Iwata Airbrush Makeup Equipment – The Choice of Professionals
The last few years have seen some really impressive advances in the quality of airbrush makeup kits. Great brands like Temptu, Dinair, The Kett Jett, MAC Air are familiar to most people who have an interest in airbrushing.
But if you want to use the best equipment, Iwata is the top name in airbrush makeup systems. Originally built for airbrushing artists and industrial use, Iwata recently started producing compressors and airbrush guns specifically for makeup artists and are also partnering with big makeup brands like M.A.C. Cosmetics and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics to produce both professional and home-consumer level airbrushing systems for use with their makeup.
Iwata produces many different compressors which differ in PSI strength and function and they also sell several types of makeup gun–but not all of them are suited to airbrushing makeup so be sure to read on for advice in selecting the right Iwata equipment for use with cosmetics.
The cheapest place to buy Iwata equipment is on Amazon where you’ll usually get a 30-40% discount to RRP.
For makeup artists the ‘High Performance’ line of airbrush guns are the most popular and recommended by Iwata for use with cosmetics. These are the best quality airbrushes in the industry and can handle makeup from any brand whether silicone or water-based. Both the earlier model HP-CS and the upgraded HP-C Plus are perfect for airbrushing makeup and are built to last forever. Both are extremely well balanced, dual-action airguns, with large cups that sit close to the front in order to reduce makeup lag and results in an instant response when you press the trigger.
I am a big fan of the HP-C Plus which is beautifully designed, easy to assemble and disassemble, and built to the highest standards out of the best quality materials like stainless steel and Teflon. The cleverly designed nozzle and needle configuration means that the airbrush works extremely well with variable PSI compressors for when you need to move from large areas of coverage to fine detail. The large cup in combination with the almost indestructible needle/nozzle means that the HP-C Plus is perfect for those of us who like to mix color combinations and experiment with makeup from every brand out there.
The compressors produced by Iwata are second to none. Since Iwata originally produced compressors for industrial use, some of these are far too powerful for use with cosmetics (some go as high as 100PSI!). For use in the home the Silver Jet seems to be the most popular choice for makeup though I would not necessarily recommend it. It is relatively quiet and powerful with a variable PSI from 10 to 18 but I would much prefer a compressor that can go under 10PSI for fine work. The Ninja Jet is much smaller and lighter with a gentler PSI range from 5 to 18. A lower PSI is better for beginners as well as finer work but unfortunately the small size has resulted in a much louder motor.
My favorite Iwata compressor… in fact, my favorite compressor of all time is by far the Smart Jet Pro (not to be confused by the previous model smart jet). It is the perfect compressor for airbrushing makeup with a true variable PSI range of 1-35 as well as a super quiet motor. If you are really serious about airbrushing makeup then this is the compressor for you.
For studio and salon use, the Power Jet series take airbrushing makeup to the next level with greater PSI range, dual ports, pressure regulators and a much higher price tag! But, for me, I take great comfort knowing that Iwata has been around for many years and has a great reputation in all the different fields they cater to.