Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Airbrush for Special Effects: Easy Succubus Halloween Tutorial with 3rd Degree Silicone

Halloween is many a makeup artist's dream festivity. Creativity runs amok and everybody is trying to outdo each other in coming up with the most whimsical and surprising look for the occasion. Some newbies might even feel intimidated at times, but the industry nowadays is supplying us with so many amazing products that literally anyone can create a frightfully good makeup without too much effort. Like every year we turned to our favorite online store in the world, Camera Ready Cosmetics, to put together the look you see in these photos and video tutorial. If you follow these pages you might have read our previous Camera Ready rave review of a couple of years ago. Since we wrote it the business moved to a new location in Dallas, Texas, and grew exponentially under the guidance of their amazingly talented founder and owner, makeup artist Mary Erickson. They now stock about twice as many brands, have lowered their shipping costs and continue with their policy of unrivaled customer service. Much to our delight, they stock an extensive catalogue of airbrush products and special effect supplies, and they ship all over the world at fair prices when many of their competitors still hesitate to do so. 
Let's talk about some of the products we used in our demo, hoping that what you see and read here will inspire you to get creative for Halloween 2017!



This amazingly versatile product is made of two components that must be mixed in equal parts. It is extremely easy to blend on the skin and can be cleaned up and smoothed out while still curing with 99% alcohol. It will cure in about 5 minutes, so be sure to work fast. Also be very careful not to cross contaminate the jars when extracting the product, or you may render it unusable. This product is available in various colors. We had the clear version which can also be easily colored intrinsically by mixing pigment in powder form. Once cured the application will look very shiny, but it can be painted easily and blended perfectly.

Skin Illustrator On Set Palettes
These alcohol activated pigments are the most famous and most widely used in the professional SFX industry. The On Set Palettes are smaller, more portable (and less expensive) versions of the full size product, and the colors apply so sheer on the skin that they will look like they are coming through from underneath, with a startlingly realistic effect. They can be reduced with their special Activator, which is less irritating to the eye than straight alcohol 99. To use these colors in your airbrush, as we did in the video, simply pour
a small amount of alcohol or activator in your airbrush cup and then "tint" it by dipping a brush into the palette's well and then "rinsing it" in the airbrush reservoir. It is a simple process that is quicker to do than to describe, and require minimal experimentation in order to achieve the right color intensity. If you don't want to do this, you can also order the same colors you find in the palettes in a liquid format that is ready to be airbrushed. 

European Body Art Colors
EBA is another brand that is becoming an industry standard in the SFX world, with outstanding lines  for airbrushing and solid palettes. We used Endura Airbrush Liquid (alcohol based) in white to prime the face and get rid of the silicone compound's shine, then some flesh tone and some straight black to finish the makeup. EBA also offers Endura Vibe, a line of water based colors of extraordinary pigmentation and water and rub resistance.

Bdellium Tools Brushes
So you finally saw me using a brush or two, and these could only be coming from the amazing SFX collection by Bdellium Tools, a vegan product created especially to achieve amazing pictorial textures. These brushes are another industry favorite, and if you look hard enough in related videos, you will see them being used by the very best artists in both the beauty and the special effects fields. 

Graftobian Walk-Around System
We fully reviewed this beauty in a previous post that you can read in our Kits Reviews page, and we are happy that CRC is still stocking this beauty!





Thursday, September 14, 2017

How to airbrush eyeshadow with Temptu Air and Airpod Pro: Earth StoneCollection Video Tutorial


Temptu has quietly introduced another potential game changer with the release of the first eyeshadow colors in the new Perfect Canvas / Hydralock formula. The Earth Stone Collection includes six earthy, neutral shades that constitute the ideal palette for any natural tone or smokey look. My guess is that the brand wanted to test the waters for an eyeshadow line by starting with the basic go-to colors that any makeup artist cannot do without, encouraging the public to experiment more with their Temptu Air system and with their Airpod Pro.
Once again I find that congratulations are in order, because Temptu absolutely aced this product. 

Silicone based eyeshadow?
100% Temptu Airbrush Makeup, Unfiltered
Unfortunately there is a lot of prejudice among makeup artists on the idea of airbrushing eye shadow. Many imagine that the level of skill required to work on such a tiny space as the eyelid surpasses their own, while others have had less than satisfactory experiences with the way the colors behave on the mobile lid, especially when using silicone based formulae.
The classic Temptu S/B line, which I absolutely love, does imply a little learning curve when it comes to using the many beautiful shades available for eyeshadow. In order to avoid creasing, the S/B colors require lid preparation,  a thin, layered application, very thorough drying of each layer and possibly setting spray before eyes can be opened in order to avoid creasing. That said, once these precautions have been taken, the color payoff is amazing and the product will stay perfect for hours and will be completely waterproof.
These Perfect Canvas Airshadows simply retain all the good qualities of the S/B line, at the same time doing away with the drawbacks. They dry quickly and do not require extra prep or setting. They do not crease or move, and are also totally waterproof, with a perfect wear for hours and hours. Because of the tonality they are also super easy to blend. In short creating a beautiful eye makeup is literally a breeze even for less experienced airbrushers, who will become proficient at using them after a simple try or two. Moreover, the colors are very comfortable to wear and feel soft on the skin, and do not feel or look in any way heavy, in fact quite the opposite.





Earthy pleasures...
100% Temptu Airbrush Makeup with Temptu Air
The Earth Stone Collection comes as a starter set of 7.5 ml bottles for use with your traditional airbrush or with the Airpod Pro. Each color also comes in Airpod form for use with the Temtpu Air System or with the Airpod airbrush. As far as the application goes, I have shot the enclosed video tutorial to show how the colors can be easily used with the portable system and the Airpod Pro. Personally, I still prefer my traditional airbrush as I feel that I can achieve a more precise, easier to control application. Having said that I do believe it is just a matter of habit, and if you use your pods often enough you should have no particular problem in getting good results with that option.

