Airbrush Makeup Review: M.A.C Air Airbrush Makeup System

M.A.C. Cosmetics have partnered with airbrush manufacturer Iwata to create their range of Airbrush Makeup Systems called M.A.C. Air. Iwata is a well established brand with excellent quality equipment. Iwata is the preferred brand of many professional makeup artists as well as painters. They have several models, the more popular airbrushes being the Eclipse HP CS Dual Action and the High Performance Cup C+ (HP-C+) combined with one of the Power Jet compressors. These are large, professional use machines with precise adjustment of airflow through an air pressure regulator.

For those of you with no time for long reviews click here to skip to our ratings breakdown.

Most consumer or semi-professional users would opt for the Power Jet Lite or the much cheaper (but still excellent) Studio Series. They come with a moisture filter, airhose, protective outer case, airbrush holder and adapters for use with any brand of airbrush. These are not the cheapest airbrush compressors but they are certainly amongst the best and can be seen as an investment for those looking to make a living (even if just part time) out of airbrushing. You can also receive a discount if you book into an Airbrush Makeup Course through M.A.C. Cosmetics.

The Iwata Airbrushes are equally as impressive setting the standard for most consumer airbrushes on the market today. They can be either side fed or gravity fed for mixing custom colors or quick color changes. The Iwata airbrushes have a nice weight to them and are made of quality materials. Iwata are known for their responsive feel and as having the quickest airbrushes in the industry. These are difficult to find online through M.A.C. because they are only available through their M.A.C. Pro Stores and not in department stores. However, you can order elsewhere if you know what you’re looking for.

M.A.C. has a wide variety of makeups. Some are silicone based and some are water based so they suit all skin types. We all know their colors are fantastic and most of their makeup range can be used just as easily in the airbrush as with traditional brushes. M.A.C. cosmetics are very reasonably priced considering the quality and it’s very easy to play with the pigments either combining tones or watering them down to create the colors that best match your look. Keep in mind that M.A.C. is always bringing out new products so you can have something new to play with every few months.

Another advantage is that you will be using an Iwata model airbrush which is compatible with all makeup types so you can mix and match freely.

The initial investment in the Iwata compressor and airbrush will be slightly more expensive than most consumer Airbrush Makeup Systems but if you are interested in doing a M.A.C. Airbrush Makeup course then this cost is partially offset. If you add the benefit of high quality but relatively cheaper makeup from M.A.C. plus the excellent quality of the Iwata equipment then this is well worth the investment if you can spare the extra dollars. Iwata has such a large range of quality equipment which ranges from the consumer-level (and priced) to the professional. Their systems are interchangeable and the choice of many professionals. The Iwata and/or MAC Airbrush makeup system is highly recommended for those who take their own makeup seriously or are thinking of moving into the makeup industry or doing weekend work on weddings or Halloween parties.


MAC Air
Compressorwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The best compressors in the industry.
Airbrush Gunwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The best airbrush guns in the industry.
Makeupwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Extremely high quality & affordable with a great range.
Customer Servicewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Good especially if you are MAC Pro.
Pricewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
More expensive than other kits but quality to back it up. Makeup is affordable.
Overallwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The choice of professionals & a worthwhile investment for serious makeup artists.


110 Comments + Add Comment

  • Where can I find the MAC air system? I called the MAC store in Atlanta and they didn’t know what I was talking about…

    • Hello Julie – that’s strange! Maybe you can try their online store. Sometimes only the ‘Pro’ outlets have them. They used to be in some department stores but I think they have pulled them now to focus exclusively on their own stores. Good luck and let me know how you go!

  • You can only buy the airbrush system at MAC Pro stores not regular MAC stores :)

  • I have $300 to spend on airbrush, makeup and machine. Basically the whole kit and kaboodle. Lol. I just want something for using on myself at home. What is your recommendation?
    Thanks, Tina

    • Ooh – shopping spree!! :)
      You have a few great choices: MAC is awesome – and if you have a look at my review I’ve included links to the Iwata equipment they use (which is cheaper on Amazon). So, you could get the Studio series compressor with one of the airbrush guns for just under $300. Maybe have some money left over for some nice MAC makeup! Also, this setup would allow you to use most brands of makeup.
      Also take a look at Kett: The Kett Jett is one to look at. Kett has a few different compressors and sells a range of packages.

  • Awesome thanks! You rock! Will it also she me how to use it and the make up? I have no idea on any of it lol

    • Kett has instruction booklets but you won’t get any if you buy the Iwata. But it’s not too hard to learn – you can use my website like an instruction booklet! :)
      There are also some great videos on Youtube (I have some of the best on my ‘videos‘ page) and there’s a lot of information on Dinair’s website.
      Trust me, it’s not hard to learn – especially if you start with the correct technique (there are a few ways to airbrush ‘correctly’).
      Feel free to post any questions you have here – I’m always happy to help!

  • Thanks so much I’ll let you know how it works out!

  • I am torn between the Dinair or the Mac (Iwata). I am new and never used one before. It would be just for me for home use. However I saw some really cool post about using this to airbrush tan as well as all over make up for halloween. Also can I use Dinair make up in the Iwata equipment?
    Thank you

    • Hello – thanks for visiting!
      Iwata/MAC is definitely better equipment than Dinair. However, generally Dinair is a good choice for beginner airbrushers as the equipment will do everything you will ask of it. On the other hand, Iwata is built much better and will last longer – and you can use most makeup in an Iwata brush (whereas you can’t use just any makeup in a Dinair). So, if you are thinking long term – go with Iwata. But, if you have any doubt about whether or not you will enjoy airbrushing then go with Dinair.
      Iwata is much more versatile – airbrushing your tan with Iwata is a breeze compared with trying it with Dinair!
      Please come back to visit and let me know how you go!

      • Thanks Michelle for getting back to me so soon. Your site is SO helpful!! I do have another question. Which Dinair compressor would you say is the best for me? The way I am looking at this is- If you say I need to purchase the 199 compressor kit then why not pay for the Jet Lite kit for 259. $60 dollars more and I can have a lot better one. Make since to me. The only draw back is I would still need to purchase the make up. I am not sure where to get the MAC makeup but was thinking to get Dinair makeup. I have SUPER dry skin and can never get it not dry even with lotions etc. Also- I noticed the Jet Lite says the compressor starts at 10-18 PSI. There is no 0?
        Thanks again!!!

        • Hello Holly – it’s a tough decision I know! I think the way to look at it is that Dinair gives you everything you need (including makeup) whereas the Iwata is separate airgun, compressor and then makeup (which is ok, but just gets more expensive). Dinair is good value for money – but you can also use their makeup in the tickled pink machine which is cheaper still (though you have to change the consistency of the makeup). Dinair has great customer service and will help you through the learning process. Dinair makeup is good on dry skin – the water-based makeup is very light.
          Regarding dry skin – have you tried Dermalogica’s Skin Hydrating Masque? I love most of Dermalogica’s products and this is fantastic (also drink lots of water!!)
          The Jet Lite has a higher working PSI than the Dinair – which is something to get used to. Dinair was designed for non-professionals so it has a lower working PSI range which is more forgiving (by going slower you make less mistakes!)
          Are you looking at any other brands?

          • Michelle,
            Wow you are a wealth of knowledge! I have not tried dermalogica’s skin hydrating masque but will be looking into that for sure. I don’t drink enough water at all and I know this is an issue. I have been trying to work on it. I don’t have a desire to drink anything all day. Just odd but has been like that my whole life. I am going to get the Dinair. I think that is the best option since I am new and need to learn the steps etc before I jump into a professional status. Thank you again for all your help! You certainly made it a lot easier to decide.
            -Holly

          • Always glad to help! :)
            If you need any help with the Dinair let me know – please come back to visit and leave a comment about what you think of the kit.

  • hi Michelle! i love your honesty, i am a self thought makeup artist and want to start it as a profession,and interested to buy an airbrush makeup kit so i use for my self and my clients,which one you thinks is good with a minimum budjet.thank you.

