What is airbrush makeup? – A definitive guide for dummies

what is airbrush makeup

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What is airbrush makeup?

This is perhaps the first question that people who hear about Airbrush Makeup ask. What is it? Why might I be interested in it?

Here we’ll try and give a bit of background to Airbrush Makeup. If you’re interested, have a look through our guide to learn more.

Airbrush makeup is a means of applying makeup that uses an airbrush, similar to those used in the painting of cars. Of course, the pressure of the airbrush is very gentle and allows for a smooth application of makeup without cracks or streaks.

The makeup comes in liquid form is pumped through the gun using a compressor, which compresses air to provide the pressure necessary.

Airbrush Makeup has boomed in popularity in recent years. As more and more women (and men!) begin to appreciate the truly stunning look that Airbrush Makeup can provide.

Many comment that Airbrush Makeup almost looks as if the subject isn’t wearing makeup at all, but rather that they just have very good skin. The resurgence is also somewhat thanks to the advent of High Definition Television (HDTV).

With such high quality pictures it becomes much easier to see imperfections in regular makeup and Airbrush Makeup has become the ‘go-to’ makeup. It’s durability is also a major factor, as it lasts for hours and is water-resistant.

This has led to it being increasingly used for weddings and other special occasions where regular makeup might not last.

Airbrush Makeup comes in the form of a very thin liquid. This liquid is highly colorized and is sprayed directly onto the skin of the subject.

Film formers can also be applied if the makeup is needed to stay for a particularly long period of time.

Airbrush Makeup  allows for precision and beautiful makeup application. In many ways, it is an art in itself. Due to it’s huge popularity in professional circles, it has now started to reach domestic customers.

There are now a number of products available for individuals to try applying airbrush makeup. All of these products are reviewed on this site.

An introduction to Airbrush Makeup

The makeup used in Airbrush Makeup is in fact very similar to traditional makeup. It comes in wide ranges of colors and consists of foundations, blushes, eyeshadow, eyeliner; everything you might expect from traditional makeup.

Just like normal makeup, you’ll need to combine these in order to design a look that works well for you and your skin tone. Fortunately, Airbrush Makeup is just as easy, if not easier, than regular makeup to do this.

The amount you spray will define how clear the color on the skin becomes. If you don’t need very much foundation, then you don’t need to spray the makeup for long.

If however there are a number of blemishes to conceal, spraying more foundation will allow you to get opaque coverage.

The key difference between Airbrush Makeup and Regular makeup is the way in which it is applied. Airbrush Makeup is in liquid form in order to allow it to spray out of the Airbrush gun.

There are 3 major types of Airbrush Makeup

Water-based makeup
This has, in recent years, become the most common type of Airbrush Makeup. It is the one least likely to cause any kind of issues as it is hypoallergenic and consists primarily of harmless distilled water with colors.

It leaves a matte finish and is the ‘go-to’ makeup for millions worldwide. Thanks to its universal appeal, many leading Airbrush Makeup manufacturers such as Dinair only sell water-based makeup.

One downside of water-based makeup is that it isn’t quite as water-resistant as silicone-based makeup. That said, water-based makeup is easier to clean off or rearrange if you make a mistake while applying it or need a touch-up later in the day.

Using water-based makeup also helps with the maintenance of your Airbrush Makeup gun, as it tends to be easier to clean than silicone-based makeup.

Silicone-based makeup
This is the second most popular type of makeup. Many swear by silicone-based makeup as it tends to provide a more striking look than water-based makeup.

It also tends to be slightly more water-resistant than water-based makeup. That said, many are wary to apply silicone-based makeup to their skin due to health concerns.

The debate over whether silicone is good or bad for the skin has raged for many years and continues to be hotly debated.

That said, there are some other disadvantages to silicone-based Airbrush Makeup. It’s more difficult to clean than normal makeup (it gets stuck in the Airbrush Makeup gun easier) and also a little harder to remove from the skin after application.

Due to these concerns, a number of manufacturers have removed silicone makeup from their products but others such as Temptu continue to sell them.


Alcohol-based makeup
This is the least common form of Airbrush Makeup. It’s generally used for body paint applications and should be avoided on the face as it’s the most likely of the three to provoke some kind of skin reaction and can dry out the skin.

Most users of Airbrush Makeup shouldn’t need to use alcohol-based makeup on a regular basis.

Our suggestion is to start with water-based Airbrush Makeup if you are a beginner and progress to silicone-based makeup if you want to try this at a later date. You probably won’t need alcohol-based makeup.

