Airbrush Makeup vs Manually Applied Makeup

airbrush makeup application

What the hell is Airbrush makeup? You need a what to apply it? Isn’t a compressor used for painting cars?

Let me start from the beginning…

The airbrush makeup technique has been used in Art for many many years and according to Wikipedia was first known to be used for makeup on the 1959 movie Ben Hur.

Airbrushing is a technique that uses compressed air to spray a soft, even mist of makeup over the face. This creates a smooth, lightweight and flawless finish to the skin.

Sheer to full coverage can easily be achieved, all while feeling so lightweight to the wearer. Most TV stations use airbrush as a staple and it has become a highly desired form of application for the modern day bride too.

Durability is generally higher with airbrush products, but this can also be determined by the choice of product.

The 3 most commonly used airbrush makeups are either:

  • Silicone based – providing a smooth, long wearing, waterproof application
  • Alcohol based – providing a strong water proof and extremely durable application, often used for temporary tattoos
  • Water based – providing a gentle long wearing, water resistant application

All are, at their basic core, made of pigments and liquids to get them through the airbrush gun. This liquid essentially evaporates for the most part, leaving mostly pigment sitting on the skin doing all the work for the day. This makes it great for sensitive skin and people who hate the feeling of wearing makeup.

Although airbrush makeup can be applied manually, manual makeup products can NOT be used through an airbrush gun.

So, does that mean airbrush is better?

Your makeup artist should choose high quality products for both manual and airbrush applications, meaning, if you have the right artist, you can’t lose with either option. But here are some differences to help you choose;

  1. Long wear and Durability

    A good professional makeup should last all day anyway, but airbrush makeups tend to last just that bit longer, especially in the rain or underwater

  2. Comfort

    Due to the high pigment percentages of a good quality professional makeup, both types should be comfortable. However, if you rarely wear makeup, or hate the feeling of makeup, airbrush makeup is your best option as it feels super light-weight.

  3. Coverage

    Both can give you a soft sheer, medium level, or full coverage. So either way, you are covered.

  4. Sensitivity

    Most products adhere to dermatological and allergy testing, but no brand can ever say it is 100% allergy, or sensitivity safe, as even Aloe Vera can irritate some skins (I currently have a student who is allergic to Aloe). Saying that, due to the fact that airbrush products tend to be made up of a smaller combination of ingredients, it runs a slightly lower risk of causing reactions.

  5. Photo Friendly

    Meaning will it look good in photos. A good makeup artist will choose high quality professional products either way. So both should reflect nicely in your photos.

  6. Versatility

    You can use both techniques for foundation, highlight, contouring, blush, eyeshadows and creative designs. I still prefer though, to apply eye makeup manually, as I feel I have more control in those smaller areas. Most airbrush artists will do some elements manually.

  7. Price

    Manually applied makeups tend to be anywhere from $15 to $40 cheaper than airbrushed makeups. So if price is an issue, go with manually applied. A good quality makeup artist will ensure you look good either way.