    • Hello Halin – thank you! I love to get feedback on my website – I appreciate hearing that people are getting something out of it. :)
      How exciting that you are going to go pro! There are actually many professional MUA’s who actually use Dinair – which is fine in terms of the quality. However, it’s not really an airbrush makeup system that can last a long time with professional use. However, it may allow you to start off small until your business starts taking off (and then you can invest in a more expensive machine). If you can stretch yourself definitely look at Iwata equipment (with MAC cosmetics). You can get cheaper prices on Amazon and elsewhere. The MAC makeup is amazing too. The luminess systems are quite good value too – but the makeup is more expensive. It’s fine to use other brands of makeup but you have to know how to mix them to get the right consistency.
      Iwata has a few different compressors and airbrush guns so you can always go for the cheaper compressor such as the Ninja Jet (which is loud but a good little machine) and a HP BS or the High Performance C+. The C+ is more expensive though as it has a bigger cup and is a better design. However, either gun will last forever (which means, that you can actually sell them if you no longer need them). You can use any makeup with Iwata equipment which is why they are so popular with professionals.
      Going pro definitely has a steep learning curve! How exciting!!
      If you are on a really tight budget then Tickled Pink is perfectly fine. The kit has everything you need, the makeup is good and it’s a wonderful practice machine and good enough for professional work. Maybe after a year of paying clients you can save up enough to get the Iwata!
      One tip: be careful with some of the silicone makeup which can be overly reflective for HD digital photography (with flash). Always be aware of what’s in the makeup and how that can have different effects in real life vs video and photography.
      Hmm – hope that helps! Please let me know how you go.

  • Tina , I know it’s a little late but my daughters and I have decided to buy my eldest daughters who’s a cosmetologist , an airbrush kit we want it to be the very best we can afford she’s really into makeup and wants to continue her career in the industry . What would you suggest ? She often does photo shoots for clients in NYC . We think this would help her a lot . $300-500 range

    • Sorry Michelle mixed up I addressed the question to Tina . My mistakes I do apologize .

    • Hello Selena – what a great gift for your eldest! That price range is perfect for an Iwata system – the Iwata Silver Jet Compressor comes with the HP-CS Airbrush Gun and is a great set up for airbrush makeup and costs around $255. This would leave you some money left over to buy some makeup such as MAC Cosmetics micronized formula (but you have to have a Pro account to buy from them) or Temptu which has a great range of silicone-based makeups. Dinair also have an exciting range which can be used in Iwata but Dinair is water-based which means that mixing silicone-based makeup (such as Temptu) with Dinair requires some knowledge about airbrush makeup consistency etc.

      The Power Jet Lite is an even better system from Iwata but it’s about $100 more expensive. This is their most versatile machine and can be used for any makeup and even nails. However, you need to spend more to buy the airbrush makeup gun which comes separately. The HP CS Dual Action is one of the most useful for makeup artists.

      Iwata airbrushes and compressors are the best, especially for pros, because they can take almost any makeup. The airbrush guns have a unique design that allows for different spray pattern meaning that it is good for large areas like foundation as well as fine detail. There is a learning curve though so you have to make sure she’s prepared to learn it. There are some good one day courses but there is also a lot of information online. And I’m always happy to help out with suggestions! Simple things like learning which cleaner goes with which type of makeup can take time to learn but once she masters the techniques she will love, love, love airbrushing makeup!

  • I have a question. I bought the dinair system about a month and a half ago and now I’m having problems with the airbrush. The makeup isn’t coming out right. I’ve cleaned it several times and it has become a big hassle. Now I have to return the airbrush to get inspected, which I had to pay to have it inspected because the 1 year warranty doesn’t cover the airbrush. I only use this for personal use which I love the makeup because it has controlled the breakouts and I have sensitive skin. But now I find myself without an airbrush and just a compressor. I read your reviews on the different systems and was wondering if you think I should just have my airbrush fixed or look into a better airbrush gun and compressor and sell what I have. I don’t want the same issue to keep happening over and over again with this dinair airbrush gun. Any suggestions. I am not sure if the iwata compressor will be too noisy or to difficult to use.

    • Hello Annie – thank you for visiting! That’s such a pity about your Dinair airbrush gun – it’s definitely the biggest issue with airbrush makeup: cleaning can be a hassle and even the slightest makeup left over can build up in the airbrush over a few months even if you’ve been super-diligent about airbrushing. Better airbrushes can certainly cope with this. Also, the needle can get damaged when you are cleaning it so it’s a bit of a catch22 at times.
      A couple of suggestions regarding cleaning and using Dinair makeup (which you are probably already aware of but I’ll just put them here just in case as well as for other readers)
      – you have to really shake the makeup a lot before you use it because the fine pigments they use tend to settle (which means that you won’t get the right consistency when airbrushing and then you run the risk of having a lot of sediment in the last few drops of the bottle
      – always clean the dinair with a water based cleaner since their makeup is water based. Citrus cleaners work well as does vinegar.
      – even the smallest damage to the needle will prevent your airbrush from functioning properly – damage can happen when cleaning
      – the nozzle might have some damage
      – the dinair compressor works at a low PSI and is designed for water-based makeup only. It’s not a strong compressor so doesn’t deal with any blockage very well. There is a small probability that the compressor is the issue if it isn’t pushing out air to its full capacity.

      Regarding whether or not to buy a different airbrush makeup system it’s a tough decision since you only bought it recently – but if they end up charging you a lot for the inspection then it will become painful.

      I have a good suggestion actually – the Belloccio airbrush gun is less than $40 and it’s a pretty good airbrush (it’s the same one used in the Luminess system which they sell for over twice the price). This airbrush gun can cope with more makeup types than the dinair. You can definitely put dinair makeup through this airbrush (the Belloccio). On top of that, if you eventually buy an Iwata compressor, the Belloccio works with these. So, rather than have the hassle of sending your airbrush gun back to Dinair, this may be a better option.

      Regarding Iwata – the Ninja Jet is louder than the Dinair which is a pity. Otherwise, it’s a good compressor. The bigger, Salon professional grade Iwata compressors are fantastic and I’d definitely recommend them. However, only after you’ve been airbrushing for a while and are comfortable it’s something you’d like to continue doing. The Iwata airbrush guns are definitely the best as well, but the Belloccio is much cheaper and should last you a few years.

      Hope that helps – let me know how you go. If you send it back to Dinair I’d love to hear their response.

  • [...] Airbrush Makeup Review: MAC Air [...]

  • Hi Michelle, I have recently discovered airbrushing and I was hoping to get your advice on what the best brand/machine is to purchase for a beginner.

    • Hello Lee – you’ll love airbrushing makeup! Welcome to my site – I hope it can help you when you find the right machine for you. For beginners, Dinair, Temptu, Belloccio, Tickled Pink, and Glam Air are all good airbrush makeup systems for beginners. They have mini-compressors and aren’t as versatile as Salon machines but all work well for home use. I’ve put links in to my reviews of them so you can pick the one you prefer for your needs (if you find you really love airbrushing and want something better then look at Iwata equipment). Dinair is the most popular as they have a great range of makeup and are a big company – though the other brands can be just as good but are often cheaper. Good luck!

      • Hi Michelle, thank you so much for your assistance and your site is a massive help for choosing the right products I was looking at dinair but just wanted an opinion from someone who knows something about other brands.
        Thank you.

  • Hello! Michelle i would like to know if Iwata does spraytan also……and if nor which machine do you recommend that does both!!!! thankyou,

    • Hello Marie – thank you for visiting! :)
      Yes – Iwata is perfect for spray tan – you can put any liquid makeup through an Iwata system. All their compressors are powerful enough for spraytan (which should be a higher PSI setting than your foundation). Around 20 PSI is good for spraytan.
      However, you need a different airgun from the ones I recommend when airbrushing makeup. Don’t use a gravity fed airbrush gun – use a bottle-fed because you use a lot more solution when tanning. Also make sure you get one with a .4mm or .5mm needle.

  • Thank you so much for being so friendly and helping us all out with finding an airbrush system. I have always wanted an airbrush system because it would be great to use everyday and to share with people for special occasions. I do want to buy the Iwata because I want to use this system forever! I have two questions I hope you have a few moments to help me in answering.

    1) I have mostly skin with a little dryness, redness, and huge pores. Gah- My face sounds scary when I type all of that. What type of airbrush make-up can help me out with that? Also, what make-up stays put best and what would happen if I accidentally worked out in this air brush make-up? Plus, does it help out with huge pores? No make-up I have tried ever seems to work, but thats okay. It is something I have learned to live with.

