Airbrush Makeup Vs. Regular Makeup

The most asked beauty question I get is “What is the difference between regular makeup and Airbrush makeup?”

I am going to share with you my honest opinion on the two different makeup styles. Let’s start with Airbrush Makeup. I can best describe the formula of Airbrush Makeup as a very thin liquid, almost water like material. Airbrush formulas need to be thin if they are going to spray properly out of the Airbrush Gun. Airbrush formulas come in various finishes from ultra matte to radiant glowing. Airbrush is applied by dropping in 3-4 drops of the formula into a gun, air pressure pushes the formula through the gun into an invisible stream on your face. Tiny microscopic circles of color are fanned onto the skin. The result is a very natural, weightless look on the skin. The skin still looks like skin but more perfected in skintone. I usually describe it as a liquid veil that’s been placed on the skin. Any skin types will benefit from airbrush, mostly combination to oilier skin will see the best results. Here are some points on the formula:

  • The formula is best for those seeking a natural look on the skin. Color correcting and perfecting skin tone with light coverage is the main purpose of Airbrush makeup.

  • Most formulas are long wearing- you can expect Airbrush to last for hours.

  • Airbrush photographs well, most formulas do not contain sunscreen which is perfect for avoiding flash back in photographs.

  • Airbrush for the most part in non-transferable. However, if there is colored setting powder on top, that can possibly transfer.

  • Airbrush makeup can look drying on mature skin or very textured skin. I don’t recommend it for these skin types.

  • if you sweat easily on your face or live in a humid client, Airbrush will do well for you.

  • If you want a natural makeup style or are not use to wearing a lot of makeup, this is a good choice.

Traditional liquid and creme formulas have come a long ways since the days of “pancake makeup”. The technology that we see today in formulas is impressive. Traditional makeup comes in all types of formulas from very sheer to maximum coverage. Formulas today have added benefits of built in primers, different finishes, extra hydration, mattifying properties, and even peptides that give the skin a more plump and youthful look. Makeup Artists love using traditional makeup because their formulas can be manipulated. What this means is that a Makeup Artist can customize a formula for you. For example, let’s say I have a client that has very dry and dull skin and for the most part her skin is clear except for a few troubled areas on her chin. I can take a foundation that I know will give her a nice medium finish and adjust it to create more coverage if necessary. I can also add a few drops of oil if needed for hydration and to create a glowing skin I can add in a few drops of highlighter. Once the foundation is applied i can go in and makeup adjustments as needed right on the skin. This is not as easily done with Airbrush. Once you disturb the Airbrush finish, you can end up with blotches. Here are some points on the formula:

  • Traditional makeup is great for those looking for a medium to fuller coverage foundation. If you need coverage, this is the way to go. For example, with Airbrush makeup your freckles will shine through the skin easily. Traditional makeup will cover them. Traditional makeup can also be sheered down to a light coverage, so again these formulas are moldable.

  • Mature skin is better off with traditional makeup. Airbrush makeup can fall into fine lines and wrinkles easily. Traditional makeup offers more emollient formulas to give a more youthful look for this type of skin.

  • Traditional makeup also photographs very well, it’s favored in photography shoots.

  • Any skin types can wear traditional makeup, there is a formula for everyone.

I would never say that one type of formula is better than the other, they are totally different. It really depends on your skin type, the desired coverage, and the overall look that you are trying to achieve. If you approach your Makeup Artist with a picture that resembles a Kardashian, then you won’t be happy with the outcome of Airbrush. That type of overall style is achieved with traditional makeup. An Airbrush makeup Style would be more of a Kate Bosworth or Jessica Biel type of look.

I have posted two clients that had the different formulas. You can see that they both photographed well and it’s really hard to tell the difference in formula. They are both good options. Once you have a conversation with your Makeup Artist, they can help guide you in the right direction.

Hope this helps to clarify some differences for you! xoxo- Ana Bazan

Traditional makeup Style- Misty McLendon Photography

Traditional makeup Style- Misty McLendon Photography

Airbrush makeup- Christina Carrol Photography

Airbrush makeup- Christina Carrol Photography