Airbrush Makeup Review: Luminess Air Airbrush Makeup Kit

Luminess has a large range of affordable Airbrush Makeup Kits which increase in price as you add features and makeup. It ranges from the basic Kelly System at $165.95 to The Platinum (which includes Luminess Tan) at $369). In between are the Luminess Air ($229) and the Luminess Professional ($309.95). All kits come with makeup with the main difference being the quality of the compressor and nozzle. As with many companies though, shipping and handling is extra ($17.50).

For those of you with no time for long reviews click here to skip to our ratings breakdown. Otherwise, read on for the entire airbrush makeup review.

For most people in the market for a consumer-level airbrush makeup kit, the choice would be between the Luminess Air with its compact compressor, or the larger Kelly System. The Luminess Air is about half the size of the Kelly and is slightly more powerful. The machines don’t really start to wow you until the Pro Series which has a compact size and powerful compressor. The airbrush nozzle is also much more versatile on the two models (PC-200 and PC-300) which come with the Professional and Platinum kits giving you a stylus spray range of extra fine to wide. This means you can use it on the body as well as for tanning. The two models also come with multi-speed for better control in detailed work. This is really essential and it’s a pity the Kelly and Luminess Air systems do not come with this feature.

Though the Luminess Airbrushes are very affordable, you should note that their makeup is much less so. A 16ml bottle will set you back $44.50 ($38.00 at the club price). Given that the quality of their makeup tends to be less popular than other brands the prices seem a little inflated. It’s a real positive that the Luminess makeup is water based and free from alcohol or paraben. There are sixteen shades and two styles (matte and satin). The matte is rated to last up to 50 hours which is awesome–at the higher end of the scale– and it will even stay on even with intense humidity. The satin will only last around 8 hours but is lighter and contains vitamin E and antioxidants. Many users have reported that they cannot get good coverage at all with this makeup and it tends to leave them looking patchy–especially with the darker shades which stand out more. Some prefer to keep the compressor and airbrush which work really well, but use makeup from other manufacturers like Dinair. However, though you can successfully use other brands of makeup with the Luminess systems, this may void the warranty so it is not recommended unless you’ve had it for over a year or are assured that there won’t be any warranty issues. You may be a little underwhelmed by the range of tones in the Luminess makeup collection especially given that Dinair and Kett Jett have such exciting colors.

*Note that since this review was created, Luminess have gone to great lengths to update their makeup systems as well as the makeup. The Luminess Air New Beauty Edition has been getting very positive reports and the new Luminess makeup is said to achieve much better results. We look forward to reviewing it shortly.

Though we have not had any experience with the customer support team from Luminess we have heard reports of long hold times and extra credit card charges. Though we’re sure this is something that would not be intentional and would certainly be resolved, the company isn’t creating as much confidence as the likes of Dinair or TEMPTU.

Luminess Air Review

Luminess Air
A weak compressor at only 10PSI & no airflow control .
Good for these strengths of PSI but not great.
Too expensive for the quality though updated regularly.
Reportedly not good but improving.
Average price for the kit but makeup expensive.
Luminess have learned from early mistakes & introducing new improved products regularly.

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  • […] Quick! Luminess is giving away prizes to 6 lucky people and the top prize is worth $1000! The competition is being run through Facebook and expires soon. All you have to do is create a video showing how easy it is to use the Luminess Air Makeup System. If you’re unfamiliar with the Luminess Air, check out our review here. […]

  • […] Airbrush Makeup Review: Luminess Air […]

  • Hi there! I am looking for my first airbrush system. I would like one that I can also use for spray tanning. I was looking at the new Luminess Beauty Edition or the Belloccio system. Which would you recommend? I had thought of tickled pink, but I’m thing it might not be powerful enough??

