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For some women, the wedding day makeup look is all they can think about. For an important event like your wedding, how you style your makeup is a crucial choice. There are plenty of makeup artists who earn their money making brides look natural and beautiful on their special day. For the most part, makeup artists and brides alike tend to go for a traditional style of makeup, but that is not the only option available. In this article, we’ll explore airbrush makeup vs regular makeup. There are two types of makeup styles that brides should be aware of when they are choosing their makeup artist for their special wedding day. The first style is considered traditional makeup. This means using primer, foundation, eyeshadow, highlighter, and other traditional makeup products to create the perfect look. The other style is called airbrush makeup – and it is not exactly what it sounds like! Let’s take a look at these two specific types of makeup styles and see the exact differences between both of them. Each style has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. By the end of this article, you will know more about each style, and you, too, will be able to make a decision between the two for your big day.

Regular Makeup

When people talk about “traditional” makeup, they are referring to the range of products that we put on our face using brushes, applicators, and sponges. These are things like foundation, lipstick, eyeshadow, highlighter, and eyeliner. Traditional makeup has a consistency that is fairly thick. Foundation can be either liquid, cream, or powder-based, and it is usually applied with a makeup sponge or foundation brush. Eye makeup, like eyeshadow, is usually found in a powder form, and it can come in a pigment which makes the colors pop. Traditional makeup has a wide range of products, shades, formulas, and colors. There are many brands to choose from, and the quality of the makeup is not always consistent from brand to brand. This can make it harder to decide what to choose when you are in the store and trying to pick the perfect makeup look. Despite this, many women prefer to use traditional makeup due to the immense amount of selection available. Depending on what type of makeup style you need, traditional makeup can be applied for both light and full coverage or anything in between. For the most part, people who have a lot of blemishes and need a more opaque coverage prefer traditional makeup.

Airbrush Makeup

In general, we all know what traditional makeup is referring to. But what about airbrush makeup? Isn’t airbrushing that thing people do with pictures in Photoshop? Not to be confused with touching up a photo, airbrush makeup is a real, physical type of makeup that many women have started to opt for. Airbrush makeup is specially formulated to be applied to the face with the use of an airbrush gun, as well as what is known as a makeup air compressor. While traditional makeup is often made with cremes, powders, liquids, and pigments, airbrush makeup is generally silicone-based. However, there are some that are water-based as well. Unlike traditional makeup that sometimes requires skill and practice to achieve an even, smooth coverage, airbrush makeup is applied in thin layers to the skin. This makes it easier to achieve a smoother, more “flawless” look with your makeup. It also helps to even out your skin tone. The way that airbrush makeup is applied means that it is going to mimic the ways that cameras often see your face. This is what gives airbrush makeup that photoshop finish quality in pictures. Because it comes out as a spray, you are getting a much “truer” coverage, though not necessarily a better one, depending on what kind of look you are going for. The spray of airbrush makeup works more like small pixels of color, rather than an overall spread like a traditional foundation.

What Are the Differences?

Certainly, there are key major differences between the two makeup styles: traditional is made with creams and powders, while airbrush is made with water or silicone. Of course, that is not the only difference between these two makeup styles. Here are some common differences and misconceptions with airbrush vs regular makeup.

Both last the same amount of time

Airbrush makeup requires less effort to last for all-day wear. It is designed for you to put it on and go without any extra products. However, with the use of setting powder or setting spray, traditional makeup can last just as long as airbrush makeup. If you are trying to make a choice between airbrush and traditional makeup based on longevity, there is very little difference.

Airbrush makeup will not make you look like a retouched photo

The term airbrush may make it sound like your makeup is going to look like a perfect, photoshopped picture, but this is just not the case. In fact, if you are hoping to cover up any blemishes or imperfections on the skin, you might want to stick with traditional makeup. Airbrush makeup is meant to provide very light coverage. Traditional makeup should be used for heavy or intense coverage.

Airbrush makeup will handle sweat better

If you anticipate having to battle with sweat, you might want to forgo traditional makeup. After the ceremony, the reception is where you are going to put your makeup to the test. Choosing a silicone-based airbrush makeup will last much longer when you are sweating. This is because the silicone-based airbrush makeup is incredibly water-resistant. It will also withstand smudging.

Traditional makeup is more cost-effective

When you consider all of the components that go into a traditional makeup look, most people think that traditional makeup is going to be more expensive. The reality is, though, that many people can get lower-cost traditional makeup at any drug store and still have a beautiful, flawless look. On the other hand, airbrush makeup is far more expensive. If you are considering airbrush makeup but you are on a budget, you might want to forgo it for more traditional looks.

