Monday, July 20, 2009

Airbrush Makeup - The Facts & The Fancy

Like any good makeup, the airbrush approach can leave a beautiful, long-wearing "Photoshop" finish - or it can look thick, mask-like or shiny. And its worth repeating - all, and I do mean all, those magazine "airbrushed" pictures are done with Photoshop (or its equivalent) - literally. Everything is touched up in editing and truly manipulated to sell, sell, sell. So that said here are the facts and the fancy.

The Facts:

Its important to be aware that airbrush has not been FDA approved! In fact, a television station in Toronto recently decided to stop using this process when they discovered all the equipment in the makeup room had broken down as it had been coated with a build up of makeup from the airbrush particles that are airborne during the application process.

Tiny pixels of either water, alcohol, polymer, or silicone based foundation is sprayed through an airbrush hose and gun onto the skin at a low and tolerable airflow. Hmm...polymer, silicone - need I say more? Its very important to keep your eyes closed and hold your breath while the gun is firing. And like with any kind of "painting" work in a well ventilated room.

Airbrush is nothing new - modelers have been using it for years as it gives a higher quality finish and body painting has been applied this way for decades too. In fact, walls, machinery, manikins garden furniture and just about anything paintable can be done with an airbrush.

This method can't be done on yourself with any degree of satisfaction for obvious reasons - that's where a good artists comes in handy.

The Fancy:

For body work its definitely the preferred method - why even Michael Angelo would have been envious of the spectacular examples available.

Many of the SFX (special effects) artists use airbrush as ONE of the tools in their arsenal for creating spectacular characters, aging actors, constructing memorable monsters or fashioning over the top fashion forward looks.

As a finishing layer over tatoos, port wine stains, or Vitiligo (de-pigmentation in patches of skin) it gives a flawless finish, but this is a skilled technique.

Great Gam coverage for those summer days with short shorts. Airbrush can camouflage spider veins, discoloration, etc. beautifully - and this you can do yourself.

So from this makeup maven's pov - its great for body art or camouflage and occasionally for the face for special occasions. There are other products when used with the correct techniques can give you the same "Photoshop" finish. Its the artist and application of the tool that makes for a beautiful, flawless and natural looking finish - not the tools or product alone.

For Information, Lesson Manuals or Services

Sharon Danley, Master Artist


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