Perfect Canvas Color Correctors
An important complement in achieving the look of the video was also Temptu's new Perfect Canvas Color Corrector set. This bundle contains seven popular complementary colors that can correct any type of skin irregularity. Once again this is a fantastic product with an amazing correcting power, that works perfectly for the Hydralock/Perfect Canvas Foundation line, which is by nature sheerer in order to allow for a natural finish. The correctors work so fast and so undetectably that it was hard to render in the video we shot. It took only a couple of second to neutralize our model's under eye area perfectly. Once again this product represents a fly in the face of the false myth that you "cannot airbrush around the eyes". You can indeed, and indeed you should, with the right amount of pressure and after a little practice to make sure you are using your tools correctly around the delicate eye area. 

More please!
Temptu has already switched their highlighters and blush airpod lines to the new Hydralock formula, which makes them completely compatible with the Airshadow range and opens up a whole lot of possibilities for eyeshadow designs. I really hope that they will soon offer more Airshadow colors, perhaps reissue the former S/B Hi Def and Multicolors selections with the new Hydralock formulation as well, so that we can continue using bold and beautiful colors. I hope this video and review will inspire more people to try airbrushing eyeshadow. Aside form the advantages of speed, durability, hygiene, no transfer and waterproof finish, airbrushing eye looks is jut plain fun!.



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How to assemble, disassemble and clean your airbrush for makeup (with video tutorial)


Let's tackle one of the most feared and often misunderstood aspects of airbrush makeup: the assembly, disassembly and cleaning of your airbrush.
The bad news: cleaning is boring. There is no way around it. Even if you are a bit obsessive compulsive like me, and even if you love your instrument and enjoy taking care of it, like I do.  It is also inevitable. You cannot skip or delay cleaning your airbrush at the end of a session, at least minimally, or you might compromise its functioning. But more on that later.
The good news: cleaning an airbrush is NOT difficult and does not take much longer than cleaning a medium size brush once you get used to the process. If you consider that an airbrush does the job of many brushes, or if you are like me of all of them, you will realize that you will in fact save time by cleaning just one tool as opposed to many.





A simple matter of practice.
Practice is all it takes in order to become fast and efficient at cleaning your precious tool without causing damages. Once you become familiar with the pieces you will get faster and faster. These days it takes me less than a minute to disassemble any of my airbrushes. In the enclosed video I have slowed down the process a bit to show you how it works as clearly and as closely as possible. The video wasn't easy to film and may not be technically perfect, but it sure is clearer than any I have been able to find. The airbrush I am using in the video is the Temptu SP-40. This excellent tool is produced by Sparmax and has the exact same parts and look of its more popular twin, the ubiquitous SP-35 which is the flagship airbrush of most makeup brands, including Temptu, Graftobian, Kryolan, Airbase, Mistair, Monda Studio, Ten Image and Sparmax's own Element Two, making it the most widely used airbrush for makeup. Other brands use their own proprietary airbrushes or more generic tools produced by third parties. These may have parts that differ slightly (such as a floating nozzle instead of a screw in one, or a primary lever that is attached to the piston below), but the process of assembly and cleaning should not change much.

PRO TIPS!
I almost always prefer not to voice over my videos as I would like them to be enjoyed by anyone all over the world regardless of the language they speak, so I'd like to add a few more suggestions here and point out a few things that may be overlooked when watching the video. 

TIPS for assembling / disassembling

1: BEWARE OF GRAVITY!
Always work over a tray, a plate or any kind of flat enclosed surface when disassembling your airbrush. There are many tiny pieces, and these will easily fall from your hands. If they hit the floor you may spend hours looking for them, and they may get damaged by the fall.

2: DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN
Except for the hose attachment and the air valve, no part of the airbrush should be wound too tightly or you will compromise the proper functioning of the parts. The spring case and needle chucking nut in particular need to be carefully balanced, or the lever and needle will not function properly. Don't worry, you will develop an awareness of the right balance very quickly after the first few times.

3: BEWARE OF THE NOZZLE
The nozzle is the most delicate part of the airbrush, and the one where almost all the issues with the flow originate.
Once again, be extra careful when unscrewing and screwing in the part. If you apply too much pressure the wrong way, the tip of the nozzle will break and separate from its base, which will remain stuck in the airbrush threading. Pay extra attention to the way the airbrush is turned in the video, and to the direction in which I am turning the wrench when removing or reattaching the nozzle. If the nozzle does break DON'T PANIC, it will be relatively easy to clear the base from the threading using a tooth pick, and you will be able to buy a spare nozzle from your brand's website or directly from a Sparmax retailer.

4: BEWARE OF THE NEEDLE
The needle is the other delicate part in your airbrush. The tip is very fine and if handled improperly it can bend ever so slightly and compromise the product flow. Once again pay attention to how I use my fingers in the video to lean on the airbrush body when inserting the needle. If you do bang the tip of your needle there are easy ways to repair it, or if it has bent too much once again you can always buy a replacement needle from your brand's website or from a Sparmax retailer.

5: DON'T BE SCARED
Aside from that little extra attention that you have to pay the nozzle and needle, the airbrush is not that delicate at all. It's made of steel, and breaking it is actually very difficult. Most times when people think they have "broken" their airbrush they simply tightened a screw too much or too little, or there is some extra cleaning that they neglected to do.

Tips for cleaning:

WHEN TO CLEAN?
The video shows you five different stages of cleaning. You can use them in sequence or one step at a time and in any order you see fit, but the answer to the question is: clean whatever is appropriate whenever it's needed. There is only one rule: you must always clean your airbrush at the end of a day's work, and if you are using alcohol based products, you should clean (or at least rinse) as soon as you're done. This is because alcohol based colors dry very quickly and will clog your system very fast. If it does happen don't worry, everything will go back to normal after a deep clean, but it will take a while. This is another reason why you should always have at least one spare airbrush if you go out on a job. And talking of jobs, a deep clean is not necessary at the end of a session if you are using the airbrush on yourself or for home studying, but you should always do one the day before you work on a client. You want your airbrush to be in tip top shape in a professional situation, and never risk embarrassment. I personally test the airbrushes before I leave for a makeup session, you can never be too sure.

