Sunday, September 10, 2023



new Dinair One Variable Speed System
The new Dinair One Variable Speed System

It's rather extraordinary how some of the most revolutionary innovations are introduced quietly, without any fanfare, and sneak into our daily routine where they slowly take such an important place that we can't imagine ever doing without them again. 

The new Dinair One, variable speed compressor is one such innovation for us Dinair loving makeup artists. I received my testing unit over a year ago and I kept quietly waiting for a big launch to share my thoughts. The big launch never came, and the new One model simply and quietly started being sold on the Dinair website, replacing the single speed unit that had been available up to that point without any special announcement. Therefore I'd like to take it upon myself to tell that this is the most fantastic innovation to hit the airbrush makeup market in the last few years

If you follow my page you might have seen my rave reviews for the first version of this applicator. I had been in touch with Dinair about the next version and I knew it was going to feature more than one pressure setting, so I was expecting something along the lines of the "three speed" mini units that are already present on the market, where the fixed selectable pressure levels are not very powerful, nor particularly useful. What I got instead, to my amazement, was a completely versatile unit that does everything that the Dinair table top mini compressor does, and has as much power, without the encumberment of cables and hoses, and keeping the same form factor of the first Dinair One model. Thanks to one single multi tasking button, this little powerhouse can produce anything from the softest PSI output to full flushing out mode, and anything in between. 

The functioning of the button being so articulated, I had to take a little time to get used to it, but after using the unit for a couple of full face makeups it became second nature. The unit basically operates in two modes: I will call them Variable Pressure and Pre Set Pressure modes. In the variable mode you can press the top edge or the bottom edge of the button to achieve any pressure output you wish and the air strength increases gradually and smoothly as if you were using a normal dial. In the Pre Set Pressure mode the compressor immediately jumps to the strongest output (flush out strength /cleaning mode) or to a medium preset that comparable to  the one produced by the first version of the Dinair One.To switch between the two aforementioned modes, all you have to do is press the same button for a couple of secongs. In the video posted below you can see a more detailed illustration of how the multi function button works. 

All of this versatility is packed in a form factor that, like I said, is almost identical to the previous version, maintaining for this unit the title of most ergonomic hand held compressor out there, and remarkably improving the game in terms of product overall durability. The battery of this new version of the Dinair One offers a performance comparable to the one of the first model. Of course changing the pressure often and using a stronger airflow has an impact on the battery duration, but don't forget that this unit also works when plugged in the mains, and having a long charging cord, it will allow you to continue using it with almost the same freedom as if it was cable free. 

To accompany the soft launch of the new Dinair One, a new Dinair airbrush model called DLX was selected. This replaced my much beloved JX2, which is still the only airbrush I never had to take apart and which still performs amazingly after over three years. The new DLX airbrush has a press-on nozzle, which makes it a lot easier to deep clean for novices and those who are not very technically inclined. 

DECEMBER 2023 UPDATE: The above mentioned DLX airbrush model was quickly followed by an updated version. The brand new "DLX Gold Tip" is made with even stronger materials than its predecessors in order to minimize maintenance and optimize performance. The DLX Gold Tip also features a press-on nozzle to facilitate deep cleaning, which becomes super easy and fast thanks to the custom designed Cleaning Caps System. I have used this new model for many different kind of makeup looks, from HD proof, undetectable skin correction to full theatrical glamour, and the airbrush has performed flawlessly throughout, maintaining its initial "brand new airbrush" smoothness, responsiveness and feel even after many uses. The spray pattern of the DLX Gold Tip is easily the finest I have experienced in an airbrush designed for makeup, making this the ultimate Dinair airbrush.

I have been using the new Dinair One for just over a year now, and in several projects and demos, the latest of which I am pasting below. During this time, and a keen observation of the airbrush market in general, I have not seen anything comparable being produced anywhere else. I cannnot help but use the word genius to describe George Lampman's incredible new design. I will close this by saying that for a Dinair airbrush makeup lover or professional there is only one thing better than having the new Dinair one, and that is... having two!

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Airbrush Makeup is still the best kept secret in the beauty industry in 2023... and why it will stay that way.

