What's the difference between Airbrush Makeup and Traditional Makeup?

What’s the difference between airbrush makeup and traditional makeup? This is one of the most asked questions I get from all my brides and anyone inquiring about makeup services.

So here it is:

Airbrush makeup is applied through an air gun and compressor, very much like getting a spray tan on your body or if you’ve ever seen how a car is painted with flames on the side. It’s a super lightweight liquid makeup, that’s best for someone who doesn’t wear a lot of foundation and likes a natural feel on their skin. It’s tear, sweat and transfer resistant which is the most important on a special day when you are happy crying. (No ugly crying allowed!!)

Here I am airbrushing the bride, using Temptu foundations.

Here I am airbrushing the bride, using Temptu foundations.

But seriously, What’s the difference??

When photographed, airbrush makeup looks like skin, because when it shoots out of the gun, the particles are so small and fine that when it lands on your face, it’s like a gazillion little dots. And a photo is made up of a gazillion little dots, so airbrush makeup is mimicking the dots in a photograph, therefore it looks more natural in photos. Get where I’m going with this?

Buuuut, airbrush makeup is unfortunately not for everyone. It does not correct skin texture such as acne, scarring, large pores, deep wrinkles or moles. I wish it did, but it’s not magic, just makeup. 

Airbrush makeup costs more than traditional makeup because of the equipment that is used and the training that is needed. Anyone can pick up an airbrush gun, point it at your face and pull the trigger, but someone with skill can make you look like you’re not wearing layers of caked-on foundation. 

Traditional makeup is what we use everyday. It comes in the form of a liquid, cream, pressed powder or stick. What you would normally see while shopping anywhere for makeup and applied by sponge, fingers or a brush. Since the particles are larger and sits more on top of your skin, it does tend to rub off easier which will make it frustrating when you want your makeup to last all day and night and through happy tears. Not to worry tho, it’s easily fixed by touching up your makeup so you can continue to drink and party the night away. 

I don’t wanna diss traditional makeup, because with the right foundation formula and applying technique, you can make traditional foundation look like skin and the right setting spray will keep it locked into place.

This is also the best option for anyone with acne, scarring, large pores, deep wrinkles or moles as it masks the appearance better than airbrush makeup.


I hope this explanation helps you in deciding which makeup application you want for your wedding or special event, and trust that I can do both.

Photo Credit: Ali Beck Photography