Until now, I never knew how to apply airbrush makeup without the expensive spray gun! Just when I thought the task of hunting down makeup for oily skin was over, I discovered the wonder that is Airbrush Makeup. So many drugstore and high end makeup products feel heavy, oily, and waxy. They are designed for dry or combination skin, and don’t wear well on us oily girls.
Use Airbrush Makeup for a Flawless Look
To date, the best makeup I’d found to accommodate my oily skin was Estee Lauder Max Cover. I read about this foundation on a blog from the makeup company to which I’m rather obsessed, called Mattify Cosmetics. As far as regular liquid foundations go (non air-brush variety), this is by far the longest lasting one. I’ve used it for 2 years now, and the amount of coverage & staying power is amazing. My only complaint is that it feels a bit heavy. This is why I’m so darn happy about the light-weight miracle that is Airbrush Foundation! Sometimes, when I need added coverage, I mix a bit of the Estee makeup with the Airbrush foundation & it works wonderfully.
You may be wondering… do I NEED to have an Airbrush Sprayer to use Airbrush makeup? The answer is: Absolutely Not!
During a lazy day of browsing You Tube videos, I came across Makeup Guru Kandee Johnson’s channel where she shows how to apply Airbrush Makeup using a foundation brush. Color me amazed! I’m not sure why, but I always thought this type of foundation was impossible to apply without the spray gun, so never bothered checking into it. Until this point, I’d avoided Airbrush makeup because I don’t have $200 lying around to buy the gun, and certainly don’t have time to deal with all the spray gun clean-up in the morning before work. Discovering that you can apply this makeup with a brush or your fingertips was like Plato confirming that the earth is round. It was true all along!
So what do you need to do differently to apply Airbrush Foundation as opposed to regular makeup? Not much. For a tutorial, watch Kandee’s instructions below by clicking the picture or link below. The before & after is amazing!!
Kandee Johnson How to Apply Airbrush Foundation Video Tutorial
Kandee Johnson Youtube Video – How to Apply Airbrush Makeup without a Spray Gun
So, the question is, how to apply airbrush makeup without using the spray gun?
During my experimentation with Airbrush application, I picked up a few useful tips. Here are some tricks that helped me get the perfect finish & a brief review of a few different brands.
Ultra Powder for Oily Skin
Women with oily skin should use an oil absorbent powder.
Although it’s noted on most Airbrush Makeup websites that you do not need to use a finishing powder, my oily skin will cause a break-down of any foundation within hours.
On a daily basis I have been using my trusty Mattify Ultra Powder both before and after application of the Airbrush Foundation. My pores are easily clogged, so I’m paranoid about using ANY type of foundation without having a protective barrier. Since my skin gets acne when gel silicone primers are used, I use the Mattify Ultra Powder, which acts as a primer when applied before makeup – so your pores don’t get clogged. It also absorbs any oil your skin might produce, and prevents the oil from destroying your fresh application of foundation. You can also use the Ultra Powder over the Airbrush foundation as double insurance that your face won’t get greasy. In my descriptions of the Kett & Dinair Foundations below, I’ll explain how the Airbrush Makeup lasted with & without the Ultra Powder.
Makeup Brush & Sponge
You can use a foundation brush, beauty blender sponge, or your finger tips to apply.
Keep in mind that a beauty blender sponge & natural hair foundation brush will absorb a lot of product, leading to product waste. You waste the least amount of makeup by using a synthetic hair foundation brush or your fingers. Using a stippling brush is not recommended, because the Airbrush Foundation dries almost upon contact with skin, so there is not enough time to blend. Everyone has their favorite application method; the one that works best for me is my finger tips. It allows for the most precise and quickly blended application. It is very important to work in sections, because the airbrush makeup dries very quickly.
You can mix it with other products to get the right color / consistency / coverage.
On days when my skin looks a complete mess…we’ve all had these days…where stress or lack of sleep causes tons of breakouts, redness, blotchiness, dark circles… I use a tiny dab of the Estee Lauder Max Cover mixed with the Dinair Airbrush. It provides that extra boost of coverage while still feeling light weight. You can also mix the airbrush foundation with a regular makeup to achieve the correct color balance. The only time you do NOT want to mix the Airbrush foundation with other products is if you are using the spray gun. Mixing with other items could plug the spray nozzle.
