Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Graftobian GlamAire & F/X Aire Airbrush Makeup Kit Review -With Video Tutorial

Graftobian Airbrush Makeup
Graftobian Walk Around Airbrush Kit

Graftobian's GlamAire is the most extensive line of foundations for airbrush in the world, with a staggering 58 separate shades divided in warm, cool and neutral tones. To complement the foundation line anoter 6 blush tones, 6 adjusters and 6 color corrector are available. If you wish to play with colors for more editorial or creative projects, or if you want to try doing a full beauty look using only your airbrush, there are another 68 colors from the F/X Aire line, offering you endless possibilities.

As far as equipment goes, Graftobian offers several solutions catering to every need, from the very portable kit for beauty makeup to to the very powerful options for body painting competitions. Almost seven years ago I reviewed Graftobian and the Walk Around Kit in detail on these pages. I am now very happy to have another chance to play with these beautiful products and create the look you see in the video and in the unretouched photos on this page, and to offer an updated review of the line from a more experienced perspective. 

The GlamAire and F/X Aire lines are so extensive that approaching a color choice can seem a bit daunting to the novice. An amazing aspect of the foundations is that every color also exists in cream form in Graftobian's celebrated HD Crème Palettes, so if you are familiar or have access to that product, choosing shades for your airbrush collection should be very easy. There are also three very convenient sampler packs, the GlamAire Beauty sets, which feature five shades from each group (Cool, Warm and Neutral), accompanied by a plastic palette with the corresponding five shades in cream form. These will make a great starter set for beginners, who will appreciate having the cream foundations to use on parts of the face that maybe a little more difficult to airbrush such as the under eye area. The GlamAire Formula is very fluid and the pigments extremely fine. This means that your airbrush is unlikely to ever clog or have any running issues while spraying these products. The makeup is water based and silicone and alcohol free, so it will feel very light on the skin, which should be prepped as normal with just a light moisturiser or ideally a silicone free primer to ensure maximum staying power. The formula is water resistant and won't budge from humidity or perspiration. Its matte finish is not too opaque, and the skin will balance everything out within a few minutes from application. For most shades, a few seconds will be necessary after spraying for the product to set and oxidize and reveal its true tone. Because of its lightness and fluidity, the product needs to be sprayed at a very low pressure and coverage will be achieved by layering several light passes, so it's important that you don't rush your application and that you step back between passes to observe what is happening, rather than expect an immediate result. The reward will be an ultra natural, HD proof finish that you can see on the 100% unfiltered photo right here in this paragraph. 

The F/X Aire line is where the fun really begins. This formula is an alcohol/water hybrid is available in a wonderful selection of shades, from primary colors to neon tones that will glow under UV lights, to a selection of skin tones for a more water proof and rub resistant finish and for body makeup. The percentage of alcohol is so delicate that the colors can be used safely around the eye area (of course providing that the eyes are kept closed during application), and they can be mixed without any problems with the foundation and blush tones of the GlamAire line to create eyeshadow looks that range from neutral tones to highly pigmented fashion statements. In the video demo included in this review I have even used straight Black to create a fast eyeliner, with no discomfort whatsoever experienced by my model who has sensitive skin. This line was of course created for body painting, special effects and body art, and incredible effects can be achieved by using the wide range of stencils (the famous Bad Ass stencil line) also produced by Graftobian. 

The Walk Around System is the kit that I have used for this application. Once again I reviewed these tools in my previous article a few years back, but I can say here that the kit stood the test of time very well, being a solid and powerful piece of equipment, which can handle not only Graftobian-s own product, but also all the other brands of airbrush makeup as well, allowing maximum creative freedom for the artist. The enclosed battery did eventually die after a few years and many charging cycles, but you can buy a replacement on Graftobian's website, or if that should be problematic (I live in Europe and batteries don't ship well overseas) keep in mind that the casing houses a standard battery pack that can be easily replaced by a dedicated store or electrically gifted friend. 

Originated in 1978, Graftobian is still a family run business and a wonderful company with a heart. I am lucky to have met the current owner, Eric Coffman, who collaborated with luminaries such as Brad Look, Suzanne Patterson and Mary Erickson (who I am privileged to count among my friends), to devise products and lines that have become staples in many an artist's kit at an international level. As unbiased as this review is, I do regard this company as an essential contributor to the world of beauty, and personally as a revered part of Americana.