    • Hello Michele! Belloccio is a great little machine as is their airbrush (some companyies’ airbrushes need to have a different needle/nozzle size and it also helps to have a different cup size because you can put in more liquid tanning solution). I’ve done a big review of the Belloccio and the Tickled Pink (as well as my original, shorter reviews). The Luminess airbrush gun and Belloccio are very similar. Also, both are portable compressors with relatively low PSI but it’s plenty for tanning. So – maybe it just comes down to price? Let me know how you go!

      • Thanks Michelle…I did read all the reviews but couldn’t make up my mind. The luminess doesn’t seem to have great customer service and I don’t like having to order every month. Can I do sunless tanner with the tickled pink? What about the makeup…which one do you think is better?

        • Oh do you know which one is quieter? What is your favorite airbrush makeup?

          • They are both pretty similar – I think the Luminess is a bit more solid so some of the noise is dampened by the casing so I’d say it’s a little bit quieter. Don’t expect whisper quiet from either of these two compressors though…
            My favorite airbrush makeup? In general I’d say MAC is my favorite. And maybe Kett… and some of the Temptu shades… oh, and Dinair have some fun ones too! 🙂

        • Both the Tickled Pink and Belloccio have good tanning solution. It airbrushes on very evenly and the shades don’t go orange tinted at all. I’d say they are about the same. Tickled Pink have very big refill sizes available which is cool (cheaper in the long run).
          Gosh – it’s hard to say which one I prefer in terms of makeup! There’s something about Belloccio that just feels a bit more professional and fancy but the Tickled Pink colors are very natural and it’s very light on the skin…

          • Still trying to decide! I may order the luminess eyeshadow duos bc they are on special…but looking at the belloccio bc I feel safe getting it on amazon. It seemed loud but the luminess heiress sounded quiet…but not sure about luminess reviews. Then I stumbled upon a temptu system at dermstore with airpods…do you know the low down on those?

          • Hello Michele – yes, you might like the Temptu Airpod – people seem to either like it or hate it. Just depends on your experience. I did a review here. I think you can get the Luminess through Amazon as well – but maybe not all kits. So that might provide a little extra protection.

  • Thanks so much for all your help Michelle! I have nooooo experience at all so I thought the temptu might be a great start! I spent a lot of time with online chat customer service last night. She was amazing…helped me pick my colors and told me about a promo for a free concealer! If all goes well ill keep this one at our cabin and order the actual airbrush ones. Looking forward to your future review of the heiress by luminess!! Thanks for doing such great reviews!!

  • Hi I’m looking into my first airbrush system for tanning. Can I use other tanning solutions with the Luminess system if I want to in the future? Will I just have to use the same Luminess bottles and re-fill them with whatever solution I want?

    Any other suggestions for a good airbrush system for personal tanning that is versitile with other solutions?

    • Hello Molly – some other tanning solutions work with Luminess but unfortunately Luminess will void your warranty if you use other brands in it. Not all tanning solutions have the same thickness so you can clog the airbrush if you make a mistake. However, I think Belloccio and Ticked Pink have good, cheaper options for home use and Tickled Pink has a very popular tanning solution that comes in big bottles!

  • Michelle! I found a used Luminess pro kit but the airbrush is pc-100, what do you think?

    • Hello Tran – that’s a good airbrush makeup kit. Be careful with used kits though because you never know how old they are and if they’ve been properly cleaned. You can do a service of it if you buy it by taking it apart and cleaning each component. And it should come with all the makeup – otherwise it’s not worth it. The system has variable speed which is great – the new Luminess is single speed only (I prefer variable). It’s a risk buying used but if the machine has been well taken care of it’s ok. You can also use the Belloccio airbrush gun with this system. It’s a little over $300 new so you can work out if you are getting a bargain or not!

