Airbrush Makeup vs. Traditional: A Makeup Artists Perspective
I wrote an article just like this about five years ago, at the height of my anti-airbrush parade. I paraded up and down these cyber alleyways loudly explaining why I just loathed this trendy makeup application, and let me tell you I had good reason! I had seen just so, so many terrible airbrush makeup applications, thing gone wrong, streaks and smears… I even had photographers who used our services because they hated having to retouch it. And then, on Feb 11th of this year, it was like the clouds parted and I finally GOT it. This super-fantastic uber-artist came to town and offered a Airbrush HD class. The wealth of information I obtained was well worth the price of admission, and now I can gracefully end the parade knowing I’m savvier for it.
**NOTE: Airbrush makeup is NOT to be confused with Airbrushing in Photoshop. It often is.
Now I tote my compressor and equipment with me wherever I go, but I don’t use it on everyone. Let’s start by going over the myths:
Myth: Airbrush Makeup will make me flawless.
Any makeup can make you the prettiest version of yourself you can be, it doesn’t have to be airbrush and there are many times it isn’t. The correct application for your own personal needs is more important. (Read: It’s much more important that you hire a great aritst than an artist soley based on if they airbrush or not)
Myth: Airbrush Makeup is waterproof.
Well, there are a few makeup lines that are water resistant, but it has nothing to do with weather or not is comes out of an airbrush gun. And, when makeup is water resistant, it comes with it’s own set of problems.
Myth: Airbrush Makeup is good for bad skin.
No. Airbrush makeup is WAY to thin to be used as a foundation for acne, scarring, fine lines, wrinkles, or dry skin. At best, 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.
So why all the hype?
1) You see this flawless model in a magazine whose been airbrushed. (Makeup or Photoshop?)
2) Airbrush makeup got a water-proof repuation, mostly because retail-lines promoted it that way.
3) There are some cases where airbrush is not only suitable, it’s IDEAL, especially with High Definition camera’s becoming the norm.
Airbrush makeup is a much finer product, thinner than a traditional foundation. Because it comes out as a spray, it very closely mimics the way cameras see your face. Think of it as tiny little 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 caveat is that because it is so fine, it only works best on skin that is already in pretty great condition and should never be applied heavily.
Traditional foundation is more opaque, and has a richer coverage. Also, 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. 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.
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.
Our preferred foundation line is Makeup Forever in HD. This particular product 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!