In 1025 we will celebrate one hundred years since Max Factor reportedly used airbrush makeup for the first time on the set of Ben Hur. In all likelihood what he did was more akin to spray painting, since the goal was to darken the bodies of the many extras involved in the production in the fastest and more natural way possible. Still, he demonstrated a  principle that was never to be forgotten, establishing for the first time the many advantages of applying color on skin through air. While the most innovative professionals in the Hollywood makeup industry continued to experiment with airbrushing beauty makeup, as demonstrated by the photograph of Monty Westmore working on Olivia De Havilland on the set of Gone With The Wind, the technique survived mainly in the realm of special effects and prosthetic design, where the speed and subtlety it was able to achieve became an essential asset to the specialized teams in the budding SFX world. 

With the advent of High Definition in the late seventies, everything started to change for the makeup industry. The new digital recording medium allowed for a level of definition of the image that the contemporary products available to makeup artists were struggling to live up to. Makeup suddenly became obvious on camera, and huge changes were needed. It was at this moment that airbrushing came to the foreground, as a way to achieve the undetectable result that was now needed, and the first innovators such as Dina Ousley and her team began producing formulas that were made specifically for this type of application. The mainstream beauty industry meanwhile began its long attempt to catch up by creating the first HD formulas that had subtlety and true to life color matching as their goal, all without having to use a much dreaded mechanical instrument such as the airbrush.

These attempts remained pretty underwhelming throughout the '90s and early '00s, when the awareness of airbrushing among professional makeup artist was at its peak. Then in the following years the industry (almost) caught up, producing formulas for traditional application that now yield more comparable results to those obtainable with an airbrush. More importantly, they managed to promote the idea that more and more products were necessary to achieve the desired results, as the personal image culture shifted thanks to social media and the beauty industry as a whole reached unprecedented earnings in the western hemisphere. 

In my years of teaching airbrush makeup, I have often been asked why doesn't every pro makeup brand adopt and promote airbrushing, seen as the results are still above those obtainable any other medium, and the time, resources, hygiene practices and environmental impact needed to achieve them considerably less. The answer is the same as always: money. With single made-for-airbrush products that effectively do the job of three or four traditional ones, much longer expiration dates and PAOs, remarkably smaller quantities required, and fewer tools and sanitization needed, airbrush makeup is simply too efficient for its own good. Then of course there is the educational aspect: unlike brushes, an airbrush is still a tool that was not given to us to play with from a very young age, therefore we perceive it as scary and difficult to use. The opposite is true, as those who give it a try soon find out. 

It is now September 2023 and I have just updated the LINKS DIRECTORY of this website, the most complete listing of Airbrush Makeup brands and related companies on the internet. The update was long in the making, because the global pandemic had severe implications for the beauty industry and even more so for the independent companies that keep this medium alive. Year after year, as I give thanks for their continuing presence, these courageous innovators confirm my now deeply held belief that while airbrush makeup will never be "mainstream", the undeniable advantages it offers to those who know how to use it ensure that it will continue to be our best kept secret for the imaginable future. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

ROCKCANDY AIRBRUSH MAKEUP review and video tutorial

Rock Candy Airbrush Makeup
Rock Candy Airbrush Makeup

Introducing Rock Candy Airbrush

Based in California, Rock Candy Beauty is the first new airbrush makeup brand to come into the post pandemic market. Founded by former TV producer and beauty entrepreneur Kathy Burke, RockCandy offers a product with a formulation focussed on vegan, organic, cruelty free and clean ingredients. More than makeup, better than skincare is Rock Candy's ambitious claim, which I was lucky to be able to put to the test in the last few months.  

The Product Lineup

Rock Candy offers 16 shades of  foundation produced in both a matte and a satin line. The product lineup is rounded up by two blush colors, two highlighers (illuminators) and two bronzer shades.The foundations are available in 7.5, 15 and 30 ml sizes (1/4 oz, 1/2 oz and 1 oz) and the other colors in 7.5 and 15 ml sizes. Also available is a Setting Spray (15 ml or 50 ml) and a 120 ml cleaning solution. 

The kit that Rock Candy offers is a standard, 3 pressure setting compressor with a generic airbrush. The compressor has a stated maximum output of 25 PSI., 10 LPM (liters of air per minute). The kit comes in a very nice packaging with a few of little extras that will delight the average consumer. 

There is a very reasonably price starter kit option that includes the tools and four foundation colors, and then there are several more purchasing options for the makeup, including a complete line bundle aimed at professionals. 

