Flawless skin in 5 minutes

Who doesn’t want to have women glare and men stare at your face now and then, for reasons other than a zit or blemish. After a session with Melanie’s airbrush, I experienced the shock and awe of others who peered close for second glance. Was it my makeup or my skin?

What’s so great about an airbrush
The airbrush is the key to high-definition. It fills in, smooths out, evens out, and lifts up the skin color and tone. It’s the reason why certain stars are still on television and movies (before airbrushing, certain stars included terms in their contracts requiring the producers to go back and retouch the skin in order to make it appear smooth). Make-up from an airbrush also lasts several days–though it’s not recommended for oily skin. It doesn’t come off, wear off or change colors throughout the day.

Complete set of brush, makeup, cleaner and container

In short, airbrushing is a miracle. The best part? It can be had for less than you pay for a nice dinner and a couple of drinks. So read on and start saving up.

Airbrush 101
First off, I’m not talking about ‘re-touching,’ the common phrase for doctoring a photo of a celeb who wants wrinkles removed, and is done by using software on a computer.  I’m talking about using an actual, physical airbrush that applies make-up to the phase.

Let’s cut right to the myths. The long-held truths that I held dear right up until the time when I sat down in Melanie’s chair and watched her whip out a small metal object, about the size of a potato peeler.

I balked and she talked. Specifically, about the myths of airbrushes and airbrushing. Top of my list included:  a) expensive, b) time consuming, c) painful and d) only for the young and vain.

In a matter of minutes, I learned the following.
1. expense is relative. Over the counter make-up is $20-$200, depending on what is purchased over and over again throughout the year, and over the course of a lifetime. The quality is less than a high-definition airbrush. The one-time expense of an airbrush can range from $100-$300. The liquid make-up, made for all types of skin colors, lasts months. Complete sets can be had for less than $200.

2. time consuming. It took Melanie less than 1 minute to apply the makeup via airbrush (and this was for foundation and blush). My first time was 15, including cleaning the tip at the end. Now it’s less than 5 minutes, cleaning included. That’s actually less time than it took me to apply foundation, powder and blush.

3. painful. Nope. Not at all. However, one of my mistakes was holding the tip 3 inches away. This felt prickly and completely destroyed the point of an airbrush. Melanie showed me how to keep it 6 inches away (about a hand length for non-Americans), so it goes on perfectly.

4. only for the young and vain. Let’s face it. The young don’t need an airbrush, unless the skin is splotchy. It’s the not-so-young (over 18?) that need the stuff.

For make-up, I use what the professionals use (by professionals, I mean every single professional make-up artist on commercials and movies) use the Temptu airbrush make-up. They don’t necessarily use the applicator, since the pro’s have industrial metal versions. But the consumer version is solid and easy to handle. After starting with the Temtpu kit, I graduated and got a $300 pro version (the kind used by the movie professionals), but stick with the Temptu makeup.

Here are a few tutorials. The first on applying the make-up. Lots of videos about on youtube.

Applications and Tips

Two types of foundations…the daily and the ‘tanner.’ I have a lighter, liquid base I use for most occasions. When I want a bit of a tan, I mix two colors together so I don’t look like I forgot to wash.

Tip: the foundation must be shaken first. Do this, then pour several drops in to the top of the airbrush make-up holder. If mixing, combine both then place your finger over the end of the airbrush, while turning the airbrush on. This blends the liquid for an even color.

Blush Tips
I found that using the pressed powder after applying the airbrush make-up (as told to do by the pros), will sometimes wipe off the application, so go very lightly. Every time I applied blush it would come off. I then purchased the blush, and have been thrilled. It takes a minute to clean out the airbrush (using the airbrush oil), a few drops of the blush liquid and 2 swipes on the cheek and walla!

Haven’t you ever wondered how Jennifer Aniston sports the perfect tan year-round? Airbrushing. But say NO to the spa version for $100 (Unless you need your back done. Then you may need to call upon an expert). For your legs, arms, neck and face–the parts that are typically visible when you go out on a date, you are your own best make-up professional (I can see a Russian woman whipping out an airbrush as I type this).

The key here is not to go too dark. Take a bit of the make-up and put it on your leg/arm/neck before you start airbrushing. You need to have a nice transition. Also, you can make yourself a bit darker by applying additional layers, but don’t over do it. The whole point of using an airbrush is it doesn’t look like you are wearing makeup at all!

Number One Tip:
Apply in natural sun. The most common mistake (which I made) was to apply the make-up in our master bathroom that has very limited natural light. The result is that I overapplied in some areas but under in others.

Number Two Tip:
Get your face waxed first, or keep the hair on your face very, very short. Airbrushing and the powder (if you use it), will enhance the look of the facial hair moreso than traditional foundation. This is because foundation is rather heavy and usually oily, thus pushing down the hair to a flat position. The airbrush is light and airy. If you are resemble a hair bigfoot, it’s going to show.