What is Airbrushing: The Magic of Flawless Airbrush Makeup

What is Airbrushing Foundation?

Airbrushing can be Interpreted in many different ways…

When I speak to my brides during their makeup consultation they say they want to look airbrushed. I have come to understand what they mean is flawless and to have skin like the brides on Pinterest or out of a magazine.

I get where this idea comes from, but honestly, the pictures in magazines have been edited to look that flawless! It’s not real life!

No one will look like that even with the most skilled makeup artist. Unfortunately, if the skin has texture, makeup wont make it disappear. Makeup can certainly make it look more flawless but perfection isn’t possible. If the model’s skin is naturally good, it won’t be edited/airbrushed as much compared to skin with a lot of texture (bumpy spots, scars, hair etc). Either way, the final beauty or fashion image would have perfect skin and makeup.

Please see this example:

what is airbrushing

Natural photoshop editing. Blemish removal and contrast.

So that’s the effect of being airbrushed by phone app or a photoshop programme. Being airbrushed with makeup is the same idea but the method is very different!

What is Airbrushing – The Airbrush Makeup Method:

There are types of foundation that claim to give an Airbrushed finish but the real way is with an airbrush gun, compressor and a specific airbrush foundation.

Airbrushing uses the power of compressed air to mist foundation gently across your skin using a very liquid airbrush foundation. The foundation is layered on the skin in thin layers, allowing the finish to be very sheer or a fuller coverage.

What is Airbrushing – Benefits of Airbrush Foundation:

Although some think that airbrush makeup will be heavy giving the illusion of the magazine airbrushed look (as explained above). It is the exact opposite! Airbrush makeup allows your skin to radiate through the makeup allowing it to look very natural. Any imperfections (under-eye darkness, spot cover-up etc) can be concealed with your favourite concealer before the airbrush application. Airbrushing evens out skin tone, giving a blurred soft focus look to your makeup, allowing your skin to look naturally flawless.

what is airbrush foundation

bridal makeup lesson

Here you can see beautiful results with the airbrush foundation. (Light to medium coverage and still able to see freckles.)

Using airbrush foundation you can easily build up layers to achieve a fuller coverage and the beauty of this method is the layers can also include blush, highlight and contour. Airbrush makeup should have a flawless, semi-matte finish.

Before and after bridal makeup by lucy jayne

The foundation formula is normally silicone-based which helps to cover lines, pores and imperfections. Other airbrush formulas can be water and oil-based.

The layers of the fine silicone-based formula are water and transfer-resistant which means it’s resistant to sweat and tears. It’s perfect bridal makeup application for all-day wear. I guarantee 10 hours, but my clients say it lasts longer! 

When using airbrush foundation all other skin prep would be the same as with any foundation application. Prep the skin according to the skin type i.e. For oily skin use an oil-controlling moisturiser and a mattifying primer.

Adjust the skin prep for the finish you want i.e. If the client wants a real glow, use an illuminating primer and you can add a ‘glow’ with the airbrush highlighter.



Hygienic: The airbrush never directly touches the face, preventing cross-contamination.

Suitable of all skin types: Especially good for sensitive skin as reduces skin sensitivity and airbrush makeup is hypoallergenic.

Versatile: Can be used for many different aspects i.e. make-up, body paint, hair colour…

As an artist, I love using my airbrush to create beautiful skin but equally, I have always had a place in my repertoire for traditional foundations. Personally I don’t like to think one method is better than another especially when so many traditional foundations come in so many formulas!

Any makeup can make you the prettiest version of yourself that you can be. It doesn't have to be airbrushed, and many times it is not. The correct application for your personal needs is more important.