    2) I read your reviews and thought it was so cool that the Denair can help you airbrush your hair and designs on yourself. Can you do that with the Iwata system? I assume you can because it is more professional, but I want to double check.

    Thank you for your time

    • Hello Laura – thank you for the kind comments! I’m glad my website has helped so many people with airbrush makeup! As a general rule the silicone-based makeup is better for dry skin. It will give you a dewy look. Airbrushing makeup will definitely cover pores – check out some before/after videos on Youtube to see the amazing results people achieve (I have a selection of airbrush makeup videos here as well). Some people find that their are allergic to silicone-based makeup or that it irritates their skin – in this case you would have to use water-based only. Water-based makeup tends to be less long-lasting than silicone-based but there are ways to fix it to make it more water-proof and longer-lasting.
      Iwata is definitely the best – plus, you can try any makeup through it so you can find the best brands (or combination of brands) for your skin. Temptu also has a good range of equipment (aside from the airpods) that I will write a review for shortly. Temptu makeup or OCC or MAC would be really good for covering your pores. Also you can moisturize and conceal before airbrushing makeup.
      To answer your second question, Dinair has a great collection of stencils and their makeup is fine on the hair because it is water-based. They really go out of their way to innovate with accessories and fun makeup. You can put any of this through an Iwata and you can always buy these stencils separately or from some of the other brands.
      Good luck with airbrushing an feel free to pop by if you have any more questions! :)

      • Thank you for such a swift reply. Ever since Feb 4th I have been reading everything I could about these systems. I even called up bridal makeup studios to see what they use because I work often with brides and weddings at my hotel. They are easily confused as to why I am calling and I feel badly for wasting their time. This is the best source of info yet.

        This review helps because now (before I read your posting) I can’t decide between an Iwata Ninja Jett or a Kett Jett. I was having this trouble because . . .

        Iwata Ninja Jet=
        I would like the Iwata Ninja Jet because I need something that I can easily transport more so than any other Iwata. I saw the Iwata Neo AIr, but it looks small because of this I assume it can’t be kept on for a long time. If it can and you know, please tell me :) I like that you can use any make-up inside these brushes so I can use it for spray tanning, cake decarating, air brushing t-shirts, body and hair art (if I purchase the proper brushes). The brushes also have a cap and what not to keep make-up in. If any of this is wrong, please let me know.

        Question- Do you know if the Iwata Ninja jet can be used for a long time in one sitting?
        ————————————————————————–
        but, the
        Kett Jett= I read that you can purchase a battery for it, so it can go cordless. I also know it is easily transportable because you don’t need it plugged in all the time. If I can only use certain Kett Jett brushes then I don’t mind because their make-up is great. In your review you also said it can do cake decorating and other random stuff. I also may have worked out a deal to get a Kett Jett for under $150! I saw it and it is brand new. It is just the compressor. With this great price offer I can’t decide what to do- buy Iwata (the best) or Kett Jett that is great and more portable at a cheaperish price. In the end with a brush I can get the whole system might be around $210. I feel like that is what I see the Iwata at often with a brush.

        Question- Can I only use Kett Jett brushes meaning I can only use their make-up with this set?
        Can a Kett jett be left on for a long time as well?

        ——————-
        Goodness gracious-

        You would still go with an Iwata knowing a Kett Jett is maybe easier to transport and can do anything the Iwata can (minus being able to use any brand of anything) and I can purchase it under $150? Snap- the Iwata is the best though and can do all that I need it to do for sure- I can’t decide. Maybe the Iwata Ninja Jet because I can customize make-up and stuff and it is smaller for transport.

        Sorry, to post so much. I am having troubles.

        Thank you again.

        • Hello again Laura! Wow – you have really done your research and I understand exactly how you feel – stuck between the choice of two great airbrush makeup systems! I don’t think the Neo Air is for you – it’s too small a compressor for your needs, especially if you are doing professional work as an MUA. Like all the smaller, home-use compressors, it can’t be left on for too long (it shuts off after 10mins). The Ninja Jet is fine with continued use as it has a different motor.
          Have a look at some videos online to compare the ninja jet with the Kett Jett. Lots of people have posted videos of them using it – so you can get a feel for what you think will suit you better. Look at the difference in size and also the noise of the compressor.
          Both are great systems – you’re right that the Kett has a battery. It lasts about 90mins. I haven’t seen anyone use this for cake decorating though – maybe the Iwata systems are better for that. $210 is a great price for the compressor and airbrush combined. Also, remember you can use Kett makeup without using the compressor – love that. But, then again, you can always use Kett makeup in the Iwata…or almost any other makeup. But remember the Ninja Jett plus an Iwata airgun will set you back around $280.
          You can use some other water-based makeups in the Kett.
          I’m not sure if I’ve helped you out or just made things more confusing! Let me know if I have left anything out! :)

  • Thank you agaiN! You have helped me a lot. I have seen videos of the Iwata and it is a decently small compressor. I don’t mind the noise or anything. You have helped me decide to get the Iwata. I am so very excited for this. I love that I can use it for almost everything and it can lost longer then 30 minutes. I like what you said about it and everything.

    Wow! This is has been the best review interaction I have ever had.

    Thank you thank you

    • I’m so glad I could help you out Laura! You’ll love the Iwata. Let me know if you need any help with it and please come back to leave a comment about what you think of it! Happy airbrushing!

  • My Ninja jet is on its way. I also ordered the Revolution- CR brush, so I can use it for cosmetic use and body art use. Thanks for the suggestion to go on the Dinair website, there is a lot of info there. I plan to use their body art make-up because they seem to make it so simple, plus I won’t be doing body art everyday.

    As for everyday make-up use, I am still deciding between your suggestions of Temptu and OCC. I think I will start out with what ever is cheaper or has more fluid for less money.

    I read your review on Kett Jett make-up and it seems like it is a great brand. I was thinking about using their products. In an above post it was not mentioned with Temptu and OCC as a product to use. I am curious in seeing if there is a reason I should not venture to use it? I know it might be because you are busy and can’t write everything down.

    I have one last question if you have the time :)

    Can I use the Ninja Jet everyday? I have read some more reveiws and have been on their website and none say that it can’t be used everyday, nor it can be used everyday.
    I totally understand if you do not know either, I will be happy to tell you once I use it for awhile.

    Again, without your assistance I would be pulling my hair out. I have had bad luck with purchasing products, so I want to research like crazy.

    Thank you again,

    Laura S.

    • Hello Laura – wow! Fantastic that you bought the Iwata. I’m sure you’ll love it – please come back to share your experience with it. You have a nice airbrush makeup kit – the Revolution CR airbrush is a very good airbrush. It’s hard to recommend an everyday makeup because people usually have different tastes and different experience so I think you are on the right track by aiming for value for money because both are really good. Definitely have a look at Dinair and even Tickled Pink too (they are great value for money) – you might just be pleasantly surprised.
      I’m not sure why I left off Kett! Their makeup is very good and great value for money. One of the best! I highly recommend Kett airbrush makeup.
      The Ninja Jet is ok to use every day – it’s well built. Not as good as their salon compressors but it’s still Iwata quality and well-built.

      You don’t have to send anything but thank you for the offer! :) It’s very kind. I’m happy my website is helping so many people! To answer your questions:
      1. Moisturizer: Not all moisturizer works with all airbrush makeup. Use water-based with water-based etc and you should be generally ok. But there are a few companies who also make their own moisturizer which can be airbrushed (or is compatible with their own brand). Some are better than others.
      2. I use Makeup Forever Mist N Fix to make water-based makeup last longer. I’ve found it’s amazing with Dinair makeup. I wrote a post on it a while ago which I’ve linked to. A few brands also have similar products which are compatible with their brands. Hopefully you’re not allergic to silicone though! Then you can use all sorts of different brands.
      3. You can sweat over airbrush makeup and generally it will last – especially if you use a fixer. You’ll be surprised how well it works. Don’t use too much when you start out just so you can see how it holds when you are playing sport. It is possible to reapply a few brands of airbrush makeup without the equipment but it takes some practice.

      Hope that helped!! :)

  • Gah! I am so sorry, I have more questions I forgot to ask. I wish I could do something for you for all of your help. If you or your company has an address, I would love to send something in the mail.

