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Project Airbrush: The Story with Before & Afters

A little more than a year ago, I purchased an airbrush system after seeing a late night infomercial.  At the time, I was selling homes walking in the hot Florida sun.  I was told that to do the eyeshadow was a bit much & not really worth the effort.  

Initially, I was happy just to do my foundation finding that there was a method to keeping the makeup in place and looking great all day.  When I bought that first system, I never had any intention of sharing what went on at my vanity each morning.  However, I started creating every day looks with the eyeshadows & found it to be fun.  I started sharing the looks on Youtube.

What happened next kind of surprised me, I started getting offered opportunities to go out and provide this service for others.  For me, that was scary as hell I will be honest but I don't do fear very well.  Also, I wanted to see if this was an area that I would actually care to earn money for.  So I put out a call on my personal facebook page asking if women would allow me to do their makeup.  The response was amazing.  

That was 2 weeks ago, I spent that time taking my goodies around a couple of counties with me & a few times meeting some of my facebook friends in real life for the first time.  With each face came new challenges, great conversation and a new lesson for me.  

The women loved their looks and there was only one person that I said, nope, that's not working lets wipe it off.  However, after getting back here with all of the before & after photos, I enjoyed looking back and remembering the lessons I learned with each face.  But I also learned something else as I went through this experiment.   

What I learned was, I love socializing, getting to know the women was great BUT what I also learned was I prefer to sit in front of my camera putting makeup on my face.  I like sharing with you all the every day looks I create but to pack up my goodies and hit the road is not going to be my thing.  

With each new face I figured out how to handle certain things that I was not accustomed to in my own face.  I matched multiple shades of makeup, learned that color correction sometimes requires more than 2 colors and that being nervous is not a good thing, I also learned that brushing on concealer is better than airbrushing it on because you can't get enough to really conceal without causing the color to fall into the creases of the face which defeats the purpose.   Being self taught is definitely a journey and I am glad I ventured out to take on the challenge of playing makeup with others.   The women were all wonderful since they knew that this was to be a learning experience for me.  I will admit I found that I am actually better at eyeshadow than anything else, I totally forgot to put blush on Sharon but being a former Mary Kay rep, she made sure she had it before we started snapping the after photos.  

I know the ladies had fun as did I, here are their before & afters.  


LaVonne is a healthcare worker, wife & mom of 2 sons.  She was my first victim and when I do my makeup, the goal is to look as natural as possible, I quickly learned that she didn't look made up at all  which is actually what I was hoping for.  She's naturally gorgeous (she models as well) so I had to make sure to get a close up of her eyes so you all could see I did actually do something.  The airbrush makeup really made her look nice & smooth and she didn't have very many issues with her skin so matching her foundation was extremely easy. 

Miss Nicole is a force to be reckoned with let me tell you!  She is a fellow makeup junkie and has no issue with being subtle or bold with her looks.  Me being a terrible photographer did not know how to keep too much light out of her face for this photo but if you were standing in the room with her, the foundation color as well as the concealer really looked quite natural.  She loved the finished look.  Like a lot of women of color, we had to work with a few colors to get her even.  

This is Jamie & working with her was I must say, a breeze.  Her skin color is pretty close to my own so deciding what colors to use on her was a cinch.  I made sure to just smooth her out & highlighted and contoured her gorgeous face.  I also learned that I have an aversion toward the color purple for darker skin but it just pops so well.  She walked me out & when we got outside, I started feeling crazy confident.  It looked amazing but I didn't want to start tooting my own horn so all of our photos were taken inside. 

Sue is a trauma nurse & is usually quite basic in her makeup routine.  She doesn't usually wear lipstick and again, my goal was to show the women that this could enhance their every day routines.  We went with brown & beige on her and man did it make her blue eyes pop!  As you can see, I learned a great deal with Sue about reducing the puffiness around the eyes as I worked to really make her eyes the true focal point (no pun intended). 

Sharon tames clutter for a living, a job I think she realized I could never do as I opened my makeup box lol She is also a former Mary Kay rep, by the time I reached her, I was scatterbrained & had run all over 2 counties (yes, I'm making excuses for forgetting her blush).  By the time I got to her, I must say I think my foundation matching skills had vastly improved.  What do you think?  I had a different situation with her skin tone as well.  I mixed a brown for her liner & it initially went on red making her look as if she was bleeding from the eyes.  That's not a good look just so you know so with her I learned how to mix colors correctly.  By the end of the session, the brown was actually brown. 

These ladies were phenomenal & very accommodating but I knew that if I were to do this for a living it would not be about how I wanted to do the makeup but how the client would want it.  My goal when I started this venture was not to trade time for hours which would be the trade off for doing individual makeup but to be able to be anywhere in the world as I shared how to do airbrush makeup.  I learned that I am in line with my vision and to deviate from that would do a disservice to all involved and for this handful of women that allowed me to learn something not only about makeup but about myself, words cannot express how thankful I am.  You ladies ROCK!