  • Hi! I will be purchasing the Luminous Air system, for foundation application, and was wondering if I could use the MAC airbrush makeup with it? I’m buying the kit from eBay, so there is no warranty on the system. I usually like Mac producs in general, I see that your preference is Mac as well, and would prefer using a product from a company I’m familiar with. Cheaper makeup would be an added bonus. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Kim – yes, MAC is fine in Luminess (and much nicer IMO!) 🙂

      • Hi Michelle! Thanks for your quick response! That’s great news….except that it looks like Mac airbrush foundation is only available for purchase by a professional.

      • Hmmm…looks like the rest of my message didn’t post! As I was trying to say, do you know how I can purchase some, as a regular consumer? Or do you have any other suggestions/recommendations? Thanks much!!!

        • Hi Kim – there are a few places you can buy MAC airbrush makeup on the internet. You can buy it on eBay but make sure you go with a reputable seller (some sell fake stuff!) and it can get expensive. And some people will sell them on forums etc. There are various sellers on Amazon if you search MAC Face and Body Foundation. Of course they charge a bit more than if you were a MAC pro member… just find the cheapest one and look for the seller with the best reviews!

          • You are awesome, Michelle! So the MAC Face & Body Foundation can be used as is? Or does it need to be thinned? I’m excited to try this, thanks to you, now that I feel so much more informed! 🙂

          • Hi Kim – you’ll definitely need to thin this with 244 or another thinner. Make sure the thinner is the same base as the makeup. Also, remember to really clean, clean, clean! It’s actually not recommended to put a silicone-based airbrush makeup through an airbrush designed for water-based makeup as it can clog and you might find you don’t get a good spray pattern. Have you considered trying Dinair in the Luminess? Or, for a cheaper option you can try samples:
            Camera Ready Foundation. or the Complete Starter Package and also
            Grabtobian Airbrush Foundation Samples

  • Hi Michelle – Me again! 🙂 So I ended up getting a Belloccio from eBay, supposedly the Deluxe kit, thanks to your recommendations! I tried for the Denair, but couldn’t lock one in! Lol. I looked at the links you gave for the camera ready cosmetics (above) and was excited that there were other makeup options! However, can they be used with the Belloccio airbrush? I would really like to have different options for makeup though I’m confused about whether the Belloccio makeup is water-based or silicone-based. It doesn’t say on the website (not that I found anyway). What other makeup brands can be used with Belloccio?

    • Hi Kim – congratulations on getting your airbrush makeup kit! Hope you got a good price. 🙂
      Belloccio is water-based. They used to say that their makeup was a blend of both silicone and water but have since changed to only mention being water-based. I’m not entirely sure how accurate this is though but I know that they have confirmed for one of my readers that they are water-based only. Anyway – it’s 4mm so the same size as Dinair. Their compressors are really similar so you can definitely use Dinair in the Belloccio as well as Tickled Pink & Luminess. I would avoid silicone-based makeup in the Belloccio though because silicone-based is thicker (unless you add thinner – but that gets complicated and water-based is safe on your skin!)
      Hope that helps! Let me know how you go with the Belloccio!

      • I don’t think I did too bad (I hope)… $155 for the deluxe kit, included airbrush unit, full makeup set (4 foundations, blush, bronzer, shimmer, self-tanner, primer, and cleaning solution), brand new & included shipping.
        Thank you for the clarification! I have a feeling I’ll be trying them all, eventually! 🙂 I’ll let you know how it works out. Thanks so much for all your help!!!

        • Hi Michelle,
          Just thought i’d check back with an update. I’ve been using the Belloccio for about a week now & I love it!! The Belloccio makeup is good, but I also ordered some Camera Ready Cosmetics and I found that the colors are a lot nicer on my (Japanese) skin tone. I have never before found a foundation that I was totally happy with, but I think I’ve finally found it!
          However, I’ve been having some (intermittent) problems with the makeup not coming out of the brush, but I think it has to do with clogging, even though I’m super diligent with cleaning; it even happened right after I took the needle out for cleaning! I’ve been alternating cleaning with a mixture of rubbing alcohol & Kangen water (filtered/distilled), and the Belloccio cleaner. If you have suggestions for keeping the machine in pristine condition, please let me know.
          Thank you for all your great advice!

