There’s a debate in the makeup industry going on and it’s something that you, an avid makeup user, may well have an opinion on. The airbrush vs. regular makeup debate stems from the fact that these are two different methods of applying makeup on the face. Their results will likely be different, too.
Each method of makeup application has its pros and cons, aside from the influence of your personal preferences and biases. Keep in mind, nonetheless, that no matter which technique chosen, the most important thing is the proper selection, application and removal of makeup.
What is airbrush makeup - Airbrush vs. regular makeup
It’s a question that must first be answered for the benefit of readers who may be unfamiliar with it. Basically, airbrush makeup is makeup applied onto the skin using an airbrush (i.e., sprayed on). The main tool used is an airbrush, which has three parts, namely:
- A powered compressor used in creating a controllable and even airflow (i.e., to control the amount of makeup applied and its speed of application);
- A medical grade hose through which the makeup passes through; and
- A metal gun with a trigger action that acts as the on-off switch.
An airbrush makeup system can be changed according to the type of makeup being applied, usually by adjusting the air pressure. This can be changed, for example, depending on whether you want a lighter day makeup or a heavier night makeup. Said system can also be used for face and body painting, sunless tanning, and for film, theater and television makeup.
Airbrush makeup systems come in two types – the personal and commercial/industrial use. The former have a smaller size and run on a lower pressure than the former. Both, however, can achieve similar results in the hands of an expert.
Airbrush makeup is also available for foundation and primer, blush, eye shadow and eyebrows, and lips. Like regular makeup, it can also be used for layering, shading, and contouring. Many makeup manufacturers are also making makeup for both airbrush and regular makeup use so consumers have a choice.
In contrast, traditional makeup refers to the makeup, such as blush, eye shadow, and foundation, which are applied using sponges, brushes, and fingers. Aside from these manual tools, there are no other powered tools necessary; in contrast, an airbrush makeup set must be connected to a power source. Regular makeup, as it’s also called, typically have a thicker consistency than airbrush makeup, too.
Both types of makeup have their expiration date because the preservatives, among other ingredients, in makeup will break down over time. The result: Bacteria can grow on it that can be transferred to your skin leading to infections (e.g., acne) and irritations.
The general guidelines for throwing all types of makeup are: (after opening and using regardless of the frequency of use)
- One year for foundation
- Two years for powder, blush, and eye shadow
- One year of lipstick
- Three to four months for mascara
If you notice any adverse reactions to airbrush and/or regular makeup, you should stop using it and give your skin time to breathe. You should also consider changing your makeup since you may be allergic to its ingredients.
Airbrush vs. Regular Makeup: Their Uses
The airbrush makeup vs. regular makeup debate can easily be settled if we only consider their results when seen on high-definition television and cameras. The technology can be a bane because every flaw, from open pores to acne scars, can be more clearly seen on the screen, whether it’s a close-up shot on film or a selfie on social media.
On one hand, many makeup fans and artists are switching to the best airbrush makeup because of its finer final results. When it’s sprayed on the skin, it settles on the skin like a million droplets of moisture.
This creates a more natural appearance with an even, sheer and silky look than traditional makeup. On the other hand, regular makeup can feel and look heavy on the skin.
The formula also makes flaws, such as pores, fine lines, and wrinkles, more visible on a high-definition screen. There’s a certain heaviness, or a non-natural, feeling with regular makeup even with the so-called no-makeup makeup look.
Both types of makeup, however, are still popular among makeup fans and artists. The results will obviously be different depending on your skill level with the tools and techniques required in each type of makeup. You may, for example, be adept in the application of regular makeup but be a novice in airbrush makeup.
Many, if not most, of the best airbrush makeup artists started with regular makeup application since it’s a great way to learn the ropes, so to speak. The techniques in airbrush makeup can be learned from a professional (e.g., makeup school), tutorials on social media (e.g., YouTube), or do-it-yourself (i.e., trial and error on yourself and on other people).
Both types of makeup also require the use of the best makeup organizers to keep them organized, as well as away from possible sources of contamination like water, oil and alcohol. The airbrush makeup kit usually has its own box for its three main parts.
Airbrush Makeup vs. Regular Makeup: Their Ingredients
In the United States, as many as 12,500 unique ingredients have been approved for use in the production of personal care products including makeup.But a typical product can contain anywhere between 15 and 50 ingredients that can include the following:
- Water, the basis for most cosmetics including makeup
- Emulsifiers, the ingredients that keep unlike substances like water and oil from separation usually by changing their surface tension (e.g., polysorbates)
- Preservatives, the ingredients that prevent the growth of fungi and bacteria (i.e., to extend shelf life)
- Thickeners, the agents that give products the desired consistency (e.g., lipid thickeners, mineral thickeners, and synthetic thickeners)
- Emollients, the ingredients that prevent water loss to achieve a softening effect like those used in lipsticks (e.g., beeswax)
- Coloring agents, the pigments derived from mineral (e.g., mica flakes) and natural (e.g., beet powder) sources for changing the color of the other ingredients
Airbrush makeup contains many of these ingredients, too, albeit in different formulations for ease of passing through the hose. There are also six formulas for airbrush makeup, namely:
- Water based airbrush makeup, which has finely grounds pigments diluted in water
- Polymer water-based, which mixes water, pigment and polymers for a continuous coating
- Polymer SD40 alcohol-based, which uses alcohol to facilitate faster drying of the makeup
- Alcohol-based, which are known as temporary airbrush inks are usually used in making temporary tattoos
- silicone airbrush makeup, which can be mixed (i.e., thinned) with other formulas for a lighter look and feel; it’s also longer-lasting and less prone to fading
Keep in mind that regular makeup cannot be used for airbrush makeup purposes because of the differences in consistency.
