Dinair Airbrush System – A Review


The Dinair website looks nice and clean and professionally designed.  In fact, from the time I ordered until JUST NOW, the site has actually been improved.  It’s organized with the sections across the top and then once you get into the shopping subsection the categories are down the side.

You can order your system in one of several kit configurations where you pick the color of your compressor (there are 15) and then a variety of shades and accessories.  The kits comes with a brush (the gun and a hose), the compressor, cleaner, accessories, and a a variety of makeup.

There are 20 foundation shades available along with 82 other assorted shades for eyeshadow, lining,  blush, lips, concealing, highlighting, contour and yes… hair.

Once you’ve picked your machine out, you can add any combination of makeup.  It’s sold in little dropper bottles.  Going to the ‘Shop Colors’ section you just click on the shade and a popup appears asking you for the size you want to order and then you can click to add it to your bag.  There is no ‘cart’ on your shopping page, though, that keeps track of how much and what you’ve already added, which is a peeve of mine, I like to know my running balance.  In fact, it’s a little tricky to FIND the cart on the page, it’s just a tiny little icon sitting on the top. The page is actually a little buggy, it keeps asking me to ‘enter quantity’ when I actually HAVE a quantity entered.  It’s also running REALLY slowly right now, making working on this review very difficult.

You can order each shade in one of three sizes: .25 ounces, .50 ounces, or 1.15 ounces.  The price for each depends on the formula, some are shimmery and some are matte/satin.  The paramedical line of foundations (used for covering tattoos or for scaring) is the most expensive at $18, $26, and $35.

They also sell a sunless spray tan system.  I’m not exactly interested in that sort of product, but I can see it’s potential.

I ordered:


I ordered on a Saturday and my order shipped that Monday.  I had it in my hands on Wednesday.  Shipping was free, I used a free shipping promo for orders over $50.  They shipped the machine via UPS, and I’m about an hour and a bit south of them, they’re in LA.  I have heard that they ship smaller orders via USPS, though.  The price for shipping without a code appears to be anywhere from under 10$ for the West Coast  and as much as 45$+ for the same order to areas on the East Coast.

Shipping to me (San Diego)


Shipping to my Mom’s (Detroit)


My order arrived carefully packaged in a nice sized box.  Everything fit in nicely and was wrapped in tissue.  The compressor was packaged in a box on it’s own inside, the hose in a baggie, and the ‘gun’ in a small storage pouch.  The makeup bottles were sealed inside baggies so they didn’t leak.

Color Matching

Dinair offers a Color Matching service.  What you do is send them in a picture of your bare face and then the match you to your foundation shade.  While I did not personally have MY skin ‘matched’ (I know better) three people had it done for me.  My two cousins and a friend back home all sent in pictures over the course of the past few weeks.

Subject 1 –

Subject 1 is of mixed Arabic heritage.  She has light olive skin.  She was ‘matched’ to Honey Beige.   It’s not really even close.  It’s appears very orange/pinky on her skin.  She is closer to Dark Golden Beige.

Subject 2 –

Subject 2 is very fair with rosy skin.  She was ‘matched’ to Alabaster.  It’s actually dark for her, but works when mixed 3:1 with white.

Subject 3 –

Subject 3 is half black and half white with strong yellow undertones.  She was ‘matched’ to Golden Tan.  It’s a very good match.

Alabaster (pink based) and Vanilla (yellow based) are the lightest shades they have.  Phyrra herself was matched to Vanilla, but since it’s too dark for ME, I know it won’t match her at all.  In the cases I observed, the color matching was accurate only 75% of the time, although due to the nature of the makeup, it is possible to blend to find your match.

Customer Service

I ordered on a Friday night and then talking to someone who already had a system, decided to change my order.  I called Saturday morning.  15 times.  They claimed to be open at 9 am on Saturdays and I started calling at 9:05 am.  It wasn’t until after 10:30 am that anyone answered.

Once I got someone on the phone, I explained that I had wanted to add a few things to my order.  Instead we decided to just cancel it and I placed a second order that morning.

