Forums > Hair, Makeup & Styling > Airbrushing only good for brides?

Makeup Artist


Posts: 22

Carlsbad, California, US

I feel like I've head that don't bother with an airbrushing machine unless you're doing mainly bridal work? Why? Is it just mainly because conventional makeup gets the exact same job done without having to invest in a machine?

Also, are there any types of airbrush makeup that photographs better than others? Like paramedical vs a water base?

Nov 05 12 09:48 am Link

Makeup Artist

Jaime Criel Makeup

Posts: 149

New York, New York, US

I personally am not a fan of airbrush makeup. Unfortunately, most brides have it in their heads that airbrushing is the best for them. You'll lose a lot of bridal work if you don't have an airbrush machine. I keep mine for body painting and for when airbrushing is requested.

Nov 05 12 10:07 am Link

Hair Stylist


Posts: 3113

Brooklyn, New York, US

I am not a fan of airbrush, period. It always seems to look like it just sits on the skin, as opposed to getting worked in with a brush or sponge. It's great for speedy application on large areas, but otherwise, it feels like a gimmick to me. If you're a good communicator and do a solid trial, you should be able to convince brides they don't need airbrush, either. I do a LOT of hair for brides, and I think only 3 or 4 of them over the last couple years have had an artist do airbrush makeup.

Nov 05 12 11:07 am Link

Makeup Artist

Dianna Quagenti

Posts: 377

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Well, it's just another tool to have in your tool belt.... So to speak. I get talent requests for it, referrals from other artists who don't airbrush and have a client request, etc. it can't hurt.  Why turn away bookings? Even if you don't prefer that medium as an artist, I feel as pros we should be versed and able to at least have the first hand experience to offer clients.

Artistically speaking, it is just as variable as makeup itself. The product selection and the artist yielding the gun have just as much to do with the outcome as traditional makeup. I hear all the time that airbrush makeup is "x" or "y" but.. It really is what you make it.. Like anything else. You cannot generalize. 

In my market, it is a must for talent requests and bridal work. For myself, I do the same 'style' of skin with or without airbrush but I do find the airbrush must faster.  Also, the formulas I use (mostly Temptu) DO last a lot longer than most traditional makeups.  And clients love how light it feels on the skin, even hours after application.  Not a big plus for jobs that I am on set, but a HUGE plus for those that I am not.

Just another tool to be studied, analyzed, and used at the artists discretion - another example of where the 'artistry' in makeup artistry comes in!

Good luck and happy paintin'!

Nov 05 12 01:28 pm Link


Thomas Van Dyke

Posts: 3147

Washington, District of Columbia, US

Stefania I wrote:
I feel like I've head that don't bother with an airbrushing machine unless you're doing mainly bridal work?

Please quote your source...  otherwise this is merely hearsay...

It has been my experience that well established artist who have mastered traditional application technique are rather reluctant to migrate to airbrush medium since it is a totally alien craft... there is absolutely no tactile feedback thus the highly developed skill of guiding one's makeup brush across the skin's surface is of little merit in airbrush medium... 

I have personally know more than a few tenured artist who have tried to transition, albeit few have been willing to invest the Herculean effort to master an entirely new tool... in airbrush you only have your eye and ear to guide you... the subtle sounds from your gun's nozzle reveal what is actually happening... there is no sensory input of touch in this equation...

For those who actually invest the time... the rewards are impressive... I can not duplicate the amazing geometric masking effects that are so readily accomplished in airbrush... the only limitations I've encountered are clients with large pores, for them I prefer the spackling effect of a heavy cream base...

Best advice?  If you are just starting out it would be wise to learn airbrush now before you become entrenched in traditional technique... I have found training emerging artist far easier since they don't bring nearly the negative agenda to the table...

If you are an accomplished traditional artist, please be prepared to relearn your art/craft from the ground up... enough said...

As for brides only?  surely you jest... I find male talent to be excellent candidates for airbrush... and they enjoy the mechanical aspects also...

Here's an example of airbrush application for a client who arrived at the studio with excessive sun-exposure from a previous day in the sun... masking this issue was far easier with airbrush medium (TEMPTU S/B used here)

Stefania much depends on your mechanical aptitude as well as your client base... airbrush equipment demands diligence in cleaning/servicing after each application... this is decidedly not something you put in your brush roll and clean tomorrow when you find the time... workflow methodologies need to be totally relearned... the perceived worth by bridal clients has been already been stated, and justly so... silicone base product has tenacious wear-ability' won't rub off on the grooms attire and is virtually tear proof...albeit there are so many other notable applications which warrant serious consideration of airbrush artistry...

all the best on your journey...

Nov 05 12 03:24 pm Link

Makeup Artist


Posts: 22

Carlsbad, California, US

Thomas Van Dyke wrote:

Stefania I wrote:
I feel like I've head that don't bother with an airbrushing machine unless you're doing mainly bridal work?

Please quote your source...  otherwise this is merely hearsay...

Thank you for your lame and thorough post Thomas! I have no source to quote because it's simple been in between several conversations I've had with a couple MUAs and wasn't sure what to think.  I ended up buying an airbrush on Monday, and I must say that I absolutely love it.  I get very bad acne outbreaks and I really feel like this so far has been my best foundation routine.  Sure, it's another investment (which is tough since I'm just starting my career as a MUA and have many other purchases to make for my kit), but I honestly can say I really like airbrushing, even if its only for the application of foundation....

Nov 07 12 07:49 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Makeup by Ashleigh

Posts: 9

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

I actually only recently invested in an airbrush machine and basic courses. I use only water based products (for now) and have found that it is mostly reserved for my brides. When it comes to events or photoshoots, traditional makeup still works just as well (depending on the condition of the models skin), and I find is actually easier and faster to use.

Hope this helps!

Nov 08 12 10:08 am Link


Vincente Lopez

Posts: 125

Seattle, Washington, US

I will say that my studio converted to Airbrush mid last year and haven't looked back since. I actually prefer the look over traditional brush on makeup. Most of the photos in my port use the temptu pro system.

Nov 08 12 02:03 pm Link


Yume Look

Posts: 493

Atascadero, California, US

My avatar make up was airbrushed on me. It was a lovely experience and went really fast for us.

Nov 09 12 03:24 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Jenni Defalco

Posts: 456

Stevenage, England, United Kingdom

Most of my work is airbrushed and has been since 2010. i love the effects I can create, I know my products and gun inside out and find it just comes so naturally. I have so much good feedback from photographers and models, not just my brides ,I couldn't imagine being without it now! X

Nov 09 12 03:40 pm Link



Posts: 4

Milan, Lombardy, Italy

most of the times I collaborate with MUA not using Airbrush bot in those cases I got the impression that the process is slightly quicker, especially for the base "layer".
In my opinion even 15 minutes saved are a very positive thing since will allow more time with the client actually producing images.

Do those who have more experience with both feel a difference in time?

Nov 20 12 11:39 pm Link