Graftobian Airbrush
100% Graftobian Airbrush Makeup, unfiltered and unretouched

Graftobian GlamAire INCI (Ingredients):  
Water, Acrylates Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, TEA(Triethanolamine), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Ethyhexylglycerin, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron, Oxide Black (CI 77499), Iron Oxide Red (CI 77491), Iron Oxide Yellow (CI 77492), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Red 6 Lake (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Chromium Oxide Green (CI 77288)

Graftobian F/X Aire INCI (Ingredients): 
SD Alcohol 40-B, Water, Acrylates Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Silica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxide Black (CI 77499), Iron Oxide Red (CI 77491), Iron Oxide Yellow (CI 77492), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Red 6 Lake (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Mica, Red 28 (CI 45410), Orange 5 (CI 45370), Yellow 11 (CI 47000), Ext. Violet 2 (CI 60730)

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Airbrush Makeup Kit Review: Aeroblend Pro Starter Kit -with Video Tutorial


Aeroblend Airbrush
100% Airbrush Makeup with Aeroblend

Aeroblend is an Indiana based makeup company started by makeup artist and entrepreneur Kiralee Hubbard. I reviewed the previous version of their pro kit a couple of years ago, and now I am happy to have another chance to play with their brand new kit

Aeroblend offers a water blend formula with twenty shades divided in 10 neutral and 10 olive colors. With 20 overall tones that you can mix to create any in between hue, the foundation range is quite extensive and will cater to any skin tone. The foundation formula is 100% cruelty free and vegan, and it is made up of mineral pigments and botanical ingredients such as avocado, white tea and lavender, promising a long lasting, comfortable finish. The foundation colors are complemented by six blush tones, a bronzer and a highlighter with the same core formulation. The Aeroblend formula has a luminous matte finish that results in an ultra natural overall effect. The pigment is buildable to obtain more coverage when needed. The color have very low viscosity which means that they run effortlessly through any equipment and that clogs are virtually impossible. On the flip side, first time or inexperienced users will need to press very lightly on the trigger and use low pressure settings to avoid overspray and wet spots, and should always take their time between passes for the product to properly set. There is also a minimal oxidation process which means that the true color of a shade will sometimes reveal itself  a few seconds after it's been applied. All the colors come in two formats: a mini size ( 6ml/.2 oz) for trial and travel, and a full size (30 ml/ 1 0z) conveniently priced at 25 dollars. The Kit options come with the trial size bottles, which is an excellent opportunity to experience the range at a very convenient price. 

Aeroblend Pro Kit
The new tools offering by Aeroblend is an elegant, sleek compressor with a tactile function that allows you to switch between three fixed pressure output levels with just a tap. The compressor is more than powerful enough to spray all of the products in the Aeroblend range, and then some. I would say without a doubt that you can use any water based formula in the market without fear of clogs or mechanical fatigue, while it may not be ideal for some thicker silicone based formulas. The airbrush is a continuous flow, all metal parts custom made applicator with a nozzle that once again is more than efficient for the Aeroblend formula. The new Aeroblend cleaner is more than enough to keep the airbrush in perfect shape and running well for a very long time without any need for deep cleaning. 

The tools on sale are the same for every kit composition, what makes the difference between the Personal and Pro kits is the number of colors included. The personal option comes with four shades of foundations and a color match guarantee, so you can choose with peace of mind. The pro version of the kit however comes with all the shades in the range and with a 30 day satisfaction guarantee, so for just a few dollars more it's definitely the most attractive option. 

In order to showcase as many of their colors as possible I did a full face look using exclusively Aeroblend for both foundation and eyes, taking some shades from the blush range. While these products weren't designed to be used as eyeshadows, they do perform rather well with their delicate, easy to blend pigmentation, and I can only hope that Kiralee and her team will want to expand the color range including some matte and shimmer shades for eyes and a couple more options for eyebrows. 

With very reasonable overall prices, free shipping for order over 35 dollars and many special offer through their mailing list, affordability is definitely an amazing advantage that this company offers, giving both personal and pro users the chance to try out a high quality product with just a small initial investment. I personally am a big fan of Aeroblend and wish this brand every success.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Airbrush Makeup Hall of Fame: Interview with MHB creator Marc Harvey

When I first became interested in airbrush makeup, back in 2011, Marc Harvey was one of the first artists I found in my research. Marc was then spokesperson and lead educator for Luminess, a consumer oriented airbrush makeup brand that relied heavily, as it still does now, on televised infomercials for its promotion in the USA. While I didn’t purchase the product, I found Marc’s enthusiasm contagious and his lively presentations highly informational and entertaining. After his long stint with Luminess, Marc left to create and devise the makeup line for Elementwo, a brand created by airbrush manufacturers Sparmax which is popular in many Eastern  countries and available in the US and Europe as well. After this experience, Marc decided to create his own product line called Marc Harvey Beauty Ultra HD Airbrush Makeup. This achievement alone is credit enough to inscribe his name in our Airbrush Makeup Hall of Fame, a space that celebrates the creators and the most influential artists in this medium.  I was very happy to review his product line, and I am honoured and delighted to ask him a few questions on our favourite subject.