    1) As for moisturizing and priming- is it okay to use any kind of moisturizer? As long as you moisturize and prime? I like to use moisturizer that has SPF in. I also already have some primer that I would like to use up before buying a new type.

    2) I am going to see if I am allergic to sillicone, but before I do that I am curious how one would make water based airbrush makeup more water proof/ smear proof. I know that it was mentioned above that it was possible.

    3) I participate in sports and would it be really bad if I workout/sweat with airbrush makeup? I already wear makeup when working out (I know its bad) because I just didn’t have time to take it all off and reapply it. I am curious if it is even worst to do so? or maybe better? ( I can dream)

    Again, I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of you/anyone who helps out.

    Laura

  • Once again you were very helpful. You are the best! Thanks

  • Hey Michelle! I have been wanting to adventure into airbrushing for a while now. I’m extremely excited to try it, but I’m constantly debating between the Temptu machine and the MAC machine. I want something that will be fairly easy (considering I’m a beginner), but something that has a variety of colors and that’s fairly affordable. Between the two machines, which do u recommend?

    • Hello Aisha – thanks for stopping by! Both Temptu and MAC are great – The Temptu airpod is a bit restrictive though but their professional airbrush makeup systems are very high quality. MAC uses Iwata and you can use Temptu makeup through most Iwata equipment anyway. There are good prices on Amazon for Iwata equipment but you can’t buy MAC airbrush makeup there – I really love the MAC airbrush makeup. It’s super popular for good reason!

    • Thanx! So would I buy the MAC cosmetics through the Mac store or do I have to get them from their pro locations? Thanks in advance for your help and recommendations

      • Hello Aisha – you can buy their products from the MAC store without a card but if you buy online (here) you have to have a card. You can also order by phone but I’m not sure if you need a card or not. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the makeup on Amazon but it sometimes comes up on eBay or some other websites for about $10 cheaper. But you never know if it’s authentic until you try it!
        MAC don’t advertise their prices online either…

  • Hi, I just recently started looking at purchasing an airbrush system. I’ve read thru numerous of your reviews on the different airbrush systems but am still undecided which is best for me. I would be using it at home on a regular basis. However I compete in Figure/Bodybuilding which puts me on stage under bright lights and photo shoots backstage. I currently use MAC makeup for my stage makeup. I was leaning towards the MAC since I already use their foundation. Would there be a better alternative? I would also need a darker foundation when I’m showing since I have an overly extreme spray tan on. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

    Stacey

    • Hi Stacey – thanks for reading through my site! :)
      There really isn’t a better alternative to MAC in terms of the airbrush makeup system because they use Iwata equipment which is by far the best. It’s versatile enough to do fine work as well as body work (as you know, you need a much stronger PSI and a bigger compressor to make tanning easier). Some of the smaller compressors include tanning kits but they rarely hold up to continued use – you wouldn’t want it to break down while you’re competing. You might want to have a look at the Tickled Pink tanning solution which comes in big bottles (saves money over time) and the actual shade is really nice – you might like this better (you can get smaller, sample sizes).
      Graftobian also uses Iwata compressors and they also have a portable version called the walkaround. You do need a specific airbrush though (with a bigger cup and wider spray).

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you need any more detail.

      Michelle.

  • Hi Michelle, wow thank you so much for all your hard work and reviews! They are very informative and I thought I did my research till I ran across your page. lol I’m going to get an Iwata brand but I wanted to ask if it will be compatible with other bottle fed airbrushes? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Jo – thanks for visiting! You can use other bottle fed airbrushes with Iwata. Sometimes you need to get an adapter or a quick disconnect add on so it can be used with different hoses. Some of these are really good and allow you to control the airflow through the adapter.

  • Right on! Thanks for the advice. :)

  • Hi Michelle! I am a cosmetologist and have had someone approach me to buy a Belletto system from them for $325. I have not really had any intention on starting with airbrush makeup until I was approached about the system. Now, I am pretty excited and thinking seriously about looking into starting this at the shop that I work in. My only problem, I know nothing about any of it. I have read through your reviews and you are awesome and so informative! Your site has really helped me to determine that I do not think I want to go with the Belletto. I am not even sure what kind the Belletto is, seeing that it isn’t mentioned at all in your reviews. DO you know anything about that system? I am thinking that I should for sure go with the Iwata so it will last me a long time and can be a great attribute to the shop. But, I know nothing about which compressor I need or which airbrush I would need. It would be great if I could go ahead and get whatever I need to be able to do the makeup and the spray tan. What would you suggest that I try?

    • Hi Kelly! Thanks for visiting!! I don’t have any real world experience with Belletto but someone visited my site and mentioned that there was a deal for $99 on Dealfind. From the looks of it the Belletto compressor has very similar specs to the Dinair, Tickled Pink and Belloccio home-use compressors. So it might not be powerful enough for your professional use. The Iwata is definitely worth the extras dollars since it is so much more reliable and you aren’t restricted to one type of makeup. The Iwata compressors are great and you can look at either one all-round airbrush gun or two separate ones for different makeup (thicker or thinner liquid makeup). The Temptu Pro is also very good and Graftobian is another popular brand for MUA’s.

      Hope that helps! Good luck with adding airbrush makeup to your cosmetology business! :)

      • Thank you so much, Michelle! I looked at a comparison chart on the different iwata machines and I am thinking that the Power Jet Lite would be a good fit… what do you think? Or, do youthink I could get away with a cheaper iwata machine? Also, what do you recommend on the guns? Do you know, round about, how much it would cost to get a good starter kit in each of the airbrush makeups that you would recommend the best? Sorry for the overload! I just have so many questions and you are just so knowledgeable on it all! Thank you for all the help, and thank you for taking time out of your free time to help me!! I appreciate you so much!!! :)

        • Hi Kelly! The Power Jet Lite is fantastic – a real workhorse. There are two versions: a single piston or a double. Actually the Silver Jet is about half the price and still a fantastic compressor. The ninja jet might be a bit small for professional use but the Silver Jet is very reliable.
          For the airbrush guns the HP CS is good for foundation/blush etc and for detail using stencils. It works well with MAC and the silicone-based makeup like Temptu. Temptu have some great starter sets so definitely check them out! But you’ll ultimately find which brands you prefer working with. Good luck and let me know how you go! :)

          • Awesome!! Thank you so much! So you think the Silver Jet would be a great fit? I am great with that… and it will save me money! Yay! I am really excited. I will probably be on here asking you many more questions after I actually get the stuff! LOL! I have just a few more questions, and then I will leave you alone.. 1) Would you recommend buying the iwata airbrush or going with a different brand that is cheaper? (I am thinking I read somewhere that you can use different brand airbrushes on the iwata, right?) 2) Would the HP CS airbrush be good for spray tanning also, or which brush would I need for that? 3) What brand of spray tan do you generally like to use, if any? 4) Can I purchase all of this off of Amazon?

            Thank you so much for all of your help! I have known absolutely nothing about all of this and you have helped me a TON!!

          • Hi Kelly – definitely the Silver Jet – actually there’s a system on Amazon that includes both the compressor and airbrush here. It’s a great price.
            I would stick with the Iwata airbrush as the metal used is rust-proof and won’t get build-up etc. The components are all much better made so it should last for years or even decades. But you could hook up a cheaper Belloccio airbrush with the right attachments. Also look at the HP C+ from Iwata as another option.
            You need a different airbrush for spray tan – because you use so much more liquid when tanning. So a bottle fed airbrush is much easier (the one with the bottle underneath).
            I like a few brands of tanning – I was really surprised by the Tickled Pink which I think is a very natural color (not so orange) and comes in large/bulk sizes. But there are a few different brands that I haven’t listed on my website (like Fake Bake) which you can get on Amazon. It all depends on what suits your complexion though.
            Always happy to help – let me know what you end up buying and what you think!! :)

  • Hi Michelle! You are very helpful and that is very kind of you! I too am a first time user (also an esthetician-however not currently working). I was hoping you could help me decide which compressor, gun and makeup to buy. I will be using it at home. I have combination skin (my t-zone can get fairly oily during the warmer seasons and get pretty flaky during the colder. I normally do not have an issue with breakouts, however they happen occasionally. I also am noticing my pores are getting worse. I do not want to look like I am wearing a ton of makeup although I would like my freckles and imperfections covered. I also have pretty noticeable bags/dark circles that I hate along with the inevitable lines around my eyes and frown furrows. I am 30 years old so you have an idea of where I am as far as “that:” goes. I also like to look more “bronzed” than anything. I would like a solid machine that is going to be worth the investment. I am thinking I have somewhere around 250 for the compressor and gun and am pretty open to price for makeup and am willing to shop different brands.PLEASE HELP!! I am very excited to try one of these out but I too would just like to hear from you, straight out, what you have found to be the most suitable for my skin type/concerns/etc. thanks so much!!