What is the difference between airbrush makeup and regular makeup?

Ah, the debate that has plagued the makeup community for decades: Airbrush Makeup vs Regular Makeup. Which is better? Which is more cost effective?

Which is more practical? In this article, we hope to shed some light on the differences between the two to help you decide if Airbrush Makeup is right for you.

Airbrush makeup – What is it?

Airbrush Makeup is a liquid makeup that is fired through an air gun. This air gun is controlled by a trigger and when you pull the trigger, the makeup emerges in the form of a mist.

Holding this at just the right distance and for the right amount of time over a subject provides a very even application of makeup that almost looks as though the subject isn’t wearing makeup at all.

Airbrush Makeup – what are the advantages?

The biggest advantage of Airbrush Makeup is simply how good it looks. You really have to see it to believe it. Many women comment that it almost looks as if you aren’t wearing makeup at all but just have almost unnaturally beautiful skin.

This type of makeup has become hugely popular in recent years as it is one of the few makeups that looks flawless on High Definition television and film.

Airbrush makeup doesn’t tend to shine very much and leaves a matte finish. At the same time, Airbrush Makeup tends to be waterproof, so it doesn’t matter much if you start to cry with it on (See: Will Airbrush Makeup resist crying?).

On top of this, Airbrush Makeup lasts a long time without needing a touch-up, which is very helpful for long, important days such as weddings and photo-shoots.

Airbrush Makeup – what are the disadvantages?

The main disadvantage of Airbrush Makeup is the practical aspect of it. It simply isn’t as easy to apply and can’t be applied anywhere. You can’t whip out your Airbrush Makeup gun on the metro and start applying it (without causing a scene at least).

You also need to keep your Airbrush Makeup kit clean regularly and perhaps replace some parts after a while. Finally, it can be hard to get good information on Airbrush Makeup.

This website was created to fill the information gap in the Airbrush Makeup world but it’s more difficult to go to your local mall and find an expert in Airbrush Makeup. Many of the best kits can only be purchased online, which is why it pays to check out some reviews before you buy.

It will also take time and practice to get good at Airbrush Makeup. If you’ve been using regular makeup your whole life you will have some idea about colors and how to get a good look but the application process with Airbrush Makeup is totally different.

It’ll take time to get used to the feel of applying makeup through an airbrush and will take practice to become really good at it.

Normally it doesn’t take too long to get proficient at applying Airbrush Makeup, but expect to have at least a few ‘trial runs’ at home before wearing it outside for the first time! It can be a good idea to get some classes, but these might not be available in your area.

Finally, there is the cost aspect. Normally makeup artists will charge more for an Airbrush Makeup application as it is considered a specialized skill.

If you want to buy your own kit and do it at home, it could cost quite a lot to buy the compressor and airbrush gun in the first place which isn’t necessary with regular makeup.

That said, over the long run, it shouldn’t work out much more expensive than regular branded makeup.

Regular Makeup – What is it?

I’m sure most of you already know what traditional makeup is so I won’t go into too much detail here. Essentially regular makeup comprises of creams and compressed powders that are applied to the face using either the fingers or instruments such as small brushes.

Regular Makeup – What are the advantages?

Normal makeup is easy to put on, wherever you are. It doesn’t require any special equipment or even an electrical socket. For this reason, it is easy to touch up as you go through the day. It is everywhere, and easy to find in a store near you or you can choose the best ladies makeup kits from here.

There is a huge market for regular makeup in the world and you can be guaranteed to find a makeup product that will work for you and your skin. Because of the huge amount of competition, prices also tend to be quite reasonable, even on the top brands.

Regular Makeup – What are the disadvantages?

Regular makeup won’t look quite as ‘flawless’ as Airbrush Makeup. It is also more likely to smudge and be affected by water such as tears.

It’s more likely to rub off onto clothing, too. On the plus side, due to its versatility, it is easier to reapply than Airbrush Makeup.

That said, if you are weighing up the two for your wedding day, it might be better to go for the Airbrush Makeup as it is impractical to keep going to one side to reapply the makeup. In this sense, Airbrush Makeup should be more durable.

Although we mentioned that Airbrush Makeup took time to learn how to apply, we should also bear in mind that putting on traditional makeup takes practice and is still something of an art.

Both types of makeup have a learning curve but with regular makeup, we assume that most reading this will already have some experience with it as it is everywhere.

