Airbrush makeup problems (Ultimate Guide)

You just bought your Airbrush machine and looking forward to enjoying a flawless makeup.

After using the machine for a while you start noticing your makeup creasing or the machine not working at all.

What might be the issue?

We are going to troubleshoot some of the issues you might experience when using an AirTag machine and its solutions. 

8 Airbrush machine problems and their solutions 

Cleaning Airbrush machine

Airbrush makeup might be life-changing. However, you won’t miss a few challenges here and there.

So, before deciding to buy your Airbrush gun, here is a few problems you are likely to face. 

Problem One: Airbrush producing too much products

If you read my All about airbrush makeup guide, you will see that you are supposed to use just a few drops of Airbrush makeup to achieve full coverage.

There are times you will notice that you are not able to control the amount of products coming out of the nozzle.

If that is the case, one of these things might be the issue;

  • You might be using too much pressure to press the trigger. An Airbrush will work with just minimal push. 
  • After a long period of pressing the trigger too tight, your Airbrush gets too loose and defaults to producing too much products. 
  • By the time you are learning that you should be using little pressure, your Airbrush is defective. 
  • If you are in such a situation, I have two good news;

Since you have come to the realization, there are no chances you are going to make the mistake again.

Secondly, you can fix the issue without having to buy a new Airbrush machine. 

Problem Two: Double lines during application

Imagine applying makeup only to end up with one side of the place the makeup land being heavy than one side.

And since Airbrush makeup is not meant to be blended, you will have to check what the issue is with your Airbrush. 

  • One of the possible issues that might be causing your Airbrush to be heavy on one side is if there is makeup clogged on one side of the nozzle. 
  • When the makeup clogs the nozzle, the only option is to clean the nozzle.
  • Another reason your Airbrush might be making double lines is if the tip of the nozzle needle is bent or split. 
  • In a case where the needle of your nozzle is bent, you can straighten it easily. However, if the needle is split, you will need to replace it. 
  • If the needle of the nozzle does not fit on the nozzle, then you might get double lines on your makeup. 
  • In such a case, you will need to buy a needle that fits the nozzle. If it’s an emergency makeup call, you can use a damp beauty blender to blend in the makeup. 
  • You should also check if there are dried makeup products on your Airbrush makeup machine. 

Problem three: Airbrush spraying irregular makeup products

Sometimes the Airbrush might be producing some large particles of makeup in between some fine makeup. 

  • If your Airbrush machine is doing that, then the nozzle might not be hooked on the machine. 
  • Remove the nozzle and try to hook it back to the machine. Before hooking it back, ensure you clean the machine.
  • Also, check if the nozzle is compatible.
  • Another reason, is maybe your compressor is defective. If you want to know if the compressor is faulty, you can feel how the compressor how moves when you press it. You can also remove it and try attaching it back. 

Problem four: Airbrush spraying air only instead of products

Fixing airbrush gun

Sometime after following the manual and reassembling all the parts, instead of makeup coming out of the nozzle, it shoots off the air.

  • If that is the case with your Airbrush, you should remove all parts. Check if the nuts and the guide of the nozzle are compatible.
  • You can change and buy a nozzle that fits your Airbrush.
  • When fixing the nozzle, ensure all the nuts are interlocked. 
  • Put some makeup products on the Airbrush and try to see if any products come from the nozzle. 

If the nuts are not tight enough, only air will be let out of the Airbrush.

Always check if the nozzle is compatible. 

  • Another possible factor that might be the reason only Air is shooting off the Airbrush might be because of dried makeup particles.
  • Never leave an Airbrush machine dirty for a long time without cleaning it. Always spray some alcohol before storing the Airbrush machine. 
  • Since Airbrush makeup is always in liquid form and mostly waterproof, use some oil makeup remover to break down the makeup. 
  • Remove all parts apart and pour some oil into the nozzle. Let the oil act on the makeup then use a small brush to clean the nozzle.

Problem five: The trigger feels rusty 

After using the Airbrush machine for a few months it will stop feeling easy to use as it was when new.

This is bound to happen considering everything has a day to become faulty.

