Airbush Makeup versus Regular Application: A Makeup Artists Perspective

A ‘perfect’ canvas is essential for standout makeup looks. And if like most humans you’re skin is not naturally perfect, then a flawless base makeup is the next best thing. SO – how do you really achieve this elusive perfection? There’s plenty of makeup hype around the world wide web these days, millions of makeup artists dishing out advice – some useful, some not so. Over the past 5 or more years, there has been a lot of excitement around airbrush makeup. And I have lots of people asking me ‘what’s the difference between airbrush makeup and normal makeup’ and ‘is airbrush makeup the only way to go now?’. So with that said, let me offer you a little honest nidustry know-how to help you decide whether to go for airbrush makeup or not.

Airbrush Makeup versus Beauty Blender Application

Airbrush makeup

Airbrush Makeup Gun

I’ll be straight up, I use traditional application although I’m not anti-airbrush. I LOVE the Beauty Blender (or anything similar) but then I’ve also got a lot of talented friends in the industry who use airbrush and do a beautiful job. So I’m not here to convince you that my way is better, I just want you to have all the facts.

How is Airbrush Makeup Different?

It’s all in the application. The makeup is dispersed from an airbrush gun. If you’ve never seen one, I’d like to say it’s pretty similar to any other airbrush paint gun, just smaller, and specialised for makeup. It has an air compressor and well, just like the airbrush a house painter uses sprays out the product – hopefully in a nice light mist. The gun uses only thin foundations, often brands sell special airbrush formulas (which are thin, usually water based) but you don’t need an airbrush to use these products and many brands sell the same formula in airbrush bottles and pump bottles (same product different packaging).

Will Airbrush Makeup Last Longer?

No, there’s no difference in longevity. If you think about the science of makeup, all that you’re changing is the application method. The process of application can’t change the staying power of the product. Sure the product is often on which is a little thinner, to allow it go through the gun. This can sometimes be what people are referring to when they say that it ‘lasts longer’. However, this feature of these foundations is not exclusive to airbrush foundations. As evidence of this, many brands sell a silicon liquid you can use to thin out a regular foundation to put it through the gun – in which case you are taking a foundation which is designed for sponge use and adapting it to put it on with a gun. Plus if the airbrush product is truly fabulous, you can buy it and use it in a traditional application anyway. Most airbrush artists then set the foundation with a powder, just like you would in traditional methods. It’s this setting powder which further helps the foundation last. When makeup doesn’t last on your skin it’s because you have oily skin or the product is just poor quality. Given you can use the same products in the airbrush guns as without, there is no logical reason it would last any longer.

Beauty blender versus airbrush makeup

The Beauty Blender

Why do People Prefer Airbrush Makeup?

After hearing all this information, the next question I tend to get is ‘then why do people say airbrush is better?’. As with a lot of beauty industry innovationg: People love a ‘new’ thing and so airbrush gets talked about a lot because its relatively new. Plus there are some clients who have airbrush done and find the finish was truely flawless, hopefully you’re realising now though that in reality it wasn’t the airbrush gun which made the finish flawless but rather the skills of the artist using the gun. In the right hands airbrush technique makes the foundation application flawless. But, the caveat here is that same logic applies to all makeup techniques. A traditional sponge method in the right hands – or a mineral powder method for matter – will look equally flawless. And yes, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in the wrong hands, airbrush can look cakey too. I’ve seen it go both ways. For me personally, I love my Beauty Blender because I like the control it gives me. I love to press the foundation into the skin, and build with a range of colours (I do my contouring with foundation and cream blush). Of course you can do that with a gun too, it just takes more time to switch between colours.

But SURELY Vanessa, airbrush has to better, everyone is raving about it! ?

All I can say is that on average, new upcoming makeup artists have a better chance of getting a flawless foundation with an airbrush gun, so a lot of people entering the industry go straight to the airbrush technique, hence you hear a lot about it. The airbrush gun offers a quick and effective method for getting flawless medium coverage. But skills are skills, whether you use an airbrush gun, a beauty blender or a mineral makeup, a good makeup artist will give you a flawless look and can build from light to heavy coverage as needed.

Plus, remember that everyone loves to be ‘in the know’ – keeping up with all the trends, – so you’re naturally going to get lots of excitement around such a unique change to the industry. Nevertheless, there are as many makeup artists out there – like me 🙂 ! – using traditional methods to wow their clients, as there are people with airbrush guns.

But, should I go with airbrush makeup just to be sure?

The takeaway message here is to choose your makeup artists based on her portfolio, customer reviews and fit with your taste. Once you have found someone who does a standout job, and whose style you particularly like, then entrust them to do their magic whichever way they see as best.

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