Airbrush Makeup vs Traditional Makeup

Often the decision between Airbrush Makeup vs Regular Makeup often comes down to personal choice. That said, don’t rule out Airbrush Makeup without giving it a go first; you might be pleasantly surprised!

How much does Airbrush Makeup cost?

This is one of the most frequent questions that those who are new to Airbrush Makeup ask. Airbrush Makeup has historically only been available to the rich and famous as it was hard to find reasonably priced artists and compressors.

In the past 10 years, Airbrush Makeup has exploded in popularity, with many new products on the market which has driven down the price.

The cost of Airbrush Makeup will vary greatly depending on a number of factors such as your needs and location.

We have split this guide into two sections: those who are looking to hire an Airbrush Makeup artist for a day (i.e. for a special event, such as a wedding) and those who wish to purchase an Airbrush Makeup kit and do it themselves.

Hiring an Airbrush Makeup Artist for the day

Often, the most cost-effective method can be to hire an Airbrush Makeup artist for a single session. This is particularly the case if you just want some special makeup for a special occasion such as a wedding, modeling session, or TV/film shoot.

The price will depend on a number of factors. If you have your makeup done at the artist’s studio they will usually charge less, and conversely, they’ll tend to charge more if you want them to come to you.

The cost of an Airbrush Makeup session will also differ depending on what kind of services you require, and for how many people. A single Airbrush Makeup application will cost less than a number of touch-ups throughout the day.

If it’s just one person (for example the bride) that requires an artist, it will generally be cheaper than hiring an artist for a number of people.

As a rough guide:

  • At the studio – 1 person: $60-$250
  • On-site – 1 person: $150-$500 (perhaps more if a remote location)
  • On-site – hire a makeup artist for a day, multiple touch-ups, more than 1 person: $600-$1200

This is compiled from our personal experience and research. That said, this is a rough guide and it will completely depend on your needs. Whether or not you need a full suite of services is another matter.

Airbrush Makeup tends to be very durable and you may only need one application in the morning. That said, if you don’t live anywhere near a salon, you may need to have someone on site anyway and it may not cost much more to have them there for the rest of the day.

One thing we would recommend is to have a trial run before the big day. This way you can see if the artist is right for you and you can also get used to wearing Airbrush Makeup on your skin (it feels very different from normal makeup!)

Buying your own kit: how much does an Airbrush Makeup Kit cost?

Often those who use Airbrush Makeup for a special occasion such as a wedding end up liking it so much that they look into buying their own kit and doing it themselves. We have already written extensively about the benefits of Airbrush Makeup, which are many.

That said, a big factor is cost. How much does Airbrush Makeup cost in reality? The answer is not a lot, or at least, probably not as much as you think. Fortunately, the cost has come down a lot in the past few years.

Once again, however, the answer to this question is not very straightforward. A lot of the cost depends on what you want. If you want a better quality compressor you may have to pay a bit more.

If you plan to use it regularly you may need to buy a more durable kit, but if you just want to use it every now and then, a basic kit works fine.

Dinair, which is famous as one of the leading providers of Airbrush Makeup, sells their basic kit for as little as $99 (click here to see more on the Dinair Website*).

Other kits range in price from $100-$300. You’ll also need to think about the type of makeup you actually want. When you are getting started in Airbrush Makeup, you’ll need to buy an Airbrush/Compressor (a spray and little machine that pumps the makeup) as well as the actual liquid makeup itself. You can read our best airbrush makeup kits reviews.

This will very much depend on your individual makeup needs. Some women have a wide range of different colors whereas others stick regularly to the same and don’t need any more. Whenever you are thinking of buying a compressor, you need to also look at the price of the makeup itself.

Some Airbrush Makeup Companies sell their kits very cheaply but then charge a lot more for the makeup. The makeup is designed to work best with the compressor, so make sure you think about the long-term costs from the outset!

Having said this, Airbrush Makeup really isn’t much more expensive than regular makeup. Sure, there’s a bit more of an initial outlay for the machine, but once this is purchased it tends to work out as cheap, or sometimes cheaper, than regular makeup from top brands. A lot of this depends of course on where you buy it.

This website was designed to help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing an Airbrush Makeup System. Have a look at our reviews section to read some real reviews by users of these products and see if they are right for you!


This article was so brief and tried to answer all the questions about, what is airbrush makeup, how to do that, how to find the best airbrush machine and etc.

One thought on “What is airbrush makeup? – A definitive guide for dummies

  1. Like!! I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest.

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