WHAT CLEANER?
Almost every makeup brand has its own cleaning product. This is because each formulation is slightly different (water base, hybrid base, silicone base, alcohol base...). If you just ran out of your specific cleaner or you want to carry just one that will work with all the different formulae, Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) at 99% purity is your best bet, as it will work on anything. A more "natural" alternative to alcohol 99% is Nurturing Force Airbrush and Brush Cleaner. This is a wonderful, non toxic product made of food grade ingredients that comes as a concentrate, so you will need to mix a few drops in the cup with some water. It will be slower than alcohol 99% on silicone and alcohol based products, but it will do its job well and with no chemicals involved.

A SECRET WEAPON
One of the best kept secrets in the airbrush makeup industry is this product by Dinair called Deep Clean. It does an amazing job of dissolving the toughest clogs in just a few minutes. It must be used sparingly because it's not exactly ideal on the inner plastic o-rings that are present in the inner recesses of your airbrush, but if you stick to the suggested times (just a few minutes) it's perfectly safe to use. I use it very often instead of IPA to clean the nozzle as shown in the video.

THE FINAL SOLUTION
Finally, there is nothing better and more effective than an ultra sonic cleaner in order to get your airbrush back to like new functionality. It doesn't have to be an expensive machine, and you can easily find one online. They are sold as "Jewellery Ultra Sonic Cleaners", and any of them will do so long as the frequency is around 42,000 Hz, the well is big enough to contain your airbrush, and
they plug in the mains (there are some battery operated ones too, but they don't seem nearly powerful enough). You only need to use it for the pieces that come in contact with the colors, but of course you can put in all the other ones as well if you wish, just remember to disassemble everything first, or it will be ineffective. 




Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Airbase airbrush Pro makeup kit review!



Last week we introduced the British brand Airbase with a detailed review of their makeup line and a video tutorial of a fully airbrushed makeup look. 
Now it's time to take an in depth look at the tools that this company offers in their pro kits. There are several kit combinations on offer on the website, all including a different selection of makeup and tools and proportionally priced. All the pro kits share the same compressor and airbrush. Other optional components can be ordered from the website regardless of the chosen kit composition.

The compressor and Airbrush
Like most of the best brands of airbrush makeup, Airbase decided to source their tools from the high quality yet cost effective catalogue of Taiwanese manufacturer Sparmax. The Airbase kit features the beauty industry workhorse called DC-25, a very reliable, quiet, small and light weight compressor that never disappoints, with its maintenance free motor capable of an output of up to 30 PSI (2.1 BAR). The Airbrush is another beauty industry standard, the SP .35 with its sleek chrome finish and its stylish carrying case. The reason why many company feature this same airbrush is very simple: it's one of  very best tools for makeup out there, and it will not disappoint you. Because of its ubiquity, it will also be very easy to find spare parts for this instrument no matter where you are.

Variables and accessories
As I was saying earlier, the Airbase kit has a series of optional components that can be part of your selected bundle, and if they are not they can easily be ordered from the online store on the website. A little but crucial part that should not be missing from your professional kit is the Pressure Adjuster. This is currently included only in the Platinum kit, but in my opinion it should be added to all the other options too. It's a simple valve that must be screwed in between the airbrush and the air hose, and that will allow you to lower the pressure output for more delicate parts of the face, such as around the eyes, making the whole experience more comfortable for the client and the application of the makeup truly flawless. Then there is a bunch of other add-ons that can be selected at your discretion. The rechargeable battery pack will allow you to complete a whole makeup and more in total mobility, which some may consider very important. The cleaning pot is always a very safe, practical and professional way to discharge your airbrush during makeup and cleaning. Speaking of cleaning, the online store also offers a reasonably priced ultrasonic cleaning machine. This is an excellent tool that will restore your airbrush to like new conditions every time you use it. Not many makeup companies offer these online, so it is great that Airbase does. Finally, the shading pad is included in every kit option and it's very useful when creating contouring effects and eyeshadow designs. 

Airbase Airbrush Makeup Case
The Airbase Makeup Case
This one complement needs a special mention. I don't even know if this is the most practical way of carrying your airbrush kit, but it certainly is the best looking. The Airbase case is so sleek and awesome that I finally had to give in and buy it. With a sturdy, anti scratch outer paneling and a custom made foam insert with spaces for pretty much every component of your pro kit, the case makes for a luxurious, awesome presentation item and it's just plain gorgeous (see photo for indication of what goes where). It is included in the Platinum Kit bundle, but can also be purchased from the pro section of the online store at a later stage if you started with a different kit option. 

Makeup Complements
Our previous review focused on the main silicone based line. Airbase also offers a hybrid silicone/water based line of primary colors that can be used alone or mixed together to create infinite possibilities for fantasy makeup and body painting, or even simply as eye shadow colours. We will feature this line in a future tutorial. Other high quality makeup components offered by the airbase online sotre include the best selling First Base Perfecting primer, a fine HD powder, corrector and concealer palettes, and a selection of ultra pigmented eyeshadows presented in palettes that have been raved about by several beauty gurus on YouTube. 




Monday, July 31, 2017

Airbase Airbrush Makeup: Review and Video Tutorial


100% Airbase Airbrushed Makeup, unfiltered photo*

Airbase is a British brand created by Judy Naaké, the beauty guru and entrepreneur who brought the leading self tanning product Saint Tropez to the United Kingdom. Airbase was developed in collaboration with Oscar nominated makeup artist Anni Buchanan, and the brand is now owned and lead by Judy's son Lloyd Naakè.
I have come across Airbase products several times in the last few years during different trade shows, but I never had a chance to get to know the brand properly until this year's edition of Cosmoprof in Italy, when I met Lloyd and his friendly, unpretentious team. I started playing with the line right at the show's booth, and a few months later I was finally able to put together the video tutorial and unfiltered photo session you see here. So let's have a look at the product line.


