Thursday, June 18, 2020

Easy hooded eyes step by step tutorial... with airbrush makeup!

Let's talk about eyeshadow for hooded and textured eyelids. Is airbrush makeup still an option for these types of features? What special actions should you take to avoid cracking and stamping, and to ensure durability? Here's a simple step by step guide as a complement to my latest video tutorial. I like to keep my videos short and to the points, so I made this guide for those who may need further clarification on the the on-screen directions that you will find in the video here below:

STEP 1: Prime the eyelid

Airbrush makeup is a fine mist of nebulized liquid pigment. As such, oily skin makes it harder for the product to perform at its best, especially in the case of hooded eyelids where the skin folds onto itself creating a potentially problematic crease. To best prime the eyelid, cleanse then moisturise the area with a minimum quantity of non oily moisturiser, then apply a mattifying lotion, and finally prime with the smallest amount imaginable of mattifying primer. By "smallest amount" I literally mean the minimum quantity to cover on your brush or sponge so that it can be dabbed lightly on the eyelid. No visible amount should be left on the skin. If the primer used is silicone based (most primers are) it will not cause any problem for water based products, so long as you didn't exceed the quantities and you layer the eyeshadow in light passes, giving each pass a moment to dry. If the skin of the lid area is particularly oily,  a very light dusting of HD (silica) powder will also help improve pigment adhesion and durability. We skipped filming the eye priming part on the video, and went straight to the general face primer, Smash Box Primer Water, which was perfect for our model's skin due to its water like, oil free formula.

STEP 2: Plan the eyeshadow design

If you know how to do traditional eyeshadow on hooded lids, you will know what to do with an airbrush: basically to create an illusion of depth you have to recreate the illusion of a lid crease above its actual natural seat, which is hidden by the over hanging skin. If you are not used to airbrushing color on smaller parts of the face, you can spray only air at the appropriate distance to see where the color will lay: the pressure of the air creates a visible depression on the skin which will help you get accustomed to the direction of the color. Once you have decided where you will apply the eyeshadow, evaluate the potential problems with skin texture: natural creases both horizontal and vertical will have to be opened up for correct application. In order to do that, you may have to gently stretch the skin by raising the eyebrow or the skit at the temple. For finer vertical lines near the tear duct, you can also stretch the area by gently pulling from the bridge of the nose.

STEP 3: Apply color

At this point you are ready to apply the color. Remember to set the pressure at a minimum strength to atomise the color correctly (without visible dots) and comfortably. Actual setting will depend on various factors such as product viscosity and equipment type. Practise on yourself first to ensure you know what you are doing before attempting on someone else. Barely rock the lever until you get a minimal output of color, which you will build up in intensity and coverage with repeated passes. Distance creates the blending, so practice spraying closer and gradually distancing your hand while spraying to create a seamless blend. Remember to dry the color by spraying air only after each layer. If you are stretching the skin to open up folds, remember to dry the color before releasing the skin. For a subtler result, start with lighter colors and use the darkest color for last. When applying on the mobile lid, start from the outer corner, which is always the darkest point. For the lower lid, you can also airbrush eyeshadow creating  a very subtle gradient. In order to do this without discomfort for your client, you will need to use a stencil as shown in the video (check the FREE STENCILS page of this website to download a free template and recreate the very one I am using in the video). The technique is totally problem free and much easier than it looks, so long as you are gentle in placing the stencil and always aware of your air flow. If you are using a double action airbrush, always remember start the air away from the face before you get close to the eye area.

STEP 4: Final touches

Once you have finished your main eyeshadow application, have the customer open their eyes and observe how the texture of the skin changes. If you see gaps due to the change in the skin position, as it often happens with mature skin, you can reapply while gently stretching the skin to open up those areas. In some cases, depending on what formula you are using, you may be able to touch up with a detail brush using a tiny quantity of liquid product (a steel palette is essential to pour a drop of pigment in these cases). If you have trouble doing this of course you always use powder product in matching colors.

I have always been a huge fan of airbrush makeup for eyeshadow as it offers amazing possibilities for an impeccably blended and super fast application. The formulation of the products you are using will determine the steps to take in the application. Both water based and silicone formulas offer beautifully different possibilities. Unlike powder eyeshadow, which very often must be built up in intensity, airbrush product offer 100% pigment intensity almost immediately, which is why you have to be particularly gentle in layering passes. Practice is essential, but becoming proficient takes a lot less than you think.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Makeup and the Pandemic: Implications of the Corona Virus Emergency for the Beauty Industry

How is the beauty industry going to be impacted by the Covid-19 virus? As the world is still struggling to gauge the scale of the pandemic and its implications for the economy, it might seem too early to ponder this question. Yet there is one thing that already appears obvious and tragic: the way we interact with each other is not going to be the same for a very long time.