My experience with Rock Candy

I was truly happy to see a new brand emerge in what has been a very difficult period for the beauty industry and the whole world. The great courage and effort that it must take at any time to launch an alternative product deserves even more kudos for the timing in which this effort was carried out. I like how Rock Candy presents itself, and the great care it shows both in the formulation and the packaging. 

As stated, the Rock Candy formula aims to deliver high quality makeup with organic, vegan, cruelty free and clean ingredients. The many certifications the brand went through attest to the quality of the ingredients (posted below). The formula is of course water based and very rich in plant based components. It has a light but rich consistency and a viscosity that is low enough for the product to run through any airbrush set up without any worries. The coverage is comparable to other water based products in the market, while the two available finishes differ significantly. The matte formula is a luminous matte that creates a very natural (if not completely indetectable) result. The satin line has a texture that is very similar to silicone based products, it is more obvious on the skin and is definitely dewy, which is excellent if you like this finish. The color range is excellent for light to medium skin tones, while it probably could use an expansion of a few additional darker shades for deeper tones, but don't forget that as always with airbrush makeup, every shade can be mixed to achieve near -infinite color combinations.

Several reviewers have found issues with the staying power of the foundation and the texture. I can concur that the transfer and rub resistance of the products as applied with the Rock Candy airbrush kit is below what we have come to expect from airbrush makeup standards, especially for the Satin line, but (and it is a huge "but") we can't forget that the natural and vegan formulation must impose a slight compromise. Moreover, these problems are easily corrected with the use of the Rock Candy setting spray and a setting fine powder (Rock Candy is about to launch its own). Having tested the products with different tools, I have come to believe that this brand's choice of compressor and airbrush, while perfectly fine for the general consumer, may not be up to standard for professional use. The products performs a lot better when applied in very light layers at a higher pressure than the Rock Candy compressor is able to produce. With a finer nebulization, the Rock Candy formula can give its best results, and become a very valid alternative for those who wish to use on themselves, or offer their clients, a formula of such high standards. 

I would definitely encourage my fellow airbrush artists to give this product a chance, as it can become a very good asset for a makeup artist who works with a more natural minded clientele. Another product I would encourage fellow muas and personal users alike to try are the blush, highlighter and bronzer tones. These have beautiful tones, great pigmentation and sparkle, and very good resistance too, so much that they can be used as eyeshadows with no problems, like I did in the featured video tutorial. I definitely hope that Rock Candy will expand on the shade range available for this product in the future. 

Rock Candy INCI (ingredients) and Swatches

Matte Finish: WaterGlycerinHydrolyzed Rice ProteinPropanediolHydrolyzed Jojoba EstersPalmitoyl Tripeptide-5Benzyl AlcoholMicrocrystalline CelluloseAcrylates/Octylcrylamide CopolymerPrunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed ExtractJojoba EstersTetrasodium Glutamate DiacetateTromethamineSalicylic AcidXanthan GumCellulose GumAvena Sativa (Oat) Bran ExtractSorbic AcidSodium BenzoatePotassium SorbateCamellia Sinensis Callus ExtractPanax Ginseng Callus Culture ExtractPhyllostachys Pubescens Meristem Cell Lysate Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)Iron Oxides (CI 77492)Iron Oxides (CI 77491)Iron Oxides (CI 77499). 

Satin Finish: Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Brassica Napus Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Glyceryl Citrate/Lactate/Lineolate/Oleoate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Acrylates/Octylcrylamide Copolymer, Benzyl Alcohol, Mica, Glyceryl Caprylate, Polyglyceryl-3 Caprate, Polyglyceryl-4 Cocoate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Jojoba Esters, Tromethamine, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Salicylic Acid, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Avena Sativa (Oat) Bran Extract, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Camellia Sinensis Callus Extract, Panax Ginseng Callus Culture Extract, Phyllostachys Pubescens Meristem Cell Lysate, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77499). 

rock candy airbrush swatches
Rock Candy Foundation Swatches

rock candy airbrush swatches
Rock Candy Foundation Swatches

rock candy airbrush swatches
Rock Candy Blush, Bronzer, Illuminator Swatches

Friday, September 9, 2022

Airbrush makeup review: Creamy Air by Maq Pro, with step by step video tutorial


MaqPro Creamy Air
100% Airbrush Makeup using Ceramy Air by MaqPro

MaqPro is a French company that has been producing high-end professional makeup since the 1970's. The brand started as a collaboration with legendary French makeup artist Michel Durelle ad the perfume and beauty producers Nine and Pierre Brunner. Today the company continues as a family business led by the couple's children, and it manufactures its vast catalogue of products strictly in France. In the last few years MaqPro has become very well known among professional makeup artists all over the world thanks to the Fard Crème palettes, the cream, color theory based makeup available in a vast array of shades that allow, with some skill-full mixing, to accomplish a durable and natural looking makeup application on the whole face.

