What's in your toolbox?
"Hello lovely ladies and gents. Our newest guest blogger is Angie Strunk a very talented airbrush artist based in Vancouver, WA.
Angie is very familiar with all brands of beauty airbrush equipment and has most brands or at least owned them once in her career. Keep reading to see how she rates the most popular brands of beauty airbrush makeup equipment on the market"--Robbie
You can find Angie at:
What’s In Your Toolbox?
When Robbie asked me to write an article about airbrush equipment, I initially thought “Why on earth would you ask me?” -I’ve been airbrushing for just shy of 4 years total and feel I’ve only begun to explore the wide array of airbrush equipment available. But then as I sat and listed out all of the types of airbrushes and compressors I’ve used over the years, I realized my inherent curiosity and opinionated mind did indeed, have some insight into various brands and types of airbrush equipment. I’m trained from within the industry and hold 2 Master Certifications in beauty airbrush makeup artistry, so know that my experience comes from a professional perspective, but my bottom line is that I wear a full face of airbrush makeup 360 out of 365 days a year, so it must be compact, quiet, portable, and powerful enough for daily use at home and on location with any airbrush makeup medium. So, let’s jump right in!
1. Dinair Personal Pro Kit-MSRP $229 | Grade: B
Dinair is the leader in personal and professional airbrush makeup, hands down. I own the newest version of the Personal Pro compressor and CX airbrush, and it is what I was trained on. That being said, my grade is based entirely on the CX airbrush, the training and support provided, and mostly to the makeup itself (which warrants an A+ alone). I’ve not yet found another brand of airbrush makeup that is as highly pigmented or has such a broad range of shades and tones for all complexion and skin types. Additionally, their range of colors for eyes/blush/highlighter cannot be beat. I wish I could give Dinair a full “A” for their equipment, but I just can’t. Dinair is why I decided to add airbrush makeup to my professional kit in the first place. But sadly, their compressor gets a “C” grade from me. I’ve given the system an overall “B-“ because of the extremely high quality of their makeup and the CX airbrush. Their compressors are whisper quiet, efficient, and a great value for the home user or beginner professional artist who wants to do a basic full face. Furthermore, Dinair only offers 2 options for portability-the first option being the “Go” compressor which is set at a single psi setting of 5, which is not strong enough to push through thicker formulas such as Tattoo Cover, body/special effects paints, or thick opalescent shades. The second option is a battery pack that is not efficient as you would need to carry plenty of extra AA batteries (it uses 8) or rechargeable batteries and a charger for those as well. As a pro, I carry the CX airbrush but not their compressors and as you read on you’ll see why.
2. Temptu 2.0 -MSRP $125 | Score: A
This compressor is my go-to daily compressor for both personal use and professional applications. This compressor is compatible with the Temptu SP-40 airbrush and Airpod system. The compressor boasts 0-30 psi, and is designed for single-action airbrushes only. If you desire to use a dual action airbrush (such as the Temptu SP-35), you will need to purchase the Temptu Pro Plus compressor or S-One compressor. What I love about the 2.0 is that it is lightweight, quiet, and has enough psi to do full body artwork, tattoo cover, tanning, and can run low enough for detailed work such as eyeliner and hair touch up. My “hack” tip for this system is to have 2 hoses-one that I use for the airpod system and another in which I cut off one end and use the hose for regular, non-Temptu single-action airbrushes, such as the Dinair CX (see photo). NOTE: I do NOT recommend doing this if your compressor or airbrushes are under manufacturer warranty. I’ve had all of my equipment long enough now that they are past their warranty.