Airbase's core strategy is quite simple: the line was conceived to allow professional makeup artists to achieve a flawless, durable makeup base with a streamlined selection of colors that can be mixed together to match any skin tone. The makeup is silicone based, and enriched with vitamine A and E to provide additional moisturizing and anti oxidant benefits. There are just seven foundation colors in the range, complemented by two blush colors (Pink and Peach), a bronzer and two highlighters. The first two foundation shades (00 and 01) are meant to be used more as adjusters for the other colors rather than by themselves. Foundation 00 can be used make the other colors lighter, and Foundation 02 to veer the other shades towards a more yellow/olive range. The remaining five shades are therefore neutral, and they can be veered towards cool tones by adding a little Pink blush to the mix. After experimenting with the products for a few weeks I have to say that I found this color system very effective and easy to use once you practice a little mixing. While some makeup artists might prefer to have as many shades as possible in order to avoid having to mix colors, others will find the process stimulating and ultimately liberating, as they will be able to get the tonality just perfect. A seven color range also means a smaller initial investment, with the advantage of having to replace only the shades that one tends to use more often.

Airbase Airbrush Makeup, Unfiltered*
The Airbase colors are of medium viscosity and would flow well in any airbrush kit that features an airbrush with a nozzle of 0.25 mm and up, and a compressor with adjustable pressure ranging between 5 and 25 psi. The formula has a matte but not overly opaque finish, great coverage power and feels very comfortable on the skin. Just like any good silicone based formula the product remains moveable for a while after application and allows for easy corrections. Setting with an fine HD powder may be preferable on more oily or more textured areas of the skin, but it is not essential. Once again thanks to its silicone base the product is water proof, has little or no transfer and good resistance to the touch. Finally, and very importantly to many of us, the formula is fragrance free. The colors come in 30 ml (1 Fl oz) bottles, which allow for many applications. You will need between 15 and 30 drops of product per application depending on how sheer or full you want your coverage to be. There are also 10ml (.30 oz) trial bottles available at times, but the price for these is not that convenient, and as the small bottle's caps are not airtight the products tend to dry fast, so I would go for the standard sizes if at all possible.

Airbase Airbrush Makeup, Unfiltered*
To put the line to the test, in the unfiltered video tutorial enclosed here I have used all the products in the range to achieve a fully airbrushed look, without any creme correctors even for the under eye area.  As I like to show the full potential of the colors, the understated eyeshadow that you see in the images was also fully airbrushed. I was really happy about the result of the product on the eyes. The formula does not crease on the eyelids and lasts unaltered until it is taken off, even without the precaution of spraying MUFE Mist& Fix as shown in the video. I loved that the shimmer can (and should!) be mixed with any shade to create beautiful opalescent lids, and I hope the company will eventually release a specific range for eyes, since the products works so well.

For those who don't feel as confident airbrushing everything, Airbase has created a series of makeup complements that will integrate well with the liquid products, from a creme concealer wheel, to an eyeshadow pallet. HD powder and mascara are also part of this line.

Please stay tuned for a full review of the tools and more products included in the Airbase airbrush kit.

*Definition of Unfiltered Photo: no "filter" has been applied to the photos above to alter the texture of the skin or of the makeup. Only the background has been edited. A photo filter has been applied to the video's thumbnail, but no filters were applied to the footage.

Airbase foundation airbrushed swatces

Airbase Highlighter, Blush and Bronzer airbrushed swatches


Airbase Foundation Ingredients:
Cyclomethicone, Aqua, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Talc, lsododecane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Triethoxysilylethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Silica, Titanium Dioxide(Nano), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cyclomethicone, Sorbitan Sesouioleate, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Octyldodecanol, PEG-30, Dipolyhydroxystearate, lsononyl lsononanoate, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Polysorbate 20, PEG-40 Sorbitan Peroleate, Stearic Acid, Aluminium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Trisodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.
May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (Cl 77891), Iron Oxides (Cl 77489, Cl 77491, Cl 77492, Cl 77499) Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850).


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Airbrush makeup Hall of Fame: Tasha Boyd. How airbrush makeup changed my life and career.


The Galaxy within: Airbrushed with Dinair by Tasha on Tasha in  just 30 minutes

If there was such thing as airbrush makeup royalty, and I suspect there is, Tasha Boyd woul be it. This amazingly talented makeup artist, now living and working in Las Vegas, was "born" into airbrush makeup thanks to the talent and vision of her step mother Sheila, a longtime collaborator and friend of Dina Ousley, the originator of beauty airbrush makeup and founder of the leading brand Dinair.
I met Tasha at Dinair's North Hollywood headquarters in the last days of her tenure as Leading Educator, shortly before a series of moves that would eventually see her settle in Las Vegas. Tasha has a very engaging, luminous and spiritual personality, and wears some of the most amazing self airbrushed eyeshadow looks I have ever seen on anyone, which turned me early on into a massive fan of her work and expertise.

