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Airbrush vs. Traditional Makeup: What Brides Need to Know

When it comes to the day you'll be photographed more than a thousand times, you want to get it right. How do you decide which method is best for you?


Keep reading to to learn the pros and cons of Traditional and Airbrush makeup and why I use my favorite method for Professional Wedding Makeup clients.



What is Airbrush makeup?

Airbrush makeup is a lightweight, liquid makeup applied with an air gun machine that produces very thin layers of very matte makeup.


How it works: A small amount of liquid makeup is loaded into the airbrush gun. When it's turned on, it sprays out a delicate mist of makeup which is aimed at various parts of the face and body.


Details: Airbrush gives the appearance of a flawless complexion. Your Makeup Artist will color match you, and even mix colors, to match your skin tone. It looks natural, and amazing in photos! Some formulations are waterproof and will not transfer to clothing or wipe off.


What is Traditional Makeup?

Traditional makeup comes in a wide variety of forms: Cream, liquid, powders, cream-to-powder, cushion, and is usually applied with a sponge, fingers, or brushes. Traditional makeup comes in the widest variety of colors and finishes, and is available in every shade. It can be as basic as tinted moisturizer or full coverage, and can target specific problem areas with the skin.


How it works: Makeup is applied to the face with sponges, brushes, puffs, and fingers to create the appearance of healthy, flawless skin. Application can be heavy or light. Traditional makeup comes in every skin tone, and can be mixed to create an exact match.


Details: Traditional makeup is usually not waterproof, but most professional Makeup Artists (myself included) stock their kit with high quality waterproof-sweatproof foundations made specifically for wet, hot, sweaty weather. Depending on the formula selected, traditional makeup can be used in any situation. It can be applied in a variety of ways, and when applied properly, can achieve a flawless finish to every skin type.


Can you use the two methods together?

Oh yes. There are lots of professional makeup artists that use airbrush for the base (foundation), and traditional brushes and sponges for the rest of the application. There are even traditional method artists that use airbrush makeup made for a gun, but apply it using brushes! Honestly, there is no 1 perfect way to apply makeup.


Why I choose Traditional Makeup for Professional Wedding Makeup

Think about it for a sec... let's say your cousin gets married and you LOVE her makeup because she looked fabulous all night long. You make a point to ask her who her makeup artist was. You then look up that artists website and LOVE her style and you think she's the one you need to hire for your wedding day! The only think you don't know is her method. You love how the makeup looks in person. You love how the makeup looks in photos...


If you have to ask her if she uses traditional or airbrush makeup (bc you can't tell the difference), does it really matter?


I look at LOTS of photos of women in professional makeup. Honestly? Its impossible to tell the difference between quality traditional makeup and quality airbrush application in photos. Great artists can make each technique look incredible. Using an airbrush gun does not transform a mediocre artist into Scott Barnes (He's Jennifer Lopez's long-time makeup artist , he uses traditional methods btw, as do the majority of celebrity makeup artists).


If the makeup artist is not skilled, both traditional & airbrush methods will look cakey, overdone, and unnatural. My point is: The Artist is what makes the makeup look the way it does - not the makeup. (also, the skin prep and skincare is HUGE and has everything to do with the final result as well. But that's another blog post for another day.)


For me, I have found traditional makeup looks the best in person and this is why I use focused skin prep, skincare, and traditional methods in my professional bridal makeup business. If you're modeling for a magazine, you don't have to look great in person, because the end goal is the printed photos. If you look incredible in the photos but looney tunes (aka cakey, plastic-y, and unnatural) in real life, you've had a bad wedding makeup application. You should look real and beautiful in person AND in your photos. Brides book me for my natural, elegant, not overdone makeup style, and for my artistic eye. And looking great in person is just as important to me as looking great on camera.


The Artist is what makes the makeup look the way it does - not the makeup.

I have a preference for Traditional Bridal Makeup (btw Scott Barnes uses traditional methods too!) but ultimately the best decision for you comes down to your personal preference. Try both kinds of makeup if you have the chance, and see which one you like the best!


Most of all, on your Wedding day, don't let your appearance dominate your day. The most beautiful Brides are the ones that are flush with love, happiness, and self-worth. :)


xo, Lindsay




Want more info on my wedding makeup services? CLICK HERE


Hiring a makeup artist? Read this post for more info on the process: How to hire a Wedding Makeup Artist (and the 17 essential questions you need to ask!)



Hi! I'm Lindsay

You know what they say - once you go texan you never go back! It's true. I'm a texan (by way of Kansas), wife-for-life, and a mama to twin toddlers. I believe in the power of commitment and know inner beauty is what counts. I am passionate about my art, my brides, and the creation of beauty through makeup. This blog is full of details that show my incredible clients and all things weddings.

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