3. Temptu Air-MSRP $195 | Score: B
I had to give this compressor a second try before writing this article. The first time I tried the air, I used the Temptu SilkSphere pods, and did not find the experience to be delightful at all. Then I purchased the refillable Airpod Pro and did another test run with this system-and am able to now give it a solid “B-“ score and here’s why: If you are a home user looking for a faster way to apply your foundation and blush, this system will give you flawless results with little to no experience needed in seconds. As far as makeup is concerned, I cannot tolerate the heavy fragrance in their pods and the regular S/B foundation is way too dewy and heavy for my oily skin. I highly recommend that you purchase the airpod pro and use a formula of your choice. This compressor is super compact, quiet, affordable, and easy to use! This would also be a great time saver for pro’s on-set or who need to do multiple faces of foundation quickly. What I wish was better about the pod system is that sometimes the needle in the airpods “stick” and causes continuous flow of makeup out of the nozzle-this is why I prefer the airpod pro, you can easily clean the needle and unclog the nozzle tip. I’ve not been impressed with the prefilled pods as they are difficult to unclog and clean. While I’m on the subject of Temptu airpods…the airpod pro is amazing-you can custom mix and match shades, you can use all formulas in the pod, and you can do a full basic face with the airpod system. I’d be reluctant to do fine eye detail work (i.e. eyeliner or brows) with this airpod unless you use a stencil. The needle is larger, thus providing larger pixels and larger surface spray pattern. Now, for using the pods in the airpod adapter for the S-one and 2.0/Pro Plus compressors, all I can say about that stylus is: Throw it away! This is a cheap, plastic stylus that is not well designed for the at-home user or for a pro, for that matter. I hope that Temptu will reconsider the design of this stylus, though I understand why it exists, it just isn’t worth it for me as a makeup artist. It’s awkward to hold and maneuver, and if you’re going to use the airpod system, stick with the Temptu Air handheld device.
4. Graftobian Walk-Around Kit-MSRP from $299 |Score: A
I’m saving the best for last here. I purchased this compressor and kit as I was scheduled to have a booth at a Bridal Show this summer and discovered there would be no power outlet for me to use. I’m so incredibly happy with my decision to purchase this kit-the compressor is manufactured by Sparmax, it features 0-26 psi, a professional grade in-line psi valve, a detachable battery pack that will last up to 4 hours of use, and is whisper quiet. This kit includes starter bottles of makeup (beauty, special f/x, etc.) and a sleek and sturdy single-action SP 35 airbrush (Iwata). This is my ultimate machine-I reserve it for professional jobs and highly recommend it for any professional as it can handle the most delicate, intricate work all the way up to body painting and tattoo cover. It has a quick-connect system (yes, the Dinair CX is compatible!), and is powered by both a battery pack and AC adapter. I cannot say enough good things about this system. As far as their beauty airbrush makeup goes, I would give it a solid B+. They have one water based formula, and it doesn’t ever clog, but it is less pigmented than Dinair, so it requires more layers for full coverage, and I feel that it doesn’t provide as full of coverage as I prefer. If you work on set a lot, I’d recommend investing in the walk-around shoulder strap carrying case. Bottom Line: Airbrush: For everyday use, the CX airbrush by Dinair is by far the easiest to use, clean, and maintain. For professional use, the Iwata SP-35 (available in both single and dual actiondifferent resellers refer to the SP by varying model numbers, depending on what variation it is) is hands down the winner. It feels like a million bucks in your hand, and applies makeup effortlessly and beautifully. I’ve fallen for the allure of the inexpensive airbrushes, and don’t waste your money on them. They are knock offs, and it shows. You cannot go wrong with a Dinair CX or SP-35 by Iwata (Temptu and Graftobian resell this model)-you will also receive better support and troubleshooting when you purchase from one of these brands versus ecommerce retailers. Compressor: My vote for an overall compressor goes to the Temptu 2.0 because I can do everything with it, and is suitable for both the professional and home user. For the home user, I’d recommend the Temptu Air Pro. It is goof-proof, whisper quiet, and extremely easy to use. For the professional makeup artist, I’d recommend the Graftobian Walk-Around System-and for large parties and body work, I’d recommend the Temptu S-One (aka, Iwata Ninja Jet). I didn’t review the S-One/Ninja Jet here, but will say that it is a 0-30 psi, accommodated both single and dual-action as well as tanning airbrushes as well. It has a larger motor, so it is bulkier and noisier, but will handle hours of use for very large-scale jobs.