Tell me something about your background.
Tasha Boyd
I was born in San Josè, California, and I grew up right outside Yosemite National Park, one of the wonders of America that people come from all over the world to see. After I got my degree in acting at California State University in Fresno I moved to LA to pursue both acting and airbrush makeup. I was there for four years as Leading Educator for Dinair and traveled monthly around the States teaching groups of 50 plus professionals at a time on the art of airbrushing makeup. I am now settled in Las Vegas, Nevada where I work as a freelance makeup artist and wellness advocate for doTerra, advocating for overall health in mind, body and spirit! (pls visit Natural BeYOUti.com for description of services)

Glamour shoot with Blogger Eva Catherine
When did you first become interested in airbrush makeup?
Actually I started airbrushing when I was 14. My step mom Sheila Boyd (same last name but no previous relation) is a world renown freehand airbrush artist, and she met Dina Ousley back in the early 80's when she had just started making her products out of her own home. My mother found Dina's ad in an airbrush magazine, and she called her immediately needing all her products. They worked together for years. Sheila entered my father's life when I was 14 and I had serious cystic acne. She told me to try Dina's products urging me to not use anything else for a good month, and that this would be better than any conventional makeup I was using. I tried it one time and I was immediately sold, because for the first time it didn't hurt to put makeup on. It felt like my skin and not a mask. When you have cystic acne and you touch your skin it hurts, and ultimately causes the bumps to swell more. The airbrush application felt like a cooling effect on my skin, and within a month and a half my cystic acne was gone. It's never been back, because by not pushing products into your pores airbrushing allows your skin to breathe. So basically I was letting my skin heal itself while I concealed it. In high school I didn't have to worry about acne thanks to Dinair, because I was covering it and it didn't even look like I had anything on. It significantly helped my self esteem as a young woman. At age 14 I actually started modeling for Dinair at their trade shows and fell in love with the fantasy side of makeup.

Did you also use any medicine to get rid of your acne?
No, Dinair was all I needed. My skin was able to balance its own PH and oils, producing only what it needed in order to keep it healthy. I never used compact powders after that and still don’t. I had been using both high end and cheaper products to conceal my acne before, but these kept clogging my pores making my acne worse. I saw no end to this vicious circle and I thought “conventional” makeup was the only possibility I had. Or going bare face….But that wasn’t an option!

Would you say that airbrushing allowed for a profound psychological change, besides the improvements in your skin conditions?
Makeup byTasha for SpiritTats -ph: Jai Day
Of course. When you have acne and you look in the mirror, you think that everyone else is looking at your pimples, and that's all you can think about when someone is talking to you. Can they see it? Are they staring? Do they see me, or do they just see the acne on my face? In your teenage years you are still trying to find your beauty, and I think airbrushing pivoted my confidence level, it made me feel beautiful, it helped me loving who I was and allowed me to find myself beyond my perceived insecurities much faster.

So you can actually say that your makeup artist career began with Dinair...
Yes, I started working at 15 at our local salon and SPA. Yosemite is a popular wedding destination, and sometimes I would fill in for weddings, so when I was only 16 I would do makeup on brides because my confidence level with it made me look like I was older. If pepole asked I would say I was 18, but in fact I was only 16...

Can you recall an early experience that helped you define your dream to become a makeup artist?
Well, acting was my main goal but makeup was my side choice, because of the uncertainties of the acting world. Even while I was in college I would do little side makeup jobs, and during the summer I would go to LA to work with Dinair. At 17 I had a chance to work with Dina on the German version of Next Top Model with Heidi Klum which was filmed in LA. That gave me a taste of what it felt like to work in the industry and it was amazing, it gave me a clear idea of the potential that airbrushing had for editorial makeup. We were doing fully airbrushed editorial faces and paining the bodies with animal patterns. At some point, with the shoot just a few minutes away, Heidi Klum came on set and asked for a change some of the colors we had been using. We had just run out of some custom shades we had brought along, but we were able to meet the challenge by mixing new colors on set, and the whole process was so fast! I love to be challenged and I knew that this was going to open up my artistic abilities.

When did you decide to move permanently to LA?
Working with Dina at The Emmy's Governors Ball
Dina called me right out of high school, but I told her I wanted to go to college first. I invited her to my college graduation, and she told me to come to LA right away. I took a month off after college to recover as I had taken 19 units each semester while holding a 50 hour a week job as a waitress and performing in college plays. I guess you could say I don’t know how not to work hard!
Two days before my official start date I got a call from Dina asking me to come and teach an airbrush workshop that Sunday. I was immediately placed as lead instructor and went on to traveling with them two or three times a month out of state training professionals.


When you started airbrushing, what aspect of the technique did you find to be the most difficult?
Winged eye shadow and liner using only airbrush makeup
Foundation was easy, blush wasn't too bad but it was eyeshadow that was difficult at first. I started with very dark colors. We all do that. We all want to do a smokey eye right away, and that's the first thing you shouldn't do, you should begin with something simple. My step mother knew that and she advised me to try lighter colors first, such as Light Bronze and Pink Blossom. When I took my first course with Dinair at age 16 I was trying to use the color Light Smoke but I was getting a spotty result because I was spraying too close and too much. Dina came up to me and said "Just throw some Light Bronze on it, it will make everything better" so that's what I did [laughs]. I was scared to play with colors so I kept it natural. I got a call from Dina before I had moved out to LA asking me if I did eyeliner. I took a small pause and said “Yes”. She said “good because you’re coming to Vegas to do a show and you need to do a good 40-60 faces a day!” I hung up the phone with her and went "well shoot, I can’t do eyeliner". I practiced every day for one week until the show and somehow I did some form of eyeliner. [laughs] By the end of the third day with over 60 faces a day, I was good!!! I would say still today the only thing that keeps me from learning faster is my own fears. This is something I work on every day with life in general.

As Lead Instructor at Dinair and later on your own, what aspect of teaching do you prefer?
I enjoy all of it really. Everyone learns differently and I think being a kinesthetic learner myself this is a strength I bring to the table. Not to mention I’m a performer so that just makes it comical! I love every part of the class down to color matching and breaking the airbrush apart, because you have to understand all of it in order to succeed. Teaching made me a better airbrush artist and a better person. I learn something from the students every time and it continues to teach me patience.