In a recent post on Facebook, the creator of a once very popular beauty brand posed an interesting question: how many people will want you to touch their face after this? He then proceeded to make an interesting parallel with the aftermath of 9/11 and what that meant for the professional lives of makeup artists in the US, speculating that this current crisis may well have far more lasting implications on a global scale. Will our perception of the importance of self image forever be affected by the long quarantine that we are experiencing? Will working from home and apart become the new norm, and will the importance of appearing in person be dramatically reduced for the foreseeable future?
While it is really too early to tell, the questions are certainly valid and will soon be urgent for a whole sector of our economy both at corporate and individual business level.

My own intuition is perhaps obvious, given who I am and what I struggle to represent: I strongly believe that now more than ever, airbrush makeup represents a unique opportunity in the face of the challenges ahead. The fact that airbrushing offers the cleanest application available represents a stunning opportunity in the face of future hardship, if you think that an accomplished airbrush makeup artist can execute a whole makeup almost without touching the face -and yes, that can include eyes down to the eyeliner and eyebrows.
For those who stumbled upon these page and are wondering what I am talking about, in airbrush application the makeup goes from the bottle to the airbrush reservoir, and is then sprayed on the skin without any need for brushes, sponges and most importantly fingers. With proper care there is no cross contamination whatsoever and every client receives the benefit of pristine tools and products. Add that to single-use lip and mascara applicators, and you have created the cleanest possible makeup application. You can check any of my videos to see how very little, if at all, I need to touch my model's skin.

Of course I still believe mainstream beauty conglomerates will never give this technique a real chance, due to its learning curve, however small,  and its reduced profit margins: in airbrushing, a single airbrush does the job of a whole brush set, and in most cases one product does the job of three or four traditional ones, for example foundation barely needing primer, powder and setting spray.
However those courageous brands and forward -thinking makeup artists that have decided to produce and invest in this medium, are now faced with a unique opportunity to satisfy a potentially radical change in people's perception: the need for the maximum hygiene standards met by maximum makeup performance.
It is to salute these very brands that I am publishing this year's update to our LINKS page (no monetization or sponsorship involved) , where you will find a list of every airbrush makeup related brand and business in the world.
As for the makeup artists, this whole website is a free resource that I have created to help you in your first approach to airbrushing, or to take your skills to the highest level if you already have some knowledge of this amazing medium.

Please help me keep our LINKS page current by reading it and suggesting updates and edits.

Daniel Pacini
Airbrush Makeup Guru.Com
April 2020

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

What's new at Dinair in 2020 -Airbrush Makeup Review

Dinair: The One Airbrush Kit
The whole airbrush makeup industry would not be what it is today if it wasn't for Dinair. When Dina Ousley and George Lampman created this brand in 1981, they where the first company dedicated exclusively to airbrush makeup, and the first to produce a line specifically for beauty airbrush makeup. The small revolution that they created in the industry continues until today with an incredibly dynamic approach where nothing stands still and innovation is the name of the game.
In the past we have covered Dinair's product lines extensively, and we will add a recap again at the end of this post for those who are approaching this brand for the first time, but now let's have a look at what is new for this year.

Compressor: Portability is the name of the game

Dinair started at the very beginning with a basic intuition: in airbrushing less is more. This applies to everything, from the amount of makeup you use to the size and weight of the tools you apply it with. Dinair's formula is specifically designed to be sprayed at very low pressure and with a lower flow ratio (liters of air per minute). Rather than using a third party manufacturer for their equipment, Dinair has designed and made its proprietary tools. Through the years the kits have become increasingly smaller and lighter, and when those two aspects couldn't be further improved, the machines have become battery operated for unrestricted portability. The flagship, variable speed Personal Pro compressor was joined this year by a battery operated version, the Pro Rechargeable, which is only slightly thicker and heavier and which retains the same specs but with the added benefit of the battery. Later in 2019 Dinair introduced its latest innovation: The Dinair One is a tiny hand held, cable and hose free system that is the smallest and lightest of its kind, with a pressure output set at the ideal strength for all Dinair fomulas. I am absolutely in love with this unit, and it has taken since taken the leading role in all my Dinair applications. Please read the full review here and watch me apply a complete makeup with it in the video below.

