Friday, September 9, 2022

Airbrush makeup review: Creamy Air by Maq Pro, with step by step video tutorial


MaqPro Creamy Air
100% Airbrush Makeup using Ceramy Air by MaqPro

MaqPro is a French company that has been producing high-end professional makeup since the 1970's. The brand started as a collaboration with legendary French makeup artist Michel Durelle ad the perfume and beauty producers Nine and Pierre Brunner. Today the company continues as a family business led by the couple's children, and it manufactures its vast catalogue of products strictly in France. In the last few years MaqPro has become very well known among professional makeup artists all over the world thanks to the Fard Crème palettes, the cream, color theory based makeup available in a vast array of shades that allow, with some skill-full mixing, to accomplish a durable and natural looking makeup application on the whole face.

The Creamy Air product line was launched in 2020 as the liquid evolution of the Fard Crème product. Creamy Air can be applied via airbrush but also with traditional tools, and like the Fard Crème it is available in a vast range of shades that includes skin tones, bright colors and everything in between, allowing once again for a complete makeup application using only this product. The color list stretches to an amazing 106 shades, which puts this product among the first in the airbrush makeup market for the variety of tones, all available in 10 ml / 0.33 Fl Oz size, 

MaqPro Creamy Air

The Creamy Air formula has a variable composition depending on the colors, but we could generally call it the epitome of hybrid formulations, as it includes elements such as water, alcohol, glycerine ad various types of silicones. The resulting product'has a very low viscosity, which means that it can be airbrushed with any tool set up and it will run without problems in all the airbrushes commonly used for makeup. Like most silicone based products, Creamy Air does not clog the airbrush, where it can rest without drying up for many hours, allowing you to clean the stylus even the day after application, as I myself have experienced. However, as an airbrush educator I would still advise users to clean their tools as soon as possible after application to avoid all risks. Another trait in common with silicone based products is Creamy Air's softness and moveability, allowing for touch ups up to several minutes after application.

The Creamy Air Finish is luminous and very natural. Of course the application can be matted down with a light pass of HD powder if needed. The durability of the application is excellent, and so is its water and rub resistance, so much so that some distributors are selling skin tones sets recommending it especially for tattoo cover. Creamy Air feels very light on the skin, and just like the best airbrush makeup products it offers great coverage without looking obvious. You can see what I am talking about with your very own eyes in the video tutorial I am enclosing here, which I am proud to be able to call the very first to demonstrate a total look with this line, including eyeshadow and eyebrows. 

My opinion Creamy Air is extremely positive, and I thing this product places itself very well in the airbrush makeup market. As far a the availability of the line, however, the product is not supported by a very efficient marketing. The many colors are not organised in a clear chart that may help professionals in deciding what to buy, and the packaging itself, with the color number printed in small characters on the back label, makes its practical use and quick selection anything but easy. I am hopeful, however, that the distributors of MaqPro will be soon able to makeup for this shortcoming of the producers of the line, perhaps by offering pre selected kits of colors that may simplify the choice available to the professionals. 

Isododecane, Aqua, Alcohol Denat. - Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Glycerin Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone,  Aluminum Hydroxide,  Phenoxyethanol,  Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Sodium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol , Disteardimonium Hectorite ,  Propylene Carbonate

Monday, August 29, 2022

Temptu SilkSphere Airbrush Makeup Review -With Full Face Step by Step Video Tutorial


Temptu SilkSphere
100% Temptu Airbrush Makeup with SilkSphere

Background -The SilkSphere foundation was created in 2009 to complement the launch of the first Temtpu kit for consumers. The product came exclusively in Airpod format, i.e. a pre-filled capsule that would attach to a proprietary airbrush and that could be used until empty without any need for maintenance, giving the customers all the advantages of airbrush makeup without any of the perceived drawbacks, such as tools maintenance and cleaning. The formula was had a very dewy finish and was engineered to be user friendly, so it would remain very malleable after application in order to allow the home user to easily fix any mistakes. It had a very distinctive floral scent, which was problematic for some, including myself, but was already remarkable for its unprecedented coverage and for the fact that it was an all-in-one product, not needing any primer, concealer or color corrector.  SilkSphere was reformulated in 2015 to coincide with the launch of  what is now the very popular battery operated, palm top device Temptu Air. The shade range was slightly revised and the floral scent significantly diminished, but it remained available only in Airpod format, which meant that you would not be able to use it with a traditional airbrush. 