    • Hi Breanne – thanks for visiting! Hopefully I can help you out!
      For oily skin I highly recommend – if you haven’t used it before then definitely give it a try.
      If you don’t have any issues with silicone then Temptu makeup will work very well with your skin – also have a look at MAC and Graftobian.
      For around $250 Temptu Pro will be out of the question but you could put together a good Iwata Set for a little over $270 (plus makeup)
      ($146.66). This isn’t the best Iwata airbrush as it is a little noisier but it’s smaller and more affordable.
      ($137.63)
      – Look at starter sets from Temptu or MAC – maybe even try Dinair. Basically you have to experiment a little to find what works best for you in terms of makeup as there are quite a few very good brands.

      The important thing is to prime and prep, especially if you have flaky skin during the colder months. Actually Dinair is great for minor imperfections like freckles because it will give you a sheer, very natural coverage. The aim is not to cover imperfections with lots of makeup but to highlight our best features! For the “panda circles” check out (the link is to my review).

      Hope that helps!! Let me know if you need me to clarify anything. :)

  • Hi Michelle,

    You website is amazing! So incredibly informative! I absolutely love it!!

    My scenario: I have been doing Hair and Makeup on the side for 7 years now, and all this time I have only offered the traditional application of makeup, Needless to say I have invested quite the pretty penny into a range of make-up. I love makeup so I cannot say that it was all just out of a professional need…[guilty face] But now I find that alot of my potential clients are looking only for air brush makeup, and when I inform them that I do not offer air brush they never respond. I have been researching the different machines for a few months now, debating whether or not to branch out. Within 2 months I will be going on mat leave but I love makeup too much to give it up, and the extra cash is always a bonus.So I am in the hunt for a good professional kit that won’t cost an arm and a leg. I have been going back and forth between the Dinair and the MAC/Iwata kit. To be honest I would love to get a MAC/Iwata, but they are so expensive, and have to be bought in parts which kills me. I love that with the MAC that you can use most makeups, that is a HUGE plus to me seeing that some brands makeup is quite pricey. But the Dinair is much more affordable and the makeup has quite a range so it seems to me like a safe 2nd to the Iwata…correct?
    I also came across the Temptu at a Marshall’s for $100, for the compressor and brush, I don’t like the pod part of the Temptu because I always mix my foundations to get a color closest to my client, so my question is: Is the compressor professional quality? and can I purchase a MAC brush to work with the Temptu compressor? Hoping to get a quality professional kit for $200, so is there a MAC brush at or around $75-$100?
    Also, if I was to use a MAC brush with the Temptu compressor, what are my limitations on the makeup brands I can use…because Temptu I find is very expensive and doesn’t offer much in a variety stand point?

    Which kit would you reccomend?

    You also mentioned in an earlier post something about MAC’s Airbrush course? How would one get into a class like that, and what are the prices like? Also, do you get some sort of certificate?, Currently I am self taugt, so if I was able to get a certificate of some sort I’m sure it would help with accquiring more clients, and possibly making it a full time career…MY LIFE LONG DREAM! I have been looking into returning to school for a course, but with the 2nd kid on the way, it just seems selfish, and time consuming along side a full time job.

    -THANKS so much!
    Dani

    • Hello Dani – thanks for visiting!! I’m so glad you are getting so much from my website!
      I can totally understand that more people are asking about airbrush makeup – most pro’s tend to do both and there are lots of customers who specifically want to be airbrushed. Honestly, I don’t think the Temptu AirPod is for you – especially with your 7 years experience with makeup. You know what you are doing in terms of color & mixing so you want something that is more versatile. You need to be able to create your own tones for the client (and for your own satisfaction too!)

      The MAC airbrush course isn’t a must-do. You won’t necessarily learn anything more than if you watch tutorials online or on the DVD’s and practice, practice and practice! But you do learn some tips – unfortunately you have to go to their Pro store which might mean a plane ticket for you. It’s only a day course but if you can get to LA they often have some amazing senior MUA’s teaching and you will definitely get a lot out of it. There’s also a Temptu course and an OCC course (which some say is better – but it’s not often on).
      If you can go to The Makeup Show I think you will get a lot out of it (maybe you’ve been before?). They often have amazing workshops for airbrush makeup and it’s very hands-on. Plus you’ll get to try many different brands as the reps for brands like Temptu and Kett as well as OCC are often there). The Temptu “Hands-On” workshop is $135 I believe.

      Otherwise there are some great courses around (and some not so great!) – just do your research first and you might find something that fits into your schedule. But you already have a client base I’m sure and once word gets around that you are doing airbrush makeup and that you are great then you won’t even need to have done a course or have a certificate!

      The Iwata Silver Jet comes with the HPCS airbrush and is just over $250. I think that’s a great price for something that is a pro machine. Graftobian also have a fantastic line (some Iwata equipment) but they can be expensive. You can use Temptu, MAC, OCC or even Dinair (I love the Dinair makeup colors – so many to choose from!) in the Iwata.

      Hope that helps! ;)

  • Hello Michelle, I am thinking about buying the Iwata Silver Jet. The only thing that i am torn between is what type of make-up to use with it. Can you recommend any brands that wont give my face an oily look and will be able to last a long time like throughout the day? I was thinking about getting the Dinair make-up. Also, with the MAC make-up, if i were to purchase that brand, is there a special type for the Airbrush? Or could you just use any of the MAC products in it?

    Thank you so much for answering everyone’s questions! This is a great site!
    Jessica

    • Hello Jessica – thanks for visiting! :)
      The Silver Jet is a great machine. If you are looking at MAC cosmetics then you’ll definitely need their airbrush formula makeup. They have a big range which you can really play around with – even diluting them for a more sheer effect. It is silicone-based which tends to be a little more dewy so you might prefer the water-based brands like Dinair. Dinair has a great range and they come out with seasonal colors too. Dinair also have various products to alter the look of the makeup so you can achieve the effect you are going for. You might want to look at how powdering can reduce the ‘oily’ look that you might get from some airbrush makeup. I really like MUFE’s Micro Finishing Powder.
      Hope that helps! Let me know which airbrush makeup brand you go with!

      • Thank you so much! I’ll be sure to let you know.

  • I read above that the Iwata-Medea Studio Series Power Jet Lite doesn’t come with the airbrush gun correct? && if so what airbrush would you recommend me to get with that system? Also how would I go about getting make up as well. I know that the Power Jet Lite is one of the best and I don’t want to end up spending the money and then using materials that don’t size up to the investment of the compressor. Your so knowledgeable about airbrushing I can’t even tell you how comforting it is to know that I’m in good hands when it comes to my money. :)

    • Hello – thanks for visiting! Glad my website has been helpful! :)
      Some Iwata compressors come with the airbrush gun – it just depends on the seller. You can get great prices on Amazon but it takes a bit of searching. Otherwise, if you buy it separately, the two best airbrushes for makeup are HP-CS or HP-C+ which are dual action and have a needle/nozzle size suitable to makeup. They can be used with MAC, graftobian, temptu and even dinair makeup. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  • Hello Michelle …. I am thinking about to buy the airbrush .And search about the airbrush but still can’t decided which one will be the best one for me. I am new and never used one before. Buying airbrush is like an investment for me.I want to buy airbrush for long term use . Also i am afraid about the machine /gun problem(The reason is there is no pro stores to buy or to test in my country Myanmar i have to buy them in online store). Please recommend me airbrush .Also i don’t know which makeup is good for me temptu ,dinair/water base..etc .My skin is oily skin. And i don’t like temptu pods because their makeup is already mix .For me ,i am a beginner cosplayer ,so i want costume makeup/halloween (face so white / face so brown )… Thanks

    • Hello Pann – a lot of people who do cosplay mix their own airbrush makeup. But this can be difficult and takes some practice and experimenting. Also, like you say, there is a risk that you can clog the machine – especially if you are using the airbrush gun for body art and airbrushing large areas. Some of the smaller compressors shouldn’t be left running for more than 20 minutes or so. But, if you do shorter bursts then Dinair might be great for you – they have a very big range of colors and are mixable. Plus, you can ship from Amazon to Myanmar quite easily I think. You can use a fixer like Makeup Forever Mist & Fix to make the water-based makeup last longer.
      However, for some looks you might prefer a silicone-based makeup which gives a more dewy look. Though, with more passes of the makeup you can create a stronger, more defined color tone.
      The best equipment is Iwata and it might be possible that you can get this from Japan or possibly China – but just make sure it is authentic. Don’t buy the cheap non-branded airbrush makeup systems from China as these break really fast. If you can afford the Iwata or Graftobian then these will be great for Cosplay. I know a lot of Cosplayers share the cost of the airbrush makeup system and do their makeup together which is a great idea I think!
      Hope that helps – let me know if you need any more help.

