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Before I tested the Luminess BREEZE System ($176), I imagined that at-home airbrushing would involve clunky apparatus and leave me looking like an overdone, wannabe influencer. I was wrong on both counts: Not only is the BREEZE cordless and extremely portable, the ultra-fine mist it produces offers light to medium coverage that feels so much less greasy than my typical skin tint + filter routine. I was thrilled with the results of the system, and I wanted to see if the Luminess’s non-electronic, aerosol spray could live up to the quality of the BREEZE system. Read on for my review of these sister products.
After charging the BREEZE machine for four hours, I was ready to make my first airbrushing attempt. While the methodology of application was a huge departure from my usual foundation brush, Luminess’ easy to follow video instructions made the process accessible and non-intimidating. There is definitely a learning curve to achieve even application, so don’t try it out for the first time on the day of a big event where you plan to be photographed. It took me a few tries to become competent with the machine, but afterwards it was smooth sailing.
After putting on my favorite SPF 30 primer, I added a few drops of the Silk 4-in-1 Advanced Airbrush Foundation to the BREEZE’s well. Luminess’ makeup artists advise that when you pull back on the trigger, do so very gently. If you go in with a heavy touch, the product will start to crease and emphasize (rather than obscure) fine lines. It may feel like nothing is coming out at first because the mist is very fine, but you’ll feel a slight coldness. Keep it four fingers distance away from your face (and upright) and don’t linger in any one spot. I discovered that I could hear a change in the sound when it runs out of product. I found that 6 drops (and a very light trigger finger) offered the amount of coverage I wanted.
Am I Even Wearing Makeup?
The best part of using the BREEZE is how weightless the foundation feels. After airbrushing, I don’t feel the need to use setting powder or spray (which I usually use copiously) and my skin is dry to the touch. For weightless blush or illuminator, try Luminess’ formulas that work with the BREEZE exactly like the foundations — but be sure to clean out the well in between products. In this vein, I’m happy to say the BREEZE has encouraged much better makeup hygiene habits because while I could not be bothered to lather up my makeup brushes after each use, to clean the BREEZE’s well all you have to do is add a few drops of water and pull the trigger back until the water runs clear.
The BREEZE’s Analog Sister
After taking a few days to master the BREEZE, I was anticipating a similar learning curve with the Airbrush Spray Silk Foundation Starter Kit ($39). I was ready for a mini-makeup disaster on my first try, but in a pleasant surprise, my first application was as good as my sixth and seventh. You spray the formula onto the brush (included in the starter kit) and buff onto your face with circular motions. This took the same amount of time as my regular foundation routine, so I tried an experiment and sprayed the foundation directly onto my skin. Incredibly, while blind (eyes shut tightly and lips pursed), I managed to lay on a fairly even coat. If you’ve ever spray painted anything, this was essentially the same sensation. The aerosol trigger was easy to press lightly and once I blended it out, I was very happy with the results. If you use this direct-spray method, just make sure to protect your shirt and hair (use a wide headband).
Which Is Better?
The Spray Silk product is more forgiving because it stays wet longer. The skinfeel is similar to a traditional foundation, but what I gained in flexibility was counteracted by a loss in touchless-ness. Using a brush while my skin was winter-dry forced some of the imperfect texture to show through. What I love about the BREEZE is that there is no contact with fingers or brush or anything (and no need to use a setting powder/spray) so the perfectly blurred results remain so. It does require that you use a very light trigger finger because you can’t reverse an error if you go too heavy on the spray mist. This is my long-winded way of saying I didn’t find one system to be better than the other—it’s more a matter of whether you prefer the control (and familiarity) of using a brush or the no-contact BREEZE method. I like having the option of being able to choose between the two methods depending on my skin’s condition and how much additional makeup I want to layer on top.
5 More Reasons to Airbrush with Luminess
- If you’re looking to cover up gray hairs, the BREEZE system accommodates a haircare attachment to make covering up roots or filling in your hairline a cinch. (There’s also a tanning attachment for those looking for a healthy post-vacation glow.)
- Luminess’ makeup doubles as skincare: the Silk 4-in-1 Advanced Airbrush Foundation formulas blend a high-performance anti-aging serum, primer, concealer, and foundation all-in-one.
- You can also use BREEZE with Luminess’ liquid skincare line that turns products into a micro-droplet mist, then propels a superfine layer of product to the skin. This method allows skincare ingredients to penetrate the barrier more deeply and more effectively, and reduces irritation of harsher ingredients like retinol.
- Try the BREEZE for 30 days before committing. Just pay $20 up front, and if you decide to keep it, pay four installments of $39.
- Travel-friendly: the cordless BREEZE system charges with a USB cable and weighs only 8.7 oz.