Airbrush works better for skin already in good condition

Like we have talked about before, skin with blemishes, pimples, or imperfections might be better helped with a more opaque style of traditional makeup. For the most part, airbrush is also best for skin that is already well-hydrated. If you are trying to find makeup that works best for your oily skin, a matte foundation will do the trick, but if you are struggling with dry skin, make sure you find something that is moisturizing. Being silicone-based, airbrush makeup will not give you the kind of correcting finish that you need.

Airbrush is best with an experienced artist

Airbrush makeup is an art form the same way that traditional makeup is. Just as you would not want someone with very little experience doing your traditional makeup, you want someone with an experienced, light hand to apply airbrush makeup. Since airbrush makeup can be applied in thin layers, it can sometimes look unnatural if the layers are too heavy.

Traditional makeup is best for vibrant, colorful looks

Many brides are looking for an understated and natural look when it comes to their wedding day makeup. However, if you are looking for makeup that can really pop, then you are going to want to go traditional. There are so many more shades and colors when it comes to traditional makeup. The choices are nearly endless, and you can pick a vibrant makeup look.

Airbrush is ideal for high-definition cameras

When you are getting your wedding photos taken, you want to make sure those HiDef cameras do not show off all of the bumps and blemishes underneath your full-coverage makeup. Because of the way the makeup is sprayed out through an airgun, it settles on the skin differently. If you only have one or two blemishes or uneven skin tone, then airbrush is going to be your best friend for those wedding photos.

Airbrush Makeup: Pros & Cons

Now that we have taken a look at the major differences between airbrush and traditional makeup, let’s talk about the pros and cons of airbrush makeup. Airbrush makeup, while expensive, is gaining in popularity, especially for brides who want a natural look on their wedding days.


  • Sweat-resistant and perfect for all-day wear
  • Less product required for total coverage
  • Covers the face in a more natural way than traditional makeup
  • Good for hydrated skin without clogging pores
  • Less heavy than traditional makeup
  • Smears less than traditional makeup


  • Can be expensive for those on a budget
  • Does not work well on dry or oily skin
  • Range of shades and skin tones are limited
  • Does not re-blend once dried if a mistake is made

Traditional Makeup: Pros & Cons

Traditional makeup has its pros and cons, too. If you are trying to decide whether to go for traditional or airbrush makeup, let’s take a look at what works and what does not. With a lower cost point and higher coverage, you may find that traditional makeup is the way to go for you.


  • Greater coverage for skin with blemishes
  • More ranges of skin tones and shades
  • Easy to re-blend once it dries
  • Can find a foundation for oily and dry skin
  • Cost-effective for those on a budget


  • Needs more products to achieve all-day wear
  • Not as resistant to sweat, tears, or moisture
  • Can clog pores and cause more blemishes
  • Can feel heavy on the skin

What Choice Should You Make?

Now that you have a better understanding of the differences between airbrush and traditional makeup, we can talk about which type you should use for your wedding, or any occasion, for that matter. Take a minute to really think about your skin and the type of makeup that you think will work best. Is your skin oily or dry? Do you have a lot of blemishes that need opaque coverage? Or, is it simply that you have a darker skin tone? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may want to forgo using airbrush makeup. You may find that the coverage is not what you need, and the skin tone does not match correctly. Airbrush artists can use two shades to make a new shade, but this process can leave you with a foundation that does not match all the way or looks just a little off. Truthfully, this is often the case with traditional makeup, as well (most people don’t use a shade straight out of the bottle!). If you have a darker skin tone, you might find it extremely difficult to find an airbrush artist that will be able to match your shade. However, if you have fairly hydrated skin, very few blemishes, and you are looking for a light, airy coverage that will make you look like you are not really wearing makeup at all, then airbrush makeup will work perfectly for you. Since some of the services for airbrush makeup can cost upwards of $150 or more, this is not a choice to make if you are on a budget. However, if you have the money to spend and you are looking for beautiful, flawless coverage, then airbrush makeup is a good choice for you.


A woman’s wedding is her special day! Every woman wants to look her absolute best when she is walking down the aisle, and she wants that look to last through the rest of the night, as well. The choice between airbrush vs regular makeup is one that more women are having to make as the technology becomes better and more widely available. Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what goes into airbrush makeup versus traditional makeup. There are pros and cons for both styles of makeup, but it all depends on your skin, how you want to look, and the budget that you have available.