On a daily basis I am asked if i offer airbrush makeup and YES i do. I was trained in how to use airbrush makeup BUT if i had to choose which i prefer then i would say I have tried both and for me personally, I prefer the traditional approach. I like to have a wide variety of finishes and textures to use so I am able to customize the best foundation for each individual face. Plus, I love the glow that I get from my favorite foundations which I haven’t found in airbrushing….yet.I’m always hunting for the best new thing. Look at any of the top top makeup artists out there or anything used on runway – Nars, Bobbi brown, Laura Mercier, Kevyn Aucoin – non of which probably touch an airbrush gun. It seems to be all the rage right now and it is amazing to use if you use it when appropriate.
The foundations a professional makeup artist usually has in their kit (i am talking about the makeup artists who work on movies, stage, runways or any makeup artist who has been through thorough training) use foundations that are not sold to the general public and are specifically made for makeup artists to adapt it to how they want or need it to be for their clients skin or for the look they are trying to achieve. Usually a base makeup that can then have moisturizer or glycerin or thinning agents added. Brands such as RCMA, Graftobian, Cinema Secrets to name a few. It is kind of like being a chemist of makeup!!
Don’t get me wrong i love airbrushing i always have my compressor with me, but i don’t use it on everyone. So here i am going to go into a bit more detail on the myths and truths i have learnt. I really felt like it was important to write this post as i get asked this question on a daily basis from brides.
**NOTE: Airbrush makeup is NOT to be confused with Airbrushing in Photoshop. It often is.
Myth: Airbrush Makeup is waterproof.
There are a few makeup brands that offer water resistant makeup but it has nothing to do with if it comes from an airbrush gun. Good applied makeup is good applied makeup, i love using a setting spray after makeup is applied. It is quiet heavy duty and used on stage/broadway because it helps prevent makeup melting off from the heat of the lights. It is amazing!! I find i can not use that spray with airbrush makeup as it doesn’t quiet mix well together. If the airbrush makeup does become wet through crying or sweating, you definitely do run the risk of it streaking and then it is quiet hard to touchup as you can’t exacty rub it in. With a setting spray, the tears just roll off the sealant!
Myth: Airbrush Makeup is good for bad skin.
I find Airbrush makeup to thin to be used as a foundation for acne, scarring, fine lines, wrinkles, or dry skin. I find it may be used as a fine finish on top of a traditional foundation simply to give it a finer finish once most of the work has been done. And by that i mean that an entire face of foundation and concealer has been applied long before the start button on the compressor is pushed. Airbrush makeup can set into fine lines and wrinkles and applying to much in one area for acne will give hot spots.
Myth: Airbrush Makeup will make me flawless.
Any makeup can make you the best version of yourself you can be, it does not have to be airbrush and there are many times it isn’t, actually i think only one bride in my gallery has it. The correct application for your own personal needs is more important, if you have dry skin, oily skin, mature skin etc. (It’s much more important that you hire a great artist than an artist solely based on if they airbrush or not – even though i do offer it, but i have makeup artist friends in the industry who have been turned away because they did not offer it). You cannot change the texture of your skin with airbrush either. Only Photo Shop can.
So why all the hype?
1) You see flawless models in a magazines whose been airbrushed. (Photoshop or Makeup?)
2) Airbrush makeup got a water-proof reputation, mostly because retail-lines promoted it that way like Dinair, Luminess and Temptu. Women saw the airbrushed models, that became a buzz word and shrewd makeup artists figured out that they could charge more for it. So, of course, then they started promoting it as a better service with a higher price, and because women wanted to look like models, they paid.
3) There are some cases where airbrush is not only suitable, it’s IDEAL, especially with High Definition camera’s becoming the norm. Especially on film or commercial sets, where durability isn’t an issue as there is a makeup artist standing by for touch ups at all times. It’s also equally awesome when covering large portions of the body or covering tattoos and special effects.
Airbrush makeup is a much finer thinner product then foundation. Because it comes out as a mist, it very closely replicas the way a camera sees your face kind of like tiny pixels being applied as opposed to a big block of color. Also, it makes blending a breeze! Carrying it down to the neck and decollete is smooth and seamless. The downside is that because it is so fine, it only works best on skin that is already in pretty awesome condition and should never never be applied heavily. You’ll find most well-respected celebrity makeup artists use traditional makeup, because it is more precise.
Traditional foundation is more opaque, and has a better coverage. Because the finish is in hand-blending, you can work the product into skin that may have some texture issues, filling in all the nooks and crannys with primers and such. It allows you to be more involved, more detailed, because you don’t have to worry about ruining a finish since the finish is largely contingent upon your skill as an artist and not a machine. Traditional foundation is more flexible when it comes to building up or sheering down coverage, which gives the artist more control over the final outcome. With many professional brands offering silicone based formula’s, the durability of a traditional foundation is more water-resistant rather than water proof, but it looks, acts, and feels more like skin. It will still take patience and a makeup wipe to remove, but not an intense scrubbing.
For those wanting a water-proof application, keep this in mind: Makeup that is best water-resistant is not super dry, it’s actually still got some viscosity to it. The water beads up on the skin, as opposed to re-wetting it, kind of the way a freshly-waxed car would bead up against the rain. For live engagements, like your wedding day, silicone based traditional makeup or hand-applied airbrush formula’s tend to be the artists’s preferred method, for control and precision.
So there you go, my take and experience on airbrush vs traditional specifically for brides. I most certainly do offer the option to brides, but as you can see i love working with traditional and would take it over airbrush any day. I like the art of painting on the foundation, contouring, and highlighting with my brushes!
Our preferred foundation line is Makeup Forever, Helena Rubinstein, Clé de Peau, RCMA, Temptu. These particular products can be used either as a traditional foundation, or combined with a mixing medium for airbrush application. Either way, we know our clients will be camera-ready and all-night-long fabulous!