With photos that last a lifetime and all eyes glued on her as she walks down the aisle, it goes without saying that every bride wants to look her absolute best on her wedding day. And the key to finishing off a gorgeous gown and stunning locks is a great makeup application—which starts with flawless foundation. But with the makeup industry constantly evolving (and so many new products and techniques to choose from), how do you know which foundation application is right for you? To help you on your quest, we’ve tapped one of our favorite flawless-face experts for her go-to advice on airbrush versus traditional makeup application. Read on for Beauty by Stacey’s thoughts on achieving the perfect foundation application.
Is airbrush or traditional typically a better choice?
According to the pros, it’s all about personal preference. “Personally, both airbrush and traditional makeup have their pros and cons,” Stacey says. “And when you’re dealing with a professional makeup artist, both should be able to withstand the test of time on your big day. I have done many brides with traditional techniques, and I’ve also done many brides with airbrushing techniques. Which feels best is for the bride to decide herself. So I can’t say one outweighs the other by a long shot—there are pluses and minuses to both.”
Let’s talk traditional makeup. What is it? What are its pros and cons?
“When makeup artists use the term ‘Traditional Makeup’ they are referring to the application and use of foundation applied with tools you’d use at home,” Stacey says, “whether it be liquid, cream, or a powder foundation used with a foundation brush, sponge, or a duo fiber brush (a.k.a. skunk brush).”
Stacey also explains that the application of traditional foundation, as you might expect, will be of thicker consistency. And depending on the artist, it usually takes a bit longer applying it on the skin as well. There are both pros and cons to this—a pro would be that traditional foundation typically allows for more coverage, while a con would be that traditional foundation is more likely to show application marks (brush lines, sponge marks, etc.) than airbrush foundation simply because of the nature of the application process (but a true pro should know how to blend well enough to smooth these tell-tell application signs out).
Let’s talk airbrush makeup. What is it? What are its pros and cons?
“Airbrush makeup utilizes a small makeup air compressor, an airbrush gun, and special airbrush foundation,” Stacey says. “This foundation—which is either water based or silicone based—is thinner than regular liquid foundation as it needs to pass through the airbrush gun. The airbrushing sprays a very fine mist on the skin pushed through with gentle air pressure from the compressor. This allows, when sprayed on properly, an even and consistent application of foundation which sits evenly on the skin.”
Because of the fine misted spray, Stacey explains, airbrush makeup provides flawless coverage, evening out your skin’s imperfections while still allowing your skin to breath. The final result gives you a very natural—yet very finished and polished—look. This natural finish is one of the major pros of airbrush foundation—because there are no brushes or sponges used in the application process, you’re left with a silky-smooth finish that doesn’t show any signs of application. Cons, however, are that airbrush foundation typically doesn’t provide as much coverage as traditional makeup (though, with an artist who knows how to properly layer airbrush makeup, it can). Also, you’ll want to be fully waxed or dermaplaned before having airbrush foundation applied, as it sticks to every single little hair on your skin’s surface, so it can really accentuate peach fuzz if you haven’t removed it prior to your big day.
Overall, though, achieving the perfect makeup application is less about the product and more about the pro. “With all that said, if you do have a brilliant artist, their traditional makeup application could be on par with airbrush makeup applications when using the right tools, products, and techniques,” Stacey says.
Hero Photo Courtesy of Vivienne Tyler Photography