We’ve seen the ads on TV for the latest way to apply makeup; use an airbrush system. Their claims seem amazing. What are the pros and cons of airbrush makeup? Do they work?
Airbrush makeup systems can be an excellent alternative to conventional makeup. With practice and the correct makeup for the skin type, can achieve a lightweight and excellent coverage. However, the downside is these systems can be expensive and often have mechanical issues.
In this article, we will discuss using an airbrush system for applying makeup. We will discover if the claims are valid; for example: can this makeup application make you look 10 years younger? Is it cost-effective? Is it worth the effort? Read on to find these answers and more.
The infomercials are intriguing. Someone pulls out an airbrush sprayer, adds a few drops of color to the reservoir, and begins painting the woman’s face. Before your eyes, dark spots and lines vanish. Her skin looks smooth and flawless! As intriguing as it seems, you know there are two sides to every story.
Here we will explore the pros and cons of airbrush makeup. We will also investigate:
- Different types of airbrush systems
- How much they cost
- What consumers have to say about them
Then we will answer some questions you might have and give helpful tips on using airbrush makeup.
This type of makeup application does have benefits over traditional methods.
Some of the advantages of airbrush makeup are:
- It’s water-resistant. This is especially useful during the summer months when sitting by the pool. You don’t need to worry about your makeup washing off immediately. It’s also great for those important yet emotional times, such as weddings, when you might end up crying a bit.
- Airbrush makeup offers full coverage. Even though it is full coverage, it doesn’t feel heavy. You can also cover up problem areas, such as dark spots and fine lines, by directing the makeup flow to those areas.
- It’s smudge-proof. Once it’s on, it will not be transferred to your clothing or napkin. There’s no concern about hugging someone and having your makeup wipe off on their clothes.
- Airbrush makeup provides all-day coverage. It can last 12 hours or longer. This is great for people who do not have the time to continuously check and touch up their makeup.
- Most airbrush makeup is hypoallergenic. It won’t cause your pores to clog or irritate your skin.
- * It’s great for all skin types. A few types of airbrush makeup, like the Sephora collection, claim to be excellent for all skin types, including dry skin. (*There is an asterisk here as there are also controversial claims to this.)
- Some makeup is made with organic products. The Tickled Pink Airbrush kit is one such product. After reading ingredients of others that contain butane, or alcohol, finding natural ingredients is a plus.
There’s always going to be a negative. Nothing is perfect for everyone. Now, let’s look at some of the cons of airbrush makeup:
- Airbrush makeup can be expensive, especially when just starting. You will need to buy the airbrush kit and the right type of base foundation to put in it.
- Some airbrush makeup may become flakey, requiring touch-ups. Let’s face it, carrying our airbrush kit everywhere you go would not be simple. Also, the makeup itself doesn’t apply well with fingers or a sponge.
- It may take practice to use and get the even coverage you desire. If you have never used an airbrush for painting before, this will be a completely new experience. But, if you have the patience, you should do just fine. You will want to have a steady hand for the best application results.
- *Airbrush makeup may not be suitable for all skin types. Yes, I know I said it was in the pros, but that is why I add the asterisk. Many companies claim their products are suitable for all skin types, yet there’s also information contradicting this.
Beauty Mark Agency says they do not recommend airbrush makeup for mature skin because it can look dry. However, there are many products on the market. It is possible there’s airbrush makeup suitable or made just for mature skin.
Some of the air compressors in the kits can be loud.
This depends on how much time you are willing to put into your makeup routine. With an airbrush system, you will need to keep your machine clean. This is not too difficult. Most systems come with a special cleanser. You need to be sure to use a cleanser formulated to be used with your makeup.
Your airbrush kit should come with instructions on setting it up. Most airbrush kits come with:
- A small air compressor. This will plug into the wall. It provides the air to spray the makeup on your face.
- A hose that attaches to the compressor and the gun
- A gun. This is where you will add your makeup and control the force of the air and makeup coming out of the machine.
The nice thing about the airbrush system is that it can be used for:
- Base. Howcast recommends getting three different shades of foundation. One slightly lighter than your skin tone, one that is the same as your skin tone, and one slightly darker than your skin tone.
