To many, the idea of airbrushed makeup sounds unattainably glamorous – a privilege reserved solely for those models and celebrities lucky enough to have professional make up artist trailing their every move.
Cue Sally Hansen, a drugstore favorite that's been renown for their nail products since the 50s. Since their start, the brand has expanded beyond the cuticle and put out a variety of different products, from standard beauty tools to hair removal bleaches and creams. Their latest focus has been on products that promote an airbrushed finish: why pay for a tropical getaway - or a professional photo retoucher – when you can get tanned, flawless skin with products all under $20?
The brand's first attempt at spray-on perfection was the Airbrush Legs Leg Makeup, now also available in lotion form. The product offers an unreal level of coverage, with just a hint of shimmer to blur imperfections. The brand boasts the product to be water and transfer resistant, but that's a bit of a stretch – it won't come off on every surface you lean up against, but it's no match for a rainstorm, and I've lost many a white bedsheet after falling asleep before showering the product off. All in all, Airbrush Legs does what it sets out to do as far as creating the appearance of real-life retouched skin, if only for a few hours.
For those craving that same flawless finish, but a little more long-term, they recently launched Airbrush Sun, the brand's ever gradual tanning lotion. This little gem not only gradually tans, but has an immediate bronzer as well for instant results. The beauty of gradual tanners lies in how much control the user has: once you've selected your shade, you simply apply regularly until you reach your desired color. This product is ideal for giving your entire body a perfect glowy look without enlisting the help of a professional airbrushing kit.
Now that the brand has airbrush body products down to a science, it only makes sense that they'd take the next step and tackle face makeup. Tons of high-end beauty brands have had success with this style of product, from Dior's Airflash Spray Foundation to pricy airbrushing systems by Dinair and Temptu. [Note: this isn't Sally Hansen's first rendezvous with airbrush foundation –they once sold a Fast and Flawless Airbrush Foundation, discontinued in 2010, as well as a Natural Beauty Airbrush Foundation as part of a collection inspired by What Not to Wear makeup artist Carmindy, discontinued in 2013.]
As a foundation junkie and a die-hard fan for the brand's other airbrush products, I was eager to get my hands on the Airbrush Face Makeup (currently available only at Walmart). I selected 200 Natural Beige out of the six shade options, which range from a pale ivory to a deep caramel and all contain fairly warm undertones. The directions advise not to spray directly onto the face, but to spritz the product onto your fingers and apply from there.
The moment I began applying the product I was faced with two realizations. The first was that the shade I had selected was far too tanned for my pale skin; the second was that I would need to get to Walmart ASAP to buy the correct shade, because this stuff was fantastic. Admittedly, the wet texture makes application a bit bizarre and potentially messy, but after applying an even layer and giving it a moment to set in, the foundation dried to a touchable, non-sticky finish. Despite my combination to oily skin, I didn't feel the need to immediately set this foundation with powder – the beauty of airbrush products are that they really are meant to finish off a look themselves, so apply massive amounts of other products over them isn't necessary for a flawless, glowy look. Bonus: the product is also oil-free!
I would classify this as a light-to-medium coverage foundation, as it evened out my skin tone and blurred the appearance of my blemishes, but failed to "perfect" my highly pigmented acne scarring.
PRO TIP: The point of an airbrush foundation is to receive a flawless allover finish, so if you intend to apply concealer along with this product – which I recommend for those of you looking for heavier coverage – do so prior to applying the foundation. Conceal first, then airbrush to seal the deal.
While I'm not sure what went wrong with the brand's first two attempts at an airbrush foundation, it won't be long before this new product starts making waves among beauty bloggers and makeup fanatics. Much like Airbrush Legs and Airbrush Sun, the Airbrush Face Makeup will likely join my list of must-haves from Sally Hansen.