Flawless Finish

To Airbrush Or Not To Airbrush?
by: Creative Photography

While researching makeup for their big day, brides-to-be are coming across the rage and hype of airbrushing.  Desire to be camera ready with flawless skin has them intrigued with differing makeup techniques and applications.   As many celebrities in Hollywood rave about airbrush makeup for both film and the red carpet, it’s driving a worldwide cult following, and outright craze for airbrushing.  Many brides are jumping on the airbrushing bandwagon to achieve the most flawless makeup application possible, but it may not be the answer to all of their concerns.

Airbrush makeup application first began in 1925 on the set of the epic silent film Ben-Hur, and has since become a common tool in makeup artists’ kits for film and theatre.  Airbrush makeup application is also a helpful tool in tanning, as it creates an even application for the body and face, and works perfectly in arenas such as pageants and theatre.  However, airbrushing is not a typical, or preferred, method of makeup application for photography or fashion.  There are several reasons to think twice before selecting an airbrushed application for wedding makeup and brides should be aware of all the pros and cons beforehand.

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THE PRO’S:

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Airbrush makeup is lightweight, which feels great on the skin, almost like it’s not there at all.
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The makeup itself is more often than not a water-based formulation to make passing through the machine easier; this is great news for your pores and skin!  Water based makeup is noncomedogenic and nonacnegenic, which means it will not clog pores or lead to acne.
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The finish is beautiful, seamless and nearly flawless; being as light as it is, you can layer it more heavily over problem areas, and even airbrush on the neck and body for a seamless flow and continuous coverage.
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Tanning and makeup application can be done all at once by your artist, with no additional trips to the tanning salon.
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Airbrushing makeup is often a tool of body makeup, whether it is to cover tan lines, body acne, or even tattoos; it blends seamlessly on the body.

THE CON’S:

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Airbrush makeup, being water based, may take a minute or two to dry.  While this seems easy enough, asking a bride to refrain from facial expressions for a full two minutes can be problematic on her wedding day:  Smiles often, and sometimes tears, occur when friends and relatives come into the preparation room to greet and congratulate her unannounced; or when she receives a text or love note from her soon-to-be-husband.
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Because airbrush makeup is so lightweight, it will dissipate easier than traditional makeup.  Hence, if tears, perspiration or even precipitation occur, streaks will follow.  The makeup cannot be sealed and waterproofed as well as can be done with a traditional application simply because of the differing ingredients of the primers and finishing products required for airbrush makeup.
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When streaks do occur, you cannot touch-up as easily as you can with a traditional makeup application.  Adding powder, or even a cover-up on top of an airbrushed application will look obvious and the streaks beneath will remain evident.  Cliché yes, but trying to mix a water-based airbrush makeup with a talc or mineral powder, or an oil based makeup cover-up, is like trying to mix oil and water.
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Thus, hiring the artist for touch-up services is almost always required.  This can put a damper on fun, as well as the wallet, to have the makeup artist following the bride around with the airbrush machine.
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In the event of hiding a tattoo, the airbrush makeup may cause the skin to look dull, muddy, or simply draw the eye.  This is because the area should first be primed with a body makeup.  Being so lightweight, simply airbrushing over the area with multiple layers may not actually cover the tattoo well or completely.  However, using a body makeup to hide the image, and following over with an airbrushed application to blend the makeup, and further seamlessly hide the tattoo can make the area seem dull.  The finished product is an area of skin that lacks luster, may not entirely match your skin, and still draws the eye of the audience.  Even if the wedding guests are not sure why they are drawn towards the area, or what they are seeing, they will notice something weird about the tattoo being hidden.
In understanding a little more of the history of, and the truth about airbrushing, if the Pros outweigh the Cons, then brides-to-be should remember to audition artists that specialize in airbrush makeup application for their wedding.  Every artist has different training and education, and uses different machines and products, so brides-to-be are urged to audition several, or at least no less than two, airbrushing specialists.  It is also highly recommended to contract your artist for touch-up services.  Even back stage, or behind a curtain at red carpet events, those celebrities that rave about airbrushing have their makeup artists at the ready, to touch them up if need be.

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