Airbrush vs Traditional Makeup

What is the difference between airbrush makeup and traditional makeup? As a wedding booker, this is the question I get asked the most.


First of all, I didn't even know there was such a thing as airbrush foundation until I started working for Sonia Roselli Weddings. 

  Example of Airbrush Makeup. Photo and Makeup by Sonia Roselli

Example of Airbrush Makeup. Photo and Makeup by Sonia Roselli

Airbrush Makeup History

For starters, airbrush makeup isn't new. It's been popular for over 30 plus years...and to be honest, it isn't any better or any worse than traditional makeup. The difference is the way it's applied.  Think of it like watercolor painting vs airbrush painting on a t-shirt.

So why do brides go crazy over airbrush? 

One of our artists, Bridget Fowlin, explains that airbrush foundation is “applied" with an airbrush pen. The makeup sits on the skin in tiny pixels.”   

Technically, airbrush makeup is supposed to be the best for photography, which is why brides like it so much. In theory, it should last longer on the skin, but that isn't always the case. The longevity really depends on the health of the person's skin.

For example, oily skin tones may have success with it but it's not a 100% pure scientific fact. Many people do have great luck with airbrush makeup but others may not. Just like anything in beauty, one size doesn't fit all. Your makeup artist will make the judgment call, in the end, to give you the best tool for the job.


Airbrushing has many fascinating qualities. Some of the benefits of airbrush is that goes on seamless and can last 12 hours or more on many skin tones.

Since weddings last more than a couple of hours, it's obvious why airbrush makeup has become so popular with brides.

Unlike traditional makeup, airbrush doesn’t hide the actual skin. It does not make a person look like a completely different person. If you're thinking airbrushing is too heavy or have experienced airbrush makeup that was heavy in person, most of the time it wasn't done correctly or you had different expectations of what it should be. Neither is wrong, it's just a personal preference.

Traditional Makeup

Sonia Roselli personally loves airbrush makeup but she also loves traditional makeup as well. To her, it's apples and oranges. She prefers to paint traditionally but can do both on your wedding day depending on what is needed.

"Airbrush is a different tool. I don't find one better than the other when it comes to beauty makeup. As a professional makeup artist, I can get traditional makeup to last just as long with artistry techniques as I can with an airbrush machine" ...she says. 

"The process may be different but the results can look just as good. I find that airbrush is a must have for a lot of special fx work, but unless we are painting you blue all over, airbrush or traditional really doesn't matter to me, personally."

  Traditional Makeup Application. Photo and Makeup by Sonia Roselli

Traditional Makeup Application. Photo and Makeup by Sonia Roselli

So why choose traditional over airbrush?

When it comes to skin textures, I may prefer to do traditional makeup depending on the skin. Sometimes I still love traditional makeup, especially for women over 50, or someone with really challenging skin issues.  

I can airbrush about 95% of clients but there are the 5% of clients out there that I personally think traditional makeup is better suited for their skin. It really depends on the occasion and skin condition of the skin I'm working on
" she says.

Airbrush vs Traditional? Which should you choose?

If you are a bride, you may want to consider airbrush because it flatters your skin and compliments the beauty of who you are. It's not wrong to experience both and see which one you prefer. The makeup police won't arrest you if you don't get your wedding makeup airbrushed. So rest easy! :)


Airbrushing and Weather

Airbrush makeup is light, long-lasting, and is perfect for all temperatures. Whether you have oily skin or dry, airbrush is light enough where you will not sweat away your makeup and heavy enough where it can cover one’s imperfections, such as pimples. However, even with the longevity of airbrush makeup,  you still will want to carry touch up powder like Sonia's colorless setting powder that is perfect for over airbrush makeup.


Why does Airbrush Cost More?

Airbrush makeup can cost a little more because there are more tools and equipment that is used to apply the foundation. However, the cost is not that much different. 

Whatever you decide, work with your makeup artist to see which technique is best for your wedding day.

Would you like to try airbrush makeup for your wedding day? 

Happy Planning,