A couple of weeks ago I was invited to see a collaboration between two brands on the surface of airbrushing. In one corner, Airbase and in the other, Illamasqua. So off I trotted to Illamasqua’s flagship store in London’s Soho and was met with David Horne, a familiar face on the Illamasqua circuit and also the brand’s Director of Product Development.
Airbase’s high-definition airbrushing make-up is the latest trend the celebs are getting done. It’s almost like ‘Photoshopping’ the face as you lightly spray the face with the foundation.
Easy and quick to use on fashion shoots and catwalk shows, it could also work equally well for bridal make-up when, as an artist, you’ve got a party to work through. For weddings it is an ideal method for doing several jobs in limited time, evenly distributing the make-up and building it up in layers slowly.
David was a delight to watch as he demonstrated Airbase’s high-definition airbrush make-up as a bridal look with a twist.
He began with the eyes, choosing a brave shade of lilac as the base and mixing it up with the blue gun metal of the Android pigment for an eye-popping look before revealing a trick of using two pairs of false lashes, with the second pair cut in half and stuck on at the ends. It was reassurring to learn that even someone of such high expertise as David finds applying false lashes temperamental.
Doing the eye make-up first is something I’ve noticed some make-up artists are opting for. Any fall can easily be wiped away before the foundation is applied. In the case of airbrushing on the foundation, it was recommended to do the eyes first, in order for the foundation to set on the skin.
Airbase’s high-definition airbrushing make-up is the creation of Judy Naake, who brought St Tropez to the UK. It is silicone based, which is a defining factor in how it works on the skin – it won’t clog up pores, allows the skin to breathe, has immense durability, is heat-resistant, non-stick and rubber like. That may sound like the description of a Teflon made frying pan but I am describing the wonders of airbrushing make-up, which has proved to be a Godsend for those working in TV and films where they have to withstand the intense heat of lights.
Another key ingredient in Airbase’s products is vitamin A, which has been proven to improve elasticity and reduce fine lines, as well as vitamin E, an anti-oxidant that moisturises and repairs, keeping the skin looking fresh and rejuvenated.
More make-up artists are using airbrushing for high-definition make-up as it appears much smaller and therefore less visible. If you understand the benefits of HD TV to pick up every tiny detail, imagine the same is for make-up, which annoyingly means every little imperfection can appear obvious. With airbrushing, the product is distributed evenly and in tiny particles. It’s also hygienically beneficial as you avoid touching the skin with a brush or your fingers, thus cutting out the risk of spreading germs and bacteria.
It is a sheer foundation, which if you build up, will give you full coverage (depending on how much you need). David’s model had freckles which were magically air-brushed out with this technique in a few minutes. Her face looked flawless from such a small amount of foundation used and her complexion natural. I can only imagine how useful this product and technique would be for someone who has acne, for example. It’s like magic. Blusher can also be applied through air-brushing, and you are in control with how much you choose to use as you gradually build up to the look you’re after.
The consistency is almost like water; it absorbs into the skin instantly. I have been using the Airbase foundation sparingly for a week, and have applied it with a brush and also with my fingers. I prefer to use the latter method since it absorbs so quickly into a brush.
Although I am fan of MAC Studio Sculpt (and have recently embraced Max Factor and Illamasqua’s Skin Base foundation) Airbase is a delight to use and wear. It’s so light it feels like I’m not wearing any and the lasting power is impressive. As with any quality foundation, very little is needed, especially if you use the foundation through the compressor (which looks like a little gun/miniature spraying device).
The downside is collectively it is expensive. You’re looking at £32.95 just for the foundation (30ml) or a kit for £195 which comprises of one foundation, one blush or bronze, cleansing mitt, thinner and cleaner, airbrush and compressor). Airbrushing is also an entirely different world to the conventional method of using and wearing foundation. For one, the various equipment required may not be to everyone’s liking especially to use alone at home.
When you spray using an Airbrush it atomises the product making the particles of make-up tiny. The particles in the make-up become much smaller than when it is conventionally applied and therefore less visible but how many of you would be prepared to maintain this device? Just looking at the various items available is an eye-opener – a cleaner, a pressure adjuster, a nozzle, a cleaning pot…it sounds like a car kit! I think I am content with my fingers or brush at the most than hauling an epic sized kit with me in my handbag.
There are seven shades in the foundation range, which can be mixed. For blushers there are three shades available plus bronzer.
However, I do appreciate it’s revolutionised the make-up industry and that it’s the way forward for media and fashion on a large, commercial basis and a worthy addition to a busy make-up artist’s kit. As for the home, I’m not sure many will be flocking to add this to their dressing tables for every day use.
For more on Airbase and how it works, visit www.airbasemakeup.com.