New Release -This year after some wait, no doubt due in large part to the market difficulties created by the global pandemic, Temptu was finally able to update the formula once again and to release it at long last in bottle format, allowing everybody to experience it regardless of their preferred tools. 

Temptu Silksphere
Range and Formula -The new SilkSphere is available again in 18 proprietary shades that will match any skin tone, with a good color consistency when compared to the previous version. Many of the colors have a very neutral undertone to reduce the need to mix tones, as they were initially created for the Airpod cartridges which did not allow for direct mixing, and this makes using them very easy. Having said that, there are now hues with a decidedly warm or cool undertone as well, so you can achieve any amount of precision needed in your color matching. The finish of the formula is still dewy, however this should not scare anyone who is used to matte foundation, because ultimately the amount of glow will depend on each individual complexion, and because any perceived shine can be easily mattified with the lightest pass of any fine HD powder (such as Temptu's own Invisible Difference). The new SilkSphere feels finer than its previous versions, but still retains its high coverage and its all-in-one characteristic, needing no priming, no concealing and no color correcting in most cases. Probably for this very reason, the formula's texture is a little more obvious than that of thinner airbrush foundations, but it still feels lighter than traditional products and looks perfect on its first passes, achieving a finish that would require quite a lot more work and skill to match using a traditional product.

In the video tutorial below I am showing you a step by step total look achieved using SilkSphere in bottle form for foundation and the Perfect Canvas range in AirPod for everything else.

Silksphere vs other Temptu Formulas -Compared to the other Temptu foundations, Silksphere ranks second to Perfect Canvas for shade selection, first in dewiness and first in viscosity, being the "thickest" of the three, but the difference with SB in this respect is barely perceptible. Lastly, but no less importantly for some, the floral scent is now completely gone, making the product application pleasantly scent free. As for the format, the choice is now up to you. The Airpod capsules allow for perfect dispensation every time, and while decidedly more expensive, the pod system means that you will achieve an optimal result using far less product. The bottle format price is significantly lower, and allows you to use this product with any tool and to mix the shades freely. Temptu's 1/4 oz /7.5 ml starter kits, available for this line in pack of six colors each, mean that everybody can experience this formula with a very reasonable investment. 

My Opinion -As for my personal, unsponsored opinion, I have been a huge fan and advocate of this product for years, and I could not be happier and more grateful for this new reboot. I especially like to use this formula on problematic skin, where I have never needed to color correct or conceal thanks to SilkSphere's exceptional coverage. The extraordinary luminosity of this formula makes it a truly transformative makeup, and the only one that actually does conceal fine lines and rough texture. Because of this its silicone component, I would personally not recommend  the daily use of this product on very acneic, irritation-prone skin, but for special occasions there is no other product that will allow you to achieve the same wow factor in as little time and with as little effort, so much so that I like to call SilkSphere "model skin in a bottle".


Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Mixing Airbrush Makeup brands: is it possible? Should you try?

Since airbrush makeup represents niche of the beauty industry, in the public's perception the product often becomes one with the application method. So if you have taken a course with a certain brand, you might be inclined to believe that the experience of airbrushing is strictly defined by what that brand offers and how they taught you to use their makeup. While I fully support each brand in their sacred effort to teach people how to get the most out of their product, I also believe that thinking that airbrushing begins and ends only with one name ends up limiting a makeup artist's view of the technique, and in some cases can lead them to abandoning it altogether. 

In short, airbrushing is a way to apply makeup. That said, makeup for airbrush differs greatly depending on what type and brand you are using, just like painting with brushes is a method, but the colors you can use differ greatly for formulation and finish, and the resulting artwork changes accordingly. 

