Let me begin by saying this is MY opinion, what works for me in my artistry, and what techniques I prefer. I’m also posting this to help future clients, as I spend a great deal of time explaining my perspective on this via emails/texts/phone calls before booking and this might help clear a few things up and help a few folks a long the way.
With that being said…..
I kinda hate air brush. But I also think it’s amazing. I have the same emotional commitment with it as I do with my hair. I’m always changing my mind on it…sometimes it’s great…and sometimes I hate it and never wanna see it again.
I honestly believe there is A LOT of confusion out there with the general population about what airbrush is, what it does, and when the best time and place to use it is. And I felt compelled to hop on my soap box and say my piece.
– For starters: Somehow over time, airbrush makeup has kind of become confused with the effects of photo shop airbrushing. In this media saturated day and age we live in, you have no doubt heard of beautiful celebrities and models being airbrushed to an unattainable flawless state of perfection in magazines and things of that nature. Airbrushing in Photoshop has the ability to smooth out the appearance of ones skin in post production thereby eliminating pores, fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars and any other textural discrepancies one may have. Airbrush makeup alone cannot accomplish this. In fact, no ONE product of makeup in the world is guaranteed to make you look more flawless than another…if your artist isn’t up to snuff. It’s just the way it is…so when booking I recommend looking at the persons work in terms of the finished look as opposed to worrying too much about what they used. Technique is EVERYTHING. A good artist can make you look better with cheaper drug store makeup than the majority of people can make themselves look with the most expensive selections you can find at Sephora.
-There’s also this misconception that air brush is water proof. And I’m not sure at all how that came to be. Because its pretty obvious that it’s the product that would ensure whether or not the makeup is in fact water proof NOT the tool that is used to apply it. Airbrush foundations are usually water based but there are also silicone based ones, which is the kind I prefer. Silicon makeup has a tendency to be a bit more water RESISTANT and in liquid foundation versions of it (for example) water just kinda beads up and rolls off..but that still doesn’t make it totally water PROOF. But on the plus side with airbrush makeup, a very thin mist of it is applied to the face and once dry it’s not going to transfer when rubbed or put in contact with DRY surfaces. Meaning on your wedding day when your slow dancing with your new husband and your head should happen to rest on his shoulder…you won’t leave any makeup behind and it won’t remove any of it from your face therefore making it look freshly applied much longer. BUT…hear you me…if you’re a crier…you get caught in the rain…or accidentally spill a little champagne on your mouth when you go take a sip IT WILL STREAK. And once it streaks there is unfortunately nothing that can be done. If you have an airbrush gun in your clutch locked and loaded to go over and blend it out.. there is STILL nothing you can do. This is important to remember when making your final decision on such an important day.
– There are also certain skin types air brush will not work on…at least not on its own. Heavily textured, aging, or acneic skin will not benefit from airbrush alone. Your artist will likely have to apply a layer of foundation and concealer THEN add a mist of the foundation over top. Also, airbrush foundation has a very matte finish usually so if you’re more geared to a dewy or luminous (duminous as I like to say) it might not be your favorite in the world.
For me, what I DONT like about air brush is: there is less room for customization. For photos and special events I like to really take my time layering products to achieve a long-lasting “glow from within” look and I just can’t get the same effect with airbrush no matter how much time I spend doing it. It’s just not the same. There are so many amazing products and tools on the market right now that achieve “an airbrushed finish”. Though I’m not sure why because as I stated before, I don’t really like the finish of the foundation in the first place. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the finish of airbrush foundation it seems to just be the term people use when they want to describe something as “flawless”. VERY FEW highly sought after or world-renowned makeup artists use airbrush as their primary makeup applying tool (unless we are talking SFX that is). And its my opinion that the reasons for that are similar to the ones that I have just described. It’s just kinda an out dated technique that was SUPER revolutionary in the 80s/90s and because it sounds so “luxurious” I think people are kinda gravitated towards it without really knowing what they are paying for or SHOULD be paying for.
With that being said there are some very lovely things about airbrush.
-The first is the feeling of it on the skin. If you don’t have problematic skin and can get away without needing a layer of traditionally applied foundation first……it feels incredibly light. Which is ideal for those who rarely (if ever) wear makeup and would probably HATE the feeling of layers of foundation on what is most likely a day when they wanna feel comfortable and most themselves. It’s also VERY good for people with very sensitive skin because as I mentioned before most airbrush foundation is water based.
– It does photograph and appear on HD film beautifully! Because the mist is so crazy fine of an application (and it’s fairly difficult to build to a cakey finish) it doesn’t register on the camera as MAKEUP and looks much more like actual skin. It’s not as easy to have airbrush makeup appear cakey or over applied so this is another benefit to the technique as well. Now this ALSO depends on the caliber of photographer/videographer on some cases but for the most part..the camera LOVES airbrush.
– Another great feature is that so long as the formula of the traditional foundation your artist applies matches the formulation of the airbrush foundation it’s a great finishing touch to your makeup that will yield flawless results and ensure a locked and loaded level of longevity to your makeup. This is my personal favorite way to do airbrush…and the results are amazing.
Either way you decide to have your makeup done (traditional or airbrush) it’s a very personal decision and it should be about what makes you feel the most beautiful.
I hope you found this article helpful! Feel free to send me questions or comments and check out my instagram, my youtube channel, and my Facebook. All links are on my site’s home page.
Love you guys and have a great day!