Whether you’re going for a glamorous, dramatic look or a natural, glowy complexion on your wedding day, you want it to look just as good at the end of the reception as it did when you first put it on that morning. While we love a good high-definition foundation for concealing imperfections and giving you that perfect base for makeup, another option for beautiful coverage and wear is airbrush makeup.
What Is Airbrush Makeup?
Airbrush makeup is a professional formula and technique that involves spraying foundation directly onto the skin with an airbrush gun. The specially-formulated airbrush makeup is loaded into a handheld device and sprays out with the help of forced air in a fine mist onto the skin.
Airbrush makeup is a popular choice for brides because of its lightweight finish and durable, long-lasting formula. This type of makeup is a pro makeup artist’s staple for flawless, complete coverage that won’t budge. “The benefit of airbrush makeup is that it is long-lasting, and gives a smoother appearance to the skin,” says celebrity makeup artist Nydia Figueroa. “It applies a buildable layer of lightweight makeup such as foundation, blush, and more.”
Meet the Expert
Nydia Figueroa is a celebrity makeup artist of over 15 years whose work has been featured on television on The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, The Miss Universe Pageant, Amazon, Fox, NYFW, The Grammys, and more. She is also the owner of an award-winning luxury makeup studio and bridal suite in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.
If you’re not familiar with airbrush makeup, don’t sweat it. We tapped our expert, Figueroa, to break down all the ins and outs of airbrush makeup and help you decide if it’s the right choice for your wedding day glam.
Airbrush Makeup vs. Regular Makeup
Airbrush refers not only to the technique of spraying on makeup with an airbrush gun, but also the formula of the makeup itself. Airbrush makeup tends to be very thin, which is what allows it to pass through the airbrush gun and spray out in very fine particles. Although the formula is thin and runny, airbrush makeup actually tends to be more concentrated in terms of color and coverage.
“Other than the application process, the main difference comes down to longevity,” says Figueroa. “Since it's not applied using conventional methods such as brushes or sponges, you can guarantee that the product spreads evenly on the face and stays put. It prevents any smearing or gaps that could be caused by the bristles of a brush or the absorption of a makeup sponge.”
Pros and Cons of Airbrush Makeup
Because airbrush makeup is applied in such a thin layer, it doesn’t sit on top of the skin like traditional foundation. This is what gives airbrush makeup its signature lightweight, buildable coverage that lasts all night long. When applied in a consistent, even layer, airbrush makeup doesn’t transfer and stays looking and feeling very natural on the skin. Some brides even say airbrush makeup doesn’t even feel like they’re wearing anything at all.
Airbrush makeup is a great choice for brides who love a more natural bridal makeup look. It’s also ideal for mature skin, as it tends to look less cakey than regular makeup.
For some brides, the lightweight finish is a major plus, but for brides who are used to wearing a full-coverage foundation every day or want that high glam look on their wedding day, airbrush makeup might not be enough coverage. Figueroa also adds that it’s harder to touch up the makeup once it’s done because the long-lasting formula sets instantly. She also cautions using airbrush makeup on dry or flaky skin, as the fine mist can often attach itself to the dry spots on the face.
“There is a longer learning curve to the tools required to perform airbrush properly,” explains Figueroa. Before you get married to the idea of airbrush makeup on your wedding day, make sure it’s something your makeup artist specializes in.
If you’re still not sure if airbrush makeup is the right choice for your bridal look, ask your makeup artist at your makeup trial. They can assess your skin type and goals and give you their professional recommendation.
Airbrush Makeup Tips
If you’re hiring a makeup artist for your wedding and you’re considering airbrush, ask them if they have any photos in their portfolio that showcase airbrush makeup so you can see the finish. If you’re doing your own airbrush wedding makeup, definitely do a few test runs prior to the big day to get used to the application method, make sure the color is right for your skin tone, and test the longevity.
In her professional opinion, Figueroa suggests upgrading to airbrush makeup if the pros outweigh the cons for you. “It looks amazing in pictures,” she admits. “Just make sure that you have a professional trial with an artist that has been trained in airbrush application.”
Airbrush Makeup FAQs
- Is airbrush makeup really better? It all comes down to preference. Some wedding makeup artists don't use airbrush makeup because they believe their tools work better. “I find that many brides love airbrush makeup because they do want to look and feel natural on their special day,” says Figueroa. “It is all in the trigger of the gun, the setting of the air pressure, and the type of airbrush foundation that is used.”
- How much is airbrush makeup for a wedding? Airbrush wedding makeup really depends on your location, but most makeup artists do charge extra for the service. Expect to pay anywhere from $100-$200 for airbrush makeup.
- What is the best airbrush makeup foundation? Figueroa recommends the Temptu Airpod Foundation. “It’s hydrating, lasts all day, plus has an incredible color range to suit all skin tones,” she says. “The compressor is so easy to use whether you’re a makeup artist or DIY bride, and they also have an amazing makeup bridal kit.”