Airbrush vs. Traditional Makeup: Their Techniques
In an airbrush makeup vs. traditional makeup comparison, their different techniques will also be highlighted. On one hand, regular makeup can be applied using your fingers although it isn’t recommended.
The basic tools used in regular makeup application include brushes, sponges and combs, which allow for more effective application including blending, shading and contouring.
On the other hand, airbrush makeup use a special tool for applying foundation, blush and eye shadow. Makeup artists use a freehand technique in manipulating the air pressure and distance of the airgunto create the desired coverage, color blend, and other effects. They also use two main movements –a forward-and-backward motion and a circular motion –in makeup application.
There are two types of airbrush used in airbrush makeup, too. Both work on the same principles but require slightly different techniques in practice.
- A dual-action airbrush provides more control in the amount of makeup released – the more the airgun’strigger is depressed, the more makeup is released from the nozzle.
- A single-action airbrush may be easier to use for beginners but it requires changing of the nozzle between applications, such as when changing the coverage or adding more detail.
Like regular makeup, airbrush makeup is also applied in layers, usually in the order of foundation, blush-on, and eye shadow. But with airbrush makeup, it’s applied on the skin in layers through several passes so that subtle changes can be achieved with each layer.
Unlike regular makeup, too, no part of the airguncomes into direct contact with the skin. Airbrush makeup, in fact, is sprayed from a distance between 6 and 12 inches.
When the makeup is released from the airgun’s nozzle, it’s dispersed into the skin as an extremely fine mist that creates a “net”with each applied layer. The resulting makeup is so thin and light that you, the wearer, will barely notice it – and it’s in sharp contrast with regular makeup that can feel slightly heavy on the skin.
Airbrush Makeup for Wedding
Airbrush makeup is increasingly becoming a favorite among makeup artists for weddings because of its multiple benefits. The final result, when it’s applied correctly, is flawless, smooth and sleek, a look that may be challenging to achieve using traditional makeup.
The emphasis here is that airbrush wedding makeup should be applied using the right techniques. While do-it-yourself airbrush makeup can be done, it’s more challenging than regular makeup because of the angles required for application, among other reasons.
Other reasons for considering airbrush makeup for weddings include:
- Longer-lasting effects usually lasting the entire day for silicone-based makeup (i.e., more resistant to water)
- More even application resulting in a perfectly smooth finish even with skin imperfections like pores and pimples
- Easier to layer yet requires less makeup for greater coverage
But there are a few things to consider when choosing airbrush makeup for your wedding. You may observe flaky makeup after a few hours, especially when you have dry skin; it isn’t an issue with well-hydrated skin. You may also find it difficult to fill in makeup streaks with either airbrush or regular makeup.
There’s also less of a selection to choose from in airbrush makeup, particularly where foundation is concerned. You will also likely pay more dollars for an airbrush makeup artist’s services – the airbrush makeup itself and the tools are more expensive.
Is Airbrush Makeup Better?
Outside of weddings, there are several other airbrush makeup benefits, too.
- Hygienic application since there’s no direct physical contact between the skin and the airgun’sparts particularly the stylus. The airbrush kit can also be easily cleaned so there’s little to no risk of pathogen growth on its surfaces.
- Natural appearance because the mist of makeup means no smudges, marks and streaks from the use of brushes, sponges and the like. The caked-on appearance typical in regular makeup can also be avoided.
- Lightweight feeling even after hours of wear, as well as allows the pores to breathe easier (i.e., a boon for people with acne-prone skin)
- Color matching is easier, too, so that a more personalized look can be achieved. Each airbrush makeup kit usually comes with different shades so blending two or more colors to get the desired hue is possible. Your makeup artist can make a blend that will perfectly match your complexion, as well as be suitable for the occasion.
- Easy layering since the makeup can only be created in thin layers. After each layer dries – and it dries quickly –your makeup artist can create the right coverage, whether it’s full or sheer. It’s a great technique for contouring, too.
- Cost-efficient because less product will be used to achieve the same or similar coverage as with traditional makeup.
Airbrush makeup can also last for up to two years, as is the case with foundation, once opened and stored correctly. Regular foundation, in contrast, only lasts for a year even when it’s stored properly.
So, is airbrush makeup better? Yes, it is if you’re looking for a flawless finish that will make you look stunning in videos and photographs. No, it isn’t if you’re concerned about the significantly higher cost of purchase for both the special tool and the makeup.
The bottom line: In the airbrush makeup versus regular debate, your choice depends on your personal preferences, available budget, and makeup goals! You may find airbrush makeup best for special occasions but use regular makeup for everyday use. You can then get the best of both worlds, and look and feel beautiful no matter which type of makeup you apply on your face.