Three Reasons I Don't Use An Airbrush

The first Airbrush was invented in 1879 by Abner Peeler. It isn’t a new technique, and it isn’t the right choice for every skin type or texture. I get asked quite regularly if I use an airbrush to apply makeup.

Spoiler Alert: I don't. And this is why:

Barbara MacFerrin Photography

Barbara MacFerrin Photography

1. My mind was never blown by an airbrush and it didn't make my job any easier.

I'm a hands on artist - I like to use sponges, brushes, or my fingers to get the perfect finish. I like to mix product and layer textures, and the airbrush limits my ability to do that. I still go through the same steps to create a look that lasts hours upon hours through sweat and tears, but with a traditional application we don’t have to worry about getting makeup out of your hair afterwards.

2. Maintenance.

It takes, like, forever to clean an airbrush between clients. Hair and makeup for weddings and on set is time sensitive work. Cleaning and sanitizing between clients is absolutely necessary, and adding an airbrush to the mix feels like a waste of time.

It's noisy, bulky, and a pain to carry around. I recognize that many MUA's still use the airbrush, especially for film and television which is great if you get to set up in the same place every day or if you are body painting. I personally hop from venue to venue, and do not do large scale body painting.

The maintenance of the whole contraption is totally not worth it!

3. For all of the effort it takes to work with an airbrush, the makeup doesn't look any different than a traditional application.

After having many bridal clients ask me if I use an airbrush to apply makeup, I realized that it is usually because they are confusing the literal airbrush with the tool in Photoshop. If your skin is textured from acne or scarring, unfortunately airbrushing your foundation is not going to make your skin actually look Photoshoped any more than a traditional application. In fact, depending on your skin type, texture, and the treatments you have had done, an airbrush may be a particularly bad choice for a natural look and long lasting makeup. A professional makeup artist should have the product and skill level to give you an ah-may-zing skin finish with or without an airbrush! Creating a beautiful, long lasting, natural skin finish that looks fantastic in person and photographs beautifully is one of my top priorities. For me, an airbrush just isn't the way to do it. 

Nick Sparks Photography

Nick Sparks Photography

CakeKnife Photography

CakeKnife Photography

Cara Bartelme Portrait Design

Cara Bartelme Portrait Design

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