Best airbrush makeup reviews: kits & machines

Airbrush makeup used to be reserved for the entertainment industry, but in recent years has entered the mainstream.

And no wonder – it gives a FLAWLESS finish without multiple layers of makeup. Who wouldn’t want that, right?

Even though the airbrush distributes just a fine mist of makeup, it really does amazing job at covering everything from blemishes to tattoos and any other discoloration.

Thankfully, today anyone can get a high quality airbrush makeup kit, there are many different models & brands. But with so many of them on the market, which one is the best?

My picks for the best airbrush makeup kitThe very best airbrush makeup out there! | makebeautysimple.com @Cath_Millen

 

Our recommendation: There are lots of good airbrush makeup systems out there, but I recommend the Photo Finish Airbrush Makeup Kit.
 *There is more information about them below, but you can see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon by clicking the links above.

 

What is airbrush makeup? Is it right for me?

Airbrush makeup feels gorgeously weightless, like you’re not wearing makeup at all. It’s a terrific solution for those who rarely wear makeup and don’t enjoy the feeling.

It’s applied through an airbrush gun which evenly sprays a fine layer of makeup and creates an ultra-matte finish. Since it’s such a fine mist, it builds up gradually – from a sheer layer to a full coverage. It helps in achieving a flawless complexion and looks excellent in photographs!

Another key benefit of Airbrush Makeup is its durability, especially when using a silicone based product.

As you can see, it’s great pretty much for everyone who wishes to have a flawless skin – on daily basis or only for special events.

Airbrush Makeup Kit Components

Airbrush makeup kit consists of three main elements: a stainless steel gun (otherwise known as “stylus”) and a hose to be attached to a small air compressor. As explained before, the makeup is applied through the airbrush gun, via a needle-size opening.

By pulling the airbrush gun trigger, the makeup is being released.

The makeup is dispensed into a cup at the top of the gun. As the air flows through the hose, it pushes the makeup through the opening onto the skin. It comes out in a fine fan-shaped mist.

I know it’s a lot to take in. If you find it confusing, have a look at the reviews below.

Best airbrush makeup reviews


Let me tell you, I have tested A LOT of them during my years as a makeup artist.

I’ve decided to mention only the best airbrush makeup kits, completely ignoring the rest.  I saw some reviews praising systems which in my eyes are really poor, in particular Belloccio Airbrush Makeup System and Hubest Airbrush makeup system – avoid them if you can.

***WINNER*** Photo Finish Airbrush Makeup Kit

It's well made and the air gun distributes makeup evenly. | makebeautysimple.com @Cath_MillenOne of the least expensive and most popular systems for home-use out there.

“Cheapest” very often means “the worst”, but that’s definitely not the case when it comes to Photo Finish Airbrush Makeup system.

ALL my girlfriends have bought one already and they swear by it. I wouldn’t be myself if I haven’t checked it out on my own – and here are my thoughts:

If you are a beginner at airbrush makeup (hell, even if you’re a pro!) then this Photo Finish kit is a perfect system for you.

This compressor is well made and the air gun distributes makeup evenly. It offers very good coverage, especially on scars & acne. You should definitely practice a few times to get the hang of it and determine how many drops to use. The end result is on par with the look from a beauty salon, even without much experience in applying it.

Surprisingly, the trial cosmetics are also of a high quality. The makeup is water-based, so you can stick to the manufacturer’s own brand or experiment with different ones.

My only concern is the poor instructions. If you know what you’re doing, it’s not a big deal, but if you’re a newbie, a photocopied piece of paper simply will not do. Luckily, there are plenty of YouTube videos available, just type the name of the system and have a look.

PROs

  • Inexpensive, best value for money
  • Tons of positive reviews
  • Easy to use for beginners 

CONs

  • Poor instructions
  • Cosmetics colors brighter than expected

Iwata Airbrush Makeup Kit

One of the best airbrush makeup kits out there! | makebeautysimple.com @Cath_MillenEvery makeup artist knows this brand – it really does offer a premium quality.

Normally with Iwata equipment you buy the compressor and the gun separately, but in case of this set, you get everything you need to get started well (minus the cosmetics themselves).

Yes, it is a little more expensive than other machines for home-use, but it’s well worth it.

I’ve bought this set after many fails, and I have to say – my mind was blown. The compressor is pretty quiet, the working pressure is within perfect range for all the makeup needs: foundation, highlighting, tanning and blushing.

In comparison with other kits, this one is much sturdier. Size-wise, it’s quite small and can be easily carried around (which is great if you plan a photoshoot or an event away from home).

The gun sprays evenly every time and is super-easy to clean. You can use both water and silicone based products. If you plan to work with the latter, just remember to purchase a silicone cleaner. Otherwise you won’t be able to clean it properly.

PROs

  • Can use with water and silicone-based products
  • Built to last – solid compressor
  • Very precise spray gun

CONs

  • Higher price-point
  • Lack of cosmetic starter kit

Art of Air Cosmetic Makeup Airbrush

“Art of Air” is an entry level system, small in size & budget-friendly. | makebeautysimple.com @Cath_MillenA close friend of mine bought this one a while back and gave me a chance to play with it.

“Art of Air” is an entry level system, small in size & budget-friendly. Great if you’re only starting your airbrush makeup adventure and don’t want to invest too much money into something you’re not sure you would like.

