Is Airbrush Makeup Worth Learning as a Professional MUA? - QC Makeup Academy

After earning your makeup artist certification, you’re probably ecstatic that you’re finally done with school. But true makeup artists never rest on their laurels! With so many aspiring MUAs looking to get their big break, how can you stand out? It’s a tough industry to make a name for yourself if you don’t seek out opportunities to continuously grow your makeup skills.

If you’ve already mastered intricate eyeliner and cut creases, why not step away from the brush and pick up a gun… an airbrush gun! Airbrush makeup skills are an asset. After graduating, you can expand your services, earn a higher profit, and even set yourself up to enter other industries.

Check out our top reasons why airbrush makeup is worth learning!

airbrush makeup artistry of makeup artist on client

What exactly is airbrush makeup?

Listen up! Many people often get confused about what airbrushing entails. When most people talk about airbrushing, especially in reference to magazine cover shoots, they’re referring to Photoshop’s airbrushing tools. These edits are made after the photos have been taken. They fix any flaws and perfect the skin’s complexion, highlights, and shadows. The result is often highly unrealistic!

Meanwhile, airbrush makeup is when a makeup artist sprays liquid airbrush makeup onto a model or client using a special gun. Airbrush makeup produces a flawless finish in just a few passes. You can compare the results to what you’d get after numerous heavy layers of traditional foundation. Airbrush makeup is super quick to apply, lightweight, and many (not all) formulas are waterproof. After mastering the basics, the true test of talent comes with applying color. Eye shadow contour and colorful stenciling take practice to perfect. Airbrush application isn’t easy. But if you’re up for the challenge, your career as a makeup artist can take off in an exciting direction.

Airbrush makeup training

While you don’t need professional makeup training to do airbrush makeup, we highly advise it! Airbrush compressors and guns are finicky and hard to get a hand of when you don’t know your way around a machine. Airbrushing is all about mixing formulas, and spraying the makeup while paying close attention to distance and amount of product use.

When you take an airbrush makeup workshop, you’ll learn from the best in the field. Choose a course taught by a working airbrush makeup professional. This way, you’ll be up-to-date on current makeup trends and techniques. You’ll need to learn tried-and-true techniques as well as learn all about new makeup innovations. This delicate balance is what you’ll need when applying for makeup jobs.

Applying airbrush makeup on a model

You should also look for courses with practical experience. How can you expect to learn how to apply makeup if you don’t use an airbrush gun during your course? Make sure you get plenty of practice time before submitting assignments. We have confidence that you’ll master the basics. So don’t submit any work where your foundation skills still need work. Make the most of your expert tutor, and let them help refine your technique!

Industries for airbrush makeup

Here are just some of the industries where clients may request airbrush makeup services:

Special Effects

Special effects makeup can be as simple as painting old age spots to as intensive as head-to-toe fantasy character transformations. Usually, special effects artists will use airbrush makeup with prosthetics and grease paints. Learning airbrush makeup for the face to add detail could open you to other forms of airbrushing. Especially once you start doing head-to-toe transformations, body painting and full-body airbrushing with stencils allow you to work faster. With fast production timelines for film or television, a fast hand is an asset!

Various makeup artistry tools including airbrush makeup gun for airbrush makeup student


Many brides hire makeup artists specifically for their airbrushing skills. Since photography is such a large part of a couple’s special day, many brides prefer the smooth, flawless finish of airbrush makeup. Under the scrutiny of HD cameras, any stray brush strokes or unblended colors will show up! Besides being comfortable, it’s a great choice for clients who may not wear makeup too often. Airbrush foundation will give them full coverage while being light-as-air. Another major advantage? Most formulas are waterproof and last all day! Clients will appreciate their makeup staying put while running around from the ceremony to the reception and beyond!

Fashion and Editorial

Much like wedding day makeup, those strutting down the catwalk can benefit from lightweight and easy-to-apply makeup. Big shows like New York Fashion Week require their makeup artists to produce show-stopping makeup looks for 18-40 models in a single show! With airbrush makeup skills on your side, you can handle it all with time to spare.

Fashion editorial looks also benefit from airbrush makeup. The model’s job is to sell the clothes of the fashion stylist. So it’s your job as the makeup artist to help minimize distractions while maximizing any themes the designer wants to highlighted through the makeup. The best way to minimize flaws is not during post production. If you leave it to the end, it can get quite expensive and potentially unrealistic! Luckily, over the years airbrush makeup has come a long way. Before, airbrush makeup would only offer a matte finish. But innovators have found a way to produce a dewy look with new illuminating formulas. Knowing that your product as create flawless looks, you have to ensure your technique is up to snuff, too. But if you master the craft even under HD cameras, you could see a line of clients out the door!

Airbrusher dropping airbrush makeup colors into airbrush gun

Charging for your services

Airbrush makeup is more expensive! It’s considered a specialty service that most makeup artists won’t offer. Therefore, if you have it on your service list, you’ll be in demand.

You can charge more for your services due to…

  • It’s relative rarity
  • The price of equipment (high-quality airbrush guns are expensive!)
  • Stocking both water and silicone makeup
  • The time, money, and product used to refine your technique

Simply having extra training under your belt means you can up the prices of your other services, too! And if you build up your airbrushing skills to the point where you can do a full-face—contour, blush, highlight, and even eye shadow & smoky liner—you’ll rake in the big bucks.

Have any questions related to airbrush makeup? Just ask and we’ll respond!

Ready to take the next step? Check out QC’s Airbrush Makeup Workshop!

Author Celina Feng

More posts by Celina Feng

Join the discussion One Comment

  • kevin oyang says:

    Becoming an airbrush makeup artist is something really amazing. It is a job of buildup and Reinventing youth and beauty. I helps people to build up confidence and chance to gain better life opportunities.

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