Photoshop, my BFF

This random small post is inspired by one of our new readers, Beauty and the Bullshit's 500th follower Marta who asked my opinion about the new "MakeUp Forever we didn't retouch this bitch - it is all due to our fabulous product campaign".

Thought I would share my answer with you though I am pretty sure most of you pro make up artists would already know. 

Contrary to public opinion, we try to avoid retouching as much as we can.  Not because we want to be honest (heehee- that's silly even to think that!) but because it is hell expensive- beauty retouchers have a higher rate than your garden variety kind- talk about who is on the wrong side of BS now.

Here is how -
  1. We select young and already naturally beautiful models at the age when they have the most perfect skin. (with the exemption of Kate Moss who will probably survive all holocausts)
  2. We hire a real make up pro who takes at least two hours just to put on the face zero.
  3. Make up pro uses all the make up she needs to use.  She may or may not use my product.  But she is required to attain the imaginary end finish that my product supposedly promises to deliver.
  4. We cheat especially with sparkled products.
  5. Lighting is controlled like a bitch.  We almost never shoot outdoors especially for print campaigns.  If we do (for video), the time of shoot (for the type of lighting) is well defined.  As we have to wake up extra early (try 3 am) for outdoor shots- we try to avoid this.
  6. Lashes always, always have falsies.  And speaking of, I saw these ads where they say "lash inserts were used to even out the lashline"- pure bullshit.  For everyone's information- we ONLY use individual lash inserts (except when i want a ridiculous effect on purpose).  So, they are not claiming anything heroic there.
  7. I use hand models if model's hands are crap and I have nail polish to sell.
  8. I clip the ears if they are getting in the way.
  9. I am extra persnickety with the hair (this is the thing that takes the shoot so long to perfect) as hair is so tricky to retouch.
The general rule of retouching for me is when certain details, imperfections are getting in the way of the message we are delivering.
  1. If model has flaw that is hell impossible to hide by make up without making her look unnatural.  Like tattoos, king kong eyebags, red eyes, funny teeth, unexpected nose hair (from being tired looking at the camera all day)- heck all- now that i think about it.
  2. Lash and sparkle enhancement
  3. If i want a hand position with a head tilt and i tried and i tried and couldn't get the right combination during the shoot- i assemble a composite picture
  4. And of course there are perfectionist photographers (the really expensive ones) who will never release a less that perfect photo and will retouch it themselves before client gets copy.
  5. If my make up artist is less than what i expect her/him to be - ohh and i had experience with some bad ones with egos bigger than Mariah's.  (Yes you know who you are, "Mr. I-am-not-doing-preprod-trial, I-am-a-professional/walkout-queen"), then skin retouching becomes necessary and often catastrophic.
So yes, we definitely retouch but it should not be to the point when the first thing that comes to your mind is- "Hell this photo is so retouched!"  Then we have failed. 'cough' revlon 'cough'.  (We always try to outsmart you- remember?)

Well now, back to the make up forever video.  I really do not see the point retouching video.  First, that is too expensive and second, you see the video fleetingly - so absolute perfection is not necessary.  And third, look at all my 9 points above.

So blah MakeUp forever- this claim is not really saying niet.

And that Dove commercial?  Stupidly exaggerated to make Dove look heroic really.
Gawd, i would just get a prettier model. Duh!


    1. Yay The bullshit on nail polish! :D

    2. bullshit on powders/minerals, naturals and organics
      Love your blog!

    3. You mean girls can have tattoos, king kong eyebags, red eyes, funny teeth, unexpected nose hair AND BE MODELS??? Now that's information!!

      OK, very interesting even though I knew most of that already. If you don't know it yet I'd advise you look at this website: it's very funny yet informative.

      Can't wait on the bullshit on minerals! (and pressed minerals? mineral liquids? hahaha)

    4. I was watching that MakeUpForever video and I wasn't that impressed. For one, I couldn't even see anything clearly because the video just zoomed past the models. Show me photos where I can compare lol!

