Arguably, when we hear the word “airbrush” we often associate it with cosmetic makeups. It is also often referenced to movie and magazine cover shoots. But did you know that an airbrush was invented to be used for painting? So, how does an airbrush work back in the day? Don’t worry; we won’t bore you with the full story–just enough to satisfy your curiosity.

The History of Airbrush

The first airbrush was invented in 1876 purposely for Art. This was a tool often used by artists and illustrators to make a high level of naturalism in paintings. The use of airbrush made its way to the world of cosmetics in 1959 when the makeup artists of the film Ben Hur used it on the actors to make them look tanned as needed in the movie projection.

Imagine their relief from using the traditional makeup brush to an airbrush! Such a brilliant idea indeed! Let’s find out how this technique of applying makeup has evolved over the years.

What Is Airbrush Makeup?

Airbrush makeup is a makeup application method using an airbrush system. This is somewhat similar to how body spray tan is applied but with precision control as it is normally used on the face. It can also be used for the body.

Airbrush makeup techniques can be used to apply natural-looking makeup to full face makeup and will last up to 12 hours or more. It is best used for photo and video shoots, but it looks great in person as well.

How Does an Airbrush Work?

Airbrush makeup has three major parts. The powered compressor, which is used to create a controlled and even airflow through a medical-grade hose, which is connected to a metal, trigger-actioned gun, which has a tapered needle that thrusts the air and foundation forward.

The double-action gun is more commonly used in makeup application as its mechanism enables you to control the intensity and flow of foundation using a trigger. It can be used to suit lighter, heavier, detailed or broader makeups by changing the air pressure.

The air pressure is measured in PSI or pounds per square inch, which controls how far the makeup projects out from the gun. If used for the face, then 30 to 40 PSI is good. If used for body makeup, then 70 PSI suits better.

How to Use an Airbrush Makeup?

If you’re among those who got used to applying makeup foundation by using either a fiber foundation brush or a damp blending sponge and is looking for a new way to do it, then airbrush makeup might be your new thing.

Step 1: Check the user’s manual guide to set it up correctly.

Step 2: Once set up, put four to six drops of your favorite makeup foundation into the airbrush cup.

Step 3: Turn on the compressor and press the trigger to release air.

Step 4: When you’re ready, pull the trigger of the airbrush gun to start the makeup application. Keep it at a distance of four to six inches from your face.

Benefits of Airbrush Makeup

Many professional makeup artists and makeup enthusiasts swear by the airbrush makeup. Below are the top reasons why.

  • Minimal and Lightweight

Airbrushing makeup is a great technique for people who don’t want to look and feel like they’re wearing too much makeup. It feels light and natural, whereas traditional makeup often feels heavy and sticky, and often requires you to do touch-ups after a few hours.

Airbrush makeup works well too for people with sensitive skin.

  • Longevity of Product Use

A regular liquid foundation has an average expiration date of one year. And airbrushing helps you maximize that timeline since this technique consumes a lesser amount of foundation compared the traditional way of using fiber brushes and blending foams.

  • Perfect for Layering

Airbrush makeup dries up quickly. This makes it easy for you to apply it in layers and achieve the coverage you wish for, from light to heavy. Plus, the release of product from the airbrush gun is consistent, so the makeup is spread evenly over your skin.

  • Picture Perfect

There’s a reason why most brides prefer airbrush makeup. Aside from not being shiny, dry and cakey, both up close and from a distance, it creates a stunning natural glow that looks perfect in high-definition photographs and films!

  • Long-Wearing Ability

Most airbrush makeup is silicone- and water-based, which means it’s resilient and waterproof compared to regular makeups. It’ll be able to withstand the hugging and kissing that are inevitable to happen in a day, especially on special occasions.

  • Different Shades and Tones

Like traditional makeup, airbrush makeup comes in many hues to match your skin tone. If you can’t find the exact one you’re looking for, then you are always free to blend different colors to achieve the look you want.

Some Tips for Airbrushing

  • Never mix formulas. You don’t want to combine alcohol-based and silicone-based foundation because they dry at different speeds.
  • Distance matters. Don’t pull the trigger entirely especially when you’re applying it onto yourself because it’s difficult to determine its distance from your face. Hold it out at least palms-length away for good coverage.
  • Measurement system. Some say that it takes ten drops of foundation to cover an average face. Learn to estimate the amount of product you’ll need so that you won’t end up wasting some.

Final Thoughts

Airbrush makeup is becoming a trend for a variety of reasons. It is lightweight and doesn’t feel sticky and messy. It doesn’t wear off easily and gives you a smooth and shine-free finish that’s quite difficult to achieve with traditional brushes and sponges. And it lasts for up to 12 hours or more!

These are also among the reasons why professional makeup artists, as well as photographers and videographers, swear by it. However, using it and understanding how does an airbrush work may take some getting used to, but with just enough practice, one will eventually get the hang of it.

Additionally, don’t forget that although airbrushing can give you a flawless face or cover up any acne scars or dark spots, a truly flawless skin starts and ends with the proper skin care.