7 Tips On Makeup Airbrushing For Beginners

7 Tips On Makeup Airbrushing For Beginners

Table of Contents

We all get inspired by those makeup videos where a professional makeup artist uses different tools and techniques to make the model’s skin look flawless and Insta worthy. One of the most common methods used for makeup nowadays is “Airbrushing.” Airbrush makeup is light, water-based liquid makeup. It is used explicitly with an air compressor powered applicator called an “Airbrush wand.” 

As a beginner you first need to understand the parts of the airbrush. Once you are fully knowledgeable about the equipment, you should do a patch test for your foundation shade. If it’s too light or too dark it may result in bad looking makeup. After the patch test, it is time to airbrush your face. Before filling the container with foundation, shake the foundation well. It would be best if you held the gun at least 6-7 inches away from your face so that the tiny drops scatter perfectly on your face. Airbrush your face in circular motions. Let the first layer dry properly, then apply the second layer to get your desired coverage. 

Do final touch ups with a liquid brush, bronzer, and highlighter. After you are done airbrushing, make sure to clean the nozzle. You can use the cleaner that comes with the airbrush or use water, acetone, etc., to clean the nozzle. Though airbrush makeup gives a flawless makeup look, it may be time-consuming sometimes. It is suitable for events where your timeline is preplanned, but it may not be an excellent option to use when the time for getting ready is less.

Types of Airbrushes:

There are two types of airbrushes available in the market.

  1. Operated using a cord and regular power supply,
  2. Operated using battery operated.

    Both do the same function, but the battery-operated is handier and easier to use. The pressure is controlled using a lever so that the user can get the desired coverage. 

Why do people Airbrush?

Airbrush makeup has gained popularity among makeup experts. It is good because it gives flawless and smooth coverage. Due to the thin layer of makeup, the makeup stays on the skin for a longer time. A few drops of liquid makeup products are enough to cover the whole face. You can also apply multiple layers to achieve the desired coverage. 

Blemishes and acne get covered with airbrush techniques because tiny drops get settled in the pores perfectly to even out the complexion. Although some special foundations are to be used in the airbrush gun, if you run out of the product, you can use your regular foundation, but you have to make sure that you thin it out using water or moisturizer. Thin liquids provide better application, while with thick liquids, there are chances that the product may get caught in the nozzle and thus result in the nozzle clogging. 

Why is Airbrush Makeup Good?

Airbrush makeup usually contains a foundation or other liquid makeup like bronzer. It is a quick method to apply foundation, but it also gives a more smooth and flawless makeup application. Airbrush makeup has also gained popularity in bridal makeup. Because the application is perfect and thin, airbrush makeup stays on the skin for a longer time. The critical benefit of airbrush makeup is that you do not have to use any brush to spread it over the skin. In this case, all the color correctors you apply to your face previously do not get swiped off, and thus the foundation hides the imperfections more flawlessly. 

Regular liquid foundation is thick, and you often need to apply at least two layers of it to hide all the imperfections. Compared to a stable liquid foundation, airbrush makeup is lightweight, and the formula is healthier for your skin. Airbrush makeup does not clog your pores. Because of the reason that airbrush makeup gives a thin application, your makeup does not crease. 

Thick foundation can block the pores, which would ultimately cause acne. On the other hand, the Airbrush foundation helps your skin breathe. It looks more natural on your face, and the comfort you receive is priceless. 

What Product to Use for Airbrushing?

There are some foundations available, especially for airbrushing. Their specialty is that they are very thin. Using liquid makeup with thin consistency is essential for airbrushing because thin liquids tend to come out of the airbrush gun more easily than thick liquids. To achieve precision, thin liquid products settle on the skin in a better way than thick ones. 

You can also use your regular foundations for airbrushing. Yes, you have heard it right. You can apply your favorite drugstore or high-end makeup foundation using the airbrush technique. But, before you pour these regular foundations into the airbrush container, you should thin them out because a stable foundation has a thick consistency. There are several methods to thin out the foundation. The most common forms are mentioned below:

Airbrush Makeup Thinner
As mentioned, the traditional makeup foundation is thick for an airbrush. Makeup thinner can be used to dilute your regular foundation to make it perfect for an airbrush holder. Make sure to follow the instructions right.

Your daily moisturizer can also be used to thin your foundation for airbrushing. Yes, you are reading it right! Thin liquid bases lotions and moisturizers can also be used to thin regular foundation for airbrush. You can also mix prep and prime serums in your foundation to achieve the thin consistency. Please do not put too much moisturizer as this may change your foundation’s quality and make it hard for your foundation to stay on your face.   

Airbrushing Tips for Beginners

Though using airbrush makeup was used by only professionals previously, but now the trend has changed. Every task a professional makeup artist does is doable by a beginner as well. Airbrushing can be a bit confusing and puzzling for beginners because of its fancy equipment. But you only need to dedicate some time and do a little practice. We have shortlisted some of the tips and tricks that you can follow to apply airbrush makeup like a pro artist in no time.

How to Airbrush Makeup for Beginners

Know the equipment

Before learning a new skill or technique, you need to know the tools or equipment. The best way to know your equipment is to read its user manual. Once you are done reading the user manual, switch to YouTube. Search for the respective product, and there you go. YouTube is an excellent source of learning. There are many basic and pro-level tutorials present on YouTube, which will guide you about holding the airbrush tool and at what angle you must use it. Remember, everything, at first, seems to be a bit difficult, but once you are used to it, it turns out to be a 2-minute task for you. 