The airbrush gun and reservoir will need to be cleaned thoroughly between color changes and applications. You will need to practice using it.
People do use their airbrush makeup kits for daily wear. It makes sense because it lasts so long without touch-ups. Once you have the hang of using an airbrush system, you will be able to apply your makeup within five minutes, depending on how much coverage you want.
These systems can be expensive. There are two styles of airbrush systems. You can get a portable one with the compressor and hose built into the handheld unit, or you can purchase a more traditional style with the compressor, hose, and gun as separate pieces. We will explore some of the top-selling kits and their cost.
This portable airbrush by Pinkiou is battery-operated. It comes with two cups for multipurpose uses. Here are some of the mentioned uses:
- Nail painting
- Cake decorating
- Arts and crafts
This system is reasonably priced. The reviews for this simple airbrush setup were primarily positive, with statements such as “works great.”
Pinkiou recommends using water-based makeup for this air gun because thicker bases can clog it easily. With water-based, you can easily dilute your foundation more if necessary.
The Fascinated airbrush system is another portable airbrush system. It has a lithium battery and adjustable settings. This portable airbrush is also affordable.
Overall, people were happy with this machine. Many were using it for applications other than makeup. Positive reviews noted it is easy to use and easy to clean. In negative reviews, one person complained the needle in the gun arrived broken. Another was frustrated with learning how to use it.
These kits are nice because they are small without a lot of extra parts. But, they do not come with makeup or airbrush cleaner. For someone just learning how to use airbrush makeup, these might not be the best choice.
Though there are non-portable airbrush kits that start below $50, they do not get great ratings. They may not have the fine-tuning that the more expensive devices have, making it more challenging to get the proper coverage. By spending a bit more, you will likely find an airbrush makeup system that is better. Prices on these start around $90 and quickly rise to $250 or more.
These airbrush makeup kits are under $100 and come complete with makeup and other necessities. You can start using your kit immediately.
The Belloccio Professional kit includes:
- The compressor
- Airbrush gun with three pressure settings
- Four color shades of foundation to ensure a match to your skin tone. These are organic, water-based products as opposed to silicon-based.
- Anti-aging primer moisturizer
- Shimmer bronzer
- Airbrush cleaning solution
- Concealer and a blending sponge
- Finish setting spray to set your makeup so it lasts all day.
- User guides
This type of kit is nice for everything you get with it and the price. Replacement makeup sets are readily available in ½ ounce containers. You can also buy an extra airbrush cleaning solution.
In the consumer reviews, customers were more positive than negative. Buyers were happy with the performance of the airbrush kit, stating it is easy:
- To use
- To control
- To clean
Negative complaints were due to the product being delivered damaged and the trigger on the airbrush gun breaking.
Art of Air also has makeup kits. These kits come with a nice carrying case. It includes:
- Compressor hose and airbrush gun
- Four piece complexion base kit
- Anti-aging primer
- Airbrush cleaner
The makeup is water-based and oil-free, making it good for those with oily skin. One chief complaint is about the coloration combinations. Women were saying they needed red or yellow undertones for better skin matches, but these were unavailable. Other people suggest getting a second set with lighter tones if your skin is dark, so you have more mixability.
There is also a larger kit from Art of Air. It includes everything in the smaller kit but comes with 2 more base colors for a total of 6. One reviewer, 4me4, said, “The cover is awesome, and the preparation process is very easy.”
Reviews on the Art of Air kits were more positive than negative. It was easy to use. The foundation colors worked well for most people.
The cons mentioned were about the airbrush breaking or arriving broken. One person found it difficult to get a good color match, and another did not like the feel of the makeup, stating it felt “sticky.”
More options begin to open up to the consumer in the price range of $100 to $200. Many of these kits have many more color choices making it easier and more fun to apply your makeup.
The Photo Finish Professional by Luminous comes with a nice carrying case.
- Five colors of base makeup
- Neroli anti aging primer
- Silica finishing powder
- Airbrush and compressor
- Instruction manual
Luminous claims that this kit’s makeup will last for 24 hours or more without the need to retouch. Many of the customer reviews were positive, stating the makeup was of good quality with mixable colors. Some suggest diluting the base with a little water for a more even coat. Most said that this airbrush kit took some practice to use correctly.
