The truth about Airbrush

On your wedding day…. you want to look beautiful, you want to look timeless and you want your photos to be amazing. That is a given. Some people think that going with airbrush is the ONLY way to achieve a long wearing, flawless foundation coverage. NOT TRUE. I hear people say ALL THE TIME “I want my pics to look flawless and airbrush looks soooo good in pictures” MYTH. Yes airbrush does look great in pictures but the finished product in real life is up for debate and personal opinion not fact.  One fact is true…the “looks great in photos” argument for "Team Airbrush" isn’t any longer THAT big of an issue…with modern day photography; the filters, the lenses, the lighting and PHOTOSHOP (which all wedding photographers do “retouch” services) the coverage you choose on your wedding day isn’t SO much a point of argument.  In order for the client to be fully informed and make an educated decision  I am giving you all the facts.

We at Glossa Makeup DO offer airbrush but I am going on record and saying that we are a company divided…Carmen and I DO NOT prefer to use it, Ashley and Kat DO use it more times that not I believe…the others have mixed feelings. 


Although airbrushing was invented in the last 1800’s, Airbrushing MAKEUP became popular in 1959 when the MGM Studios makeup artists needed to apply makeup and spray tan quickly to a large cast of the film Ben Hur.  Since then, airbrush has been commonly used in Film.  Alcohol based airbrushing became popular in the 1970’s to current day for special effects makeup because it easily adheres to prosthetics well.  While I was in makeup school at the Makeup Designory we began to study a newer way of video recording in the early 2000’s and Digital Video Broadcasting was adopted it completely changed the way makeup needed to be applied for TV.  Formally most TV networks used what we learned as the “Pack on Model” for camera tro do contouring with a heavy cake makeup to make the skin look flawless. This new DVB taping was showing too many flaws in the skin and showing the heavy makeup and powders. Thus, the airbrush was introduced for TV. NOT because of the wearability or coverage BUT SOLELY BECAUSE it literally sprays out into a million droplets like how HDTV is transmitted therefore looking flawless on camera.  Around 2002 airbrush moved into the bridal world and like most things FINALLY Airbrush in Cincinnati started becoming popular around 2007.


There are several forms of foundation that can be used in an airbrush gun….

1. Alcohol based - This is the ONLY form of makeup that is truly waterproof.   Full coverage. Commonly used in TV/Film for special effects. Not ideal for Bridal because it dries very very matte and is very uncomfortable,.

2. Water based - People like this formula because it may seem more natural to the skin however the wear isn’t any better than a tinted moisturizer.

3. Silicone Based - The silicone formula is somewhere in-between the Alcohol and Water as far as longevity goes.  It is a heavier coverage which is usually what most airbrush users want. 

4. Blends - Some formulas are blends of polymers and water and some are blends of polymers and alcohol with pigment.  The blend that is going to be the most coverage and longwearing is called the SD 40 Alcohol blend. 


Commonly know brands for each….

1. Alcohol - Temptu, Dura Airbrush, Kett Hydro Proof, Make Up Forever

2. Water - OCC, Graftobian, Glam Air, Mancini, O2 Cosmetics

3. Silicone - Element Two, Temptu, Mist Mirage  

4.Blends - Dinair (SB) Fashion Aire (water) MAC has both, Kryolan has both

When I was in makeup school, they had us mix an agent like SD 40 with alcohol and ORIGINAL Color Stay foundation (the one in a glass bottle and red top) That formula lasted the longest and looked the best. Seems funny now!

PROS of Using Airbrush foundation:

- With the right formula is does last a long time, more so than just using a liquid foundation

- It feels nice on the skin in application

- The coverage feels lighter, especially with a water base formula

- It is quick in application so nice if you are short on time

- Looks great in pictures, much for the same reason it does on HD-TV

- It doesn’t typically contain any agents that will react with a flash like Titanium dioxide, the ingredient that can give the face a white look in photos

- Great if the client has severe Acne or major skin issues other than dry skin (airbrush will make dry skin worse)

CONS of Using Airbrush foundation:

- It doesn’t REALLY matter how the foundation is applied these days, manually or by airbrush your photographer is going to retouch your photos regardless. A flawless look is a flawless look, who cares how you got there.  FACT Airbrush was invented for TV and FILM, an avenue of production that can’t be retouched or photo shopped. So the deduction that airbrush is necessary or photography isn’t completely logical.

