Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Is airbrush makeup ready for Ultra HD? Marc Harvey Beauty review and video tutorial.

Full Face Airbrush Makeup with MHB Cosmetics

Marc Harvey is a very well known face in the airbrush makeup world, having been the brand ambassador for the popular brand Luminess, heavily advertised on US television network. After that experience he created another brand called Elementwo that is popular on the Asian markets, and finally he moved on to create his own brand, Marc Harvey Beauty, which debuted just a few years ago and which offers a range of products for airbrushing, a series of skin care products and some traditional makeup complements for eyes and lips. 

This new airbrush line offers a foundation range with 20 colors catering to every skin tone and every ethnicity, plus 4 shimmer colors, six blush tones and two bronzers. 

The airbrush products are available individually on the website in .5 oz (14 ml) bottles, or as trial bundles of .25 oz (7 ml) bottles that are also offered in a Starter Airbrush kit combination with a compressor and airbrush package. This review will concentrate on the makeup, as I have not received the tools, however I can confidently say that given its light texture and high fluidity, the makeup can be successfully applied with any and all beauty airbrush systems out there, regardless of the brand. 

In line with Marc's passion for skin care, this water/alcohol hybrid airbrush formula is rich in botanical ingredients that include cucumber, green tea, rosehip oil extracts, neroli, jojoba and orange peel oils and witch hazel. These are preserved in a water base with a 14% presence of organic alcohol, which serves both as preservative for the other elements, as an astringent, and to ensure the makeup's durability once applied. 

The airbrush makeup line is called Exclusive Air Ultra HD. The name is interesting enough, because it implies that the product is natural looking and imperceptible enough to hold up to the Ultra HD camera. From a professional stand point, this means that the makeup should offer efficient coverage without creating any texture, which is the claim of most airbrush brands out there. So, does the product live up to its own name? In short, yes it does, and the results are excellent.  You can view how I applied to obtain the look in these photos and read my pro tips in the video tutorial included here, then read on for my own thoughts and opinions on this formula.

The formula is the thinnest, least viscous product I ever put through my airbrush. After only a pass it's hard to see any difference at all in the skin, but right here lies its beauty: you can build the application very slowly and subtly, zooming in on more problematic areas first and then using wider, more far away passes, and you hardly ever run the risk of creating unsightly concentration of product (hot spots). All you have to do is take a few seconds and a virtual step back from the process between passes in order to assess how your skin is changing. Once you have reached the desired coverage, you will be amazed by the total lack of texture on the skin. You will see the skin concealed and improved, without feeling or seeing the presence of virtually any product at all, and there will be zero highlighting of problematic areas, even of the fine skin around the eyes. While the airbrush product can be integrated with traditional concealer either under or over the airbrushed application, it is my experience that with careful layering you will not need any concealer at all, and as an added bonus you will not have to fear slippage in finer lines throughout the day. 

The finish of the product is a delicate matte outlook, which can easily support the use of hydrating finishing sprays on top. The durability is comparable to that of the best, more established airbrush formulas out there. The formula has no added perfume, and a faint scent derived from the natural ingredients will vanish right away after application. 

As far as the other complements I was able to try, the bronzer performed just as well as the foundation, and the shimmer colors were absolutely gorgeous, as you can see in the video. I look forward to shooting more content with this line, and I would like to invite you to check back on these pages soon for a very interesting interview with Marc as we induct him in our very own Airbrush Makeup Hall of Fame. 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

How to airbrush a full face with Temptu Air and Airpod Pro -with video tutorial


TEMPTU AIR Temptu Perfect Canvas
100% Airbrush Makeup using Temptu Air & Airpod Pro

It has been a while since I talked about airbrushing makeup with Temtpu Air, the ground breaking hand held system developed by Temptu about 5 years ago. This device was launched as a beauty makeup full replacement option for the traditional airbrush systems that have to be plugged to an outlet and are still sporting an air tube. The system can be used with pre filled single color cartriges called AirPods, or with an open top special cartridge called Airpod Pro that can be used like almost like the well of a traditional gravity feed airbrush, and allows the user to mix any color and any formula. 

After five years and still going very strong, Temptu was obviously onto something when they made this system available, many consumers and pros alike have included this device in their makeup kit, while others are more and more curious and above all wonder if this is a valid replacement for bulkier and heavier machines that are far more complicated to maintain. 

The whole idea behind the invention of the first line of single color AirPod cartriges back in the mid 2000 was to offer all the benefits of the airbrush application with none of the drawbacks, mainly airbrush cleaning and maintenance. After so many years, I can say that I have been a very happy user of the device, and while it hasn't replaced my traditional airbrush system, which I still prefer for precision and versatility, it has become a precious ally in my own kit, allowing me to save plenty of time in many a tight spot. 

