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Airbrush Makeup vs. Regular Makeup: What You Need to Know

For those who weren’t already aware, airbrush makeup — which has long been used by professional makeup artists, or MUAs — is increasingly being self-applied at home. As the NYC’s leading bridal hair and makeup service, the crew at Prim n Perfect would like to breakdown the essentials for brides to be — as well as everyone else — who want to know the main differences between airbrush and traditional makeup.

High Definition Photography and the Makeup Revolution

airbrush makeup photography

Since the introduction and popularization of high definition digital photography, the lines created by standard brushes and sponges are more visible than ever before in images. This has led even casual cosmetics consumers to consider the quicker and seemingly easier coloring abilities of airbrush over regular makeup applications. It is generally true that don’t need to be as hand skilled to use an airbrush stylus and air compressor versus traditional brushes, sponges, or even fingers — which actually require a steadier, more expert touch. There are however, some other aspects of airbrushing which actually do require more knowledge, such as color blending, which we’ll go into later.

Hygiene: Because, Germs

Airbrush makeup lock germs

The most immediate advantage airbrushing has over regular makeup is that the stylus never touches your skin, preventing the germs that live on basically everything from coming into contact with your face. This is especially important if you have sensitive, acne or eczema prone skin.

A Natural Look that’s More Breathable

Professional makeup artist NYC

The main thing about airbrush makeup is that is made up of much finer layers, which means you not only use less makeup, but appear more natural with skin that is able to breath much easier —without the greasy feeling normal makeup can give you during extended use. Many who swear by airbrush say it feels like they’re not wearing makeup at all.

Makeup and Applications Lasts Longer

And since you’re not using as much makeup, you won’t go through it nearly as fast. While the initial costs are significantly higher than with regular makeup kits, you will save money over the long term. Airbrush makeup also stays put for a significantly longer time which — as wedding makeup artists and bridal hair stylists in NYC know all too well — can mean the world during a long day out in the elements. Generally speaking, airbrush makeup will better withstand everything from sweat and tears to rain.

Regular Makeup Still Has its Advantages

regular makeup advantages

Before you run out or go online to order your first airbrush kit, keep in mind that traditional makeup kits still have the edge in a few different ways — including their less expensive cost and greater variety.

Most Airbrush Makeup Only Comes in Four Shades

Airbrush Makeup Shades

That’s right, while you may be used to the hundreds of different colors available from most commercial makeup companies, airbrush kits are pretty limited and rely on blending to personalize it to your exact skin tone. While blending might be fun, it can also be a hassle — especially on a Monday morning.

Airbrush Makeup is More Difficult to Touch Up

While airbrushing generally does last longer, if you do need to touch up your face, it will be much more difficult to do with airbrushing than with regular makeup. This may not be necessary, but if it ever is, you won’t have many options other than touching up with an airbrush. Most people have to carry enough around in their bags without having to worry about adding a bulky airbrush kit to the mix.

Airbrush Makeup Kits Are More Expensive

While it saves money over time, the initial cost of an airbrush kit is significantly higher than a regular make up kit. This also means you have to be prepared to care for and maintain your equipment, which is more expensive to replace than a simple sponge or brush.


As experienced wedding makeup artists who have dealt with many different skin types and people from all walks of life, we’re a bit torn as to which is the better overall choice. The best answer we can come up with is that there is no one size fits all solution. You first need to decide what the best overall fit is for your budget, skill level, as well as time commitment and go from there.