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The recipes for today’s makeup foundations have become innovative with the assistance of research and development. Even the method of applying cosmetic makeup onto our skin has changed with time, from fingers to beauty sponges to makeup brushes and finally, to airbrush. Beginners not familiar with this tool have to wonder how to turn regular foundation into airbrush foundation.

We can all agree that airbrushing your makeup is a simple and quick method to put on any liquid kind of makeup like foundations, highlighters, and blush. Most of the time, airbrush makeup is generally used by pro makeup artists for major events like weddings, movie projects and other big moments. As the technique is really costly in comparison to high-quality beauty blenders, brushes or sponges, the question comes down to if it also needs a specifically formulated foundation or a simple, regular formula.

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How to Turn Regular Foundation into Airbrush Foundation

While not everyone may agree on the idea, yes, you can, in fact, do this! Actually, any kind of basic liquid foundation can be turned into an airbrush foundation so long as it’s thinned out. That said, because of its thick texture, doing this won’t be a piece of cake. Your foundation has to be sprayed out through an airbrush gun via an opening the size of a needle; the spray is in the form of a mist. For this reason, your foundation has to be extremely thinned out. To make sure that happens, you can use any of the items mentioned below.

Airbrush Makeup Thinner

Like we said before, conventional liquid foundation is too thick to be used for an airbrush. This thinner product is used to make that possible. Just make sure to read and follow the instructions. Otherwise, you may kiss your airbrush makeup gun goodbye.


Surprisingly, your go-to moisturizer can also, in fact, be used for thinning any kind of makeup foundation! All you have to do is mix a few drops in your foundation, just enough to alter the consistency. This will also add more hydration to keep your face fresh! Just make sure not to put in too much since it could affect the quality of your foundation.


If you’re thinking of doing your own makeup by airbrushing, but you only have a basic liquid foundation on hand, then all you have to do is mix your foundation with a little bit of water. That way, it makes it easier for the airbrush gun to spray the mist of foundation more easily depending on the type of coverage you need. The thinner foundation makes it so that your makeup doesn’t crease in any harsh lines or wrinkles since they would typically form around your mouth and under the eyes. If you don’t feel like going through the whole shebang of mixing plus blending, you can easily find airbrush foundations on the market.

Kinds of Airbrush Foundation

A lot of people prefer to use airbrush foundation to get a soft and neutral look that makes it hard for others to tell if they’re wearing any makeup at all. But what kind of foundation base works well with an airbrush tool? We’ve listed some of the main kinds of foundation bases that work ideally with an airbrush.


This kind of airbrush foundation can be worked perfectly into the skin. It provides you with a neutral and dewy look that lasts for as long as 12 hours in comparison to other types. It also gives a little more coverage than mineral- or water-based foundations, but that means you’ll need a more powerful airbrush gun. Silicone-based foundations can also be paired with other skincare products such as primers or skin serums. They are also resistant to water and smudges.


This kind of airbrush foundation isn’t typically used for the face since it can be very drying. Even so, it is known for its amazing coverage and longevity. Alcohol is mainly used for body art or special effects makeup. Being so full coverage, it is able to cover any marks or tattoos on the body. So, this is the sort of foundation that’s typically used in movie projects.


This base of the foundation is simple to put on and generally comes in a matte or gloss-free finish. It sets on the skin quite fast. The formula doesn’t need a powerful compressor to get the mist out of the gun.


This foundation base offers you plenty of coverage, whether for a conventional makeup look or for airbrush makeup. It works with dry, oily and even combo skin types and is able to stay on for up to 24 hours.


  • Whatever kind of airbrush foundation you get, always make sure to clean up your tools no matter what. Every brush needs to be taken care of, so your airbrush follows the same rule. If you don’t clean your brushes regularly, it could lead to clogging.
  • If you don’t have an airbrush makeup cleaner, you can use these alternative options: water, alcohol/acetone, nail polish remover or paint thinner. Pick them in that very order. All you have to do is add in a few drops, let the cleaner stay on for a few minutes, and with a Q-tip, clean your bowl. Ensure that every trace of makeup is removed, along with the cleaner.
  • If you own an airbrush gun but you’ve run out of your foundation for one reason or other, then simply use whatever foundation you have on you. It doesn’t have to be the right type of base. All you have to do is add a few drops of clean water or moisturizer, mix them all together and voila! You’ve got yourself some DIY airbrush foundation.
  • It will take a bit of trial and error before you get the ideal consistency. Just be careful to get the right thin texture and you’ll be able to repeat the mixing whenever you need to.