When my order arrived it was missing several things.  There was no brow stencil, eyeshadow guide, and my bottle of paramedical foundation that I’d ordered apart from the kit was missing.  I called the next day, after going through the packaging TWICE to ensure I hadn’t overlooked it (again, I had to wait until after 10 to get an answer) and I explained I was missing things.  The person I spoke to was very polite and ensured my items would be shipped out right away.  As I am writing this, I still have not received them.


I’ve used an airbrush before.  Growing up in the family I did it was not unusual for my dad to be in his workroom painting a model rocket, airplane, or RC car.  Or for my brother to be working on some little robot model… things.  I myself have a degree in art and for my birthday one year got an AMAZING set that I used to paint murals with, so I basically know how to operate and clean one.  There is only ONE small difference between a Dinair system and a regular one, and that is the gun/brush has a top feeding paint cup and most of the mainstream versions feed from a cup on the bottom.  Having watched a popular ‘guru’s’ tutorial of the machine I was initially turned off of it, as were a lot of people I spoke to.  In the video it was obvious she didn’t know how to match her skin and she applied the product horribly.  Although it was her fault her skin looked grey and her coverage was a mess, I know people assumed it was because the foundation was poor and the machine didn’t work properly.

Pink Candy

As I mentioned, Vanilla is the lightest golden based shade they have.  It’s a bit too dark to me, but I messed and messed with mixing and discovered that three drops of Vanilla and one drop of white makes just about the perfect shade.  White seems a little thicker so the drops are bigger?  Maybe?  All I do is SHAKE THE HECK out of the bottles and place the drops right into the little brush cup.  The great thing about being able to mix is that I can actually lighten most of the light golden based shades enough to use them.  You can either use separate drop bottles to premix your foundation, or just mix right in the brush cup.  I found that if you cover the tip and pull back on the trigger the bubbling action does a nice job of mixing the foundation for you.

The learning curve of this is so steep, it’s almost daunting.  You need to first get your shade correct, then you have to figure out the best speed to run your compressor (for me, it’s half way), how far to pull the trigger back (it has a few bands, though, so when you DO find your ‘sweet spot’ you can set the bands there to hit it every time), but also how far away from your face to move it, how fast to move it, and in what direction to move it.  For me, it varies on the coverage I want, if I’m doing foundation, or blush, or contouring.  What works for me probably won’t work for you.  My cousin and I both have one of these now and how she uses it is really different then how I do.

Is it worth figuring out?  Yes.

It took me about three days of fussing with it (and a couple of hours of mixing shades) to get everything worked out, but my skin looks (and I realize this is cliche) airbrush perfect.  I do prime it first with Idealist or Perfectionist.  Sometimes, though, using a moisturizer makes the application a little… gummy.  So experimenting I realized that less is more with both the moisturizer as well as the foundation.  You can feel where the makeup is going to go because the brush has continuous air flow, so even if you don’t have the trigger pulled, the air is hitting your skin.  I actually practiced with JUST air for a bit until it ‘felt’ right.  I like to move over my face in smooth swirls.  The key, though, is NOT to squint, pucker, or otherwise make a face.  In fact, you have to make sure your skin is stretched or, you know, taut, so that the foundation doesn’t go everywhere BUT into the little folds or wrinkles, etc etc, and leave veins of bare skin.

Once it’s applied you can’t really feel it’s there.  It’s almost weightless.  Almost because once you’ve layered blush and etc etc, you can sort of tell.  It sets RIDICULOUSLY quick, though, so if you make a mistake BUFF IT OUT QUICKLY or you’re stuck starting over.  I find that using a damp Beauty Blender sponge works AMAZINGLY well for this.  It’s also great for blending into the hairline, getting the foundation OFF of your hair in the case of overspray, etc etc.

The formula is water based and contains no silicons, etc etc to fill and or blur pores or fine lines and wrinkles, so that will have to be achieved with a primer first.  The finish is a nice natural/matte, but they sell a product called Moist and Dewy that when added to the foundation makes the finish more dewy, obviously.  It does wear very well, however there is no oil control technology in it at all, so if you have problem and/or oily skin you’ll probably find that it melts off your t-zone and you might need a matffier.