In negative reviews, people found using their normal foundation and hand application better. Another customer complained that the airbrush gun broke after a few months of use. There was not evidence this kit includes an airbrush cleaning solution. So, that would be something to consider when purchasing this kit.
Belloccio Complete Professional is a popular airbrush makeup kit. This master set includes:
- All 17 colors of Belloccio bases
- Anti-aging primer
- Four concealer colors with blending sponges
- Airbrush finishing spray
- Compressor and airbrush gun
- Carrying case
You do get a lot for the money. With all 17 foundation colors, it will be easy to find your skin tone match. This kit would also be excellent for professional use.
In the consumer reviews, people were mostly positive. Many agreed the coverage was excellent, and the airbrush was fairly easy to use. One customer, Pamela, has many positive things to say and helpful tips for using this makeup airbrush. Pamela says it is easy with practice and says it takes about 10 seconds to clean it.
Another positive reviewer said it was excellent for her business. She uses it for brides and wedding photos and is very pleased with the results. However, she did say her kit did not come with the primer.
Many of the negative comments included product breaking shortly after getting it. The broken products usually involved the spring trigger of the airbrush gun. One reviewer did say the compressor did not work. Some people reported receiving used kits and incomplete kits.
This Ophir Complete airbrush makeup set is intriguing with its bright color options. This kit includes:
- A full one-year warranty
- A five-speed compressor and airgun system
- Seven colors of foundation
- 13 colors of blush and eyeshadow
- A concealer pen
- Loose powder
- One eyebrow pencil
- One lipstick
- One European plug converter
- A carrying case
Ophir says they will replace the unit should anything go wrong in the first year. They claim it is designed for daily use—this is something not seen with other airbrush makeup kits. Since so many consumers complain about their airbrush system malfunctioning quickly, it is a highly positive addition to a kit.
The consumers who have bought this kit have mixed emotions about it. Some say it is a great product; others are not so convinced. In the positive ratings, consumers say the makeup and compressor are good. However, the makeup can feel tacky until it is dry.
In the negative feedback, consumers complain about getting a faulty airbrush. Someone mentions it is misleading as it is not appropriate for stage makeup use. Another person says that it should come with better instructions.
This Tickled Pink airbrush system is made with 89% organic ingredients. The colors are natural-looking. This kit also has warranties for its products! The Tickled Pink kit includes:
- An air compressor
- Airbrush gun with a free lifetime warranty
- Three foundation colors
- Contouring color
- Waterproof sealant
- Carrying case
Consumers reported that this kit is easy to use, and the makeup has nice coverage. Overall they were pleased with what they received. There were no negative remarks about this product.
There are not as many choices for kits above $200 and ranked above four stars. These kits range from $250 to $550. Are they worth the extra money?
The Temptu kit is a professional system. Temptu has been in the airbrush makeup industry for more than 40 years. They create award-winning formulas that clients and makeup artists enjoy.
This Temptu Pro airbrush kit contains:
- Airpod Airbrush
- Airbrush cradle
- Air hose
- AC adapter
- Clear carrying bag
- Silicone-based foundation starter set
- Cleaning kit
The Temptu pro airbrush kit sounds like a nice system. It says it is for student or professional use. The majority of consumer reviews were very positive. The people who purchased this said that it is easy to use and has great and even coverage that “lasts all day through sweat and humidity.” It is simple to clean and has high-quality makeup.
Negative commenters complained about the
- Airbrush system breaking, most often it was the compressor.
- Missing parts
This kit came does not seem to come with a warranty. Even though it comes with base foundation makeup, the silicon base may not be ideal for all skin types. This is something that many manufacturers neglect to mention, but consumers learn and pass on to others.
It seems this may be a good kit for those who have some experience with airbrush makeup. For the beginner, it may not be cost-effective.
Pros and Cons of the Dinair Starter Kit
This airbrush makeup kit from Dinair is a beautiful kit with many options. This is what is inside the Dinair starter kit:
- Compressor and airbrush gun
- Three hades of lipstick
- Nine shades of base foundation
- Three eyebrow colors
- Thre eyeshadow colors
- Four highlight colors
- Three blushes
- Airbrush cleaner
- It also has a Three -year warranty
The makeup shades look natural and appealing. The set appears to offer everything a beginning airbrush makeup artist could want and need.
