Airbrush vs. Traditional Makeup

Traditional makeup - pressed powders - are laid out with some makeup brushes.

Your wedding day is coming up super fast and you can’t seem to decide if airbrush is the way to go.

There are so many artists out there that swear by airbrush, then on the other end, there are artists who say that traditional works just as well. I understand that some clients may be confused and don’t know who to believe. I want to give you a few pros and cons to both traditional and airbrush so you can make a well-rounded decision that suits your best needs. 

I’m also here to give you my opinion on airbrush foundation and to hopefully shed some light so you can make up your own opinions on this way of applying foundation. I will also answer a few common questions I get about airbrush makeup. I know the choice can be overwhelming, but I’m here to help you make the best decision that fits what you want.

About 1 year ago, I started to include airbrush foundation in my services. I have been doing loads and loads of research and I also took classes so I can know the ins and outs. I am even certified in airbrush and their techniques and machines. I practiced the service for almost 3 months before I even officially launched it to my clients. I wanted to be prepared, and I also wanted to be very well educated and well-rounded since my clients are paying me to be. 

Traditional Makeup

Traditional makeup refers to the use of liquid, cream, or powdered foundations that is applied with a foundation brush.  Depending on how skilled the makeup artist is, it can be very time-consuming. This foundation can also be more of a thicker consistency if no oil is mixed with it. 

Airbrush Makeup

Airbrush makeup is specially formulated to be applied with an airbrush gun and a makeup air compressor. No brush is needed. But I personally like to blend with a brush as I go to make sure everything is soft and seamless. This application takes a lot less time to apply, so it will speed up the makeup process.

What’s the difference?

Because airbrush makeup is waterproof, it has a consistency that’s not as creamy (or buildable) as traditional makeup. 


Airbrush is definitely more expensive. But the real question is, why it is more expensive?

Well first off, you have to have an airbrush machine in order to apply the foundation. Secondly, you have to be specially trained and know how to use the foundation shades properly. AND airbrush foundation is more expensive to buy than traditional liquid foundation. 

Again, the reality is that airbrush makeup is much more expensive than traditional makeup. So for brides on a budget who want to cut costs on their big day, airbrush makeup can be seen as not a necessity but a luxury.

Skin type

If you have hydrated, moisturized skin, airbrush makeup can look great on you. However, if your skin is on the drier side, airbrush makeup can look flaky in some areas no matter what you do. Traditional makeup has a wide range of formulations specifically designed for every skin type out there, while airbrush is more for combination to oily skin – but it can be for dry skin types. There just has to be a few more steps added to the service, like using a certain moisturizer and primer and letting that sit on your skin a little longer.


  • Does airbrush last longer than traditional?

To be really honest, both traditional makeup and airbrush makeup are formulated for all-day wear. When used with a proper skin prep, setting powder, and setting spray, traditional makeup can last just as long as airbrush makeup. Both airbrush and traditional makeup should be able to stand up to the demands of rain and extreme heat, but not without the proper prep and finishing touches.

  • Is airbrush waterproof/sweatproof?

Airbrush makeup may withstand sweat/water better if you’re using a silicone-based foundation. With using this kind of foundation, it’ll be much more water resistant than traditional makeup and will help you brave it through all those hugs and kisses without compromising your stunning makeup!!​

  • Why do people choose airbrush over traditional?

In all honesty I believe people are unfortunately misled by professionals trying to upsell them. When my clients come to me they say that airbrush is all these amazing things and how it’s so much better than traditional. But they cannot tell me why.. Because they did not do any research on their own. They are just believing what professionals tell them. I understand we need to trust our professionals, but I would also do some digging yourself to see if airbrush is right for you. It breaks my heart hearing this. I feel like since I am a beauty professional, it’s my job to inform them about BOTH sides, so my clients can make their own decision about what type of service they want. If airbrush is what you are looking for, then yes let’s do it! However, if after doing research and talking to a non-biased party it’s not the right fit, then let’s not do it.

  • Do you get a better finish using airbrush?

I believe if you use the right skin prep and products you can get the same finish with both airbrush and traditional foundation. I do like airbrush finish a little better and it is more easily achieved. The finish is more skin-like and very natural.

  • Do I recommend airbrush over traditional?

I would only recommend airbrush to clients who have combination to oily skin, never for clients who have super dry skin. But it is all a personal preference. I can do a beautiful makeup application in airbrush and I can do one that is equally beautiful in traditional. If you absolutely swear by airbrush, want to be treated like the goddess you are, and go all out, then LET’S DO IT! I’m here to make your life easier and less stressful.


Airbrush makeup is very VERY popular for brides. With the proper skin prep, airbrush makeup can help you achieve that flawless look you might otherwise not have been able to achieve with traditional makeup. Before booking and getting your airbrush makeup done, I personally recommend doing your own research of what would be best for you. You can also talk with a professional that does BOTH traditional and airbrush to see what would be a good fit for your skin type and needs. I do NOT recommend talking to a professional who only specializes in one of the two, because chances are they will recommend the service that they provide no matter what.

I truly hope this created the conversation on what airbrush truly is and if it might be a good fit for you! If you want to know more about airbrush and if it is a fit for you, you can contact me at and ask questions. I would be more than happy to give you my custom and personal recommendations! If you would like to book an airbrush OR traditional makeup application, fill out this form on the bottom of the website and we would be happy to set up an appointment for you!


With these tips, read how to apply the perfect makeup application here!

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