What you need to know is this: you can create your makeup with whatever product you feel may respond better to your vision, your needs and your client's skin type and expectation. I will not be going into the specific characteristics and advantages of one type of makeup versus another, but you can find a lot of resources on the different types of bases (water based, silicone based and alcohol based makeup) in the many posts on this website, or by visiting our Airbrush 101 Page. You can even mix airbrushing with traditional makeup, and while this wouldn't be my choice, airbrush extremist that I am, I have to admit that it works just fine for others. Just as it happens with traditional makeup, the world won't implode if you layer a water based blush on a silicone based foundation, nor will lightening strike if you airbrush your base and then use a traditional highlighter on top. Of course there are some practical (chemical) facts to keep in mind if you want your get the most out of your creativity without compromising the makeup stability or your tools functionality, so please read on after viewing the video here below, which is my latest look airbrushed with two different brands.  

So here are a few useful tips if you are thinking of using different makeup brands in your airbrush. First of all, make sure that your tools are up to the job. Many brands sell airbrush kits that are exclusively designed to work with their own product, and will stop performing well if you try and us another, and you may also void the brand's warranty by doing so. The main divide is between silicone and water based makeup. The latter is usually thinner and needs less pressure to be sprayed correctly, so many brands that sell it offer smaller compressors that have a maximum output of 18-20 PSI, and airbrushes with a more specific build, airflow and nozzle. Silicone based makeup is usually thicker, so it requires a compressor that is able to go up to 25-30 PSI and an airbrush with a nozzle size of .35 up to .5 mm width. To airbrush both types of makeup, you therefore need a compressor that lets you regulate the pressure output between 2 and 30 PSI, and ideally an airbrush with a .35 nozzle. Before you ask, the "single action" vs "double action" argument is moot, as this does not make any practical difference on the end result. I personally much prefer continuous airflow airbrushes (often wrongly called "single action"), and most double action airbrushes such as those from the ubiquitous Sparmax brand (used by brands such as Temptu, GraFtobian, Kett, Airbase and many other) can be converted to continuous flow by a simple modification of the air valve that you can do at home (see this link for more info). As far as tools maintenance goes, most airbrush flow problems are created by conflicting formulas that form clogs in the airbrush body or nozzle if they haven't been cleaned appropriately when changing products. To avoid the problem altogether it would be ideal to own an airbrush for each makeup type you intend to use (one for water base, one for silicone, and one for alcohol). If you can't -or don't wish to- do that yet, you can use this very simple cleaning procedure: 

-Step 1: clean the visible residue of the formula you just used with its specific cleaner or with a multi purpose cleaner.

-Step 2:  before introducing the second formula, use a few drop of cleaner for the formula you are about to use to prime your airbrush.

So now that you are clear about the appropriate tools and cleaning procedures, how should you go about using different brands for a makeup look?
Well, here you have much more freedom than you think. You've been made to think that silicone and water don't mix, which chemically speaking of course is true, however silicone based products in most cases are actually water/silicone hybrids, the first ingredient on their INCI (i.e. ingredient list) being water. The only thing that might happen is that the end result might be less durable in the long run, but it should still be perfectly viable. I often like to do eyes with water based products and foundation, blush and contouring with silicone based. This doesn't present any issues as I am not layering one type of makeup directly on top of another. When you do want to do that, for example you want to use a water based blush and a silicone based foundation, I would put the water based product on first, and the silicone after, but that is not written in stone, and also depends on the brands you use. If you wish to do part of your makeup with traditional methods, I would of course use whatever product you airbrush after any other traditionally applied, in order to maintain the perfect airbrushed finish on top, and that, together with the old "less is more" adagio, is pretty much the only iron clad rule regarding makeup, at least in my opinion. Finally, some students at my classes always ask me if they can mix products of a different base in the airbrush cup. This is something I would avoid for the consideration expressed above, and the fact that you might create an unsprayable goop that will be quite hard to clean from your equipment. Having said that, if you feel the need to experiment that way you can of course try. Just don't forget to let me know how it went...