Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Makeup For Ever Color Airbrush & Water Blend Review and Video Tutorial

MUFE Color Airbrush
100% Trucco Aerografo con Color Airbrush e Water Blend di Make Up For Ever

When I started my makeup journey over 20 years ago, the first super pigmented eyeshadows I bought were those by a relatively new brand called Make Up Forever. The colors were trendy, intense and durable, and the line, called "Star Powder" quickly became a staple of the pro makeup world. It was an amazing and much longed for surprise to find, all these year later, a line of airbrush colors by the same company that mirrors the very same qualities that had originally turned me in to a fan.

Make Up For Ever has featured several colors that could be airbrushed in its past catalogs, including -and most prominently- a popular mixing medium called Airbrush Thinner that artists could use to reduce (i.e. dilute, for the less technically versed) cream products and powder pigments and make them usable through an airbrush.
Last year however, MUFE launched its first line created specifically for air application, calling it simply Color Airbrush. The range includes twenty shades, from classic primary colors (black, white, blue, red, green and yellow) to vivid secondary and tertiary shades such as purple, fushia and Turquoise. This line joined another product in the catalog called Water Blend, a foundation line that while not specifically created for air application retains all the characteristics of an airbrush product and can be very easily atomised. I used both these products to create the look you see in the enclosed video tutorial. Have a look at it, and then keep reading more about these lines and my personal opinion on them.

Color Airbrush Product Facts
Color Airbrush is a hybrid water / silicone based product of medium/light viscosity, and can be applied with any airbrush with a nozzle of 0.35 and up, at a low pressure starting from just 3 or 5 PSI. The product is fragrance free and has virtually no smell. The colors come in very generous 2.2 /60 ml sizes with a twist cap similar to Kryolan's Nebula that needs to rest for a few seconds before it is twisted shut to avoid spills.

Color Airbrush: my experience and opinion
MUFE Color Airbrush Water BlendAs I was saying before, the colors are incredibly pigmented, yet among the easiest to blend that I ever tried. If you control the airbrush lever correctly, you will be able to create very subtle and sheer layers and to intensify them to maximum payoff very easily, just like I do in the video. The product feels very light on the skin, yet it is very resistant to sweat and rubbing, with hardly any transfer and no effect on the finish once it has set, even if rubbed intensely.  It is obvious from the size of the bottles and their marketing campaign that these products are intended for body art application before anything else. Yet their brilliance and durability makes them very viable for creating beautifully vibrant eyeshadow looks, and the formula is so efficient that I really wish the company would embrace airbrushing even more and expand this range to include more neutral shades as well.

Water Blend Product Facts
As the name suggests, Water Blend is a water based foundation line that does not contain any silicones. The range features 20 shades for every skin tone, and the product comes in 1.69 fl. oz /50 ml glass bottles with a very hygienic pump applicator.

Water Blend: my experience and opinion
Make Up For Ever Color AirbrushJust like the best made for airbrush products, this foundation feels incredibly light, looks absolutely natural and and it's very long lasting. While this product was not officially intended for airbrush application, like I said before, it surely lends itself to atomization and benefits greatly from the process. You can pump it directly into the airbrush reservoir, and with a normal .35 nozzle and a pressure of 10 to 15 PSI it will apply well, however because of its consistency the product will tend to rest on the sides of the airbrush cup, so it is much better to dilute it simply by adding a few drops of deionised or purified water. Once diluted the product will apply so lightly that it will be virtually impossible to create hot spots on the skin. It will take a while longer to reach full coverage than it would with made for airbrush products, but the wait will be worth it. To top it all, the foundation smells gorgeous, but those who aren't fond of fragrance should not worry, as the clean scent will dissipate completely in a short time.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Ben Nye ProColor Airbrush Makeup Review and Video Tutorial!

Founded by legendary makeup artist Ben Nye upon his retirement from the film industry, the Ben Nye Makeup Company is one of the most widely recognized brands of professional makeup in the United States and across the western hemisphere.
While several products from the extensive catalog of this brand were always usable in an airbrush, I was very happy to find out that about two years ago Ben Nye finally released a whole range of products that were designed specifically for this medium, called ProColor.

