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Traditional Vs. Airbrush Makeup

Whats the difference? Which is better? What should I choose for my Wedding Day?


I feel like this topic of discussion has been coming up pretty often lately with Brides. So I would love to break it down for you a bit!


To be completely honest, I really feel like there isn't much of a difference. It really is just a personal preference. To me, its as slight of a difference as using pressed powder over loose powder. Or cream blush over powder blush. Sometimes I reach for pressed, sometimes I reach for loose, but overall I feel like they both have a pretty similar intended purpose and can get the job done. Any Professional Makeup Artist who is adequately experienced should be able to provide a quality Makeup Application using their own preferred method. Some Artists prefer one over the other, some offer both.


It is really important to note, that one of the biggest differences between the two approaches, is really just the method in which the makeup is being applied. Every artist regardless of their medium, has certain tools that they prefer to work with. For Makeup Artists, some prefer to use brushes and hand apply and some prefer to use their airbrush system. Personally as a Makeup Artist, I prefer to use brushes and apply foundation by hand. This may because I am a Painter, so after years of using paint brushes day in and day out to create my art, the craft comes so naturally to me that it translates directly into my Makeup Artistry.


Another factor to note, is the actual formula of the foundation that is being applied. There are makeups that are specifically created for airbrush use only (because essentially airbrush makeup is just super thinned out foundation), but there are also artists who dilute traditional liquid foundations on their own and filter it through their airbrush system. So yes, sometimes its "airbrush makeup" an artist is using, but sometimes its really just traditional makeup being applied through using the airbrush technique. Personally, I have found that foundations created specifically for Airbrush use, are often more of a one size fits all, where as with traditional foundations hand applied, I find I personally can better manipulate the product to suit every client's specific needs. HOWEVER - there are plenty of artists who are extremely skilled in their trade, and feel that they personally can achieve the best results with airbrush makeups.


The traditional foundations that most reputable makeup artists use are tried and true PROFESSIONAL GRADE makeups that have been serving the industry for decades. These are foundations that were developed often by Makeup Artists to ensure that they are fulfilling the needs of clients. Some specific benefits to note are the ability to mix shades to accommodate a global range of skin tones, manipulate the coverage (for example thinning out for clients wanting less coverage or using the product as is for the fullest coverage), and lastly the longevity (I know personally the foundations I use were created to last in the warm environment of a film set where hot, heavy lights are on and actors/actresses are often shooting for extended periods of time sometimes in extreme conditions).


One comment I've heard often made in the argument that Airbrush Makeup is "better", is that it photographs flawlessly. Which is absolutely true, however just because airbrush makeup photographs flawlessly doesn't mean Traditional Makeup doesn't or can't. Again, this is a matter of skill in your trade. Artists who are good at what they do, should be able to achieve this result regardless of what method they use. I did see a comment recently made by a photographer recommending Airbrush makeup for a Bride, that airbrush makeup photographs better because it doesn't cause flashback in photography. While flash back is a valid concern for a photographer, it again isn't caused by the method in which it was applied, it is caused by certain ingredients that are found in cosmetics. If a Makeup Artists knows what ingredients cause flashback, are familiar with the ingredients that are in the products they use, and know how chemicals and ingredients interact together, flashback is nothing to worry about.


Longevity is probably one of the biggest benefits I've seen supporting the Airbrush argument. But as an artist I have to say, that the longevity of a product really depends on MANY different factors. The environment, the ingredients, and the condition of your skin, are all things that will play into the longevity of your makeup. If the skin is prepped accordingly (meaning clean, exfoliated, hydrated) then the makeup is going to last A LOT longer. Every person has different skin types, textures and needs, and the Artist should be able to do a quick consult to determine which products will properly prep their skin to receive makeup. Once an artist evaluates the skin type of the client, they can choose a foundation formula best suited for their individual skin type. I always finish with a setting spray which helps to ensure long lasting wear! This process is NOT a one size fits all, and your Makeup Artist should carry a variety of skin prep products and makeup in order to be able to customize an application specific to your particular needs.


I hope that this post helped you to understand a little bit about airbrush and traditional foundation, and that the only true distinction between the two is that they are different approaches, and personal preference of the artist and client. I hope you can feel a little more at ease about choosing what will best suit your beauty needs for your wedding day - which is really just hiring a GREAT MAKEUP ARTIST!

*SIDE NOTE* as you've probably determined through reading this, I do NOT offer airbrush makeup as one of my services, HOWEVER I do support a few GREAT makeup artists in the area who do and if it is something you are looking for, please don't hesitate to reach out, I would be more than happy to refer you to one of the best!



Happy Friday XOXO


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