Concealer + Airbrushing
You can use concealer under or over the Airbrush Foundation.Although it’s water based and very liquidous, Airbrush Makeup does a stupendous job at covering flaws. The only place I occasionally use concealer is under my eyes, to brighten that area & help me look more awake. I would recommend applying under eye conecealer before the Airbrush makeup. But, if you have blemishes to hide, dab a small amount of concealer on them after you’ve applied the Airbrush. (If you apply concealer on acne spots before the Airbrush makeup, you will only wipe away the concealer as you apply the foundation.) My skin is freckled and occasionally has a few bright red acne breakouts – and even so, the coverage of the Airbrush is so good that I rarely use concealer anywhere except under my eyes.
Here is a list of some popular Airbrush Foundations & my experiences with how to apply airbrush makeup from these various brands:
Kett Hydro Proof
Kett Hydro Proof / NO Silicone
Color Used: Olive 5
** Make sure you buy the one that says “Hydro Proof” if you want long lasting, waterproof results. Do NOT buy the Kett Hydro Foundation unless you want sheer coverage that is not water resistant.
How to Apply Airbrush Makeup by Kett:
How to Apply Airbrush Makeup Without Spray Gun
Their website says not to use the Kett Hydro Proof without the spray gun (probably because they are trying to sell this uber-expensive tool). I used it without, and it turned out just fine. It also says to not mix with anything silicone or water based – but it doesn’t explain why. My guess is that it will plug the spray gun if you are using one. I tried mixing it with a silicone based foundation, and a water based foundation – just to see if anything terribly odd would happen – and it turned out fine. It didn’t morph into any strange consistency and still looked flawless on my skin.
As with any other Airbrush Foundation, it is thin and watery, but dries quickly – so you must apply it in sections & work fast. I tried it with my finger tips and a synthetic hair brush. I liked the results better with my finger tips, because I was more able to control the coverage. The brush was a bit clumsy to work with and resulted in a slightly streaky application that didn’t cover flaws as well. I applied to my chin, cheeks & forehead, then filled in my T-Zone, blending everything together.
When I applied the Mattify Ultra Powder before and after, it lasted a full 5 hours before any oil surfaced & I needed to retouch with the Ultra Powder. It was 8 hours before any areas started to fade, and it was indeed water resistant. I splashed my face with water and blotted dry (no rubbing) with a towel. It still looked flawless!
When I applied it onto bare skin (with nothing underneath or over the top) it lasted about 5 hours. I started getting super oily at the 3 hour mark and used a blotting paper. Some of the foundation transferred off my face & onto the blotter, which left a few patchy areas that I had to re-blend with my fingers. Finally, after the 5th hour, I had so much oil breakthrough that it started to dissolve the Airbrush Foundation.
For girls with dry skin, this will probably last 8+ hours without using setting powder. But for combo very oily girls such as myself, using an oil absorbent powder will greatly add to its longevity.
Dinair – NO Silicone / NO Parabens / Water Based
How to Apply Airbrush Makeup by Dinair. Color Used: Olive Beige
The Dinair Airbrush Foundation is my favorite so far. It’s faster and easier to apply than the Kett, because it doesn’t dry quite as quickly. It provides amazing coverage and is very water resistant.
I used the exact same application techniques as with the Kett Foundation. Although, I also tried using a Beauty Blender Sponge with the Dinair. I really liked the result, but the sponge does absorb quite a bit of product & leads to waste. I found it better to dab the Dinair Foundation directly onto my skin, and then blend with the damp Beauty Blender. Still, my favorite application method is with my fingers. The results with & without the Mattify Ultra Powder were the same as with the Kett Foundation.
OCC (Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics) – Water Based
I’m going to try this one next. It looks comparable to Dinair & promises to be matte & water resistant while providing good coverage.
Temptu – Silicone Based
Haven’t tried this one, and don’t plan to. My skin reacts horribly to Silicone if I use it on a daily basis. Also, Silicone makes oily skin look even greasier, so this is a no-go for me. Click here to read my blog post about why silicone is bad for your skin and hair.
Eventually, I would love to buy an air-brush gun and learn how to apply airbrush makeup using the spray gun. You can do everything from eyebrows to blush to eyeliner & eye shadow – and you can even cover unwanted tattoos and birth marks. Someday when I have the extra 200 bucks, I’ll give it a try, as it seems like a very worthwhile investment! But for everyday use, when you are limited on time to get ready for work or school, I would highly recommend applying airbrush makeup without the spray gun. I would also highly recommend Airbrush Makeup to anyone with oily skin, since it stays put all day long!
Before & After Airbrush Sample
Since Airbrush makeup is so long lasting, it’s perfect to use for weddings or special events!
Before & After Airbrush