Airbrushing vs Regular Makeup – Looking Beautiful on your Wedding Day

Dec 8, 2014 | Tips for Clients

Many brides ask themselves at some point, “should I airbrush?  Should I get professional makeup for my wedding?  What’s the difference between airbrushing and regular makeup?”  Sometimes my couples check in with me about makeup options, often because they want to know what photographs best.  From years of photographing weddings, I know that professional makeup, while generally looking heavier than you’d do yourself, looks much better in photos *because* it’s heavier; your features really pop, your skin looks smoother and softer, and professionals tend to know which colors will suit your skin tone and eye color best.  I’ve also suggested my brides consider airbrushing as the most “flawless” option, but it’s generally more expensive and I wasn’t 100% sure of the benefits.

So, last week, a few photographer friends gathered for a last minute retreat in Maine.  We invited the wonderful, talented, super sweet Joanne of Joya Beauty to give us each a little makeover, and after we were dolled up we took head shots for each other.  (You can find my spiffy new head shot by Maine wedding photographer Leah Haydock on my contact page.)  Joanne uses airbrushing on her clients so I was really excited to try it out and see for myself how it looks and feels.  I was expecting a lengthy process and a heavy feeling and was shocked to discover that airbrushing is neither slow nor heavy.  In fact, Joanne’s application was the lightest feeling makeup I’ve ever worn (it feels like your skin is naked) and it looked beautiful.  I felt like the most perfect version of myself, which is truly a wonderful feeling.

One of the other benefits of working with Joanne specifically is that she customizes the makeup to best suit your natural skintone – she customized the airbrushed foundation, the cheek tint, and the lip color.  She actually used a little black gloss to cool down and darken the lip color she originally chose for me when I told her it looked nice but not quite *me*.  Magic!

As you can see from the painfully “fresh faced” before photo my skin has a lot of imperfections, a lot of redness (especially outside in Maine on a cool December day!) and at 35 I have plenty of lines and wrinkles.  Joanne’s airbrushing evened out my skin tone, softened my lines and wrinkles, and gave me a natural softness and glow that I absolutely love.  She also added a short line of false eyelashes to the corners of my eyes, and used a gorgeous bronze shade to bring out my eye color without making me look unnatural.  I felt like a million bucks all day (and really, all day and all night, for airbrushed makeup also stays put for 10+ hours, perfect for a bride on her wedding day).

Joanne of Joya Beauty offers on-location bridal services throughout New England, however if she’s already booked for your big day, a couple of other artists who use airbrushing include Hilary Warner (Boston) and Jennie Kay (Newport).  These ladies are also great to work with and come highly recommended.

Edited to add: both before and after images are completely unedited, apart from a little cropping.  The airbrushing really is that flawless.  The version on my contact page has some editing applied.  The shine in my eyes is thanks to my eyes tearing up in the cold, not any Photoshop trickery!


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