An Interview with Top Airbrush Artist Kim Borio

I’m always keeping a sharp eye on the look out for the latest techniques. So the past few months I’ve been researching about airbrush makeup. In the USA it’s the norm and I definitely think the UK will soon be following. It’s becoming a more popular and requested medium. I had the pleasure to meet one of Los Angeles’ top airbrush artists Kim Borio when she was visiting London during London Fashion week. I was lucky enough to have her come and assist me on the Qasimi show too. So I thought it best to ask her a few questions to tell us all a bit more about this growing trend in makeup!

How long have you been doing airbrush makeup?
KB – I was introduced to airbrushing make-up about 10 years ago. I dabbled in it here and there for about a year. I wasn’t well trained, so therefore I didn’t care for it. At the time, I really didn’t think I needed to use the technique. Then one day I got a phone call to do airbrush make-up on this famous actor. I told them I didn’t airbrush and lost the job because of it. After that, I dedicated myself to learn everything about it. Once I knew what I was doing and was properly trained, I became addicted!! I’ve been airbrushing consistently for the last 6 years.

Why do you think it’s so popular in Hollywood?
KB -The Talent(actors/performers)always want to look their best. Airbrushing the make-up creates a natural look to the skin with a lot less product build-up. A lot of the studios are in high-definition now so it’s an essential skill. It’s also required and requested by the studio’s and celebrities. Especially in News. Airbrushing is fast, so it cuts down on the time you spend with your "Talent" in the chair so you can get them on the set as soon as possible! You also don’t need to go in for touch-ups as often.


What machine, airbrush, products do you use and why do you like to use them?
KB – I personally use DINAIR. I have the DINAIR  compressor, brush and products in my kit. I was trained extensively with them and know the product inside and out. I use the water based make-up for my shows. It has a long lasting effect which makes my job so much easier! However, sometimes I’m asked to fill-in for certain people/shows and use what they tell me to use. With my experience, I’ve realised that all product lines are NOT created equally! We need to use the right product for the right purpose. Sometimes silicone based make-up is required, then I use Temtu. They have a great SB (Silicone-based) airbrush make-up and compressor that I love. I’ve also used OCC (Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics) ….a water-based, oil-free, cruelty free airbrush make-up on certain actors. It’s a fun line to work with!

What bit of advice would you give to anyone new to airbrushing or interested in doing airbrush make-up?
KB – Be passionate! Dedicate yourself to it! Research, practice, take care of your machine and brush (airbrush gun). I’m teaching a comprehensive Airbrush Course with The Academy of Freelance Make Up in London this July. I welcome all artists! I want to tell all artists…..in case I don’t see you in my course…..That, before you choose a course, research the company and tutors that will be teaching you to ensure a good education.

What kind of things will you be teaching at AOFM?
KB -I will be teaching 3 days on the course. Most importantly, I want everyone to know how much fun this is going to be! Students will learn airbrushing for HDTV and what it’s really all about. On the 3rd day, we will all go to SKY TV and take a tour of a real studio that shoots in HDTV! You’ll visit the make-up room and artists to get a behind the scenes taste of the real thing! But before that, we will learn the history of airbrushing, how to maintain your equipment, knowledge on different airbrush products, compressors and airbrush’s (guns). Speedy application, combining and mixing colours along with various techniques and tips of the trade. By the time the course is finished, you’ll have the confidence and the tools to start your airbrushing career!

Do you have a website? If yes, what is it? KB – YES! I do have a website…..it’s to be revamped sometime this year, www.kimthemakeupartist.com.

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