What Does an Airbrush Makeup Artist Do?

C. Webb
C. Webb
An airbrush makeup artist may provide makeup at weddings.
An airbrush makeup artist may provide makeup at weddings.

An airbrush makeup artist uses an airbrush to apply various types of makeup on clients. A makeup airbrush is a handheld device that sprays on water-based or alcohol-based makeup. Airbrushed makeup was reportedly first used in 1925 during the filming of the American movie Ben-Hur. While an airbrush makeup artist is typically trained in traditional makeup application, he or can also choose to specialize in airbrush technique.

An airbrush artist is typically trained in traditional makeup application as well.
An airbrush artist is typically trained in traditional makeup application as well.

Airbrushed makeup is used in many areas. Examples of events that might use an airbrush makeup artist include movie filming, photography shoots, concerts, and weddings. Each of these would have a different need for an airbrush makeup artist. For example,a movie studio may want actors made up to look much older than they actually are.

Airbrush makeup artists can work as freelance contractors or join an established company. Spas, resorts, wedding planners, and movie studios hire airbrush makeup artists. Another example of airbrushed makeup can be found in tanning salons. Clients who do not wish to be exposed to potentially harmful suntan booths pay for a spray tan typically applied by an airbrush makeup artist.

The airbrushed technique can be used for an all-over-body coverup or in narrowly defined areas. For example, airbrushing has been used to apply eye shadow, lipstick, and blush. If properly applied, airbrushed makeup has a smoother, more finished look than traditionally applied makeup. Makeup artists can use their techniques to cover the five-o'clock shadow of a man about to film his movie or television scenes.

A skilled airbrush makeup artist can often apply makeup to a client more quickly than could be done using traditional application methods. The procedure is sanitary because the artist and client never actually touch each other. Due to the many different fields that use an airbrush makeup artist, a skilled, trained professional has many career options.

Depending on the region, an airbrush makeup artist can go to school to become a cosmetologist with a focus on makeup, or choose to break into the industry after being self-taught. Certification or licensing may be regionally required. He or she may decide to pursue a career exclusively as an airbrush makeup artist, or simply add that skill to a menu of offered makeup and hair services.

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    • An airbrush makeup artist may provide makeup at weddings.
      An airbrush makeup artist may provide makeup at weddings.
    • An airbrush artist is typically trained in traditional makeup application as well.
      An airbrush artist is typically trained in traditional makeup application as well.