Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

Airbrush makeup on a budget

Tempted by the Temptu airbrush system, but suffering from sticker shock? For years, celebrities have been buffed to perfection with thin layers of foundation applied skillfully through a flick of their makeup artists’ wrist. But what about those of us who can’t afford a $300 system consisting of a bulky air pressure machine, foundation pods and unruly tubing? Here’s our guide to aerosol makeup on a major budget. Best part? Touch-ups really are a flash!

Woman with airbrushed makeup

1DiorSkin AirFlash Spray FoundationDiorSkin AirFlash Spray Foundation

DiorSkin AirFlash Spray Foundation ($62) is a cult favorite among women seeking full coverage — fast! This moisturizing mist foundation delivers a luminous airbrushed effect and evens out skin tone. This formula can be quite heavy if not used sparingly and with a light hand, but we recommend it highly for those with parched winter skin.

2Napolean Perdis Boudoir Mist Spray FoundationNapolean Perdis Boudoir Mist Spray Foundation

The drier, more buildable formula of Napolean Perdis Boudoir Mist Spray Foundation ($49) allows more room for success, especially for beginners. Applying in small airy circles creates a flawless finish that lasts all day, and we love the addition of the natural fruit extracts Acai and Acerola which help to revitalize your complexion!

3Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Airbrush Spray MakeupSally Hansen Natural Beauty Airbrush Spray Makeup

There’s no need to venture to a department store counter to experiment with this trend. Sally Hansen’s Natural Beauty Airbrush Spray Makeup by Carmindy ($13.99) is a drugstore steal.

Makeup artist Emily Throckmorton also uses Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs on her clients. “The spray works great as an alternative airbrush foundation and it’s basically the exact same formula,” she explains. “Just a little goes a long way and it is much more cost-effective!”

4Classified Cosmetics Era Face Spray On FoundationClassified Cosmetics Era Face Spray On Foundation

Vanessa Elese, Emmy Award-winning makeup expert, warns you to choose your products wisely! She loves Classified Cosmetics’ Era Face Spray On Foundation ($33) because it offers a sheer water-based veil that can be built upon for more or less coverage. “It can be left alone for a dewy effect or blotted with a powder puff for a more matte resilient effect,” she explains.

5Temptu RetouchTemptu Retouch

Still craving a taste of the true texture of traditional airbrush makeup? Temptu’s Retouch ($47) is an affordable way to test out the waters. The difference? This formulation was designed to run through the click-brush, whereas the original formula runs through the pricier AIRpod. Just push, click and swirl over skin to create a flawless sweat and splash-proof base.

Airbrush 101

For best results, try these helpful tips when using airbrush makeup:

  • For best results, you must hold the product several inches from your face — invest in a headwrap to avoid a beige-y hair disaster (too late for me!).
  • Setting down a layer of airy foundation over bare skin can lead to peach fuzz resembling blades of grass on a warm dewy morning. The best fixes include applying primer first or blotting down the formulation with a cotton powder puff post-application.
  • For the super budget conscious, we love Vanessa Elese’s tip on trading just one tool to achieve a similar effect: Pump your regular foundation into the back of your hand and dip a soft, short flat-topped brush into the product. Swirl the brush around your face in small circular motions for an airbrushed look with much more control!
  • Beauty expert Liz Pino offered this tip and it reallys works: A good way to push the product into skin is with the use of air. Try a hair dryer that can blow onto your face. It will warm the formula and blend with skin and peach fuzz creating a seamless canvas.
  • Caution: The first ingredient in most of these products is butane or propane to aid in dispersing the product. Both are highly flammable so make sure to store in a cool and safe environment.

More makeup tips

Makeup tips by eye and hair color and face shape
More beauty news and bargains
Savvy ways to spend less on beauty products

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.