Special Effects Makeup: Updated for 2022

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Do you ever come across actors with the most realistic looking makeup camouflaging them as aliens, ghosts and all sorts of horrific creatures? Have you ever wondered how makeup artists manage to get that mask of makeup on their faces with so much expertise? The are masters of special effects makeup.
As we all know, makeup is an art. You can play with makeup to enhance your features, hide flaws and even turn into a completely different person! Provided, you know how to do it right. While traditional makeup artists can achieve the first two, a whole new field of makeup is required to transform into frightening creatures and injured characters that you commonly see on TV.

Comparison Chart

41bbWKj9efL. SL500
Aeroblend Airbrush Makeup Personal Starter Kit – Light Foundation – With 8 Color Set
51b7sZbEDUL. SL500
Art of Air Professional Airbrush Cosmetic Makeup System/Fair to Medium Shades 6pc Foundation Set with Blush, Bronzer, Shimmer and Primer Makeup Airbrush Kit
51lKBZWt 8L. SL500
Belloccio Professional Beauty Airbrush Cosmetic Makeup System with 4 Medium Shades of Foundation in 1/4 Ounce Bottles – Kit Includes Blush, Bronzer and Highlighters
61ULMBG1ShL. SL500
Dinair Airbrush Makeup Starter Kit, Double Shade Range – Fair to Medium
41 9D+eFseL. SL500
Luminess Air Basic Airbrush Makeup Kit and 9-Piece Silk 4-In-1 Airbrush Foundation Starter System, Warm Coverage – Quick, Easy and Long Lasting Application – Includes Primer, Blush and Glow
41tzDf7wBtL. SL500
Airbrush Makeup Set Pinkiou Air Brush Kit for Face Paint with Mini Compressor 0.4mm Needle and Nozzle Nail Body Paint SP16 (RED)
415iwaEp7zL. SL500
TEMPTU Airbrush Makeup System 2.0 Premier Kit: Airbrush Makeup Set for Professionals Includes S/B Silicone-Based Foundation Starter Set & Cleaning Kit, Travel-Friendly
41zelDQeVcL. SL500
Tickled Pink Cosmetic Airbrush Makeup Kit with 89% Organic Water Based Makeup Infused with Organic Aloe Juice(Medium)

What is SFX Makeup?

This field of makeup is known as SFX or Special effects makeup. SFX makeup artists specialize in the technique of creating realistic wounds, injuries, marks and textures that change your whole appearance. Due to their dire need in media, SFX artists mint a lot of money working in the film industry.
Now, not all of this is achieved solely with makeup. Makeup artists also require props, prosthetics and parts to achieve their desired result. Over all, it takes extreme attention to detail and the painstaking number of hours trying to get the look the director requested.

Airbrush Makeup for SFX

Mehron Makeup Special FX Makeup Kit

5115mB1wBWL. SL500

This is an amazing special effects airbrush makeup kit!
The onset of airbrush makeup took the beauty world by storm.   Where it allows makeup artists to get their clients a photo shopped finish, it also has some hidden qualities that help it with SFX makeup. While traditional makeup could also be used, airbrush makeup allows you a greater degree of control in getting the exact details on the face or body of the person you are transforming.


Tattoos are an important special effect that you can achieve with the help if airbrush makeup. By tattoos, we do not mean designs of your favorite quote but the marks and traces needed to help you achieve the desired look of your character.
Airbrush makeup can help get you tattoos on the face as well as the entire body. With your airbrush makeup, the possibilities of special effects are practically endless! The only thing you will require is, much brighter colors to help get the look of your choice. Whether you are SFX makeup artists or simply looking to dress up for Halloween, the airbrush will help you paint the best results on your body.
Let’s look at some of the special effects you can create on your body with the help of an airbrush:

Animal Print

Since airbrush is all about layers, you can use that to achieve a mesh of animal print on your skin. Easy to wash off, you can start again in case you mess up the first time!

Gory details

You can use layers of airbrush to create the look of a bruise or injury that will help you get the ghastly look you want! Instead of spending more time blending, you can simply change the product and use the airbrush to create the desired effect by moving the spray gun closer or taking it farther away.

Glow Makeup

The use of glowing makeup becomes much simpler with the help of an airbrush kit. Instead of getting your hands and brushes dirty, simply use the gun to spray the glow paint on your face and body. Inch the spray gun in when you want to highlight a certain part of your body.

Cover a Tattoo

Just the way you can use the help of special effects to create a certain look on your face or body, you can also use airbrush makeup to hide some special effects that you may have gotten previously (namely, your ex boyfriend’s tattoo that you want to hide for your big day).
With the immense control over the amount of product you use, airbrush makeup can also be used to hide your tattoos or blemishes that will not be camouflaged as well with traditional makeup. Using the color wheel, use the specific shades that will cancel out the color you want to cover. Here is a quick breakdown:

  • Orange cancels out blue
  • Green cancels out Red
  • Yellow cancels out purple

Using a blend of concealers and foundations, you can use your airbrush to hide the tattoo effectively. If one area needs more coverage, simply move the spray gun in instead of using that much more product. This will ensure proper coverage without the final result coming out too cakey.

Why Use Airbrush for SFX?

Among the many uses and benefits of airbrush makeup, on might wonder why SFX has been added to the list. When traditional makeup can do the job, why are more and more people treading towards the use of airbrush makeup to create and cover up special effects? There are plenty of reasons behind this!
special effects

Saves Time

It is no surprise that airbrush makeup is pretty simple to use once you have mastered the art of it. It does not require continuous blending and constantly switching brushes and adding more products. With airbrush makeup, you just have to add the concoction of products to the spray gun and apply it on your face, moving back and forth to achieve the right gradient of color.

Gives More Control

The spray gun in hand imitates the motion of a pen. Naturally, this gives you much more control to create the lines, marks and effects that you want. With a brush or blender, there is more room for error. Moreover, it allows you the amount of coverage you want by simply using the distance from the surface you are working on.

Dries Faster

Airbrush makeup dries instantly, preventing chances of smudging, especially with all the bright colors that you are using. This remains a common problem with traditional makeup where the product takes a while to dry, once again, taking up more time.
If you want to master the art of SFX, you need to learn the skills of airbrush makeup and create your niche as a makeup artist. After all, both these techniques are the future of makeup in the glamorous film industry!

A must have airbrush foundation: MagicMinerals Deluxe Foundation

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