The Creamy Air product line was launched in 2020 as the liquid evolution of the Fard Crème product. Creamy Air can be applied via airbrush but also with traditional tools, and like the Fard Crème it is available in a vast range of shades that includes skin tones, bright colors and everything in between, allowing once again for a complete makeup application using only this product. The color list stretches to an amazing 106 shades, which puts this product among the first in the airbrush makeup market for the variety of tones, all available in 10 ml / 0.33 Fl Oz size, 

MaqPro Creamy Air

The Creamy Air formula has a variable composition depending on the colors, but we could generally call it the epitome of hybrid formulations, as it includes elements such as water, alcohol, glycerine ad various types of silicones. The resulting product'has a very low viscosity, which means that it can be airbrushed with any tool set up and it will run without problems in all the airbrushes commonly used for makeup. Like most silicone based products, Creamy Air does not clog the airbrush, where it can rest without drying up for many hours, allowing you to clean the stylus even the day after application, as I myself have experienced. However, as an airbrush educator I would still advise users to clean their tools as soon as possible after application to avoid all risks. Another trait in common with silicone based products is Creamy Air's softness and moveability, allowing for touch ups up to several minutes after application.

The Creamy Air Finish is luminous and very natural. Of course the application can be matted down with a light pass of HD powder if needed. The durability of the application is excellent, and so is its water and rub resistance, so much so that some distributors are selling skin tones sets recommending it especially for tattoo cover. Creamy Air feels very light on the skin, and just like the best airbrush makeup products it offers great coverage without looking obvious. You can see what I am talking about with your very own eyes in the video tutorial I am enclosing here, which I am proud to be able to call the very first to demonstrate a total look with this line, including eyeshadow and eyebrows. 

My opinion Creamy Air is extremely positive, and I thing this product places itself very well in the airbrush makeup market. As far a the availability of the line, however, the product is not supported by a very efficient marketing. The many colors are not organised in a clear chart that may help professionals in deciding what to buy, and the packaging itself, with the color number printed in small characters on the back label, makes its practical use and quick selection anything but easy. I am hopeful, however, that the distributors of MaqPro will be soon able to makeup for this shortcoming of the producers of the line, perhaps by offering pre selected kits of colors that may simplify the choice available to the professionals. 

Isododecane, Aqua, Alcohol Denat. - Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Glycerin Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone,  Aluminum Hydroxide,  Phenoxyethanol,  Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Sodium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol , Disteardimonium Hectorite ,  Propylene Carbonate

Monday, August 29, 2022

Temptu SilkSphere Airbrush Makeup Review -With Full Face Step by Step Video Tutorial


Temptu SilkSphere
100% Temptu Airbrush Makeup with SilkSphere

Background -The SilkSphere foundation was created in 2009 to complement the launch of the first Temtpu kit for consumers. The product came exclusively in Airpod format, i.e. a pre-filled capsule that would attach to a proprietary airbrush and that could be used until empty without any need for maintenance, giving the customers all the advantages of airbrush makeup without any of the perceived drawbacks, such as tools maintenance and cleaning. The formula was had a very dewy finish and was engineered to be user friendly, so it would remain very malleable after application in order to allow the home user to easily fix any mistakes. It had a very distinctive floral scent, which was problematic for some, including myself, but was already remarkable for its unprecedented coverage and for the fact that it was an all-in-one product, not needing any primer, concealer or color corrector.  SilkSphere was reformulated in 2015 to coincide with the launch of  what is now the very popular battery operated, palm top device Temptu Air. The shade range was slightly revised and the floral scent significantly diminished, but it remained available only in Airpod format, which meant that you would not be able to use it with a traditional airbrush. 