What is the most common false idea that people come into the courses with?
I would say the most common is that it is a heavy look, and that is only for celebrities or such. When I hear that it blows my mind, because well, I am wearing it right now, and when I tell them that, they’re shocked! They don't see it on my face which this ultimate compliment, I think. They have this past experience of it hurting and that it's too heavy or wet… I ask them what products have they seen or used, because this certainly doesn't apply to Dinair. Another misconception on behalf of makeup artists is the fact that they view this product as viable only for foundation. This is due to lack of education, as many makeup artists look for the quickest short cuts to results without fully realizing that if they learned this medium correctly every aspect of their makeup application would be faster and more durable too. This makeup is amazing even for working out, which I do on a regular basis. When I see the makeup on another girl's face melt under the sweat, and I dab my face and nothing transfers to the towel, I think "Yes, thank you Dinair!" [laughs]

Is there a line in the Dinair brand that you are particularly excited about, and one that you feel is somewhat underrated?
Airbrush underwater on Abby Oliver -ph. R Klein
Being very fair I have redness and purple under eye circles because my skin is translucent. Glamour is my favorite line, it has all the coverage I need and works great on all ages and skin types. If I need a little more coverage still I lightly layer over a little Paramedical, as I do for my brides to create extra resistance. My preference and skill is natural looking makeup that doesn't even show on the skin, this is what I am sought for and that's why I prefer Glamour. My next favorite line is Colair Xtreme, because it changed the whole tattoo cover up industry by cutting the application time in half. You just have to be careful because it dries fast, so you have to use a few drops at a time so it doesn't sit in your airbrush. In any case the new Deep Clean product will solve any clog very easily. Finally, I am in love with the Colair Opalescent eyeshadows, which is all I use know. It is by far the best shimmer shadows out there. I occasionally dabble in traditional powder shadows and I’m left frustrated with half a missing lid of shimmer throughout the day. Dinair’s opalescents are also water resistant! The most underrated line is probably the Fantasy line, which allows for amazing body art. The colors are amazing and while it's water based it's also waterproof, which is amazing for my underwater mermaid shoots! (shhhh I’m a mermaid on the side)

What made you decide to leave LA and start your own business?
I worked with several celebrities, The Oscars, The Emmy’s two years in a row and many other important events that I totally loved. However I have to say the industry is not what you think it is. Hollywood is like a curtain of magic draped across our eyes by TV and film that quickly fades away when you work within the industry. There are dozens of makeup artist lined up ready to work for free because it’s a “privilege” to do this person's makeup… Well a privilege doesn’t pay the cost of living LA. I saw myself in the glamour and bright lights, and then I saw them for what they truly are, and I am not that kind of person. I am a country girl and I grew up with a love for nature, mother earth and the animals. I try to stay as humble as I can and I had lost a part of me in LA ...No job is ever worth losing you! Hollywood and LA are a very tough environment, and spending four hours in traffic is just a waste of life for me.

What makes your new role as free lance makeup artist and wellness consultant special, and how big a part does airbrushing play in it?
I have always known my gift in this lifetime is to help people heal. Some may say it’s a curse but I see it as a gift I must share. The many thousands of women I have had the pleasure of meeting and airbrushing over the years have shown me the way women look at themselves. I myself had to learn what it truly meant to love yourself unconditionally and with learning this on-going lesson came the love of my life shortly after! I get the honor of seeing a woman mesmerized at something so simple as finally finding the perfect color match! That’s BIG!! I now focus on strengthening women emotionally, physically and spiritually but only if they're ready. As a freelance makeup artist I get to place my positivity, love and hopefully inspiring energy around the work I do.
My favorite makeup gigs are anything Avant and Boudoir. This style allows me to create beauty outside of the norm and dive into a different reality. Boudoir strips away the comfort surrounding us and captures our true BeYOUti! It’s sexy, it’s wild and it’s supposed to be “out there”. It’s that split moment when the camera is clicking you see in her eyes the balance between feminine and masculine energy… And that’s when her true Goddess Roars!
I was introduced to doTerra essential oils after a minor car accident in LA that resulted in annoying issues that halted working for sometime. It is now part of my daily life, creating a more natural lifestyle and eliminating as many toxic products as I can. I have always had a knack for holistic healing through natural ways. doTerra happens to resonate with my makeup philosophy of “watch what you’re putting on your face!” , thus creating the ultimate business name that encompassed it all: Natural BeYOUti 

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Temptu Air Full Kit In Depth Review, with Hydralock / Perfect CanvasSwatches

Since the launch of the Temptu Air device in 2015 things have been moving very fast at Temptu, the leading brand in silicone based airbrush makeup. So fast in fact that not only the die hard fans like ourselves, but even the brand's own official website seems at times to have trouble keeping up. I have purchased my Temptu Air kit shortly after our meeting with the lovely Jackie Fan over a year ago which resulted in the great video tutorial reposted below, but I have waited quite a while for this review in order to factor in my own experience, rather than just talk about my first impression. So let's look at all the elements and optional accessories that make up a Temptu Air Kit.


The Temptu Air Kit with Airpod Pro and Hydralock Foundation

The Temptu Air device: as I originally stated in my first impression report, I was immediately struck but how sturdy, powerful and quiet this device really is. The body of the Temptu Air fits very well in the palm of your hand and its weight is ideal. In short, it is a gorgeous little piece of equipment that will win over even those with little or no enthusiasm for technology. As most of you will know, this applicator is designed to work with pre-filled makeup cartridges called Airpods, and also with a top feed, "open cartridge" called Airpod Pro that will allow you to use and custom mix any airbrush makeup formula. Attaching the Airpods to the device is easy, removing them can require a little more strength sometimes, and you must remember to always keep the release button on the device pushed when sliding a cartridge in or out. The power button on the Temtpu Air is also the pressure level selector. There are three pressure settings, marked by attractive and slick led lights right above the button. You must press the button for two seconds to turn the device on or off, and for just one second to select the pressure. This is easy enough to describe, but it may require a little getting used to at the beginning. The amount of color released is regulated by a sliding button called SoftTouch Control, which is quite sensitive and which also will require a little getting used to in order to master subtlety in the application.  The Temptu Air recharges with the USB cable and wall adapter enclosed in the box. While charging, the led lights will blink slowly, then stop when the battery is fully charged. It takes around three hours to complete the cycle, and a single charge will last for quite a long time, varying of course according to the usage. To give you an idea, for personal light daily use a single charge could last for over two weeks. When the battery is running out the led indicators starts blinking fast, but the device will keep going for quite a while after that, certainly enough for a full application. The Temptu Air box contains the device, the charge cable and wall adapter, a warranty card and a quick start guide, which is all you really need as it is very easy to use. 