However, you can prolong the life of the Airbrush machine by;

  • Washing the Airbrush machine using oils and certified makeup removers before storing the machine.
  • Oils will melt the makeup and make it easy to remove. Also certified makeup remover will wash the Airbrush machine without damaging the machine. 
  • First of all, water will not be of any help to your Airbrush. Airbrush makeup is waterproof. If there is any makeup that has dried in the nozzle, water will not find a way through the dried makeup. So, you better save your energy and use a liquid that will work. 
  • Another reason you should avoid using water when cleaning your Airbrush, is because water will react with the metal used to make the Airbrush machine. 
  • Ensure you also dry the Airbrush properly before storing. 

Another reason why the trigger might get rusty is when you store the airbrush machine in a humid area.

Storing the Airbrush without separating all the parts.

  • Some of the moisture from the humid environment will be captured and slowly react with the metal parts. 
  • After a long time of humidity reacting with the Airbrush machine, the trigger and all the other parts will feel rusty. 
  • You can reverse the rusting by oiling all the parts regularly. Oiling the Airbrush parts will create a coating on the metal parts which will prevent any moisture from messing up with the metal parts. 
  • After using the Airbrush machine, ensure you separate all parts, clean them up, and then put them in a storage bag. 
  • Put the machine back into the packaging bag the machine came in. 

All this will prolong the life span of your Airbrush. 

Problem six: The needle is not entering the nozzle

The needle of the airbrush makeup machine
The needle of the airbrush makeup machine

After separating all the parts to clean up the Airbrush, your needle might refuse to go back to the nozzle. 

In such a case, you should check if the nozzle is clogged.

Check through the tip of the nozzle to see if there is any makeup that is stuck there.

You should also check if the guide is rusty. 

  • If that is the case, soak the nozzle in 97% isopropyl alcohol. This will melt the product unclogging the nozzle and allow the needle to enter the nozzle. 

In some other instances, you will find that the needle is entering too far the nozzle. 

  • If you notice that the needle is entering too deep the nozzle, the nozzle is too overstretched and you will need to replace it. 
  • Always check if you are hooking up the needle the right way in the nozzle. Forcing the needle into the nozzle will stretch the nozzle out and after a long time of using too much force, it won’t be compatible with any needle. 

Problem seven: Airbrush parts are stuck

After using the Airbrush, you will need to separate the parts for easy storage.

In some instances, the parts like the nozzle might refuse to come off the Airbrush. 

  • Instead of using too much force to disassemble airbrush parts, lubricate the parts using oil. In case of rust on the guide and nuts, the oil will make the parts separate and come out easily without breaking the parts. 
  • You might also have tightened the parts too much which makes it hard to separate the parts. 
  • Always tighten the parts using your hands. Rotate the nozzle clockwise till you can rotate anymore. That will be tight enough to prevent any air from entering the Airbrush. 

There are also chances of mixing up parts of a different Airbrush if you have multiple Airbrushes and if you store them together. 

  • Clean each Airbrush separately after using the Airbrush. You should also ensure you store the Airbrush separately to prevent possible mix-ups. 
  • Double check the parts and see if they are compatible to prevent parts from getting stuck. 

Each brand of Airbrush has different dimensions.

So, if large components are used in small Airbrushes, they will definitely get stuck. 

Problem eight: Instead of Makeup coming out of the Airbrush only steam or very light liquid

In such a case, you should check if your makeup is expired. 

When makeup expires, it separates in very light liquid and some solid particles will settle on the bottle. 

Some brands might also have products that do separate when not shaken well. 

Always check the expiry date of the products and shake the bottle of makeup before using it.

Expired Airbrush makeup might also mess up your face. 


An Airbrush machine will get faulty one way or another one day.

Despite that, you should take good care of the machine to prolong its life span. 

One of the things you should constantly do is clean up your Airbrush after every time you use the Airbrush machine.

Do not use water as it might cause more issues to your Airbrush. 

In the guide above, I have laid out some of the most common issues you are likely to encounter when using an Airbrush.

You should read through the guide to prevent some of these issues. 

If your Airbrush machine goes through any of the issues, the guide also has some solutions.

So, read the guide keenly and later subscribe to this page for more beauty hacks. 

You may also enjoy reading..


  1. Corson, R., Glavan, J., & Norcross, B. G. (2015). Stage makeup. CRC Press.
  2. Kim, Y. S. A Comparative Study on Effective Makeup Technique for HDTV. Kor J Aesthet Cosmetol3(1), 49-65.
  3. Baltacioglu, Y. A. (2012). Three-Dimensional Makeup Education in Turkey. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 51, 311-315.

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