From left to right : Alabaster, Vanilla, Olive Beige, Natural Beige, and Golden Beige

The compressor has no on/off switch, instead it has a dial.  When you turn the dial up the compressor increases air pressure, causing the flow to increase.  I find that right at the half way point is about the perfect flow for me for even coverage.  The gun/brush had a comfortable and each to use trigger that actually has a grip on it.  I find that pulling it back so that it’s even with the stem of the handle create just enough flow for me to control coverage.  I use a bit less with blushes.

The biggest con of the system is the fact it’s a pain to clean.  I clean mine after every use, running alcohol though it and rinsing it out well and wiping it out.  It takes a while longer to apply your foundation with this just because of the cleanup.  Setting the unit itself it up, you basically just connect a hose.  There are videos available that explain how to actually maintain the brush, how to take it apart and put it back together.


Would I order from Dinair again?  This is a hard thing to answer because I’ve already made the initial investment, so no, I wouldn’t buy a new machine, but in general, yes, I do plan on buying refills.

✔  I really like that that have their own YouTube channel with tutorials.

✔  I really like that I can custom mix about ANY shade with a little trial and error.

✘  It’s a tad expensive for a novice.

✘   Getting used to using it can be tricky.

✔  Once you are it’s a snap to mix and apply your makeup.

✘  The cleanup is a pain.


19 Responses to “Dinair Airbrush System – A Review”

  1. Oooh, your blog looks pretty (and still you!). I’m guessing it would be tricky to match people based on photos sent in, unless everyone was using a universal camera/paper/monitor color calibration system (although, wouldn’t that be lovely?). I love how you stuck with it for 3 days until you got it right! After day 1.5, I’d have probably chucked it in to the depths of my closet along with my other product test failures – Nads Hair Removal Gel, Bumpit’s, etc. I’d be curious to know how you fared with eyeliner application. Just the idea of airbrushing eyeliner to me seems like… deliberately giving yourself that glaucoma air puff test.

    • Yeah. No eyeliner for me. I’m not really all that interested in using it for that sort of thing, I don’t think. I might give it a try one of these days, though! It scares the begeebers outta me.

  2. I’m curious about how they show people using this for the hair.

    Loved reading your review on it. I definitely think I want to play with it 😉

    • I’ve seen pictures of airbrushed hair- I believe a popular use is to stencil on brightly colored patterns (I’ve seen a lot of animal print!)

      I’m curious about how it could be used to cover grown-out roots…that in & of itself could make it worthwhile for me 😉

  3. Fantastic review, super in depth (as always!). I now know this is totally not a practical product for me & my life and thus won’t be tempted though it sounds like a great system. I will be interested to see your thoughts on the temptu in comparison. Thanks for the review. I hope they get the rest of your purchase to you, their customer service sounds like it could use some work 😦

  4. Thank you for this very detailed review! I have been wanting the temptu after seeing it at Sephora. It is quite an expensive investment, though. I hope i can borrow from a friend or ask to have this tried on me at the store. 🙂

  5. Uhhhhh! New bloooog! How fancy! 😀
    Dinar sounds amazing! ^^ Nothing I’d ever buy, since I doubt I’d find it here, but amazing anyway! ^^

    I hope they give your missing items soon! This is poor service!!

  6. Thank you for the review!!! It was really a great help in choosing the quality airbrush among the rest! This review oriented me a lot. xoxo!

  7. Since you’re experienced with airbrush as a non-makeup medium, I’d love it if you could compare those, like Dinair, Temptu, and Kett, that are marketed as makeup airbrushes, to other (often less expensive brands) that are simply sold for varied artistic use- like the one your Dad used. I know you can buy all components separately, so it seems highly likely that with a little research someone could build a system for much less using “regular” airbrushes, compressors, etc…what are your thoughts? What made you settle on Dinair?

    • I actually have a few systems, like I mentioned in a previous post, I’ll be reviewing all of them.

      As far as using a regular airbrush system, you could, however you’d have to use a bottom feeding system which would both waste a LOT of product and be a little unsanitary (using and reusing cups and storing tubes, etc etc). Also the compressors are a little different, the Dinair is smaller and quieter. Not many ‘cheep’ airbrush craft systems had as wide a range of air flow control, either. It’s the gun, in this instance, that is vastly different. I’ll also be covering that in a post to come in about, oh…. two weeks.