          • Hey Kim! That’s great feedback on the camera ready! There’s always the risk that you won’t get the optimum result with the makeup gun when using different makeup brands. It shouldn’t be a big problem with the Camera Ready in Belloccio but there is most likely a difference in pigment size with their makeup – so it’s not optimal in Belloccio. Sometimes the little pigments might get jammed. So – a mix of vinegar and water can help. The white vinegar I mean – because it will dissolve any pigments left in the gun. You might have to take it apart and soak it overnight. You are definitely doing the right thing by keeping it clean and using distilled water only. Also, the Belloccio cleaner should do a good job.
            Try the vinegar and let me know how you go!

  • Hi,
    I just recently used the tickled pink and It was my very first time to use an airbrush machine for makeup. It made my face look so smooth. I now want to purchase one but I can’t decide which one is best for me. I have combination skin and I’m acne prone. I was also wondering if you could use a different brand makeup with the tickled pink. Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Toni – welcome to the world of airbrushing makeup! Tickled Pink is really an overlooked airbrush makeup system because they are a smaller business and don’t do the kind of advertising that Dinair does – but, as you know, they produce really great makeup. They just don’t have the kind of budget to do new colors every season like Dinair. If you liked the results of Tickled Pink then you should consider purchasing their kit. Their aloe-based formula is good for acne-based skin. Dinair’s formula is a bit thicker but can go through the Tickled Pink – just make sure you really clean it. Also other water-based formulas like Belloccio should be ok. If you liked Tickled Pink’s compressors then maybe consider Dinair or Belloccio for a similar experience. Check out my airbrush makeup reviews for detailed information on these airbrush makeup kits. Let me know how you go when you decide which one to buy!

  • KIm,

    I just bought a Belloccio system for Spray Tanning. I am a spray tan pro with an HVLP unit…I ordered this airbrush unit to do fine detail work on my clients. My kit only came with the 2 plastic cups that screw in for tanning. My question is, Can I use this to airbrush make up too? Thanks

  • whoops…….I meant Michelle.

    • Ha! No problem Kelly! Yes, the Belloccio airbrush gun that comes with the Spray Tanning system is fine for use with airbrush makeup (this is the gun used with their airbrush makeup system). Just clean it out thoroughly after using it with spray tan.

  • Hi Michelle,
    I have an Luminess airbrush system for over a year now. I not using it too often so my make up foudation still last. Long story short, i wondering if I could use my system with a Mac,…. etc regular foudation? I like Mac make up to cover most of my redness, acne… Do i need to mix any other product to Mac foudation in order for it to flow through the airbrush? Example like any kind of water or mix something else for it to work. I have too much Mac foundation left so I prefer to try using it with my airbrush if possible. Thanks in advance if you have any tip or suggestion on it for me. Waiting to hear back from you. 🙂

    • Hi Tiffany! Unfortunately Mac is a bit tricky through the luminess – you can dilute it to create the consistency you need but that’s not the only part of the story. As a rule, only use silicone-based makeup in airbrush makeup systems designed for silicone-based and only use water-based makeup for those designed for water-based makeup. Also, only dilute silicone-based makeup with silicone based thinner or alcohol and only dilute water-based makeup with (distilled) water.
      You also have to be careful with pigments because different brands have different pigment sizes (which can and do clog airbrush guns). You’re taking a risk with the luminess by putting MAC through it and you’d most likely clog it unfortunately! So I don’t recommend it! But you can do this with the more pro machines like Iwata.
      Hope that helps!! 🙂

