Airbrushing is a nail art technique that involves spraying liquids, usually paint, on a surface (a nail tip) using an atomizer powered by compressed air. Airbrushes can also be used to apply tanning lotion, bronzer, and makeup.

Using an airbrush is a great way to expand your nail art creativity if you’re hesitant about your handpainting skills. Airbrush kits typically consist of stencils and paints that are used to quickly and easily spray intricate designs onto nails, and airguns typically come in single-action and dual-action. Single action guns spray paint and air simultaneously as soon as the trigger is pressed down. Dual-action guns allow you to control the paint and airflow independently. So as you press down on the trigger, you move forward for air, and back for paint, allowing you to mix your spray.

Denise Loden, vice president of Safari Airbrush, has been airbrushing for over 23 years, and teaches airbrushing classes at Safari’s home base in Tampa, Fla. She offers some advice on getting started using airbrushes.