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Tips & Tricks

Understanding Retouching: Take Advice from a Make-up Artist

By Kishore Sawh on March 23rd 2014

Growing up with a single mother and lots of aunts, a considerable portion of my childhood was spent around women readying their faces, to face the day. The cycle continued with girlfriends past and present, and images of countertops strewn with all manner of make-ups and God knows what, are all too familiar, and still make me think of an apothecary’s lab. The up-shot? All were beautiful and artistic, some of my aunts were models, and I believe to this day, that watching women and make-up artists apply make-up, is hugely beneficial to understanding retouching.

Recently a friend of mine has gotten into photography and has just spent hours pouring over his photos from Trinidad’s Carnival a few weeks ago, and looked to me for help understanding retouching. Currently, there’s a clothing start-up I’m advising on marketing imagery, who also was requesting some similar advice. My answer to them both was to go spend some time with a make-up artist, or, spend an hour watching some make-up tutorials online.

[REWIND: My Go-To Beauty Retouch Technique Video]

Youtube is awash with rubbish tutorials, but also flush with some great ones. Watching these instructional videos for women on how to apply their make-up gives a lot of insight into what women are trying to achieve with their looks, how they can change the look of their structure, and in all it can transpose very well into Photoshop and Lightroom editing. They will tell you where to highlight, where to darken, what they look to hide, what they look to accent etc.

 Here are a few good videos to get you started.

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Rob Kirkland

    This is great! I never considered this.

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  2. Kurk Rouse

    These videos are actually very helpful if you want learn how to retouch the face for a better overall result. Small changes equals big difference.

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  3. Deepti

    so you’re taken :-(

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  4. Ranalli

    The two really go hand-in-hand…..excellent article!

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