Airbrushed Beauty at The Makeup Show NYC


I attended the New York City Makeup Show at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan earlier this week. The two day event was loaded with two floors full of some of the biggest names in the industry (such as MAC, NARS and Yves Saint Laurent). There were hands-on seminars and guest speakers for makeup artists and the general public. It was an overload of interesting information and exciting new products. Though the crowds, noise and excitement made it hard to zero in on any one product, there was one aspect of the show that consistently caught my attention: people sporting leopard print and tire track hair. It was amazing, and unlike anything I’ve seen before. I kept seeing more and more random ladies (and some men, too!) walking around the venue with wild and colorful art on their faces and hair.

I soon found my way to the booth that was responsible for this face “graffiti,” a hot pink makeshift salon for Dinair. Actually, I didn’t find my way. I was lured there by models in tire track platinum wigs handing out lollipops and brochures. Dinair is the originator of airbrush makeup, and has been a popular choice among television and film makeup artists for the past 30 years. And, fun fact: its founder, Dina Ousley even worked as Warren Beatty’s salon assistant in the movie, “Shampoo.” Dina’s airbrushing products spray a hypoallergenic and light mist onto the face, perfect for high-definition television. She sells professional kits that include an airbrush compressor system and bottles of moisturizers, foundations, and even eye shadow. All the makeup is silicon and oil free, as well as waterproof.

“Airbrush” makeup is really nothing new, and using airbrush foundation on the daily gives a more flawless look than old school clumpy liquid and powder. TLC’s “What Not To Wear’s” makeup artist Carmindy has been using airbrush foundation on fashion victims for years. It’s become increasingly common for the everyday woman around town. I splurged recently and starting using Dior’s “Airflash” mist foundation; it feels lighter and looks much more natural, with a bit of a healthy glow. Dinair is more for professional use, but the result is similar: less clump, more coverage, and more glow.

At The Makeup Show, Dinair was showcasing something a little bit more avant-guard then their “regular” makeup airbrushing. Using the same tools and logic as their typical makeup kits, the company now offers stencils for spraying fun looks onto your face and hair. They were giving free demonstrations of this at the Show and I, of course, took them up on the offer! I sat down, and a lovely makeup artist asked me which stencil I wanted. I opted for the checkerboard look on both my eyes and hair.

She first sprayed a bit of hairspray in my hair. Then, she placed a large stencil over that section and sprayed black airbrush paint on for perhaps 5 seconds. She sprayed a little more hairspray to finish it off and keep the squares intact. She then picked up a smaller stencil of squares, asked me to close my eyes and sprayed again. And, voila! I’m a checkerboard, baby; I got a lot of looks, compliments, and questions for the rest of my stay at the show (and on the subway). Dinair offers hair stencil kits along with a large selection of fun stencils for the face and body. The stencils, along with the regular airbrush kit, are a great idea for those who work in media or runway shows. And the quick and easy stencil art is the perfect way to add some edge to a funky photo shoot or a wild night out!

Photos courtesy of Gina Conn, except for center photo by Arthur Eisenburg at

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