How to make your own makeup airbrush system

Written by alex smith
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How to make your own makeup airbrush system
Obtain a flawless finish with an airbrush. (face to face image by Melanie von Snarly from

Airbrushing is a way to obtain a flawless appearance to your make-up. It can be used for foundation or for an entire make-up, depending on your level of skill. There are many airbrush make-up systems available to purchase, but it can be less expensive to assemble your own. The system breaks down to four components: the airbrush gun, the air source, the attachment hardware and the make-up product.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Airbrush gun
  • Compressor
  • Hoses and hardware
  • Airbrush make-up

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  1. 1

    Purchase an airbrush gun. There are many available, but the important thing is to get one that operates well at a low PSI--pounds per square inch--and can handle fine detail. Currently Iwata makes the airbrushes of choice for professional make-up artists. They're a bit more expensive, but you get what you pay for.

  2. 2

    Purchase a small air compressor. These can be found at most hardware stores. You want one with a built-in pressure gauge for adjusting the air pressure in PSI. It should also be relatively quiet so it doesn't drive you nuts.

  3. 3

    Attach the airbrush to the compressor with a hose (one should be included with the airbrush).

  4. 4

    Plug in and turn on the compressor.

  5. 5

    Depress the trigger on the airbrush to get the air flowing. With the trigger pressed, adjust the pressure on the compressor to between eight and 12 PSI--any less and the make-up won't spray; any more and you'll fill the air with a haze of make-up particles.

    Always adjust the PSI while spraying air for an accurate pressure reading.

Tips and warnings

  • There are many brands of airbrush make-up, or you can make your own by adding a thinner to liquid make-up. Check ingredients for what kind of thinner to use. If it is water-based, use distilled water. If it is silicone--or dimethicone--based, use silicone thinning fluid available at professional make-up stores.
  • Only airbrush in a well-ventilated area. If the room fills with make-up haze, leave at once and let it air out. You don't want to breathe the stuff.
  • Hold your breath while working around your nose.

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