  • Hi! In spite of all the lack reviews, i wound up getting a luminess pro because it was such a great deal (about less than half the cost even with 2 year warranty!!). Do you think it would be safe to use dinair foundations on this thing? Especially the paramedical line coz i have acne here and there. How about kett or occ foundations? Also, would getting a better gun improve my chances of a better make up application (like dinair’s gun for example?) i hope to see more reviews from you in the future! Thanks! In hindsight maybe i shouldnt have gotten a warranty if i was planning to use a different foundation. Lol

    • Hello! Dinair is fine in Luminess – but only their standard foundation and blushes. You can’t use paramedical as it is a bit too thick. Belloccio actually sell a good airbrush that you can use with the Luminess (and it’s a really good price). The Dinair airbrush gun will also work with this – oh, you won’t be able to use Kett or OCC in your Luminess either! Sorry!! Well – you can thin the makeup but it’s not really worth doing this since you don’t want to water down a good foundation. The OCC goes on without an airbrush too though so you won’t be missing out!

      • Thanks for the reply! If i change the gun on my luminess, wouldnt that allow me to use other foundations? Coz i thought the reason why i couldnt use other foundies is because the gun nzzle is too small . I love my luminess! Tried it for the first time last night. Foundation lasted a good 8 hrs at a party! So far so good. Im just asking about other brands because im sure i’ll look at different foundies next!. Thats just me though. Curiosity is a peculiar thing!

        • Hello – yes, and no. The Dinair has a bigger needle/nozzle configuration but isn’t built for silicone-based makeup. Also, the compressor has to be a bit more powerful to push out the thicker makeup. Hope that helps! 🙂

  • Thanks so much for all your review, it is great! I have oily/ combination skin with ance and blemish skin problem. I am a beginner for makeup, my purpose of daily makeup is to cover my pimple and ance scar and redness. I try not to do too much and satisfy with sheer coverage. I just bought the groupon deal for luminess air heiress air system, do u think it is good for me? If not, which one do u think fit me best or I should try next?

    • Hi Amy – Luminess should be fine for you. Give it some time to see if you like it. Maybe you can look at other brands if you don’t like it (Belloccio’s airbrush gun works with this system). Other options are Dinair or Tickled Pink. You may like some of the Dinair makeup which are good for covering scars etc. Also have a look at MediBac Clearing Mattifier by Dermalogica for oily skin. It’s great!

  • Hi for a starter air brush for mac face and body what system would you use 🙂 and do u dilute it down thanks

    • Hi Rachael – you might have missed my reply to your 1st post – I’ll post it here again for you. Let me know if it answers your question.

      Hi Rachael! You can dilute Face & Body with 422 (you have to use thinner that is silicone-based with MAC’s silicone-based formula). You’re aiming to get the same consistency as milk. But I wouldn’t really recommend doing with MAC’s Face & Body – it’s much better just applying this by hand.
      If you want to use MAC’s airbrush makeup foundation that’s much better – and you’d want an Iwata airbrush makeup system. I’ve written a few reviews of various Iwata systems so you can check these out. Look at the Silver Jet, Ninja Jet or even Power Jet or Smart Jet.
      If you aren’t starting with lots of clients then the Silver Jet with HP-CS or HP-C+ gun is a great balance between quality and cost.
      Hope that helps! 🙂

  • Hi Michelle,

    What system(s) do you recommend for older women with wrinkles, sags, and age spots? Not interested in tanning, just a younger looking face?

    • Hello Denise! Most older women tend to prefer silicone-based airbrush makeup as it has a smoother, dewy appearance vs the matte of water-based. I’d definitely recommend Temptu (also Temptu Pro) because they have two great compressors and their makeup range covers water-based, silicone-based and even alcohol-based. I wrote up a big review of them here.
      You can use other brands of makeup in the Temptu systems but, if you want the best system, look at the Iwata range. You can use practically any liquid makeup in these machines and they last forever and give the best results. You want something like the HP-CS or HP-C+ (better) which gives you a finer mist than the cheaper airbrush guns–this means it covers wrinkles even better for a more natural look. Check out my review of the Iwata Silver Jet here.