What are the advantages of airbrush makeup?

Though not a new technology, airbrush makeup is once again in the limelight due to the advent of evolving digital media, including Digital Photography and Hi-Definition Television. The precision application offered by airbrush makeup has two major benefits that stand up to the challenges presenting makeup artists today:

1. Full Coverage, Sheer Texture:
A true airbrush foundation is high in coverage, but thin in texture, offering a high-opacity or full coverage application that's dispersed as sheerly and evenly as possible. The result is perfect-looking skin achieved with a minimum of product.

2. Refined Pattern:
The spray dot-pattern the airbrush puts down on the skin registers less on camera than the patterns and trace lines that brushes and sponges leave behind. However invisible these marks may appear to the naked eye, they can be quite noticeable when your client's face is shown in Hi-Definition close-up or in a High Resolution Digital Photo

Sponge Brush

 While other advantages include speed of application, longevity, and durability, the true advantage of airbrush makeup is the beautiful finished result it produces.

What exactly is Hi-Definition Television? Why has it changed the way we do makeup?
Hi-Definition Televisions simply provide more visual information than Standard Resolution Televisions. While standard televisions display 330 lines of resolution, HDTVs display either 720 or 1080 lines, each broken up into hundreds of tiny pixels. This illustration, courtesy of Wikipedia, explains this phenomenon simply:


 As a result of this increased definition, our work is subject to more scrutiny than ever before. Because an airbrush lays down the makeup in a dot pattern that's so similar to the way the camera reads the face, it gives artists working in this field an unparalleled advantage.

Why OCC Skin™?
OCC Skin™ is a water-based airbrush foundation that dries to a natural matte finish, that's neither more dry nor more dewy in appearance than healthy skin is naturally. Because Digital Media can expose more detail in makeup, an overly matte foundation can look very dry and reveal skin textures including fine lines and wrinkles. Similarly, an overly dewy finish can appear greasy or oily in Hi-Def. OCC Skin™ sets moments after being applied, requiring no setting powder for most skintypes. The coverage provided by OCC Skin™ is near opaque, but can also be applied lightly at a low PSI for a sheer finish. OCC Skin™ is lightweight, breathable, and 100% oil free for those with concerns about oily, acneic or sensitive skin.

How do I apply OCC Skin™?


Begin by firmly attaching your airbrush to your compressor’s airhose, forming an airtight seal.
Optional: To preserve the integrity of the formula you’re working with, attach a Moisture Filter in between the airhose and the airbrush. For the precise control of air on compressors without built-in regulators, a Bleed Valve can be attached instead.


Place several drops of product into the top feed cup of your airbrush. For beauty makeup applications, it’s best to use no more than six to eight drops at a time. The average application will require no more than this amount, and excess product will simply accumulate in the cup, making it more difficult to clean afterwards. If extra coverage is required, simply repeat the process as necessary.

Turn your compressor on and select the appropriate level of pressure for your application. At a higher pressure level, an airbrush sprays more product giving you less control. Lower pressure yields less product and gives you more control over your airbrush. Begin only by pressing down on your airbrush’s trigger- it will spray only air, so that you can test the pressure level before getting started.


While only spraying air, bring the airbrush towards your client’s skin to get them used to the sensation before applying any product. When you’re ready to start , pull back slowly on the trigger while continuing to press it down. This will slowly release the product. It is not necessary to pull the trigger all the way back. Use this dual action feature of your airbrush to regulate the amount of product you’re using.



As with any foundation, test the product along the jawline to determine an accurate match. Maintaining an even distance of three to six inches from the skin, slowly pass from one side of the face towards the other to create even coverage. Resist the temptation to linger in any one area for too long- this will only result in heavy product build up. Build your coverage in multiple passes for a more beautiful, natural finish.

Is OCC Skin™ 'moveable'?

Absolutely! OCC Skin can be touched-up and blended by hand, just like any liquid foundation. However, do bear in mind that with airbrush makeup, your goal is to keep touch-ups to a minimum: One of the key advantages of airbrush makeup is the dot pattern it puts down, so do your best to preserve it. Should manual touch-ups become unavoidable however, rest assured that they can easily be performed, if necessary.

What is PSI, and how does it affect an application of OCC Skin™?

PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) is a meausrement of the amount of pressure put out by an airbrush. Generally speaking, the range suitable for cosmetics is anywhere between 3 and 20 PSI. Higher PSIs (15 and above) are generally reserved only for Body Painting or Special F/X Makeup, while lower PSIs are better for beauty makeup applications. For a basic foundation application, we recommend that OCC Skin be sprayed at a level between 8 and 12 PSI, depending on your client's comfort, your skill level, and the type of finish your application requires. A higher PSI will yield a heavier result, while a low PSI will create a sheer finish.

Does OCC Skin™ contain Silicone?

No. While silicone has become a common ingredient in cosmetics, has relatively low incidence of allergic reactions, and is generally well-tolerated by most skintypes when applied topically, the information that is currently available about the effects of its inhalation is substantially less positive: Silicone liquids, including 244 Fluid®, that are commonly and safely used in hand-applied cosmetics have been shown to pose serious health concerns when the user is subjected to repeated or prolonged inhalation¹. Silicones have also been shown to damage both the lungs and reproductive system when inhaled in the mist produced by a spray apparatus².

Because silicone becomes airborne during airbrush applications, the potential for accidental or unavoidable inhalation is created. For this reason, OCC has decided to omit this ingredient from all of our airbrush formulations. A small percentage of dimethicone has been incorporated into our Foundation Primer, which is recommended to be applied by hand.

Does OCC Skin™ contain DHA (dihydroxyacetone)?

No. DHA, a color additive which chemically darkens skin by reacting with its amino acids, is a common ingredient in sunless tanning lotions, but is rarely used in foundations. At the present time, the health effects of inhaling DHA are unknown. An FDA Report³ has been issued that recommends all consumers wear protective gear, such as masks and goggles, when cosmetics containing DHA are applied with an airbrush or other spray appartus, to prevent accidental inhalation or absorbtion through other mucuous membranes. Extreme caution should be exercised when using DHA until safety protocols are determined.

¹ Source: Dow Corning Corporation, 244 Fluid, Material Safety Data Sheet
² Source: Silicones Environmental Health & Safety Council, Guidance For Aerosol Applications of Silicone-Based
³ Source: The United States Food and Drug Administration, Sunless Tanners and Bronzers