      M :)

      • Thank you so much for your advice Michelle.It’s a big help for me.Now I am interested in Iwata (it can use any makup temptu Mac Dinair ) .Can you recommend me iwata airbrush kit ? Thanks and for now i only need airbrush for my face .For body art i will buy another airbrush for body (Or should i not ? ) . :) :) :) :) :) :)
        (Ps . My english is not so good .I am Sorry if my help request word are not polite )

        • Hello Pann – always happy to help! :) And, don’t worry, your English is perfectly easy to understand!
          You may want to read my article on Iwata here. This has information about a few of their machines. There are several different compressors of different sizes and a few different airbrush guns you can use. Some have finer detail while others are better for body-art. So, maybe you could get a ninja-jet or Silver Jet and pair this with the HP-CS gun. Then, if you need to do body art, simply get a bottle-fed airbrush makeup gun which will have a broader spray. Then you won’t have to get the second compressor! The Iwata compressors are powerful enough for body work too! Hope that helps!

          • Thank you so much for ur advice Michelle \(^__^)/

  • Hi, hoping you might have a moment to point me in the right direction. My wife is a makeup artist, worked for one of the top 3 for a number of years and has recently gone off on her own and started her own business. She has been talking about wanting to look into air brushes and starting to offer that as an option to her clients. I know it will take her forever to make that move and make the purchase, so I’d like to help her along. I’ve been doing some research and I still have no idea what the best option is. She is very artistically and mechanically inclined so I don’t forsee operating PSI as a deciding factor, price is not a factor and she doesn’t have any Brand specific allegiances . I like the portability option of the one compressor (90 minute unplugged) but I was also liking the adjustability of the kett jet lines. MAC sounds like it could be the top of the line but why wouldn’t you just go right to the company that makes their entire line rather than buying one with the MAC name on it. Bottom line I want to purchase the absolute best, most versatile, highest quality equipment available. I would appreciate any advice you are able to give. Thanks

    • Hello – what a great husband! It’s so nice of you to support your wife by looking into the best equipment for her. I’m sure she will appreciate being given a push into working with top quality airbrush makeup systems.
      It sounds like you have done a lot of research already and you are perfectly right that MAC is top of the line but you can buy the Iwata equipment without the ‘MAC’ branding for a much better price – which leaves money for makeup. Graftobian also uses Iwata equipment (as well as their own ‘walk-around’ system which is 90minutes battery operated and portable). It’s a robust machine but for salon pro use you might want to look at something bigger like the Iwata Power Jet. These come in single piston or double piston (double piston means you can run two airbrushes at the same time which can be useful depending on the work she is doing and number of clients etc. But usually single is fine).

      With Iwata your wife won’t be restricted in what makeup brand she uses – so she could choose her favorite/preferred brands after you buy her the equipment. Or she can mix brands and experiment more. Other brands are a bit more restrictive. She may also want more than 1 airbrush depending on the work she is doing – if she does tanning or body work then she’ll need an airbrush gun with a bottle feed.

      Also look at Temptu Pro as an option – Temptu is designed to work with their silicone-based makeup which is very good quality.

      Hope that helps – let me know if you have any more questions!

  • Hi Michelle,
    I came across your site because I am trying to find out if I am going to screw up my Dinair system if I put MAC HD airbrush foundation in the system. I am a makeup artist but new to airbrush and didn’t know that there was water based and silicone based products. Obviously I didn’t do my homework very well. The reason I decided to purchase MAC’s foundation for the system was that I found the colour ranges overwhelming with Dinair and I already use MAC regular foundation formula’s so I understand the NC and NW well.
    I really hope to hear back from you as I just invested $100 in product that I am afraid I can’t use in my system. What do I do???
    Thanks

    • Hello Jennifer – thanks for visiting! I’m sorry to have bad news for you but you definitely can’t use MAC foundation in the Dinair as MAC is silicone-based. It will clog your machine. Hopefully you can return it for a refund!

      • So it wouldn’t matter if I got cleaner made from MAC for their airbrush machine? I am so glad I came across your website!!

        • Hi Jennifer – unfortunately not! It’s more to do with needle/nozzle configuration as well as compressor PSI strength. So the MAC would just clog the Dinair.

  • Hi Michelle, you really done an AWESOME job doing this web. It really takes my time to read all the comments but still… get confused LOL.
    Actually I’m a photographer who has big interest in make up… I’ve been doing make up for about 3 years now..
    I like colorful, conceptual and fantasy make up, I did mostly for photo shoot and under water too.

    I got confuse on what the difference of Iwata-Medea Eclipse HP CS Dual Action Airbrush Gun / Gravity Feed and Iwata-Medea High Performance Plus C Dual Action / Large Gravity Feed Cup
    what is the dual action meaning actually?

    since the price quite different, I’m thinking of Iwata-Medea Studio Series Ninja Jet Single Piston Air Compressor, rather than Iwata-Medea Studio Series Smart Jet Pro Single Piston Air Compressor…
    need an advice please :)

    But my big problem is, I live in Indonesia, I got interested on M.A.C. – since I’m familiar with that brand, can I buy it online? I got troubled to find M.A.C.air here, how to be a M.A.C. pro member? or do you have other brand recommend for me that easier to find here? thank you so much

    • Hi Alexandra! Wow it’s so nice to have visitors all the way from Indonesia!!
      The Ninja Jet is a good enough compressor for sure! It’s smaller and not as powerful – some people find it to be a bit noisy too and it’s a little bit less robust. But that’s why it’s cheaper in price!
      The difference between the HP CS and the HP C+:
      – HPC+ is a good general purpose airbrush. That’s why it’s popular with MUA’s. It has a 0.3mm needle/nozzle configuration and a big cup so it can be used for fine detail as well as broader spray. The Iwata brushes have an amazing construction and you can definitely feel a difference when comparing a few brushes – the Iwata are more responsive and have a better ‘feel’ to them (balance etc)
      – HPCS has a 0.35mm needle/nozzle configuration and is great for fine detail. It’s similar to the HPC+ and very popular with MUA’s but you don’t get as broad a spray.
      – Some MUA’s like the HP BS too (which has a smaller cup)

      I’m not sure if you can join MAC pro from Indonesia – sorry! You may be able to. Sometimes you can find the makeup online like on eBay etc but just double and triple check the feedback from the seller to make sure they are legit! There is definitely a lot of fake makeup and equipment out there!!

      Good luck. Let me know if you need any more help!

      M :)

  • Hi again! I was wondering if the Iwata Eclipse HP-CS Airbrushing System with Silver Jet Air Compressor is even worth considering. It’s the best price point of the Iwata systems because it has a compressor and an airbrush, would you say this is better quality then a dinair or luminess? Also, I have heard a little about the belletto studio system and was wondering if you had any experience with that? Thanks for your help!

    • Hey Tess! The Iwata Eclipse HP-CS Airbrushing system with Silver Jet is definitely worth it. The Silver Jet has variable flow and the airbrush is dual-action. The compressor has a higher working PSI so is compatible with both water-based and silicone-based makeup. It’s much better than Dinair or Luminess. The Belletto is in the same class as the Dinair, Tickled Pink and Luminess.
      Also look at the Graftobian Walk Around. It’s a good machine and is more portable than the Silver Jet since it comes with a removable batter. The airbrush isn’t as good but, as an all around system it’s great (it should come with a range of makeup too.)
      But the silver jet is pretty awesome and would get my recommendation for sure.

