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Natural, light, and long-lasting–that’s the finish achieved by makeup correctly applied with an airbrush makeup kit. No wonder ‘airbrush’ has become a byword for editorial or event shoots. And if you’re looking to upgrade to one as a makeup artist, then we see clearly why and show support with this article on how to set up an airbrush makeup kit.

And because airbrush makeup doesn’t only register well in the camera but also in person, some have already been using it for everyday makeup application. In person, the finish just looks beautiful and natural! Plus, airbrush makeup can be relatively quick to apply compared to having to switch brushes and sponges constantly.

Besides showing you how to set up your airbrush makeup kit, we’ll also give you some tips on how to apply it correctly so that you’ll be on your merry way to natural, flawless-looking skin right after setup.

Parts of an Airbrush Makeup Kit

Before we show you how to set up your kit, let’s get to know first its three main parts:

  • Airbrush Stylus

It is a metal gun that takes the place of brushes and sponges in traditional makeup application. It comes with a trigger that controls how much of liquid makeup and air mist are expelled. Action can either be single or dual. A single-action stylus is best for beginners since it releases the air and product at the same time. A dual-action trigger allows control for both air pressure and airbrush product release.

  • Air compressor

As the name suggests, the air compressor is responsible for pushing air through the device. It produces an even and controllable airflow. Air compressors may be plugged into an outlet or can be battery-operated.

  • Air hose

It connects the stylus and the air compressor.

How to Set Up an Airbrush Makeup Kit

Setting up an airbrush makeup kit is easy. Here’s all you need to do:

Step 1: Connect the air compressor and stylus. On one side of the hose goes the airbrush gun or stylus. On the end should be the air compressor.

Step 2: Put a few drops of liquid makeup into the airbrush cup. The airbrush cup is the open cup sitting atop the stylus. For foundation, start with four to six drops. For the primer, highlighter, blush, and other airbrush makeup products, three to four drops is a good start. Remember to shake the product before use.

Step 3: Turn on the air compressor. Make sure it’s on the whole time during application.

Step 4: Start applying airbrush makeup. Position the stylus four to six inches away from your face. If you’re using a dual-action trigger, then always begin by releasing air first, pressing down on the trigger. Then, pull the trigger back to release makeup. If you’re using a single-action air gun, then release some mist before applying on the face as well.

Step 5: Apply makeup in a circular motion. While maintaining the four- to six-inch distance, move around to keep the application looking light and natural. Stop from time to time to inspect progress on your work.

Step 6: Adjust dial pressure as needed. With some practice, you’ll eventually find the right pressure for your kind of application, from primer to blush.

Step 7: Empty the airbrush gun between colors. When switching from one color to another, flush the stylus with an appropriate cleaning formula, just put a few drops in the cup. Run the solution onto the surface of the cup with a cotton swab. Then, empty the solution inside the stylus into a cleaning pot or onto a tissue. Do the same after the final use to keep it from clogging.

Few Tips for a Successful Airbrush Makeup Application

  • Cleanse and moisturize your face first. Start with a clean canvas so to speak. This step gets rid of oils and dirt on your face, helping you achieve an even and long-lasting finish.
  • Use compatible products. Do not use water-based foundation, for example, with a silicone-based primer. They’re like oil and water. They don’t mix. Silicone-based products will just slide off from water-based layers, resulting in an uncomely finish.
  • Choose the right colors. Whether you’re using an airbrush or traditional makeup, using the right color tone is essential. You wouldn’t want your face to stand out for the wrong reasons. Make sure your face color matches the color of your body closely. Spray some on a practice area on your face to find your color match.
  • Apply lightly. Airbrush makeup is supposed to get rid of the cakey look often associated with the traditional one. Move your hand around as you apply light layers for a soft, diffused finish. And remember that just because you’re applying light mists, it doesn’t mean that the layers don’t add up. You’d want to apply a sheer layer first. Then, add a layer or two on areas that need more coverage.
  • Maintain 4-6 inches of distance between your face and the tip of the airbrush gun. Again, for a soft and natural look, you want light layers on your face. Observing the distance allows the mist to disperse wider and blend naturally. If you’re targeting a blemish or small area, then operating the stylus closer is okay.
  • Take advantage of the lever control. You don’t have to pull back the trigger completely to release the product—at least, in the case of a double-action trigger. Just a little pressure is enough. Depending on your application, take advantage of this system.
  • Practice. As with traditional makeup, you’d gain better control of your medium in time. So, remember the tips we gave you and pack on some patience. The flawless, no-makeup look is going to be worth it.


So, there goes your guide on how to set up an airbrush makeup kit. It’s pretty easy. Just connect the three main parts, and you’re ready to airbrush to your heart’s content. Of course, do remember to apply lightly because the whole point is to go for a soft, diffused finish that registers well on cam and lovely to look at in person.