Painted Ladies

Airbrush makeup creates a flawless face


You might guess, from my monthly aesthetic adventures in this column and from the fact that my purse is bigger than some carry-on luggage, that I’ve tried a lot of makeup. A lot. Creams, powders, glitters, glues, stickers – you name it, I’ve probably used it. But one thing I’ve never managed to try is airbrush makeup. Not a lot of salons offer the service locally, and that airbrush table in the middle of Sephora with all of those bottles and all of those teenagers crowding around it looks more like the seventh circle of hell to me than it does a viable option for beautification. So when I learned that Sara Faella’s new downtown salon, Sara’s Glam Squad, was offering the service, I was intrigued.

Before I tried it, my understanding was that airbrush makeup isn’t the kind of thing you just wear on your average weekday. It’s for photography, or for wedding-level special events. While it’s definitely true that it’s a good choice for times when you need your makeup to last all day and all night, it turns out that the process is surprisingly easy, and the result, while impeccable, actually looks pretty natural.

I booked my airbrush session late on a Saturday afternoon in the height of the holiday season. Nice of me, I know. But I had a party that night, followed by a dinner date and a concert – and what better way to put the service to the test than on a night I really needed it?

Sara’s Glam Squad Salon is in an airy loft space on Orange Street, and the perky and strikingly lovely Sara greeted me with a huge smile and a squeal of excitement. She sat me in a chair by the salon’s expansive windows, and asked me what kind of look I wanted for the night. I told her about my plans, and that I’d be wearing a 1950s-inspired top with cheetah fur trim, so I wanted something fittingly pin-up to complement it.

She started by removing all of my makeup, and putting on a layer of Temptu airbrush foundation. I expected several things here: for it to be uncomfortably thick, for it to be smelly and unpleasant when applied, and for it to have that slightly unnatural tinge that I sense in most liquid foundations. To my pleasant surprise, none of those things were true. In two minutes, Sara had applied a light coat of makeup that perfectly matched my skin tone. It felt nice, and it looked pleasantly flawless. Even the little dings I can see through my normal cosmetics were hidden nicely.

After, she gave me a vampy look that included a neutral eye with cat’s eye black liner and a bold red lipstick from her own cosmetic line, Sara Faella. I liked the color so much that I took one home with me (and found, happily, that the color lasted all night). Later, when I got to the party, the first thing the host said to me was, “Ohmygod, your makeup is perfect.” And at the end of the night – which was far, far later than any reasonable person should be getting home – it still was.