The Airpod Pro is a top feed "open" cartridge that on the outside looks like any other Airpod, except for a removable lid on the top that covers the well where the colors will be poured. Unlike an Airpod, the inside of the cartridge is quite simple as there is no reservoir, but of course you still have the needle mechanism, that you can move up and down should it get clogged. As for the rest, the Airpod Pro slides in and out of the Temptu Air (or the traditional Airpod airbrush, if you so choose) the same way any Airpod would. Using the Airpod Pro is much like using any airbrush: you pour the desired colors in, mix them if needed, and spray. Temptu advises using a brush to mix the colors, but you can still back bubble if you wish, which I find quicker. Just remember to do it with the lowest settings or the liquid will spurt out, as the well is not very deep. A small, synthetic brush that does not shed will be very useful to clean the cartridge after use, because flushing it out won't be enough and as you cannot remove the needle like you would in a normal airbrush, you will need those bristles to get into small spaces and clean thoroughly. That said, this is the only cleaning you will need to do, as disassembly is not necessary or even possible here. Because of the reduced slant of the well, you will need quite a few drops for the makeup to reach down and start flowing (Temptu usefully advises enough liquid to cover the needle as a gauge for quantity), and while applying you will have to remember to keep the system pointing at a downward angle to use up all the makeup that may stop flowing otherwise. This is a slight drawback, because you won't be able to add just a couple of drops at a time, and you will have to use more makeup than you would with a traditional airbrush. The Airpod Pro has a nozzle wide enough to spray pretty much any kind of airbrush makeup formula, whether it is made by Temptu or not. This means water based makeup as well. Of course the larger nozzle implies a wider spray, and you will have to get used to this and to the smaller range of movement of the SoftTouch button before you achieve results comparable to your traditional airbrush. As far as longevity, Temptu estimates about 120 uses for each Airpod. I am well into my first Airpod's suggested life span and it still works very well, but of course I clean it well after each use.

Double Zip Makeup Bag: As soon as you take your Temptu Air out of the box you will realize that you need a bag to carry it around and store it, especially as you will want to protect its lovely shiny finish from scratches and nicks. The Double Zip makeup bag has two compartments. The largest one has three sub compartments with elastic bands that can hold up to four Airpods and several starter kit bottles (7.5 ml) as well as the device resting between them. The slimmer zip compartment is just wide enough for brushes, pencils, lipsticks and complements of similar size. The design is rather stylish and functional, but the bag is made of nylon and polyester with no foam cushioning of any kind, which is a bit of a let down especially considering the steep price of $ 45. Thankfully it is often included in various kit combinations, so you can get it at a much reduced price that way. 

Airpod Pro Cleaning Pot: This cleaning pot was created especially for the Temptu Air. It is made of durable plastic and comes with a replacement filter (further filters can be purchased through Temptu or at airbrush suppliers, as they are standard size). I love its look and the fact that it's so light to carry around, however there is a major design flaw: the lid has a round opening, while the airpods have a slightly angular shape. This means that when you try to discharge the Airpod Pro you get a very annoying stream of liquid leaking out, defying the whole purpose of a flawlessly clean process. With a price of $25, the only thing that keeps me from calling this a major fail on Temptu's behalf is the fact that it works perfectly with traditional airbrushes, and it has since replaced my heavier glass cleaning pot, but it is not very good at all for its intended original purpose.


Hydralock / Perfect Canvas Foundation: the release of the Temtpu Air System was followed shortly by the launch of the Hydralock foundation, the first new line since the original S/B, Dura and Aqua classics. Hydralock was originally launched in 18 colours divided in Light, Medium and Dark groups. Since then, another five intermediate light/medium shades have been added, and the whole line has been made available in Airpod form under the name Perfect Canvas, to offer an alternative to the classic Silk Sphere Airpod line. So, to clarify, the Airpod Perfect Canvas is simply the Hydralock line poured into Airpod cartridges, and has the same exact colours.
The formula is silicone based, with "peptides to improve skin’s integrity, a purifying botanical blend and the powerful antioxidant, Goji Berry". The application feels very light, and its consistency is comparable to water based formulas, allowing for a very natural, practically undetectable result. In terms of natural appearance, it is probably the silicone based product with the closest finish to the finest water based formulas, and that is no small feat. The claim that Hydralock is "four times more hydrating than hyaluronic acid" seems perhaps a bit outlandish, but I can confirm that it feels very comfortable. Of course the silicone base makes it water proof, and it does last unaltered for a very long time. Compared to the classic SB formula, Hydralock has a more matte finish, is less moveable and more sheer, but can be layered easily to achieve whatever level of coverage is needed. Preference of one over another Temptu line is ultimately a matter of personal taste top quality being the common denominator. My only hope is that the classic S/B and original Silk Sphere lines will NEVER be discontinued, because are absolute classics, and their amazing finish is unique.
The Hydralock / Perfect Canvas line continues to expand and evolve as we write. Perfect Canvas Highlighters and Illuminators (called Airglow) have been released with the same names and shades of the original SilkSphere Airpod line, which they seem to have replaced. A set of Hydralock eyeshadows is being launched this week end at the MakeupShow in New York, and will be available on the website in the next few months. 

