October 12, 2010

The Flawless Face

Yesterday, my good friend and makeup artist Jessica shared a link to the portpholio of a graphic designer.
The pictures in the portfolio were all on faces and beauty, and you could roll over them to see what they looked like before digital magic was performed.

Well I was kind of shocked when I saw the difference. Of course, I know Photoshop rules these days - hey, I use it myself at work. And I also enjoy looking at pretty editorial pictures even though I know they were digitally treated.
But Jessica had a point: if the eyeliner or blush are digitally corrected, then the makeup artist can hardly claim this look to be their work.
Using special effects and getting rid of flaws is one thing, but touching up the makeup is another. It reminded me of some experience I had a long time ago at a makeup counter. Back then Lancôme had just launched their famous Juicy Tubes. (Yes, I'm that old, let it go). I asked the SA for the pretty cherry color that the model was wearing on the promo picture.
"That color doesn't exist", she told me.
"But it's on the promo picture!" I protested.
"Well, she said, they mix different products for her makeup, and then touch up the pictures. So that exact color doesn't exist in the range".

As far as I am concerned, they can touch up flaws as much as they want, I don't care, I like to look at the pretty pictures.
But alterate the product the picture is selling is a big no-no. Don't touch up the lipstick color, or don't make the foundation look luminous when it's matte. (Oh and before someone reminds me I didn't touch this subject: don't add falsies to the model in mascara ads. They're so obvious that they're ridiculous on top of misleading). 

Do not change the product. OK? OK.


  1. Totally agree.

    I touch-up my pictures, but I don't change the makeup. I don't have perfect skin and I don't want to show a picture I don't like of myself to hundreds of people online. If people have a problem with that, then they shouldn't buy foundation from me.

    If anyone asks about my skin, skincare, products etc, I always tell them that my skin ain't great and most of that is lighting and post-editing.

    I think it's fine to change nature's imperfections; bad complexion, uneven skintone, scars, etc. But I wouldn't touch the make-up either. If I edit a colour of eyeshadow, lipstick etc in a picture, it's to make it more TRUE TO LIFE when the photograph shows it poorly, to give people a better idea of what colour it actually is.

  2. i totally agree with you, its totally stupid to touch up makeup or change color of products. why don't they create this shade from the beginning. so no touchup is needed.

    but one little question: can you share the link to this portfolio too? i really want to see that.

  3. I agree.
    Just like Anastasia said, I might make my skin look better, not my actual makeup.
    Finnish blogger Karkkipäivä wrote a great article about the issue with products that are not the products that they claim they are: http://karkkipaiva.indiedays.com/2010/05/19/in-the-spotlight-you-think/ It's in finnish ,but google translator might help.

  4. I'd like to see the portfolio too !

  5. here's the link ladies: http://www.msethjones.com/rollovers/

    @Jangsara: you know I'm not scared of Finnish ;)

  6. Thank you Musing !

  7. Great post, hun! I so agree about the mascara ads, they're simply ridiculous and say nothing about the product itself. I believe that basic retouching is sometimes necessary for a picture to look stunning, but I don't like how it influences womens' perception of themselves. Example? Everyone has a bit of peach fuzz on their faces (which I believe is lovely), or a freckle here or there, or even a fine line. Erasing all of that in Photoshop for a foundation ad creates unrealistic expectations and the feeling of guilt in women who buy the said product. Anyhow, I just wish the photos we see every day were not retouched so heavily! xxx

  8. @ Rocaille: oh you're so right about peach fuzz! As a young woman I believed I was like the only one to have it as I never saw any on pictures (yes, I was naive and maybe a bit stupid Lol).
    It also gets particularly ridiculous when you use a 50-something star for an anti-wrinkle cream and show her with a flawless smooth face when everybody can see her wrinkles on TV!

  9. I use photoshop for a living, I can tell what has happened most of the time because it's been done badly. I do enjoy color correcting photos to match what it's suppose to look like in real life but it's difficult.

    Those mascara ads are not even done with flake lashes sometimes, someone paints them on or they use a stock brush and stamp it on. Some video ads even use 3d animation to grow them as the brush glides over the eye area.


I love getting comments, thanks for sharing your thoughts!