      • Cant wait to see the other reviews…I’ve seen other comparisons, but it’s always good to hear opinions from someone you can trust. As far as cheaper airbrush systems, you can actually get top-loading airbrush guns (the ones w/ a cup on top) like the Dinair. I’ve seen them for as low as $36 (the Iwata top-feeder Obesessive Compulsive Cosmetics sells is over $100). I just don’t know how they compare to cosmetically marketed ones.

        I’m sure that after reading your reviews, I’ll have a good head start to my research- so thanks! In advance 🙂

  8. Wow, three words: I am jealous. I bet airbrush make-up gives a more flawless effect than the best handle brush, but they’re so damn expensive. Love how flawless they look on your underarm!

  9. It’s great to read a quality review on a product that doesn’t get that sort of attention and detail, thank you! I’ll probably never order this. All of the mua’s I’ve worked with don’t bother with ‘cosmetic’ airbrush systems. Mine isnt’. BUT it’s great to see the 411 on it.

  10. I am waiting with baited breath for your Temptu review. I have been eyeing it but its so darn expensive!

  11. I would love to hear your opinion on the Temptu. I own the Temptu and although I do like the results overall, I have some issues with the product. Primarily, the gun has a small tubular rubber hose inside it that is very delicate. You have to insert your make up pod
    inside this rubber hose as you snap it in place. I have owned my Temptu for only 2 months and have had to replace my gun twice due to this little hose getting small tears in it. Once there is a tear in the little hose, you lose all ability for the compressor to blow air through the pod and out the gun which blows the makeup out of the pod onto your face. Sooo, when you are depending on this little gun to provide a means of getting makeup on your face, make sure your have your old stand by make up handy, cause you are going to need it. Nothing like thinking you only need a few minutes to airbrush your face, only to find out that your gun is not working and now you have to drag out all your other makeup and start fresh with it, which just might take longer in applying (as in my case). I live 3 hours round trip from the nearest Sephora Store and even though the Temptu rep stated that the Temptu company would ship me anything overnight free of charge if I had any problems, ie.. bad pods, bad gun etc.. When I actually did have issues, the company stated they couldn’t help me and I would have to drive the 3 hour round trip to make an exchange in the store. Really!
    How inconvenient! I have spent $800.00 in products with the Temptu and the person answering the phone at the Temptu company seemed to not mind that I said I was going to return all $800.00 worth of products and go buy Dinair instead. Great company representative.
    My next issue with the product is that it doesn’t dry right away. You have to make sure and apply your eye makeup first or you will smear the make up as you apply your eyeliner etc.. I generally use my hairdryer on the cool setting and blow dry my face between layers of the Temptu makeup and I only use the lightest setting and use very little of the makeup. It still requires me to blow it dry or wait for it to dry for quite a period of time before touching my face least it smear. It doesn’t hold up as advertized like around my nose and chin (and I have dry skin, not oily), so I have to reapply in those areas another kind of makeup or take the Temptu with me. Not so convenient to pull out the compressor in the lady’s room at work. or in a restaurant. So, not sure I would buy again and am definitely contemplating returning as I have only had for a few weeks.
    But I love the ease of not mixing drops or having to clean up anything. Switching out the pods from foundation to blush to highlighter to contour is very easy as long as you are careful not to tear that dang little rubber tube.!! Of course switching those pods on and off 3, 4, 5 times every time you do your make up, everyday does wear on that little rubber tube. Not the best design, as it is paper thin.

    • In the end, I returned my as it was completely defective. I went through several foundation pods and two full systems and I never got it to work. Plus? There is just no foundation match for me so it was useless. Mixing is THE way to go with my fair skin.

  12. Colleen Dougherty September 12, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Do you mean that you returned the Dinair system? Thanks for the review!

  13. Colleen Dougherty September 12, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Thanks! I’ve been trying to decide on which one to get and your review and this conversation has been so helpful. Appreciate the quick response!