  • Hello Michelle,

    I stumbled upon your site trying to compare airbrush systems. I am new to the airbrush world and I am looking to buy my first compressor, I love makeup!!! I want a compressor that will last me and has good quality makeup. I have been looking at the dinair the luminess and the macpro I know that the Mac is for more professional use, but I am looking to get the best results! However like I said I am new! Have any tips for me? Thanks so much your site is wonderful.

    • Hi Kristyn! Thanks for visiting and for your kind comments! You are right that Dinair & Luminess are good for non-pro’s. Belloccio and Tickled Pink are also really popular. Check out my airbrush makeup reviews for detailed information on these brands (including their makeup). Remember that you generally can’t use silicone based makeup in an airbrush makeup system designed for water-based (and you can’t use water-based in a silicone-based system). But the Iwata machines (which MAC use) are more robust and can be used with a bigger variety of makeup.
      If you are looking at a beginner machine that’s reliable, check out the Iwata Neo. I haven’t done a review of it yet but will soon! You’d need to buy a separate airbrush gun – the one usually recommended with the Neo compressor is the Neo CN but other Iwata airbrush guns are better. The reason Iwata guns are better is that they can spray a thin line for detail as well as a wider spray (for foundation or body work). Other brushes just can’t do this.
      I recommend a dual-action. Oh – and, if you want something better than the Neo compressor then the Iwata Silver Jet is best for makeup artists.
      Brands like Dinair, Belloccio and Tickled Pink give you everything you need in their airbrush makeup systems so if you don’t want it to be too complicated, have a look at them.
      And don’t forget to check out my airbrush makeup tips!

  • Thanks so much!! Your very helpful Michelle I will definitely recommend your site to my friends!

  • My boyfriend got me a Grex compressor and a set of two airbrush gun. I haven’t been able to use it that much because it keeps shutting down. I am thinking of returning it to get the one from the MAC store. I know the one from the MAC store will be more than the Grex that I had. I want to know which one will you recommend to buy. This will be an investment for me because I want to use it for make up, body tanning and some hair touch up works. I hope you will help me with your good knowledge. I love your site so much because I learn so any good tips from you. Ps: do know anything about Grex? Do know why it keeps shutting down? Thank you.

    • Hi Leann – sometimes the compressors will shut down when they overheat. The smaller compressors do this – some can’t be run for more than a minute at a time! Some can run for 15 minutes before shutting off. The more pro machines have an auto shutoff that stops it from overheating. The most popular Iwata compressor for airbrush makeup is the Silver Jet. It’s a great price and very reliable. Has some great features. I also wrote some more information on Iwata in general here.

  • Hi! I am in the market for an airbrushing system. I do mostly hair but also do makeup and have been getting a lot more jobs for weddings and photoshoots. I have been researching to the point that I’m just plain confused. I can’t decide if I should go with a portable compressor being that most of my makeup jobs are on location or if I should go with a larger, more powerful compressor. Some of the smaller more portable compressors I’ve been looking into are: graftobian walk about and temptu air pro (not the PODS). As far as larger units I think I have it narrowed down to Iwata silver jet, maybe even the ninja jet an the temptu s-one (PRO). I also haven’t totally ruled out the Iwata power jet lite, but it is a whopping 17.5 lbs so I’m worried it might not be the most practical for on location. I guess I’m torn between the portability of the smaller systems and the quality of the larger systems. I have a feeling that although the temptu air pro states it has a max psi of 30 it’s gotta be a weaker compressor being that its under 2 lbs. Do you have any experience with these small, portable systems? Also, in some of the reviews I’ve been reading people are saying that the silver jet is quite loud, I’ve used a dinair, is it much louder then that? Thanks!

    • Hi Tess – it sounds like you’re not confused at all and have researched airbrush makeup systems really well!! Basically every point you’ve made is correct. You probably won’t be happy with the smaller compressors on photo shoots and weddings because they just can’t handle the load. Even the Graftobian Walkaround will struggle.
      The Silver Jet is actually very popular with MUA’s because it’s powerful enough for most types of makeup plus you can push it more than the smaller ones. And it’s portable enough not to be a bit hassle. It’s also very reliable and not really too noisy.
      In the long run though the bigger systems like the Powerjet which have auto shut off are going to be the best for professional use. But the Silver Jet just fits that nice balance of affordability, reliability and quality. If you are doing work 5 times a week though then you might want to look at something more robust. But, for weekend jobs the Silver Jet is fantastic.
      Please let me know which one you go with and leave a comment to share your experience. :)

      • I am going to take the Mac airbrush class at the end of March, it’s $450 but fully redeemable in product. I use mostly Mac now and love their makeup so I think I will most likely stay with them for airbrush foundations as well but I have been hearing great things about OCC’s foundations. Do you personally prefer s/b or w/b? Does Mac carry both for airbrush? Is the psi on the silver jet high enough for s/b? Thanks again for all your help.

        • Hey Tess! I know you’ll really like the Silver Jet – great choice! Another thing I forgot to mention is they have a really good 1 year warranty while the smaller compressors from other brands don’t.

          It’s definitely powerful enough for SB makeup. It’s more the airbrush gun you have to worry about because not all airbrush guns are designed for all types of makeup (or, paint). The HP-C Plus is one of the best for using with airbrush makeup because it is designed to be compatible for almost all consistencies of liquid makeup. Plus, it can do fine lines as well as larger areas.
          MAC is my favorite. They have both water-based and the HD SB makeup which you can use in the airbrush gun or even by hand. You could happily use just MAC products only and your clients would love the results. Of course, it’s always good to experiment too! One thing to note is that sometimes the SB foundations reflect camera-flashes in a weird way in some cameras. It will be fine with professional photography as the photographers know what they’re doing.
          Wow – can’t wait to hear how much you enjoy the MAC airbrush class!! Come back to visit and let me know what you think of it! :)

  • Thank you, I’ve been leaning toward the silver jet all along so I think it’s time to pull the trigger! :)

  • Dear Michelle,

    I love your website. Congratultions, it has valuable knowledge and information.

    I would like to purchase the Iwata and Kett Jett.

    Now Im unsure about the Studio Series, on which one to choose: Silver Jet, Jet Lite, Jet Pro, etc?
    I dont mind the money, I want something that last longer and that I can travel with (mobile) and I can do almost anything with.
    I want you to guide me from gravity feed and side feed, which one is best?
    I want to use the Eclipse CS gun, but unsure if it is the best.

    Please guide me, it will be use for home and professional service (thinking of giving it for rental sometimes for special occasions)

    Kett Pro Kit is 916$ on their website. Iwata Kit is the one I’m undecided on what to choose.

    Please assist! Thank you in advance.

  • Hey Tess / Michelle,

    Apart from Amazon, where are you gonna buy the Silver Jet Iwata? I am also buying it online but I aint sure where is the authentic one.
    And where can I get MAC water based makeup for airbrush?
    Does the HP C Plus comes with the kit or as a separate tool? And betwwen the side feed and gravity feed, which one is better?
    Please help

    • Hello Iris – thanks for visiting. :)
      The Silver Jet kits on sale on Amazon are authentic as far as I can tell. They are the cheapest prices you’ll get. There are a few places online like the art supplies companies. The shop called ‘Dick Blick Art Supplies’ has a lot of Iwata equipment but also sells through Amazon and is cheaper on Amazon! So, if you find their shop on Amazon it may be the good choice. Sometimes they sell the compressor separate from the airbrush gun though so double check.
      Gravity fed is much better for airbrush makeup. You’d probably never use bottle fed for makeup (except tanning or body art) because you only need a few drops of makeup and then you change shades/colors or mix.
      Either HPC+ or the CS are fine for makeup. These are popular because they give you the option to go from fine detail to wider spray.
      See if you can find a place that will let you try the machines first so you can get a feel for them.
      MAC can be really hard to find online – especially the authentic stuff. But it does come up on eBay or Amazon sometimes – just always check the seller feedback to make sure they are authentic.
      Hope that helps!! :)

  • Hi I have been researching and I’m leaning towards the iwata for in salon use and was wondering if I could use any of the iwata airbrush machines to do both make up and occasion do sunless tanning. Is there a machine that can do both. And what oil free make up will be best?

