Apparently, you don’t need to be a professional makeup artist to master the flawless airbrush makeup look. I would know, considering I tried three different airbrush kits for the ultimate airbrush makeup review. From Temptu to Luminess to Mineral Air, I spent three days testing out these fancy gadgets. I’ve weighed out the pros and cons of each experience, and let me tell you, I have some thoughts.
Whenever I think of airbrush makeup, I’m always brought back to freshman year of college. One of my best friends had a pretty high-maintenance girl as a roommate, who would blast her airbrush makeup machine at 7 a.m. every morning before heading to class. Back then, my bestie wasn’t a fan of her roomie and, therefore, complained about how over-the-top her makeup routine was every day. As any best friend would, I, too, thought her roommate was inconsiderate and thus hated her airbrush makeup kit, too.
Fast forward nine years later, and I’ve become that person addicted to airbrush makeup application, too. The finish this type of product gives my complexion can’t even compare to the liquid or powder foundations found at the department store or drugstore I’ve tried, and after testing out three different brands, I suggest anyone looking for a more “natural-looking” finish invest in an airbrush makeup kit. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of each magical machine I gave a shot:
LUMINESS SILK AIR AIRBRUSH KIT ($180, LUMINESS AIR)
To use the device, you’ll need an outlet close to your mirror, as it needs to be plugged in to turn on. The air is suctioned through the box with the on/off button and is released through the handheld stylus. When I applied my makeup, I held the stylus like a pen or pencil and applied in circular motions around my face. It’s very easy to add droplets of the foundation into the reservoir of the handheld device, and it wasn’t released until I gently pulled back on the applicator.
I’ll start with the pros of using this product. First, I loved the finish this Luminess Airbrush Kit offered — there was not too much sheen or shine, and my skin definitely appeared more matte than the other two brands I tested. Second, this kit came with a primer, and after checking my reflection at the end of the day, I could definitely tell that the primer was holding up and helping the foundation and blush not to pill or get cakey. Finally, this pick offered what was probably the most natural-looking finish of the the three I tested. I used the Luminess Air Silk 4-in-1 Airbrush Foundation in Shade 020 ($22, Amazon) and thought it was an excellent match to my natural skin tone.
Before using Luminess:
As for the cons of this kit, I didn’t love the actual Luminess Air device. You have to plug it into an outlet for it to work, and I was really confused about where to put the liquid into the device — I ended up having to watch a how-to video on YouTube. I also kept having to add more droplets of the foundation into the reservoir. Either the foundation doesn’t go very far, or I was underestimating how much I actually needed to cover my face.
Unlike the other two devices I tried, I found the Luminess Air to be more precise — but not in a good way. Perhaps I was holding the device too close to my face, but I felt as though the air stream was too targeted, and I ended up with a few splotches that I needed to fix afterward. I think practice makes perfect with this device. Finally, the maintenance and care this device needs is no joke, and although I haven’t actually tried to clean it yet, there are thorough instructions on how to clean the Luminess Air after every use. For each of these devices, you’ll always want to make sure that you clean after each use so that it applies the foundation seamlessly each time.
After using Luminess:
TEMPTU PERFECT CANVAS STARTER KIT ($195, TEMPTU)
When using the Temptu, I needed to charge it up using the USB cord included in the kit. Then, I had to follow directions closely to prepare the pods for application. First, you take off the tamper seal, shake the foundation, remove the cap, pull back on the clear loop, and gently open the black plug. Afterward, I inserted it window-side up into the Temptu while I held down the release button on the side. (You should hear a slight click.) Once I did this, I was good to go.
There were several pros when it came to using this device. First up, the tool itself looks straight up sexy, as do the sleek-looking pods filled with foundation, blush, highlighter, and more. I also love that this device is chargeable and doesn’t require an outlet for use, and the brand’s website has thorough how-to videos, which were very helpful throughout this process.
Additionally, Temptu has so many foundation options, as well as blush, highlighter, bronzer, primer, color corrector, concealer, and more that you can use with the device. They even have eye and lip options, which is pretty cool for an airbrush makeup brand. I learned the device has multiple different settings, which really help when trying to figure out how much coverage you want. It has a low, medium, and high air adjustment, and you can use the nozzle to spray more or less product onto your face easily.
As for the actually product, I was obsessed with the Perfect Canvas Highlighter in Rose Gold! It was so beautiful and looked incredibly natural when applied with air. I will definitely be using this many more times in the future.
Before using Temptu:
Of course, while my experience with Temptu was positive in many ways, it wasn’t without cons. Ultimately, the Temptu was the most difficult device to use initially out of the three I tried. I read the directions about three times and couldn’t figure it out, so eventually, I went to their website and watched a video to figure out how to attach the pod to the device. Even more, in the process of inserting the pod into the device, the foundation seeped out of the pod and got all over my hands and onto the device as well. You have to be careful when opening the plug, as the contents could seep out and get everywhere.
Unfortunately, I didn’t order the correct shade (which was my own fault), but the foundation shade I tried — SilkSphere Airpod Foundation in 3 Warm Ivory ($45, Temptu) — was too dark for my skin tone and definitely looked weird on my skin. The finish was lovely, but the shade was off. I also felt like it took a while for each layer (foundation, highlighter, and then blush) to dry, and I ended up putting wet layers on top of wet layers.
After using Temptu:
MINERAL AIR COMPLEXION STARTER KIT ($150, MINERAL AIR)
To set up the Mineral Air, I needed to use a USB cord to charge the device. After it was charged and ready to use, I shook up the foundation before filling up the reservoir with about four or five drops of foundation, closed the tab, and then just pressed down on the button closest to my index finger to release air and the product.
This is the first airbrush device I tried and is ultimately the one that made me fall in love with airbrush makeup. I love this product so much because it’s mineral makeup-based, which is much more gentle and doesn’t irritate my acne-prone skin. I used the Four-in-One Foundation in Shade Light ($60, Mineral Air) and thought it was a solid match to my skin tone. Another pro is that this device is powered through a USB cord and is so easy to travel with.
Before using Mineral Air:
Unfortunately, Mineral Air only offers one blush shade, and I wish it was a lighter shade because I think it might be too dark for my skin tone. I applied it lightly, and it worked, but overall, I would have loved more blush options. I’d also love options for a highlighter or bronzer from Mineral Air, as I love mineral makeup and would like to use more from this line.
Another can I ran into related to cleaning the device. The kit comes with a liquid airbrush cleaner, and you’re supposed to put a few drops into the reservoir, shake, and then spray out of the device before putting the foundation in there and applying it. I’m sure this did help clean it a bit, but I felt like I needed to go in there with a Q-tip to clean out the reservoir more thoroughly. Ultimately, after a full day of wear, I’m not in love with the finish of the foundation, either. By the end of the day, my skin appeared kind of oily and shiny, so it’s best to keep an oil-blotter on hand when applying this foundation, just in case.
After using Mineral Air:
Airbrush makeup kits are not cheap, but the incredible finish you get from each device is worth the money. These devices will last you years, and after your initial purchase, all you have to do is purchase the foundations and added blushes, highlighters, etc. And just think, you’ll never have to use or clean makeup brushes ever again! Dream come true? I think yes.