The line is divided in six main groups totaling almost a staggering 100 different colors, and making this range one of the most complete in the airbrush makeup sector.
-ProColor Beauty:16 foundation shades, 7 blush tones and 7 contour colors
-ProColor Shimmer: 6 shimmer colors
-ProColor Classic: 38 matte shades with vivid colors for all uses
-ProColor FX: 30 further specific shades for SFX makeup (Vein, Blood, Bruise...)
-ProColor Death: 16 specific shades for death and monster SFX makeup
-ProColor Tattoo Cover and Concealer: 6 specific concealers and neutralizers for tattoo cover
Completing the line are a Mixing liquid and the classic Final Seal finishing formula repackaged in an airbrush ready format. All the Pro color shades are available in 1 fl. oz (29ml) or 2 fl. oz. (58 ml) bottles. There are also some intro kits of smaller .33 fl. oz. (10 ml) bottles for some of the groups of colors such as foundations and shimmers, and bigger kits of six larger 1 fl oz (29ml) pre selected colors for practicality and convenience. As Ben Nye does not sell directly through its website, you can search online for a trusted authorized distributors that stocks these products.

I would describe the formula of the ProColor line as mainly water and polymer based, with the addition of only one type of silicone (Cyclomethicone) that serves as medium and evaporates quickly after application. The product has a low viscosity and a light texture, allowing for a very subtle application of buildable, sheer layers in the case of the foundation colors. Colors from the FX and Classic lines are of course much more pigmented, but still very easy to apply without looking heavy in the case of a beauty makeup. 
The ideal airbrush nozzle size for these colors is a medium .35 or .40 while the best pressure setting for beauty makeup with this product is of course very low, approximately between 3 and 10 psi depending on the area you are covering. 
The formula does not contain any fragrance, and right out of the bottle has a scent that I would compare to that of cookie dough. Some may love it, others may like it less, but it will dissipate within seconds from the application anyhow. The finish of the foundation is matte, and the texture overall is very light and natural, offering medium coverage that can be increased with more sheer passes. The foundation formula used by itself has an average resistance to water, rubbing and perspiration consistent with that of most water based airbrush products. 
All these aspects I just mentioned can be significantly improved with the addition of Final Seal. This product is one of many Ben Nye staples in the makeup industry, and it is basically an alcohol based sealer that smells gorgeous and works wonderfully. Added to the makeup directly in the airbrush cup with a 1 to 1 or 2 drop ratio it will significantly increase its durability, but also render the texture even smoother and add a beautiful intrinsic luminosity to the finish (that can easily be matted down again if so desired with a light pass of Ben Nye Neutral Set or your preferred HD powder). The Final Seal fragrance will also neutralize the formula's initial scent making it the application even more pleasant. I would definitely recommend adding Final Seal both for special occasions and for warmer climates, and I would most definitely advise it for eyeshadow or eye area application, where it will render the makeup crease free and more durable. This will be especially useful if you are going to use the beautiful shimmer colors on the eyes, as their formula tends to crack easily on the eyelids if applied on its own. You need not worry about the alcohol content around the eyes as Final Seal is very gentle and of course you would apply it while the client's eyes are closed.

You can see several colors from the Beauty and Shimmer groups in action in enclosed video tutorial. As always I wanted to show as much of the line as possible in one single tutorial, so I went for a full beauty look using just ProColor shades. It was great to see how well the colors worked on the darker skin of our beautiful model. I only applied a light layer of Banana contour (it was great to find out that the legendary Banana Powder now exists in liquid form!), and the colors I chose for the eyes looked amazing with just minimal layering, with no need for a thick concealer base underneath as you would probably have to apply if you were dealing with traditional makeup. The foundation looked beautiful and extremely natural, especially out of the studio in natural light. This allowed me to post these photos with no added filters whatsoever.

I will post another tutorial using the very extensive FX range closer to Halloween. In the mean time I would like to thank Mr. Dana Nye for the amazing opportunity of reviewing this product, and of course my dear friend and mentor Mary Erickson (of Camera Ready Cosmetics) for her indispensable help in facilitating this collaboration.

Ben Nye ProColor Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Acrylates Copolymer, Peg - 12, Talc, Propylene Glycol, Kaolin, Potassium Sorbate, Cyclomethicone, Trisodium Hedta, Phenoxyethanol. +/- (May Contain): CI No. 77891, 77491, 77492, 77499, 77007, 42090, 77289, 77288, 7742, 19140, 15850, 73360. (Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, Blue 1, Chromium Hydroxide, Green, Chromium Oxide Green, Manganese Violet, Yellow 5, Red 6, Red 7, Red 30)

Ben Nye ProColor Airbrush Foundations Fair/Medium Swatches
Ben Nye ProColor Airbrush Foundations Fair/Medium Swatches

Ben Nye ProColor Airbrush Foundations
Ben Nye ProColor Airbrush Blush & Contour Swatches

Ben Nye ProColor Airbrush Shimmer Swatches
Ben Nye ProColor Airbrush Shimmer Swatches