Patch test your foundation

To achieve that professional and smooth makeup look, the shade of foundation counts a lot. A foundation that is one shade lighter than your skin tone can work great. Always patch tests your foundation on your neck or somewhere on the face so that you can know your perfect shade. 

If you are purchasing a foundation to apply in summers, then a shade matching your skin tone is okay. Because in summers topping your foundation with baking powder or setting powder is a must so that your foundation does not crease or slip away due to sweat. Also, while purchasing a foundation, make sure that your foundation does not oxidize a lot. 

If you know that a foundation oxidizes but that foundation is the one that suits your skin type, then go for two tones lighter. This way, your makeup will look fresh and healthy for a longer time. Otherwise, your makeup, especially around the eyes, would start looking darker after a few hours. 

Gear-up your Airbrush

Read the manual? Watched tutorials? Found your perfect foundation shade? 

Okay, okay, so now it is the time to set up your airbrush. Airbrush makeup’s mechanism is like spray painting. Setting up the airbrush tool is quite simple. 

To start:

  1. Associate the hose to the airbrush.
  2. Shake your foundation before use.
  3. Place a couple of drops of your airbrush cosmetics into the cup and turn on the compressor.

    To ensure the proper functioning of the spray gun, test the spray on the tissue first. If the color is right, the functioning is correct, then test the airbrushing on tissue with different pressures applied. Once you are satisfied with the results, it is time to airbrush your face.

Spray the face

As a beginner, we suggest you first try airbrushing someone else’s face rather than yours. Airbrushing someone else will help you quickly understand how the airbrush mechanism works and what angle or pressure you need to apply to get that salon perfect airbrush look. 

Remember to hold the airbrush tool some 6-8 inches away from the face. In this way, a very thin layer of makeup will be applied to your face. If you keep the airbrush near to your face, there are high chances that the application would become blotchy and start to drip off. To avoid thick and heavy application, it is suggested to spray the face evenly in a circular motion. 

Once you start spraying, try not to stop your hand until full or at least half face is done. If you spray multiple times, the makeup application will turn out to be uneven and cakey. Do not forget to airbrush down to your neckline to ensure a smooth and natural skin tone.  

Get your desired coverage

In airbrush makeup, tiny granules and particles of liquid makeup get deposited on your skin. If done right, a very thin layer of product is applied to the skin in one go. 

To get your desired coverage, let the first layer dry completely. You can also use a hand fan to dry your foundation quickly. Repeat the process of airbrushing. For a problematic area like blemishes or acne, move the airbrush a little close to your face. But make sure that the foundation should not melt off due to excess of application. Once you get your desired coverage, apply one or two pumps of makeup setting spray over your foundation to stay for a longer time, and give a smooth and natural look.

PRO-TIP: While airbrushing, do not forget to place your hand or a tissue paper on your hairline. Otherwise, the drops of foundation will stick to the hairline as well. For eyebrows, clean the eyebrows using a wipe dipped in 1-2 drops of makeup remover.

Many people like to do eye makeup before applying foundation; it is a good practice as the small particles of powder eyeshadows do not fall on your foundation or ruin your look. But with an airbrush, if you like to do eye makeup before foundation, you must be very careful while airbrushing. As of now, the foundation particles can ruin your eye look. If you can do your eye makeup after. 

Remember to use only a few drops of the foundation, as a few drops are enough to achieve your desired coverage if you mess up, like if you feel like the makeup has gone patchy or is looking muddy, then you can restart. The airbrush makeup fills every pore of your face; thus, it is better not to use a concealer after applying the foundation using an airbrush. Lastly, do not shut your eyes too tight. Because if you close your eyes too tightly, the airbrush foundation will not spread evenly around your eye area. Do not worry about getting airbrush foundation drops deposited on your eyelashes because mascara is there to cover it all.    

Do final touch ups

Once you are done with the base part, it is time for final touch ups. Final touch ups include eye shadows, eyeliners, mascara, blush, and bronzer. Apart from the eyes part, you can use an airbrush to add blush and bronzer. For bronzer, you can choose any liquid foundation in a darker shade. It gives you a flawless and precise bronzing experience. Similarly, liquid blushes provide an exotic and perfect makeup application. 

How to Unclog an Airbrush?

Continuous usage of an airbrush can clog its nozzle. Using foundations with thick consistency may cause clogging and getting foundation dried in the nozzle after another. For both situations, you need to unclog the nozzle immediately after use. The airbrush makeup kit usually comes with a cleaner. If you still have it, then put a few drops after you are done using the airbrush. But if you have run out of the cleaner, you can go for alternative options like water, alcohol, acetone or nail polish remover, or even paint thinner. The idea is again to put in a few drops. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes, and using a q-tip, clean the bowl. Make sure that all the product as well as the cleaner, is removed correctly.   

Final Thoughts

Airbrush makeup looks flawless and smooth on the skin, but it may be costly and tiring. Some people think that airbrush makeup is not as worthy as it sounds. It requires an extra effort, and honestly, if you are in a hurry, then airbrush makeup is not the right choice as it involves a lot of preparation. Airbrush makeup also needs more attention for precision than traditional makeup. 

Airbrush makeup is suitable for special occasions when you have your timeline sorted out. If you need to get ready quickly, like for college or a sudden hangout, then airbrush makeup is not the right choice. Lastly, practice is essential. It would help if you practiced airbrushing one or two times before actual use because, in this way, the chances of causing any mistake lessens.  


As the head artist of Farishta Beauty I was inspired by many young individuals who were just like me passionate about makeup.
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