Silicone Vs Water Based Airbrush Makeup


What is the difference between silicone and water-based airbrush makeup? This question arises only in two situations. Either you bought an airbrush makeup kit and want to do makeup at home, or set an appointment for a professional airbrush makeup session but still in confusion which one you should use.

This post is for you to bring you out of confusion. First of all, you don’t need to hesitate about these two airbrush makeup types. There is no such big difference between them. Even you can use them interchangeably, on certain conditions.

Ok, as you come here, I will try my best to clear you about the difference between water-based and silicone-based airbrush makeup. let’s see.

Here my another post 10 Best Airbrush Makeup Kit for Beginner. You may check.

Silicone Based Vs Water Based Airbrush Makeup

Here you will know the head-to-head difference between silicone-based and water-based airbrush makeup. Hope it will help you to erase confusion.


Silicone-based foundation or makeup is quite viscous than water-based. It is because the particle of silicone airbrush makeup is a little larger and heavier than water-based makeup. Due to the consistency, silicone-based airbrush makeup requires high air pressure than water-based makeup. It usually ranges from 5-15 PSI (PSI – Pounds per Squire Inch, unit of air pressure). That means you need a strong air compressor if you want to spray silicone-based makeup. And the nozzle diameter of the airbrush pin should little bit wider, I think 0.3-0.4 mm is good enough.

On the other hand, water-based airbrush makeup is lightweight and creates a fine mist. As it is less viscous, you can use low air pressure for water-based airbrush makeup, 2-12 PSI works well. There is no special nozzle diameter recommendation for water-based airbrush makeup.


Airbrush makeup gives light and buildable coverage. But, when it needs to differentiate between the coverage of silicone and water based airbrush makeup, you should choose according to your skin types and depth of imperfections. If you want to cover skin imperfections like deep wrinkles & fine lines, acne, pimples, scars, etc. you should give priority to silicone-based makeup.

Likewise, water-based airbrush makeup is great for light and natural coverage. It covers imperfections like patches, redness, freckles, tiny fine lines, etc. You should use a water-based foundation to cover mild imperfections.


The durability of your makeup may compromise with some factors – heat, sweat, skin types, and your activities. You might ask yourself which makeup type you should use to hold the flawless intact look for a long time. Let me clear, then decide yourself.

The name reflects that silicone-based makeup has more water resistance power than water-based makeup. If you are a crier (on the wedding day) or sweat prone, you should use silicone-based makeup as it keeps you on the safe side.

On the other hand, water-based airbrush makeup lasts a shorter time than silicone one but longer than traditional makeup.

Both types of airbrush makeup last for adequate time. Usually, airbrush makeup lasts up to 12-24 hours depending on different brands. If your makeup gets contacted with water or other liquid substance, don’t wipe, just use a tissue paper to blot.

Sometimes your skin type put some efforts to ruin the makeup. I don’t recommend using airbrush makeup for extremely dry skin, it may flake after a few hours. So, choose the makeup types as own preference, because both makeup types are good to go for a day-long or entire night party.

Blending Capability

For flawless coverage, it is very important to blend well. As airbrush stylus sprays fine makeup mist on the skin, it blends well while application. Both silicone and water-based airbrush makeup are far good than traditional makeup. But, among these two types, silicone one is quite movable. It takes little time to dry, that’s why it blends well after application.

On the flip side, water-based airbrush makeup gets almost dried just after application. In spite of this, some water-based brands also have good blending capability.

Effectiveness on Mature Skin

You can use any kind of airbrush makeup either silicone or water-based if your skin is young. But, for mature skin, you can not get this liberty as it contains lots of imperfections like deep wrinkles, fine lines, patches, color imbalance, etc.

If you have mature skin, I suggest you use silicone-based airbrush makeup. It covers the imperfection better than water-based as it is more viscous. It sits well between the valley or wrinkles and fine lines and gives a smooth finish by filling it. If your skin doesn’t show sensitivity to silicone-based makeup, I suggest you to stick with it.

Skin Texture

Like the above-mentioned factors, which airbrush makeup you should use depends on your skin texture as well. If your skin surface is rough and has some sorts of problems like acne and pimples, you should rely on silicone-based makeup. Likewise, if you have even skin texture, go for water-based makeup.

Skin Friendliness

The safety of your skin comes first before everything else. Airbrush makeup is quite skin-friendly than traditional makeup. It gives you breathable coverage. Though some people think silicone-based airbrush makeup hampers skin breathability. It isn’t true. Silicone-based airbrush makeup lets your skin breathe but not as much as water-based do.

The only possible drawback of silicone-based makeup is it may cause an allergic reaction to somebody whose skin is sensitive to silicone. To avoid this, do a patch test on your hand before applying on the face. If it is ok, go for silicone-based makeup without any hesitation.

Occasion Type

Usually, airbrush makeup is used by celebrities for shooting or special occasions like OSCAR. Likewise, general people use it for some memorable occasion like a wedding party or prom night. It is because airbrush makeup gives you a stunning flawless look which lasts long even for the entire day.

If your event is in the day time, go for water-based airbrush makeup, as if no discomfort will arise when you need to go out in the sun. On the other hand, night time party will be great with silicone-based makeup.

But, I tell you silently, if you want to interchange the makeup type with time, no disaster will come at all. Your preference always gets appreciation.

Ease in Cleaning

The effectiveness of airbrush stylus depends how well you clean it after use. If you don’t do it, the stylus will get clogged and you won’t get the appropriate service next time.

If you use water-based makeup, you can clean it very easily. Even you can clean it with distilled water. Whereas, cleaning silicone-based makeup isn’t as easy as water-based. It happens due to its large molecule and comparatively high viscosity. You must have to use a cleaner to clean silicone-based airbrush makeup. Clean your stylus properly to flush out all the residue either it is water-based or silicone-based makeup.

The Last Words

I hope, now you can decide which airbrush makeup type you should use for your next special occasion.

Just enjoy it without any discomfort.

Read Also

01. Airbrush Makeup Tips for Beginner