The Pros and Cons of Airbrush Makeup

Not sure if you should go the airbrush makeup route for your wedding? Read this.
maddy sims the knot associate editor
Maddy Sims
maddy sims the knot associate editor
Maddy Sims
Associate Editor
  • Maddy writes for The Knot, with a specialty in beauty, sustainability, mental health and inclusivity.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Maddy wrote for several different publications, including Insider, Bustle, Real Simple and Apartment Therapy.
  • Maddy has a Bachelor's degree in magazine journalism and a Master's degree in health, science and environmental reporting (both of which are from Northwestern's Medill School ...
Updated Sep 10, 2020
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On your big day, you're going to want to look your best—which means you want your skin to look amazing. Opting for airbrush application is one way to get flawless skin for the wedding. But it's important to know that when it comes to airbrush makeup, there are pros and cons to the technique. Sure, when done correctly, an airbrush finish can give you the complexion of your dreams, but there are some drawbacks to consider before committing

So how do you decide if airbrush makeup is right for you? Check out these pros and cons from Brittany Lo, founder and CEO of NYC-based beauty services company Beautini. Whatever you decide, work with your makeup artist to ensure that you feel comfortable and confident on your special day—with or without airbrush.

But First… What Is Airbrush Makeup?

Not sure what is airbrush makeup? Don't worry; you aren't alone. Before you can decide if you want airbrush makeup for your wedding, it helps to know what it actually is. In a nutshell, airbrushing uses the power of compressed air to mist foundation gently across your skin using special foundation cartridges that fit into a corresponding airbrushing device.

You may have seen makeup artists putting airbrush makeup on celebrities before they walk down the red carpet or step in front of the cameras. Typically, these systems include a small pen-like applicator that sprays the foundation.

Why might you want to try airbrush makeup? Take a look at these important pros and cons Brittany Lo shares.

Pro: Airbrush makeup lasts all day.

On your wedding day, you most certainly won't want to waste precious time touching up foundation because your makeup has faded. One of the major advantages of airbrush makeup is it performs well. Lo explains that most airbrush makeup is silicone-based, which means it lasts longer and is more water resistant than regular makeup. Therefore, it'll withstand all the hugging and kissing that will inevitably happen throughout your wedding day.

Con: It can be flaky.

The good news? Airbrush makeup looks amazing on moisturized, hydrated skin. The not so great news? If your skin is on the drier side, the spray-on product may begin to flake. Lo explains that since the formula is waterproof, the consistency is a lot less creamy than traditional foundation. If you have dry skin, be sure to consult your makeup artist to see if you can make airbrush work for your complexion, and overall, take proper care of your skincare routine leading up to the wedding day.

Pro: Airbrush makeup is known for its flawless finish.

This one is a given: just look at the name. Airbrushing allows for makeup to be applied evenly, allowing for an impeccably smooth finish, Lo explains. The best part is it's perfect for the hundreds of pictures that you'll be taking all day.

Con: It can be hard to re-blend.

Bad news for those who are a little more tear-prone (no shame!). If you end up crying and your makeup streaks, it's difficult to fill those spots in with more airbrushing or even regular makeup, making it a lot harder to re-create your original, flawless look. However, if airbrush makeup is applied properly and it dries completely, this shouldn't be an issue.

Pro: With airbrush makeup, a little goes a long way.

If you don't want to feel like you're wearing a heavy coat of foundation, airbrush might be right for you. Lo explains how airbrush makeup requires less product and it gives you more coverage because of the spray application process.

Con: Your shade options are a little more limited.

One of the drawbacks of this particular beauty service is the lack of shade ranges. The type of foundation formula used with an airbrush is different than everyday foundation, and there's a more limited selection of shades and brands to choose from. You may find that your skin matches better with traditional foundation.

Pro: It's easy to layer.

When it comes to airbrush makeup pros and cons, this is a major pro. The application method is totally customizable—whether you prefer light coverage or love a full face. Since airbrush makeup can be applied in such fine layers, it dries super quickly, which means you can add more layers for extra coverage if you want.

Con: Typically, airbrush makeup is more expensive.

Most professional makeup artists will consider airbrush an add-on service, meaning it's typically more expensive than a normal makeup application. If you're planning to pay for your bridal party's services as well, airbrush makeup may not be a very cost-effective choice. Curious about trying airbrush? Lo recommends asking about it during your makeup trial, which is the ideal time to see if you think airbrush makeup is worth its price tag.

Why Do You Need Airbrush Makeup?

Many to-be-weds choose to splurge on airbrush makeup for their wedding. Is airbrushing something you need? That really depends on your wedding goals and whether you think the benefits of airbrushing are worth the extra cost. Airbrush makeup is ideal for people who:

  • Don't want to have to keep slipping away during their wedding to touch up their makeup
  • Want the smooth finish airbrushed makeup offers
  • Want lightweight makeup that won't distract them during their big day

Should You Apply Your Own Airbrush Makeup?

If you love experimenting with makeup trends or want to save a little money by doing your own makeup, it is possible to purchase your own airbrush makeup. One of the best options for beginners is Sephora Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation. The beauty of this option is that you won't have to buy a special airbrush device and separate foundation cartridges. Instead, Sephora's foundation gives you the entire system built right into the foundation bottle.

If you really want to up your makeup game and don't mind investing a little money to get the airbrushed look, head over to DermStore and check out the Temptu Perfect Canvas airbrush line. You can purchase full air brush kits as well as the applicator and separate cartridges.

Ultimately, you want to look and feel like the most beautiful version of yourself on your wedding day. That's why you should consult your makeup artist to see what he or she recommends for your skin type, budget and wedding goals.

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