-What inspired you to become a makeup artist, and when did you decide that makeup was going to be your career? 

I have been an artist all my life. I paint, sketch and do graphic design. I decided to make makeup a career when I was 23.

-You started in airbrush makeup when the public at large was just beginning to become aware of it. How did you first become involved in airbrushing?

From my background in painting, I was very familiar with airbrushing. I started using airbrush with my brides and model agency clients. I would have to do 30 looks in one day, so the airbrush came in very handy.

-What made you choose airbrush makeup as the focus of the bulk of your career?

It really chose me. Luminess Air was looking for a Global Artist that had worked with all skintones and had a background in marketing as well. The goal was to help everyday women see that they could airbrush themselves and look like the celebrities and models I was working on at the time. 

-You’ve been instrumental in the promotion and/or creation of three major airbrush makeup brands: Luminess, Elementwo and now your very own MHB Cosmetics. What is the most memorable thing you learned from each of these experiences?

All three of them helped me to realize to always do what you love. At my core, I am a creator. Each brand I worked with or created helped me to hone my ability to understand what clients want and need from a product. My brand is ever evolving and is still a work in progress.

-What makes the MHB Airbrush formula different from all the others?

Versatility. My product is the only product that you can actually use a concealer under or over. You can use any powder over. You can build without it looking cakey. I also believe it gives the most natural coverage. You can also sheer it out with your favorite water based toner or my rosewater for a more light, zero makeup look.

-The MHB airbrush range at the moment offers an extensive foundation line plus more colors for blush and highlighters. Do you see an expansion of the line in the future to include more colors, perhaps a dedicated eyeshadow selection?

I will be adding more highlight/shimmer pigments spring of 2021. AND I’m doing a line specifically for POC launching for Holiday time. I will also do a pigment line that can be used for whatever the artist wants to use them for.

-MHB also includes several innovative skin care products. Would you tell us more about those, and the philosophy behind them?

I wanted to create products that I loved using and that over the years I would use to prep my clients skin before makeup application. I used every organic skincare product I could get my hands on in Sephora. I would try them on myself, then use them on my clients. I learned ingredients really well over the 13 years of me doing makeup, so I knew that when and if I ever created a skincare line, I would know what ingredients worked great. 3 years ago I pulled the trigger and created MySkincAir Organics. I launched 2 years ago and it is currently in Hilton Hotels and BodyBrite Spas around the country. The name MySkincAir (pronounced My Skincare) is exactly the feeling and philosophy behind the brand. I wanted everyone to feel a connection to the brand as I really took the time to make sure I educate clients on each product and its ingredients when you go online looking for a product for your particular skin issue. It is fragrance free, sulfate free, vegan, phthalate free and cruelty free, organic, skin loving ingredients that give your real results. Also, the “AIR” in skincare has a dual meaning. AIR , because the core product is the Oxygen Cleanser. Oxygen=Air. And, A.I.R is an acronym for Anti Inflammatory Response technology. Every product in the line targets inflammation by having a proprietary blend of natural anti inflammatory ingredients in them. Inflammation is the root of all ailments and issues in our body, including the skin.

-As an airbrush makeup ambassador and educator you have extensive experience in promoting the technique to the world at large. What is the best aspect of airbrushing in your opinion?

It will always be the ability to cover skin imperfections flawlessly and effortlessly. When you have a color science like the Marc Harvey Beauty EXCLUSIVE AIR line has, you literally feel like you are not even wearing makeup. It leaves your skin feeling light and looking perfect.

-What do you think is the greatest misconception that keeps more makeup artists and consumers from trying out airbrushing?

It’s hard to do. This is just a hurdle that will unfortunately always be there. Also, that it is the only product you have to use if you use it. Many don’t realize that it can actually just be another product in your beauty arsenal for you to use alone or in tandem with other complexion products.

-Having achieved so much in your career, what is the professional goal you look forward to? On a personal level, what is your ultimate dream?

My dream is to keep on going in the direction I'm going in with my brands. I’m not that great on social media because of debilitating anxiety that has gotten worse over the years. BUT, I am a warrior. I have fought through it my whole life since I was a child. My goal is to create more of a beauty education platform, free of drama, fake personas and “look at me I’m so rich and fabulous” BS. Just being myself and answering questions like I do for my clients when they book me. I want to become everyone’s favorite beauty guru for makeup and skincare on social media.

I wish to thank Marc for this opportunity to get to know him and his product better, and I look forward to meeting him in person one day in the not too distant future. 
In the meantime you can find Marc and his product line on Facebook and Instagram.

Airbrush Makeup by Marc Harvey