. In most cases, these will be normal, non-airbrush products. One common exception being blush, which is more frequently offered in an airbrush formula. Simply apply airbrush blush on the apples of your cheeks after foundation if this is the case.
Things You Should Consider before Using Airbrush Makeup
For the most part, you should have no problem applying other makeup with your airbrush makeup. Apply eye makeup and brow products normally. The thing you’ll want to be careful of is cream face products, such as cream contour, highlight, and blush products. Applying these over your finished airbrush foundation is tricky, if not impossible. Thick cream products can ‘push’ your base around. This puts dents in your perfect coverage and undoes some of the work you’ve just achieved. If you have a cream under-eye concealer or color-corrector for dark circles, it’s recommended to apply that first.
Make sure to blend it out as you normally would, before airbrushing your foundation on top. Any other cream based product will simply be covered up by your airbrush foundation if you put it on beforehand. Powder based products are a fantastic substitute. Apply these normally, using a suitable gentle makeup brush to apply, maintaining your streak-free, flawless look.
As with any other skill, the key to perfecting your airbrush is practice. This will help you find the ideal effect for your skin and its needs. Another way to build your skill is to learn by example. Watch makeup artists applying airbrush makeup on clients or on themselves. This will give you a chance to learn the techniques with helpful visual cues that you can imitate. When looking for videos to learn by, try to find a subject with similar skin tone as yours.
This easy-to-follow YouTube video will give you the basic idea on how to use airbrush makeup by your own.
However, It won’t help you much to learn by an example that does not apply to you. Makeup is highly individual, and what works for one person does not necessarily work for another.
To get the most out of your airbrush makeup look, make sure to stick with the brand of makeup that goes with your system. Every formula is different, and most airbrush makeup is going to perform best with it’s intended applicator.
Don’t forget to have fun! Makeup is an art form, and creativity flourishes in–and even creates–positive environments. No matter what your reason is for learning about specialized makeup and perfecting your skills in the trade, you’re part of the large and ever-growing community.
We are glad to have you.