The kit comes with a starter set of 6 airbrush foundation cosmetics as well – and I think it is its weakest point. They’re quite sticky and even the lightest colors seem dark. Just use them up when practising and then buy another brand of makeup once you’re more confident with your skills.

Make sure to choose a water-based refills, as this machine works only with those.

Unfortunately, the machine tends to clog from time to time, but that can be avoided if you clean it thoroughly after use.

PROs

  • Inexpensive
  • Compact size, great for travel

CONs

  • Poor quality airbrush foundation in the starter kit
  • Demanding maintenance
  • My friend reports some issues with tricky spray nozzle control

Dinair Airbrush Makeup Pro

The Dinair sprays evenly and I have had no issues with clogging or uneven spray so far! | makebeautysimple.com @Cath_MillenTo my surprise, the reviews of Dinair Airbrush Makeup Pro on the internet are very poor – which seems to be a bit unfair in my opinion. Perhaps I am a bit biased, as Dinair was the first compressor I owned…:-)
Having tested this exact model, I have to admit it is louder than similar machines. Also, it has a tendency to clog easily, so don’t postpone the cleaning for too long.

It’s important to note that this is a machine for home-use, aimed at beginners and serves this exact purpose well. If you’re looking for a machine to last you for many years to come, add some $$$ and get the Iwata.

Dinair is an American brand, with all their products made in the USA. This kit has everything you’ll need to start: the compressor, airbrush gun, various foundations, airbrush cleaner…the whole shebang.

What I find impressive is the tutorials available on Dinair website. They cover everything a beginner should know, from application to cleaning and some cool makeup tips. Have a look, even if you’re buying airbrush makeup machine from another vendor.

Dinair Airbrush Makeup foundation refills run in many shades and are of decent quality. The Dinair sprays evenly and I have had no issues with clogging or uneven spray so far!

PROs

  • Light and compact compressor, perfect for travel
  • Budget friendly
  • Great tutorials

CONs

  • Louder than competitors
  • Clogs easily
  • Reviewers point out high tendency to break down

Luminess Air Basic Airbrush System

Luminess Air Basic Airbrush is a water-based system, making it suitable for those with oily skin. | makebeautysimple.com @Cath_MillenThe brand promises an easy, quick and long lasting applications of airbrush Foundation, Blush, Primers and many more. And…it delivers.
I used it as my travel-friendly airbrush set for almost a year until my suitcase got lost in transit. Perhaps someone took liking to it? 🙂

Overall, it’s a decent all-arounder. It comes with a comprehensive user guide. It’s extremely easy to use, even if it’s your first time experience in applying airbrush makeup.

The main drawback of Luminess that I see is that you’ll need more product than advertised for a full coverage. I used around 8-10 drops instead of recommended four.

Luminess Air Basic Airbrush is a water-based system, making it suitable for those with oily skin. The set consists of a tiny compressor (I mean TINY. Really), solid airbrush gun and a range of starter cosmetics. The cosmetics themselves aren’t too bad, but do experiment with different brands when buying the refills.

PROs

  • Easy to use
  • Compact size

CONs

  • Reviewers point out high tendency to break down

Airbrush Makeup Kit buyer’s guide

What to look for in airbrush makeup kits?

If you don’t have the time or money to have an airbrush makeup in a beauty salon, don’t fret. There is an abundance of products for home use that you can choose from.

There are two things that you’re going to look for when buying an airbrush makeup system.

The ultimate buyer's guide to the Airbrush Makeup Kits | makebeautysimple.com @Cath_Millen

First, you’ll need to decide what type of product would serve your goals best: silicone, alcohol or the water-based one. Temptu is one of the few brands with silicone-based products, while Dinair and Luminess are offering a water-based makeup.

In short: water-based foundation formulas are great for very oily skin and for general everyday use. Silicone works best for dry skin and for extreme durability (important event, wedding day, humid environment) – no tears or sweat will break it. Alcohol-based products are aimed at body-painters mainly, for special effects & tattoo coverage.

Another thing (often overlooked) to take into consideration when purchasing an airbrush makeup kit is the availability and price of the refills. It often happens that the kit itself is very inexpensive, but the airbrush makeup refills of that particular brand are horrendously expensive or difficult to find. That’s why sometimes it’s good to invest into a pricier, solid system that will not only serve you longer, but also has all the accessories and refills readily available.

Check it out! Airbrush Makeup 101 infographic | makebeautysimple.com

Check it out! Airbrush Makeup 101 infographic | makebeautysimple.com

Questions & answers

Got some doubts still? Since writing this guide, I’ve received some additional questions re: airbrush makeup kits. Perhaps I’ve got an answer for you below:

Can regular foundation be applied through the gun?

No. If you were to put a traditional liquid makeup into an airbrush gun, it would be far too thick to feed through the gun. Airbrush makeup is its own unique formula made specifically for airbrush-gun application. It is significantly thinner and more watery in appearance.

How long does it last?

Well, that depends. Here’s the post about it: How long does airbrush makeup last?

But with so many airbrush makeup kits on the market, which one is the best? | makebeautysimple.com @Cath_Millen

 

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About Cath Millen

I'm Cath Millen, beauty editor at Make Beauty Simple. I help people making skincare, haircare & makeup choices truly SIMPLE. Proud mom of two, secret hoarder of makeup brushes & a juicing junkie.