New Release -This year after some wait, no doubt due in large part to the market difficulties created by the global pandemic, Temptu was finally able to update the formula once again and to release it at long last in bottle format, allowing everybody to experience it regardless of their preferred tools. 

Temptu Silksphere
Range and Formula -The new SilkSphere is available again in 18 proprietary shades that will match any skin tone, with a good color consistency when compared to the previous version. Many of the colors have a very neutral undertone to reduce the need to mix tones, as they were initially created for the Airpod cartridges which did not allow for direct mixing, and this makes using them very easy. Having said that, there are now hues with a decidedly warm or cool undertone as well, so you can achieve any amount of precision needed in your color matching. The finish of the formula is still dewy, however this should not scare anyone who is used to matte foundation, because ultimately the amount of glow will depend on each individual complexion, and because any perceived shine can be easily mattified with the lightest pass of any fine HD powder (such as Temptu's own Invisible Difference). The new SilkSphere feels finer than its previous versions, but still retains its high coverage and its all-in-one characteristic, needing no priming, no concealing and no color correcting in most cases. Probably for this very reason, the formula's texture is a little more obvious than that of thinner airbrush foundations, but it still feels lighter than traditional products and looks perfect on its first passes, achieving a finish that would require quite a lot more work and skill to match using a traditional product.

In the video tutorial below I am showing you a step by step total look achieved using SilkSphere in bottle form for foundation and the Perfect Canvas range in AirPod for everything else.

Silksphere vs other Temptu Formulas -Compared to the other Temptu foundations, Silksphere ranks second to Perfect Canvas for shade selection, first in dewiness and first in viscosity, being the "thickest" of the three, but the difference with SB in this respect is barely perceptible. Lastly, but no less importantly for some, the floral scent is now completely gone, making the product application pleasantly scent free. As for the format, the choice is now up to you. The Airpod capsules allow for perfect dispensation every time, and while decidedly more expensive, the pod system means that you will achieve an optimal result using far less product. The bottle format price is significantly lower, and allows you to use this product with any tool and to mix the shades freely. Temptu's 1/4 oz /7.5 ml starter kits, available for this line in pack of six colors each, mean that everybody can experience this formula with a very reasonable investment. 

My Opinion -As for my personal, unsponsored opinion, I have been a huge fan and advocate of this product for years, and I could not be happier and more grateful for this new reboot. I especially like to use this formula on problematic skin, where I have never needed to color correct or conceal thanks to SilkSphere's exceptional coverage. The extraordinary luminosity of this formula makes it a truly transformative makeup, and the only one that actually does conceal fine lines and rough texture. Because of this its silicone component, I would personally not recommend  the daily use of this product on very acneic, irritation-prone skin, but for special occasions there is no other product that will allow you to achieve the same wow factor in as little time and with as little effort, so much so that I like to call SilkSphere "model skin in a bottle".


Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Mixing Airbrush Makeup brands: is it possible? Should you try?

Since airbrush makeup represents niche of the beauty industry, in the public's perception the product often becomes one with the application method. So if you have taken a course with a certain brand, you might be inclined to believe that the experience of airbrushing is strictly defined by what that brand offers and how they taught you to use their makeup. While I fully support each brand in their sacred effort to teach people how to get the most out of their product, I also believe that thinking that airbrushing begins and ends only with one name ends up limiting a makeup artist's view of the technique, and in some cases can lead them to abandoning it altogether. 

In short, airbrushing is a way to apply makeup. That said, makeup for airbrush differs greatly depending on what type and brand you are using, just like painting with brushes is a method, but the colors you can use differ greatly for formulation and finish, and the resulting artwork changes accordingly. 

What you need to know is this: you can create your makeup with whatever product you feel may respond better to your vision, your needs and your client's skin type and expectation. I will not be going into the specific characteristics and advantages of one type of makeup versus another, but you can find a lot of resources on the different types of bases (water based, silicone based and alcohol based makeup) in the many posts on this website, or by visiting our Airbrush 101 Page. You can even mix airbrushing with traditional makeup, and while this wouldn't be my choice, airbrush extremist that I am, I have to admit that it works just fine for others. Just as it happens with traditional makeup, the world won't implode if you layer a water based blush on a silicone based foundation, nor will lightening strike if you airbrush your base and then use a traditional highlighter on top. Of course there are some practical (chemical) facts to keep in mind if you want your get the most out of your creativity without compromising the makeup stability or your tools functionality, so please read on after viewing the video here below, which is my latest look airbrushed with two different brands.  