- It IS more expensive to use ONLY when it is the correct formula. Higher priced Silicone or SB Blends are more expensive. Some MUA charge more and then use water based on you which doesn’t have any better staying power than a tinted moisturizer. 

- All skin tones are more than one color, MOST MUA only use one color of airbrush foundation or it isn’t mixed accurately if they do use more than one. Airbrush foundation is very sheer when put into the airbrush gun so it is hard to get an accurate color. Typically on clients I use 3 colors of foundation to custom make the foundation. I have not found this is easily done with airbrush.

- The silicone formulas depending on the skin type can sit on the skin and not actually “dry” well therefore it may move requiring additional makeup to be applied anyway for true coverage.

- The biggest thing about airbrush to be a truly airbrush experience is you can’t really touch it until it does fully dry. In order to use a cream foundation to properly contour you should do it right after foundation is applied to it blends into the skin more naturally. Cream Contouring on top of airbrush tends to not want to blend at all. 

- Its more expensive

- It sometimes looks too fake for in person….so you may look great in your wedding pictures but what about when you are walking down the isle in person?

- It doesn’t protect the skin at all so if you are having an outdoor wedding this can be a problem. 

- It is one formula for all. Makeup artists typically carry MULTIPLE types of formulas to address custom skin needs; Dry, Oily, Full/Medium/Light/ Matte coverage…not to mention with traditional foundation you can apply different formulas based on the different skin needs of the face instead of spraying one kind, one formula over the whole face.

- Doesn’t look great on aging skin


I, Lyndsey Yeager am not speaking for ALL the Glossa Girls…just for my personal opinion. I Do NOT like airbrush. I don’t DIS like it, I just prefer to have a more hands on approach.  I feel that if I can work with my hands and customize the look of the foundation to each person that is what I prefer to do. Not to mention the time factor. I think that each person should have the time taken to blend, contour and set the face.  We at Glossa Makeup always provide our patented waterproofing process. AT BEST airbrush foundation is water resistant but NOT waterproofed. The only form of airbrushed that is waterporoof is alcohol and not used for Bridal. We actually have an agent that we spray over the whole face, in addition to a special powder and finishing pray…it makes traditional foundation equally if not more water resistant to airbrushing. Finally, I prefer as an artist to do the eyes first in a makeup so that I can clean up under the eye minimizing any shadow fall out, with airbrush you have a bit more of a challenge to go around the eyes. Personally, I feel I  have more control over the outcome if I am manually doing foundation. It is my artistic choice. I still see makeup as an art. Applying foundation correctly and flawlessly is an art. I appreciate this art and I don’t feel like I am creating the same look by spraying something over the face. I don’t like the trend of it. I think people “think” its the thing to do because its cool. I don’t think people really think about how it actually looks. People are told its better and so they think its better. I personally believe a lot of “fakeup” (fake makeup artists; artists who are not professionally trained) artists out there are using it to make them seem more professional because lets be honest, you can order an airbrush off an infomercial and figure out how to use it on your own for $29.99 a month or something.  And even worse for the bride, they are charging you more for it.  Not good. But again this is MY OPINION. Other artists love it and swear by it.


Do your research. Don’t just request airbrush because you have heard that it is the best option. Know what kind of foundation your artist is using so you don’t get taken advantage of and if you are actually getting the longevity and look you are looking for. Try it! See if you like it and not after you have chosen an artist who “only airbrushes” give yourself the option to do either form, whatever is going to look best for you.


We do NOT include it in our price. It is an upgrade in our pricing. Not everyone wants airbrush so we do not make people use it if they do not want it.  We use Dinar Airbrush because it is one of the first airbrush companies. In trial we have found the foundation gives a semi matte foundation and is an SB-40 Blend so it is the most long wearing formula and most comfortable.

 There is all the information you need to know about it!  More than you ever wanted to know I am sure! Good Luck!