Your Bridal Makeup Question Answered: What Is The Difference Between Airbrush Makeup and Traditional Makeup?

by Anny Chow

Makeup artist post

One of the most common questions my wedding makeup clients asked me is what is airbrush makeup?  Is airbrush makeup better than traditional makeup? Which type of makeup is best for wedding? In short, airbrush makeup is not better than traditional makeup. Neither is better than the other. They are just different. This is just my personal opinion based on my experience working as a professional makeup artist for over fifteen years. 

Think airbrush makeup as another brush the makeup artist uses. The finish and the longevity of the makeup depending on the makeup artist’s skill, not the tool.

Now, let’s dive deeper to understand the difference between traditional makeup and airbrush makeup. 


makeup brushes with wood handles

Traditional makeup refers to the use of power, liquid, or cream foundations that are applied with a variety of makeup tools, such as makeup brushes, sponges/ beauty wedges, beauty blenders.

Traditional foundation usually a thicker texture compared to the foundation that is designed for airbrush technique. Although the traditional foundation has a thicker consistency, it doesn’t mean the finish will have a cakey finish. Depending on makeup artist’s skills and experience, makeup artists have many ways to create beautiful, natural, and flawless complexion finish, however, such advanced application can be a time-consuming process. Click here to see this beautiful complexion I created for one of my recent Portland brides.

As a seasoned bridal makeup artist, one of the main reasons traditional makeup is my preferred method makeup application for brides is because of options and possibilities. No two faces are ever the same. Different brides have different skin textures and skin type. The available options of the traditional foundation have so much more options compared to what’s available for airbrush makeup. With traditional foundation, there are so many different formulas on the market created for different skin types and skin concerns, offering anything from light to full coverage.

Here are some of my favorite foundations for my brides based on skin type:

face atelier foundation Make Up For Ever Foundation Shiseido Foundation for mature skin

For brides who have oily skin: Makeup Up Forever Matte Velvet Skin Liquid Full Coverage Foundation

For brides who have dry skin: Shiseido Future Solutions LX Total Radiance Foundation SPF 20 

For brides who have combination skin:  Face Atelier Ultra Foundation


airbrush makeup and airbrush gun

Airbrush makeup is specially formulated to be applied with an airbrush gun and a makeup air compressor (see the photo above). Airbrush foundations are much thinner in consistency compared to traditional foundations.

Airbrush makeup is applied by dropping a few drops of airbrush foundation into the airbrush gun then spraying it in thin layers to skin. It provides a smooth finish because the airbrush gun provides a very fine mist and the foundation is sprayed on the face for a flawless finish. 

Does Airbrush Makeup Last Longer Than Traditional Makeup?

This is one the most frequently asked questions by my brides and my makeup clients. In short, no. Nowadays, with advanced technology and research in makeup and beauty work, both airbrush makeup and traditional makeup are formulated for all-day wear. When used in conjunction with proper skin prep,  primer, setting powder, and setting spray, traditional makeup can last just as long as airbrush makeup.  Again, as I had mentioned in the beginning of this blog post, the finish and the longevity of the makeup depend on the makeup artist’s skill, not the tool.


Does Airbrush makeup provide better coverage?cover imperfections and pimples more effectively?

This is another frequently asked question by my brides and my makeup clients. The short answer is still no. Airbrush makeup is light in coverage, unlike traditional makeup which provides fuller coverage. Traditional makeup foundations provides better coverage because it has a wide range of formulations.

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