So here are a few useful tips if you are thinking of using different makeup brands in your airbrush. First of all, make sure that your tools are up to the job. Many brands sell airbrush kits that are exclusively designed to work with their own product, and will stop performing well if you try and us another, and you may also void the brand's warranty by doing so. The main divide is between silicone and water based makeup. The latter is usually thinner and needs less pressure to be sprayed correctly, so many brands that sell it offer smaller compressors that have a maximum output of 18-20 PSI, and airbrushes with a more specific build, airflow and nozzle. Silicone based makeup is usually thicker, so it requires a compressor that is able to go up to 25-30 PSI and an airbrush with a nozzle size of .35 up to .5 mm width. To airbrush both types of makeup, you therefore need a compressor that lets you regulate the pressure output between 2 and 30 PSI, and ideally an airbrush with a .35 nozzle. Before you ask, the "single action" vs "double action" argument is moot, as this does not make any practical difference on the end result. I personally much prefer continuous airflow airbrushes (often wrongly called "single action"), and most double action airbrushes such as those from the ubiquitous Sparmax brand (used by brands such as Temptu, GraFtobian, Kett, Airbase and many other) can be converted to continuous flow by a simple modification of the air valve that you can do at home (see this link for more info). As far as tools maintenance goes, most airbrush flow problems are created by conflicting formulas that form clogs in the airbrush body or nozzle if they haven't been cleaned appropriately when changing products. To avoid the problem altogether it would be ideal to own an airbrush for each makeup type you intend to use (one for water base, one for silicone, and one for alcohol). If you can't -or don't wish to- do that yet, you can use this very simple cleaning procedure: 

-Step 1: clean the visible residue of the formula you just used with its specific cleaner or with a multi purpose cleaner.

-Step 2:  before introducing the second formula, use a few drop of cleaner for the formula you are about to use to prime your airbrush.

So now that you are clear about the appropriate tools and cleaning procedures, how should you go about using different brands for a makeup look?
Well, here you have much more freedom than you think. You've been made to think that silicone and water don't mix, which chemically speaking of course is true, however silicone based products in most cases are actually water/silicone hybrids, the first ingredient on their INCI (i.e. ingredient list) being water. The only thing that might happen is that the end result might be less durable in the long run, but it should still be perfectly viable. I often like to do eyes with water based products and foundation, blush and contouring with silicone based. This doesn't present any issues as I am not layering one type of makeup directly on top of another. When you do want to do that, for example you want to use a water based blush and a silicone based foundation, I would put the water based product on first, and the silicone after, but that is not written in stone, and also depends on the brands you use. If you wish to do part of your makeup with traditional methods, I would of course use whatever product you airbrush after any other traditionally applied, in order to maintain the perfect airbrushed finish on top, and that, together with the old "less is more" adagio, is pretty much the only iron clad rule regarding makeup, at least in my opinion. Finally, some students at my classes always ask me if they can mix products of a different base in the airbrush cup. This is something I would avoid for the consideration expressed above, and the fact that you might create an unsprayable goop that will be quite hard to clean from your equipment. Having said that, if you feel the need to experiment that way you can of course try. Just don't forget to let me know how it went...

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Graftobian GlamAire & F/X Aire Airbrush Makeup Kit Review -With Video Tutorial

Graftobian Airbrush Makeup
Graftobian Walk Around Airbrush Kit

Graftobian's GlamAire is the most extensive line of foundations for airbrush in the world, with a staggering 58 separate shades divided in warm, cool and neutral tones. To complement the foundation line anoter 6 blush tones, 6 adjusters and 6 color corrector are available. If you wish to play with colors for more editorial or creative projects, or if you want to try doing a full beauty look using only your airbrush, there are another 68 colors from the F/X Aire line, offering you endless possibilities.

As far as equipment goes, Graftobian offers several solutions catering to every need, from the very portable kit for beauty makeup to to the very powerful options for body painting competitions. Almost seven years ago I reviewed Graftobian and the Walk Around Kit in detail on these pages. I am now very happy to have another chance to play with these beautiful products and create the look you see in the video and in the unretouched photos on this page, and to offer an updated review of the line from a more experienced perspective. 