TEMPTU AIR Temptu Perfect Canvas
The first product created with the AirPods, a foundation line called Silk Sphere, is still only available in that format. The product was update shortly after the launch of the Temptu Air applicator,  and as far as I am concerned is still one of the absolute best silicone base foundations out there, with its transformative all in one formula that acts as primer, concealer and foundation, and a luminous finish that takes years off even the most complicated skin texture. 

With the launch of Temptu Air, a new foundation line called Perfect Canvas was also created, and made available both in AirPod and in bottle form. Because this formula has a faster setting time than the classic S/B line by Temptu, it lends itself to a more versatile application even on smaller areas and textured skin, and is therefore much easier to use even for eyeshadow, creating subtle and beautiful blends. A short while after the release of the Air, Temptu launched an eye shadow (AirShadow) collection called Earth Stone, which featured a wonderfully usable selection of essential neutral and earthy tones. These colors can be complemented by the blush and highlighter colors available in the Perfect Canvas range to create more colorful looks, but now I can't wait for a more vibrant palette that should be released very soon. While we wait for this new color collections, I have played with the available tones to create the look you see in these photos.

In the video pasted below, I have created a full look using Temptu Air, from eyeshadow, contouring and blush down to highlighter and base. I have not used a single brush for this, not because I couldn't have, but simply to show the full potential of the tools and products. Of course avoiding brushes altogether is also faster, easier (at least for me), and more hygienic, which is a huge plus these days. The video is full of pro tips that illustrate what I am doing as I complete the look. 

As you will see, I have used the Airpod Pro "open top" cartridge to apply everything. I chose to do this both to be free to mix the colors as I wished, and because the colors in bottle format are decidedly less expensive than their single color AirPod counterparts. The Airpod Pro is easy to clean and maintain. When you first use it, it will need to be primed with a few drops of silicone cleaner in order to get it to perform correctly.  I would definitely advice buying a two pack so that you can have a spare one ready in case of temporary issues, and to be able to use a separate AirPod Pro if you wish to use a different based formula with it such as an alcohol base line or a waterbase product. So are the AirPod cartridges completely mainenance free? If you use them often and have a little care, I would say yes. If longer period of time occur beteween uses, however, they may tend to settle a bit and will need to be helped a little. This is not difficult nor lenghty, and with a bit of practice you will have no problems getting them to perform well again and use them up to their full potential. The video below teaches you my tricks in order to achieve just that. 

Monday, December 7, 2020

Dinair ONE Kit Review - One year later! With full airbrush makeup video tutorial.

Dinair Airbrush Makeup Kit: The ONE

December marks a year since I received my Dinair One kit, so I thought I would post a quick review to update you on how I am doing with my unit. 
I will not keep you in any kind of suspense and declare right away that my experience with this amazing little gizmo has been entirely and utterly positive. I have used my kit extensively for many intensive tasks, from full makeup video demos to endless color swatching and daily makeup application, and the unit has performed solidly throughout. The battery is still going strong after 12 months, it still takes less than an hour to charge and lasts for several days also depending on how intensely it is used. 
My Dinair One Kit

As for the JX2 airbrush, well, this is actually a record setter for me, being the only airbrush I ever owned that I never had to take apart, and it's still performing very well today. I have used the Dinair Cleaning Caps System religiously after every use, and they have been enough to keep the tool in perfect shape, never requiring the removal of the nozzle for deep cleaning or a soak in my trusted ultrasonic cleaning machine. 
Like I said in my first review, the unit is precisely and perfectly calibrated to spray all of Dinair's formulas, and I have never and would never use it with any other brand because I know that this would compromise the performance of the equipment. 

As this winter season seems to be dominated by green hues, I have decided to use my Dinair One kit to execute another full makeup that uses some of the hues available in Dinair's incredible color range, and you can see the full process by watching the video tutorial enclosed below. I will never understand why this brand is not celebrated more for the fantastic formulas it offers, and specifically for the insane choice it allows when it comes to eye shadows. I guess the only reason I can think of is that people, and makeup artists in particular, simply don't know enough about them, and so I shall continue in my mission to spread the word as far as I can. 

I recently had the pleasure to talk to both Dina Ousley and George Lampman (Dinair's creators) in an extended Skype session that I hope will be published soon, and despite the very difficult time that we are all facing, they hinted at many exciting news on the next developments they have in store for this amazing medium that is Airbrush Makeup. I continue to be inspired by their talent, their dedication and their sheer genius, and I will always be immensely grateful for allowing the technique to become what it is today for us all. 

Unretouched (except for light auto balanced) and unfiltered
100% airbrush makeup using Dinair The One

Swatches of Dinair's amazing selection for a green palette

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.