Pro Tip /Big Question: Can the Temptu Air actually replace your traditional airbrush system? 
This depends on your level of reliance on your kit. If you use an airbrush only for base, blush and contour, perhaps it could. If you are an airbrush integralist like myself, you would miss the finesse and control that only a classic hand held airbrush can achieve. That said, the Temtpu Air offers unbeatable practical advantages, especially in those situations where you have to do multiple makeups in a very short time, which make it a must-have, even if just as a valuable addition to your trusted aribrush kit.

Pro Tip: Airpod Trouble Shooting. If the color stops flowing in your AirPod and none of the tips provided in the instructions work,  you can get it to work again easily this way: set your airpod upright (needle facing up) and pour two or three drops of S/B cleaner on the needle tip, then leave it be for a five or ten minutes, then go back and move the needle up and down a couple of times, attach and spray. The color will quickly start flowing again. If you don't have SB cleaner you can also use alcohol 99, but be sure to use only a few drops as this will travel down the needle chute and mix with the color...

Pro Tip: Where to buy. Beside the Temptu website, you can find Temptu Air and many products from the Hydralock and Airpod lines on the Camera Ready Cosmetics site. CRC ship worldwide at the best rates, have fabulous customer service and several pro discount programs. 

Temptu Hydralock / Perfect Canvas Light swatches

Temptu Hydralock / Perfect Canvas Medium swatches

Temptu Hydralock / Perfect Canvas Dark swatches

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The truth about airbrush makeup: exposing false myths, lies and misconceptions (for pros and newbies).



Let's talk about all the misconceptions, false myths and flat out lies surrounding airbrush makeup. We just updated what we can proudly call the most comprehensive list of airbrush makeup related links in the world. Compiling it has required a lot of love, research and dedication, so allow me to indulge in a bit of a rant dictated by the very same love and dedication, hoping that it will be useful to both those who are approaching the technique for the first time, and those who have been using it for a while but have fallen pray to misinformation nonetheless.

There are mainly two types of false myths surrounding any discipline: those perpetrated innocently by people who still have to learn about it, and those spread more or less maliciously by some who practice the medium and have started pontificating and teaching others before gaining any real in-depth knowledge themselves. I have been using airbrush makeup -and only airbrush makeup- since 2011. In the last six short years I have traveled far and wide and met as many of the originators, makers and producers as I could find, often training with them, other times simply interviewing them. I have researched all the brands available and tried to acquire, test and demonstrate as many of their products as I could. It is an on going process, but the results are for every one to see in my videos, where the makeup is executed by myself and where no filters have been applied, and in the posts of this website, which were all written by me. So let's start debunking...

Myth number 1: Airbrush makeup is difficult to learn and execute, and is for professionals only.
FACT: It is no more difficult than using brushes. The idea that it's difficult comes from the fact that, unlike brushes, you probably haven't held one in your hand since you were a child. In fact once you have mastered a few basic techniques, you will realize that an airbrush is easier to use than a brush, in that it does the work of blending for you. All you have to do is learn to control it. Like Dina Ousley says, if you can hold a pen you can use an airbrush.

Myth number 2: Cleaning an airbrush is difficult and takes a very long time.
FACT: Once you get used to it, cleaning an airbrush takes no longer than cleaning a brush. In fact it can take less, because pigments wash off metal much faster than they do from bristles. The myth is born out of the fact that you cannot skip cleaning (at least minimally) an airbrush after each use, while people very often skip cleaning a brush. By the way, if you are a makeup artist who skips cleaning brushes, you should probably rethink your profession.

Myth number 3: You cannot, under any circumstance airbrush around the eyes (to conceal under eye circles).
FACT: If you don't know how to do it, I agree that you should not. The fact is, with the right amount of pressure and the right amount of care you totally can and probably should. Don't believe me? Watch any of my videos, I demonstrate it all the time and all my models are perfectly fine with it. So why should you do it? Because airbrush makeup products allow for a finer application, if applied correctly they do not cake on the skin, and once applied they generally do not move and settle in fine lines.

Myth number 4: Airbrush makeup is only for contour and base anyway.
FACT: That is utterly ridiculous. In fact it allows you to create the most amazing eyeshadow looks in the shortest amount of time imaginable. Once again it's about a little practice and product knowledge, the necessary amount of which varies for each person. I have had many students realize perfect eyeshadows on their second day of class, which makes me very proud as a teacher and a bit jealous as an artist, as I wasn't that fast when I started.

Myth number 5: You must NEVER/ALWAYS use a circular motion when airbrushing.
FACT: As long as you keep your airbrush moving you may use whatever movement is suitable for the area you are layering colors on. A circular motion is only wrong if you keep circling in exactly the same spot, but as soon as you move the airbrush all over the area it is in fact a very efficient way to obtain a uniform coverage. This is a myth initiated by airbrush painters who started teaching makeup expecting to apply the same exact rules they used for canvas to a face, and it has somehow stuck with some pernicious youtubers who took their recommendations too literally. In all of our videos we use circular motions, linear motions, "dagger stroke" like motions and whatever else is useful. Judge for yourself. 

Myth number 6:Real professionals never use "single action" airbrushes. 
FACT: "Single action" is a misused term that in beauty makeup indicates "continuous airflow" airbrushes. Belittled by some airbrush painters who teach makeup, these airbrushes are in fact more practical and easier to use, and that's why the beauty industry has embraced them. Actual "single action" airbrushes are only used in painting and in special effects, and no beauty brand distributes them (see this post for more on the subject). 

Myth number 7: You can NEVER do "this" or "that" with an airbrush makeup.
FACT: Whoever says that is either ill informed or knowingly lying. There are of course several things you may prefer to achieve in other ways, but if you say airbrushing can't do something, chances are you're just not doing it right...

Thank you for reading so far. I hope this didn't come across as too direct or heaven forbid contemptuous, once again at the end of the day it's all out of love for this amazing technique.

Daniel Pacini,
Editor,
www.airbrushmakeupguru.com