Airbrush: The best one yet

Dinair JX2 Airbrush
The One kit came with a surprise: the JX2 airbrush. This latest tool was quietly introduced on Dinair's website shortly after The One launched, and seems to have replaced the previous CX model. When I first saw it I thought this might have been a step back from the CX as the nozzle was a classic screw-on nozzle, while the CX had a conic one that could be taken out and reassembled by simple pressure. The fact is that after three months of extensive use with all the Dinair formulas, my JX2 is running as perfectly as the very first day, and I have not needed to take it apart at all for deep cleaning. The only maintenance I have done is the use of the Dinair Cleaning Caps at the end of each day of use. This consists of two silicone caps that come included with the airbrush, and that allow you to clean it very fast simply by pouring some Dinair cleaner in the airbrush and leaving it to work for a while, or even overnight.  The JX2 airbrush now comes with a warning notice that discourages you from attempting to disassemble it. While I am certainly not afraid to take an airbrush apart, I am happy to report that I simply never needed to do that with this one, and this is an absolute first in my airbrush history with any brand.

Makeup: The new Velvet foundation line

Dinair Velvet Foundation
With three foundation lines, a neutralizer, an extender and a tattoo cover product all declined in 22 matching shades (see below), I thought Dinair had one of the (if not the most) extensive range for skin out there. So when I heard about the addition of a further line called Velvet my first reaction was sceptical. Then I had a chance to try the product, and of course I saw exactly why it makes a great addition to the range. The finish of the Velvet foundation is exactly that: a soft, velvety quality that is right in between the lightness of the Glamour line and the high coverage of the Radiance range. While differences in the HD world of airbrush makeup are of course very subtle, Velvet provides a beautiful coverage that is more forgiving on difficult areas such as around the eyes, where it won't enhance fine lines at all if properly applied.

Makeup: New Eyeshadow  Colors

Dinair has an unrivalled range of eye shadow colors. The shades are not only beautiful, but their formulation has improved to the point of being totally crease free and water and rub resistant. Add the incredible pigmentation, which is buildable from sheer to crazy in a few quick passes, and you have a product which should take the world by storm if there was any justice or sense in the beauty industry. As I endeavour to demonstrate in all of my videos, the possibility offered by airbrush eyeshadow are simply breath taking, and it's a shame that more pro artist won't invest the little practice that airbrush eyeshadow requires to do it justice. Two amazing new collections have been added recently to the Colair Opalescent line: the Crystallized and the Venus collections These include opalescent, semi matte and downright sparkling colors that are simply unbelievable. Among them my all time favorite Venus, part of a selected few shades which sparkle as though they had been infused with diamond dust. This kind of shine is often found on powder palettes and I didn't think it was possible for airbrush, until I saw these shades. While they are produced right on site, not all the colors we mention may be available at some given point. The best way to find a specific color if you are looking for it is to input its name in the website's search field.

I could go on and on about Dinair's amazing products, but now it's time to provide new comers with a streamlined guide to the lines. I hope Dina and George will continue in their trailblazing, unparalleled endevour to "spray the world beautiful" for many years to come.

DISCLAIMER: This is an unsponsored, unpaid review based solely on my experience and opinion, like any other review on this website.
DISCLAIMER: Dinair airbrushes and compressor are designed to work exclusively with Dinair makeup. While the makeup itself can of course be used with any professional airbrush equipment, my opinions of the brand and its products are are borne out of strict compliance with their guidelines.

Dinair Product Guide for the uninitiated: 

Foundation Lines and Complements, all available in 20 matching shades, all inter-mixable 

-Natural: (AKA Glamour) the most natural finish, glamour offers the highest coverage with the lightest texture. Naturally matte finish.
-Velvet: As the name suggests, a soft focus, comfortable semi matte finish that works well even on delicate, textured skin areas.
-Matte: (AKA Colair Soft Glow) Light buildable coverage that is matte, yet luminous. Some prefer this line for bridal makeup.
-Satin: (AKA Colair Radiance) Luminous, intense coverage with improved comfort. Many prefer this line for mature skin.

Foundation Add Ons

-Neutralizer: (AKA Paramedical/Camouflage) This line has a small percentage of cosmetic alcohol that renders it more water and rub resistant. It is ideal to even out the skin and hide more visible imperfections before applying your preferred Dinair foundation.
-Extender: This is an additive that improves the durability of your chosen Dinair foundation and renders it more water and rub resistant
-Tattoo Cover: (AKA Colair Extreme): This amazing product allows for the fastest, most water and rub resistant tattoo cover up imaginable. A true game changer, it requires a little practice and fast cleaning from your system using the standard Dinair Cleaner and Cleaning Caps system

Please be sure to check Dinair's amazing eye shadow, eye brow and Hair touch up color lines. They are self explanatory and easy to find on the Dinair Website.