Many mostly positive consumer reviews are available. Most people have been pleased with the performance of the airbrush and the makeup. The people who purchased this product ranged from novice to professional.
Negative comments were again that the airbrush gun or compressor did not work or broke. One person felt they might be allergic to the makeup. One review turned positive after her system clogged. She said that the Dinair customer service was excellent and helped her fix the problem over the phone.
This sounds like a nice kit for almost anyone. With a three-year warranty, if something does go wrong, it can be returned. It sounds like most people enjoy the Dinair Pro Starter kit.
The Temptu S- One Deluxe is the most expensive of the airbrush makeup kits that we looked at. The air compressor on this set looks larger and possibly stronger than any other airbrush compressor. This kit includes:
- S1 compressor
- SP 35 Airbrush Gun
- Airbrush cleaning kit
- 12-pack set of foundation colors
- Eight pack of blush and highlighter
- Six pack of contours and bronzers
- Airbrush gun and compressor
- Airbrush cradle
There was only one consumer review, and the buyer was pleased with the makeup itself and has received compliments on her makeup. However, she did complain about the loudness of the compressor, comparing it to a “dishwasher/ lawnmower/ foghorn.” 61% of consumers gave this product 5 stars, while 39% gave it Three stars.
Setting spray is used to seal the make up so it is smudge proof and long lasting. It comes in a spritzer bottle. After your makeup is applied you hold the bottle a few inches away from your face and spritz your makup with a couple of pumps.
The claims are that the setting or finishing spray is to help your makeup stay in place and last longer. Unfortunately they do not always perform the way they should. Some of the cheaper brands may
- Cause your makeup to fade quicker
- Not to do anything
- Take a long time to dry
More expensive brands perform better and do what they say. There are options for all skin types including dry skin. However there are drawbacks with some of these as well. Some of these require using a lot of the product to be effective, others have strong odors or are not good for sensitive skin types.
Tips for Caring for Your Airbrush Makeup System
When you get your airbrush system, there are some important things you need to remember. The number one thing you must do is keep the airbrush gun clean. Anytime you are changing colors, your airbrush needs to be cleaned out. And you need to clean the airbrush gun every time after use.
Cleaning your airbrush gun often will keep it working properly. If the makeup colors you have put in it dry out, it will cause the airbrush to clog and not work properly or at all. Cleaning between color applications is essential, so you can get a true color and not a messy mix.
If you find your airbrush gun spattering or not working well, try cleaning it, and then dilute the makeup a little more. Some makeup may need to be diluted a bit more to ensure the airbrush gun does not clog.
Tips for Using Your Airbrush Makeup System
When just learning how to use your airbrush system, practice. Many suggest practicing on pieces of paper to learn how to control the makeup flow and discover an effective technique.
When you are ready to use the airbrush makeup system on skin:
- Make sure your skin is clean and dry
- Apply your primer and allow to dry
- Apply your concealer
- Be sure to use the makeup that is right for your skin type:
Water-based formulas are usually good for dry and slightly oily skin types.
Oil-free is good for people with very oily skin. Just be sure to use other oil-free products as well.
Silicon-based products are good for filling in lines and creating smoothness, but it is not great for those with sensitive skin and can cause breakouts.
Most of the complaints were due to faulty equipment. If you decide to buy an airbrush makeup system, this is recommended:
- Reading the consumer reviews to make sure the product is what the company claims and others have had good experiences with the company and product.
- Making sure the company has a warranty available for their product.
- Researching the correct type of makeup for your skin as too many people have been disappointed with purchasing makeup kits not suitable for their skin type. I noted people often stating that airbrushing was not suitable for mature skin. This is not exactly true as there are airbrush makeup products made especially for mature skin.
- If you have sensitive skin, be sure to look for hypoallergenic products.
After examining the products on the market and reading the reviews, it is easy to see the pros and cons of airbrush makeup. It may be expensive initially because you need to buy the equipment and the right type of makeup for your airbrush setup.
The start-up can cost hundreds of dollars, and not everyone can afford it. However, if you can afford it, it is a good investment for those who enjoy makeup.