Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hollywood Air airbrush makeup: In depth review and Day-To-Night video tutorial

Hollywood Air "Night Look"
Hollywood Air is an airbrush makeup brand created initially for the Japanese market with the supervision of makeup artist Dominie Till (King Kong, The Lord of the Rings trilogy). After its debut in Asia a branch was established in the UK, making the product readily available for the European market as well. Hollywood Air offers a selection of water based foundations and a series matte primary colors complemented by two shimmer shades and two blush colors, plus a line of makeup complements and skin care products also created for airbrushing. The products are available individually or in kits that also feature proprietary compressors and airbrushes. The kit we purchased was a pro selection created for trade fairs and featuring almost all of the foundation shades in 50 ml sizes, all of the other colors and a silicone based makeup sealer called HA Aqua Proof Top Coat. Let's discuss each item in the kit, and please don't forget to scroll to the bottom of this page to view our video tutorial detailing how the makeup in these photos was achieved. 

Hollywood Air "day look"


The first thing that impressed us was the packaging of the kit. In accordance to our perceived Japanese sense of style, everything in the box was presented very elegantly and organized very neatly. We appreciated the presence of a few extra items such as a pipette/dropper,  empty mixing bottles and an all purpose stencil in very soft plastic. The main components are housed in an attractive case that makes the set appealing also for personal use.


Let me say this right away: this brand features some of the best  proprietary airbrushes we have seen. While in the photos they may look like the standard third party airbrushes used by many consumer oriented companies, you realize as soon as you pick them up that they are of a far superior quality. Then you start using them and makeup just flows -and cleans- like a dream. I have no way of knowing who the original manufacturer is but they are definitely at a par with our beloved Sparmax airbrushes, which as you know are used by all the top brands worldwide. The airbrush features a trigger regulator on its tail end (a little knob that can be adjusted to limit the trigger movement and control the output), and a quick release connector that attaches it to the adjustable pressure valve connected to the compressor. A simpler version of the airbrush with a standard tail end is also available but its main body is of the same high quality. 
Airbrush Makeup Kit Hollywood Air
The compressor included in the kit is called "Personal 1000". Our version is the "Crystal Edition", and features hand applied crystals for decorative purposes. It only has one pressure setting but this does not matter as the pressure can be adjusted through the airbrush valve. It performs well and is not too loud. A version with three pre-set selectable pressure outputs called Perfect Beauty is also available, and there is also an ultra portable smaller one, the HA Mini,  again with one pressure setting.


The quality of the foundation is very impressive, and once again comparable to the best brands available. The water based formula is smooth and does not feel too dry or powdery. It has an excellent staying power and good water resistance, and can be layered to achieve the desired coverage without looking obvious on the skin. The only down side of it is the number of shades available, which may limit its usage to Caucasian and Asian skin tones. While it is true that the darkest shade can be darkened further by adding a few drops from the primary colors set, this is not a terribly efficient solution both for color consistency and for sheer practicality. The seven shades available are divided in yellow based tones (Vanilla, Moon, Natural and Caramel) and neutral/pink based tones (Fair, Buff, and Earth). The shades can be mixed to match any light to medium skin tone.

The primary/secondary color set is a series of  1.4 oz / 7.5 ml pigments that will allow you to create pretty much any other color both for eyes, cheeks and fantasy application. Adding a series of basic colors instead of creating a whole line of eyeshadows and blushes is a policy followed by other professional companies such as MAC and Kett. Some may find the idea of creating your own shades daunting. I think that it can be a wonderful introduction to color theory for a budding makeup artist, and a great source of fun for a personal user with a creative mind. I had a great time putting together the swatches in the photo, that are all obtained by mixing two or more of the shades in the kit. Please click on the photo to view the colors and quantities used.

Makeup Complements

There is a very interesting series of skin care products that we hope to review in the future. The one complement that we did get is the Aqua Proof Top Coat. This is a silicone solution of very light consistency that can be sprayed over the makeup to render it waterproof. We have tested it and can confirm that it works very well indeed, and could work on any type or brand of makeup too. We advise to hold your breath while spraying it because it creates a very fine mist that will go everywhere. When done with the application you may want to dust a little HD powder to take care of any residual tackiness.

Hollywood Air sells directly from its website but can also be found at many beauty trade shows and through secondary ebay distributors. The kit combinations available for purchase tend to vary significantly, so it is always worth checking all the possibilities repeatedly in time to ensure the most convenient deal.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Airbrush makeup primer review: Nurturing Force Blot Out Offensive &Twinkle Not Wrinkle Eye Cream

A while ago we introduced Nurturing Force on our pages with our review or their Airbrush and Brush Cleaner. Today we'd like to tell you about two more products from this fantastic brand specialized in airbrush makeup friendly, HD compatible products. 

Nurturing Force Face Primer
Blot Out Offensive has been Nurturing Force's flagship product for several years now. We found out about it while browsing the Camera Ready Cosmetics website, then read enthusiastic reviews on Kett's website and saw YouTube raves by Koren Zander. All we had to do was try this out for ourselves and see if it would live up to the high expectations the reviews created. The product has a very pleasant frothy consistency that makes it similar to whipped marshmallow filling, with no hint of fragrance, which I personally appreciate. It dries very fast on the skin, so it needs to be applied quickly and in small quantities. As its name suggests, this Aloe Vera, silicone free formula is an instant mattifier whose primary goal is to keep oil production under control, improving the duration of foundation. I have tried it both on myself and on several others, and I am happy to report that the primer does what it promises, significantly reducing oil production in the most oil prone areas like the T zone. I would not venture on specific duration times for its mattifying effect as this is subject to individual pre dispositions, as it would be for any other product. My own T zone tends to be quite oily, especially in the summer, and I found that Blot Out Offensive held up very well throughout the day. Despite the absence of silicone the cream also has a noticeable filling power, smoothing enlarged pores without blocking them. I especially appreciate the absence of silicone as this allows the primer to be used on those who have an intolerance to it and it makes it ideal for water based makeup. Its very matte finish means it may not be the best choice for the under eye area, but this is where Nurturing Force's next brilliant product comes into play.

Nurturing Force Eye Primer
Twinkle Not Wrinkle eye cream and base is an HD primer for eyes, also based on Aloe Vera and enriched with Hyaluronic Acid and Cherry Kernel Oil. This product does contain silicone (Dimethicone), which makes its texture very smooth and more similar to a traditional cream. Unlike Blot Out Offensive you can take your time applying this, but just like the face primer it has no fragrance at all. The feel and final finish is very soft, hydrated and luxurious, but, unlike many other primers, never too slick. It provides an excellent base for eye makeup, improving durability and helping against creasing. When used with traditional powder eye shadow it will also dramatically improve the color payoff.

We simply love Nurturing Force. This family run business has a strong commitment to natural ingredients, excellent quality and a special attention to the needs of airbrush makeup. They are a regular presence at most of the major trade shows, where they often offer their products in special money saving kits. The brand includes several other products that we hope to review in the future. We also hope they will heed our suggestion and finally come out with the only thing that seems to be missing from their line: a natural ingredients based airbrush makeup fixing spray!

For those of you reading this in Europe, Nurturing Force products can also be ordered from Guru Makeup Emporium in London. 

Nurturing Force Primers