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What Is Airbrush Makeup And How Does It Work?

What Is Airbrush Makeup?

Up until a few years ago, airbrush makeup was only accessible to beauty gurus and professional makeup artists. Bulky machines, complicated technologies, and steep price tags meant that this type of makeup was not for everybody.

Fortunately, things have changed. Today, thousands of brides love to use airbrushes on their wedding day because it offers perfect coverage and a flawless finish. With new at-home units, you also have the opportunity to apply your own airbrush makeup.  

In this article, you’ll discover exactly what airbrush makeup is, how it is applied, why it’s the best makeup for weddings and some tips and tricks for perfecting your technique.

Airbrush makeup uses compressed air to spray a fine mist of cosmetics onto your skin. It is often used for wedding day makeup because it gives your skin a smooth, natural finish that hides blemishes and imperfections. Another advantage of airbrush makeup is that being atomized by the air helps it to go further than traditional makeup, so it lasts considerably.

Contrary to traditional makeup, which is applied with an assortment of brushes, blenders, and sponges, airbrush makeup is only applied to your skin with one tool: an airbrush system. Airbrushing allows you to put on foundation, blush, and even eye shadow, with one single device.

How An Airbrush Makeup Machine Works

How Airbrush Makeup Machines Work

Airbrushing units vary slightly from brand to brand, but much like spray tanning machines, they deliver a constant stream of air and product into a pen. During airbrush makeup application, the airbrush machine will atomize micro-pigmented makeup onto your skin, just like when you get a spray tan. Most airbrush machines are made up of a compressor and a stylus.

At-home and professional kits have two essential features that differ slightly, depending on the model: trigger action and supply mechanism. Here’s a brief explanation of the two:

Trigger Action

Units may have single or dual-action triggers. With single-action units, the amount of product that comes out of the airbrush gun is predetermined, so you can’t control how much makeup is sprayed when you pull the trigger. In comparison, dual-action gives you one-handed control over both the amount of product, and the flow of air from the machine, meaning you can achieve a thinner or thicker line, for example, depending on how far back you pull the trigger.

Supply Mechanism

On airbrushing units, the way that the product is fed into the stylus can also vary. The three most commonly-used supply mechanisms are gravity feed, bottom feed, and side feed. Gravity mechanisms are the most popular feed systems because they are easier to use for both experts and beginners.

Uses for Airbrush Makeup

Airbrush application is a popular choice for weddings, proms, and other special occasions. Many beauty fanatics also love to wear it daily because it can look as natural or sophisticated as you choose. It is also a fantastic option for women who are not used to wearing foundation because it doesn’t feel heavy on your skin or look overdone.

Airbrush Makeup For Your Wedding Day

Airbrush Makeup For Your Wedding Day

When considering airbrush makeup for your wedding day, these are the most important factors to think about:

  1. Choose the appropriate formula: there are three main types of formulations: water based, silicone based, and alcohol-based. The water-based formula dries quickly, so it is an excellent choice for quick retouches. Silicone-based formulations are thicker and completely waterproof, so they are ideal for weddings. The alcohol-based formula is water-resistant, but it can dry your skin and cause breakouts if you wear it too often.
  2. Practice beforehand: if you are doing your own makeup for your wedding, the most important thing to do before the big day is to practice using it. Most at-home kits come with a few guide sheets (you can also find templates online) – practice on them! Then give it a go on your face until you perfect your technique and you’ve mastered the look you want. If you have a makeup artist booked, make sure you get a trial run.
  3. Think about your entire look: some people aren’t aware that airbrushing makeup is more than just foundation. Spraying bronzer, blush, and even eyeshadow with an airbrush will ensure a flawless appearance through and through.

Top Tip: You can blend different foundation colors until you find your true match for perfect, flawless application. Write down the names and quantities you used of each one, so next time you can get right to airbrushing!


If you are new to airbrushing, practice on a sheet of paper before you test it out on your face. This will allow you to see how much product your stylus sprays at once, so you can determine the appropriate distance for the amount of coverage that you are aiming for and get used to controlling the air. You can also watch makeup application tutorials to get a better idea of how to use your specific machine.

To apply airbrush makeup to your skin, go in circles to achieve a natural, streak-free look. Build the application from sheer to full coverage gradually so that it is more natural, and remember to keep your hand as steady as possible and to keep moving to avoid hot spots.

Pros And Cons Of Airbrush Makeup

Pros And Cons Of Airbrush Makeup



Frequently Asked Questions

Airbrush makeup is better than regular makeup when you need it to last a long time and when you are going after a flawless, ‘Photoshopped’ look, like for example a wedding or event. Traditional makeup is more convenient for daily use because it’s more affordable and offers a broader selection of options to choose from.

To prepare your skin for airbrush makeup, we recommend using a gentle cleanser and a lightweight moisturizer beforehand. Some people recommend using a primer before airbrushing, but this may make it slide right off your skin, so we recommend skipping it.

We advise against using a regular airbrush for applying makeup for two reasons: first, regular airbrushes have different air pressures than makeup airbrushes. Second, regular airbrush machines might have leftover paint or other products inside that can be toxic and irritate your skin.

When applied properly, airbrush makeup does not rub off. However, make sure that it has dried thoroughly before putting on your wedding dress, to avoid any mishaps!

Airbrush makeup is the best choice for weddings because it looks flawless both in person and on camera. It also dries quickly and requires fewer tools than regular foundation. That is why beauty gurus love it so much!


We hope you now have a better understand of what airbrush makeup is. Let us know in the comments how you get on when you try it out!