    • Hi Genna – The powerjet and smart jet compressors are both very versatile and able to do both airbrush makeup and sunless tanning. You can do sunless tanning with the smaller compressors and a few manufacturers sell their own brand of tanning liquid makeup – but it’s not fun because the PSI strength is low. So, if your budget allows, then go for the powerjet or smartjet.
      There are quite a few oil free airbrush makeup brands – you might like OCC – they’re having a sale at the moment too! :)

  • Where can I find mac airbrush makeup.. When I go to their store it does not say airbrush foundation so how do I know which one is for the airbrush????

    • Hi Renee – MAC airbrush makeup used to be available in more places but now it’s mostly just the MACPro store. Sometimes you can find them on Amazon or eBay but they aren’t always authentic. It’s quite easy to tell though.

  • hi i opening my salon soon and i had never used the airbrush makeup before, and i would like you plz to help me the best Airbrush brands with it’s range of all colors that it high quality and easy to use , long lasting , and easy to order?????

    regards dalal

    • Hi Dalal – wow, that’s fantastic!! I hope you have lots of success with your salon! :)
      It really depends on your budget and how much airbrushing you are doing. If you have a lot of clients then the smaller, home-use airbrush makeup kits (like Dinair and Tickled Pink etc) won’t last very long. The motor will burn out very quickly.
      You really want an Iwata for professional, salon use. The best value for money is the Silver Jet but, if you have the budget, go for the Smart Jet. The Silver Jet with the HPC+ airbrush gun is very reliable and will be compatible with most airbrush makeup. Dinair has a great range and is very popular – it’s water-based and has a more matte look. Also look at OCC for higher quality. Temptu and MAC Pro have silicone-based makeup that gives a dewy look and some people will prefer this. It will be more long lasting too.
      I wrote an article on Iwata products here. Temptu also have a Temptu Pro store which has everything you’ll need for salon airbrushing.
      Hope that helps! Good luck!! :)

  • hi i opening my salon soon and i had never used the airbrush makeup before, and i would like you plz to help me the best Airbrush brands with it’s range of all colors that it high quality and easy to use , long lasting , and easy to order?????

    regards dalal

  • Thanks a lot for helping thats great from you

    last question
    Lwata brands it’s just airbrush without the products for it correct??
    and for Lwata i can use any liquid fountaion ???

    • Hi again Dalal – You can use most liquid foundations. Basically anything designed for airbrush makeup will be fine. But it also depends on the airbrush gun you use – if you go with the HPCS or HP-C+ or one of the Badger or Sparmax airbrushes you should be fine.

  • Hi Michelle,

    I am 58 years young and have a semi dry skin. I am a total newbie on airbrush make ups. I have read almost every comment on here and understand Iwata is the best equipment to use. My question is makeup itself. I do have large pores and tend to sweat on my upper lip area a lot. What make up would provide the best coverage with the best sweat proof abilities? Silicone?

    • Hi Sue – thanks for visiting! :)
      Iwata is definitely the best equipment – and most versatile in terms of the brands you can use with it. A silicone-based makeup may suit you more than water-based (MAC Pro, Temptu) and it’s also about the prepping. With the silicone-based makeup you’ll get a more dewy, flawless look and it tends to be less likely to result in any cakeing or build up in pores or lines (that’s not to say that this happens with water-based makeup generally, but, it can). The trick is to use minimal passes and also, using a high quality airbrush gun (like an Iwata) means you get a much finer and more controlled mist (which avoids big droplets of airbrush makeup).

      Also, with semi-dry skin, you will get better results with silicone-based over water-based (just make sure you have no allergy to silicone).

      Good prepping, a silicone-based makeup like Temptu or MAC and a finishing powder will give you a flawless look. You can also keep this quite ‘minimal’ and still get amazing results. It just takes some practice (and the discipline to avoid too many passes).
      I’m going to put some more specific tutorials up within the next few months just to help my visitors get their heads around the different airbrush makeup routines and techniques you can use. You can also visit my how to airbrush makeup section on this website. Hope you enjoy airbrushing! :)

  • Great thanks so much for the information. Is the finishing powder airbrushed? And what exactly do you mean by prepping, using a primer?

    • Hi Sue – a good prepping routine before airbrush makeup means cleaning the skin (with your favorite cleanser) to get rid of excess oils, dirt, soaps etc; primer and then spot concealer – smoothing the imperfections such as discoloration or lines/creases. You can moisturize too before airbrushing. Also, you can put a very subtle setting powder over the concealer at this point before you start airbrushing (just a very minor amount).
      With the finishing powder, this is brushed on after the airbrush makeup has fully dried. It makes a very big difference but isn’t always necessary. It just gives you that extra protection and lastability (is that a word?!) – anyway, it’s not applied through the airbrush, but with a traditional brush.

  • Just wondering if after you use the airbrush makeup foundation, can you use regular powder, blush & eyeshadows to achieve different looks?

    • Hello Heidi – you can definitely use regular powder, blush and eyeshadows after airbrushing foundation. Just make sure it’s fully dried first. Just treat it the same as you would treat normal foundation.
      I wrote a short review of Make Up For Ever Micro Finishing Powder here which works great with airbrush makeup.

  • Hi Michelle! I love your reviews. What knowledge you have! You might have already answered this but what is the makeup airbrush system that you adore personally? I see your rating was high on the Iwata and I’m pretty set on getting that one but just wanted to know your personal thought of your hands down holy grail airbrush system? I’m a makeup artist that is just getting into airbrush for the first time but willing to splurge for a quality item
    xoxo
    Jilly

    • Hi Jilly – thanks for visiting! :)
      A lot of my readers have asked me this and it’s definitely Iwata. I wrote some information on Iwata here and also did a big review of the Iwata Silver Jet here. The Iwata Systems are extremely well-built and they have a fantastic guarantee to back that up – plus they offer free advice over the telephone or a $25 servicing fee. But, the best thing about Iwata for airbrush makeup artists is that they can handle any liquid makeup. So you are spoiled for choice and can continue to grow and learn as an MUA without restriction. Temptu Pro and Graftobian also offer fantastic equipment and Temptu Pro has an amazing line of makeup (either water, silicone or alcohol based) so you could safely be faithful to Temptu Pro only and that would cover all your airbrushing needs.

      For Iwata, the Silver Jet is very popular with airbrush makeup artists but the Power Jet and Smart Jet compressors are better (but more expensive and less portable). Hope that helps! Let me know which one you choose! :)

  • Hey Michelle your reviews are really helpful I was actually wondering what makeup air brush system would be good for beginners I have acne scarring so I wanted something that would cover it up and make my skin nice and clean but have never used an airbrush system before thanks
    Sabiha

    • Hello Sabiha – thank you, I’m glad my reviews are helpful! :)
      Dinair is great for beginners and they also have a “paramedical” line which is designed specifically to cover imperfections. Dinair is water-based so is often preferred by people who have sensitive skin. If you have acne scaring you want to avoid too many passes because it can start to ‘cake’ and will have the opposite effect that you want.
      There is also the other school of thought that people prefer the smoother look that you can achieve with silicone-based makeup like Temptu (as long as you don’t have sensitivity to silicone-based products). A lot of older women tend to prefer silicone-based too because it smooths out lines a little better. Water-based will give you a matte finish – but, with Dinair you can also use ‘moist & dewy’ to get this effect.
      As I always say: it’s all about prepping!

      M

  • Hello Michelle, I want to get the iwata MAC but I stay in Nigeria, I saw someone use it and I love the outcome. Amazon don’t ship to Nigeria so I can’t order from amazon. Do you know any other means I can get this? +how to use it

    • Hello Taza – have you tried eBay? There are a few sellers from Japan and from Germany who might ship to Nigeria. Just look at the Iwata compressors and airbrush guns on eBay search. Make sure you are going with a trustworthy seller though. There are also some people who sell the makeup there.
      Another way is to use a shipping forwarder who can set you up with a US address/post box which you then get shipped (via UPS or FedEx) to your home country. It can be very expensive though!

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