The GlamAire and F/X Aire lines are so extensive that approaching a color choice can seem a bit daunting to the novice. An amazing aspect of the foundations is that every color also exists in cream form in Graftobian's celebrated HD Crème Palettes, so if you are familiar or have access to that product, choosing shades for your airbrush collection should be very easy. There are also three very convenient sampler packs, the GlamAire Beauty sets, which feature five shades from each group (Cool, Warm and Neutral), accompanied by a plastic palette with the corresponding five shades in cream form. These will make a great starter set for beginners, who will appreciate having the cream foundations to use on parts of the face that maybe a little more difficult to airbrush such as the under eye area. The GlamAire Formula is very fluid and the pigments extremely fine. This means that your airbrush is unlikely to ever clog or have any running issues while spraying these products. The makeup is water based and silicone and alcohol free, so it will feel very light on the skin, which should be prepped as normal with just a light moisturiser or ideally a silicone free primer to ensure maximum staying power. The formula is water resistant and won't budge from humidity or perspiration. Its matte finish is not too opaque, and the skin will balance everything out within a few minutes from application. For most shades, a few seconds will be necessary after spraying for the product to set and oxidize and reveal its true tone. Because of its lightness and fluidity, the product needs to be sprayed at a very low pressure and coverage will be achieved by layering several light passes, so it's important that you don't rush your application and that you step back between passes to observe what is happening, rather than expect an immediate result. The reward will be an ultra natural, HD proof finish that you can see on the 100% unfiltered photo right here in this paragraph. 

The F/X Aire line is where the fun really begins. This formula is an alcohol/water hybrid is available in a wonderful selection of shades, from primary colors to neon tones that will glow under UV lights, to a selection of skin tones for a more water proof and rub resistant finish and for body makeup. The percentage of alcohol is so delicate that the colors can be used safely around the eye area (of course providing that the eyes are kept closed during application), and they can be mixed without any problems with the foundation and blush tones of the GlamAire line to create eyeshadow looks that range from neutral tones to highly pigmented fashion statements. In the video demo included in this review I have even used straight Black to create a fast eyeliner, with no discomfort whatsoever experienced by my model who has sensitive skin. This line was of course created for body painting, special effects and body art, and incredible effects can be achieved by using the wide range of stencils (the famous Bad Ass stencil line) also produced by Graftobian. 

The Walk Around System is the kit that I have used for this application. Once again I reviewed these tools in my previous article a few years back, but I can say here that the kit stood the test of time very well, being a solid and powerful piece of equipment, which can handle not only Graftobian-s own product, but also all the other brands of airbrush makeup as well, allowing maximum creative freedom for the artist. The enclosed battery did eventually die after a few years and many charging cycles, but you can buy a replacement on Graftobian's website, or if that should be problematic (I live in Europe and batteries don't ship well overseas) keep in mind that the casing houses a standard battery pack that can be easily replaced by a dedicated store or electrically gifted friend. 

Originated in 1978, Graftobian is still a family run business and a wonderful company with a heart. I am lucky to have met the current owner, Eric Coffman, who collaborated with luminaries such as Brad Look, Suzanne Patterson and Mary Erickson (who I am privileged to count among my friends), to devise products and lines that have become staples in many an artist's kit at an international level. As unbiased as this review is, I do regard this company as an essential contributor to the world of beauty, and personally as a revered part of Americana.

Graftobian Airbrush
100% Graftobian Airbrush Makeup, unfiltered and unretouched

Graftobian GlamAire INCI (Ingredients):  
Water, Acrylates Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, TEA(Triethanolamine), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Ethyhexylglycerin, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron, Oxide Black (CI 77499), Iron Oxide Red (CI 77491), Iron Oxide Yellow (CI 77492), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Red 6 Lake (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Chromium Oxide Green (CI 77288)

Graftobian F/X Aire INCI (Ingredients): 
SD Alcohol 40-B, Water, Acrylates Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Silica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxide Black (CI 77499), Iron Oxide Red (CI 77491), Iron Oxide Yellow (CI 77492), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Red 6 Lake (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Mica, Red 28 (CI 45410), Orange 5 (CI 45370), Yellow 11 (CI 47000), Ext. Violet 2 (CI 60730)