Airbrush Makeup: Everything To Know About The Technique

In a world where we're constantly searching for that perfect filter-level face, airbrushed makeup might be the answer. Whether you're trying the bronzy latte makeup trend or going for something more natural, airbrushed makeup can help perfect these makeup looks to appear even more lightweight, flawless, and long-lasting. Before we get started, let's address the elephant in the room: Essentially, airbrush makeup is a unique technique that uses an airbrush gun to apply foundation, rather than the usual tool of a beauty blender or foundation brush.

Depending on the products you choose, your airbrushed look may look different and uniquely you. Just like most of the things we want in life, achieving airbrush makeup requires time, effort, and money. Don't worry — we've got you covered with the best tips for selecting, buying, and applying the best airbrush products for your skin (and wallet). With these tips in mind, you'll likely never go back to another method of makeup again.

How to apply airbrush makeup

There's a method to the madness that is airbrush makeup. Before getting started, it's always best to have a clean and hydrated surface. Speaking to Today, bridal makeup artist Samantha Centner explained, "You want to make sure that you're really hydrating, drinking a lot of water [and] doing a consistent skin care routine." She added, "That's going to really leave your skin nice and plump and it's going to be able to handle all of the powders and the layers, which is the key to making it last all day." If you already have an established skincare routine, it's time to dive in without leaving out any steps (yes, that second moisturizer is important!). Once you're grounded in a solid routine for your skin, it's time to invest in a makeup airpod.

No, we're not talking about the headphones. A makeup airpod allows you to put the foundation of your choice into the pod, which then sprays the product slowly and efficiently onto your face, leaving a perfectly even and airbrushed finish. Once the foundation is sprayed on, Centner recommends going over the applied area with a wet beauty blender or sponge. "I find that helps it to really sink in and give a really even base as opposed to putting it in with a brush," she told Today. Once the foundation is curated to your liking, finish off with your favorite setting spray. An airbrushed makeup look can be great for those big events where you want coverage all night long.

The best airbrush products for every budget

We know that money plays a huge role in the products we buy and use. Thankfully, there's a number of airbrush products that cover multiple price points. One of the most popular and all-in-one airbrush products is Temptu's One Glowing Complexion Airbrush Kit ($179) which includes an airbrush compressor, refillable cartridge, cleaner, and a foundation, blush, highlighter, and primer of your choice. According to celebrity makeup artist Nydia Figueroa, "It's hydrating, lasts all day, and has an incredible color range to suit all skin tones," she explained to Brides, emphasizing that it's great for big events and amateur makeup wearers.

These products are also sold separately, from Temptu or other brands like Sephora. If you're not ready to fully commit to an airbrush kit, Sephora's Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation ($8) is a great place to start. In addition, there are low-price kits made for beginners, like Art of Air's Professional Makeup System ($89). If you're still looking for other options beyond name brands like Temptu, Mineral Air's Complexion Starter Kit ($150) is another great option.

Pros and cons of airbrush makeup

Of course, there are pros and cons to airbrush makeup. For instance, even though airbrush kits are available at variety of price points, they're typically pricier than standard beauty blenders or foundation brushes. According to fashion and celebrity makeup artist Katie Mellinger, "The [airbrush] equipment requires a lot of maintenance, it's expensive, and you really need to understand how the product works" (via Byrdie). In other words , airbrush makeup will ultimately give you better coverage, but it doesn't come cheap. If you're not worried about the price, however, it may be one worth investing in.

On the other hand, there's quite literally no other product that works like airbrush makeup. Because of its application process and tools, you're guaranteed an even and lightweight amount of foundation that will last you the whole night with little-to-no touch ups. For someone who works in a camera-facing or public-facing career, this could be a win-win situation. But for the everyday person who isn't wearing makeup all the time? That's unlikely to be practical. But ultimately, being aware of your budget, how often you wear foundation, and whether you're dedicated to maintaining an airbrush applicator can help you make the decision. Regardless of what you choose, we know you'll find a way to apply foundation perfectly.