    5. Great post, thanks for your honesty. I wonder could you/have you done a post on lash enhancer serums?



    6. I knew that Dove ad was overrated! Really, I get the message, but I worked with the "social responsibility" arm of a ginormous corporation once, and if there's one thing I learned, it's that nothing is ever done by companies for FREE. Donations, pet charities and "causes" are always calculated according to how much media mileage and tax cuts we can get out of them.
      Would you believe (and given your industry, I know you would) that part of my job was to create a presentation detailing why a particular charity deserves the corporation's assistance, i.e. what do we get out of this?
      As always, love your blog.

    7. Hi Rikki and Kat-
      Yes I look forward to shattering women's beliefs on these soon! It does require some time and preparation so let me be a beeatch and keep you on suspense. Heehee!

    8. Hi Musing on Beauty-
      Haha! If I have to enlarge the image to the size of China, every little imperfection becomes the size of Godzilla.
      I churn out images like a factory and there was a time I approved a girl but when she arrived, she was horrible! Thing was she went into this mad diet for the Milan fashion show and lost so much weight that her skin burst into boils- poor girl. Had to do reshoot with another girl. Ah, the evil things we do!

    9. Hi Claire- I suppose I can do a post on lash enhancement serum- but it will be a very short post with only one word. - Bullshit.

    10. Hi Krys- Thank you for sharing your experience!!!
      I do not want to be a heroic beeatch but i sincerely hope we can do something about it eventually.

    11. YAY for spilling the BS on natural and organic products.... roll on that post.

    12. Aaah, upcoming posts make me jump around the room! Cannot wait! And thanks for the post! Now I feel even better! Although I knew before that noone looks that good IRL. But I know girls that are killing themselves over looking like the models in the commercials look. So naive, yet so hurt.

    13. The lashes on every L'oreal mascara ad are not mere "inserts"... they are full drag queen size falsies. I don't know how some people can buy based on those fakeness.

      I'd love to read the "bullshit on nail polish" post. Keep it up!

    14. Hi Susana-
      yes, it seems the exception is actually the rule! Silly me!

    15. Yey Sultry Red, Ulmiel!

      There is a "nice" website about the ills of fashion called "I hurt, I am in fashion"- dunno if you have seen this yet.

    16. This was a really interesting post! I am almost afraid to read your nail polish post. Lacquer lover that I am I have around 1000 bottles! I like everything from Diamond Cosmetics (whom I am sure you know makes private label) to Chanel.

      On a separate note, what do you think about creating a blog button? I would be happy to put a permanent link to your blog on my page!

    17. Thank you jbrobeck!

      Diamond Cosmetics, hmmm...
      The last time I checked- Chanel is made in France non?

      I have seen other bloggers have a permanent link to my blog from theirs and i don't now how they do it. Anyway, the future TCB team (wow, feels good saying that!) should sort out all these techie thingies.

      And 1000?!! Oh behave! Haha!

    18. OMGOMG Bullshit on nail polish!!! I NEED TO KNOOOOOWWW!!!!

    19. What a coincidence! I was JUST thinking about the bullshit on makeup brushes today as I was driving past a big-box (but not huge-box...I will not shop there) store where I sometimes buy yarn...I'm sure you'll cover that point. :)

      Awesome blog. I am wicked into debunking all kinds of stuff people are suckered into, so this rocks.

      ...which reminds me. I thought I was being nice one day letting a cosmetics blogger know that she didn't have to spend $$$$$ on some fancy-ass brand for what is nothing but grocery store olive oil for facial cleansing. And she goes, Oh, but MINE is SO MUCH has ALL THESE MAGICAL PROPERTIES and is so worth a fortune. Yeah sure honey. Enjoy your bullshit.

    20. Hi Elisa Maia-
      On nail polish- it is pretty straightforward and not a big post like pencil. (Thought i will not sell it too much so as not to up your expectation too much:-)

    21. Hi Someone-
      Up to now, still is tricky how to handle the bullshit believers. Whenever I walk in the store and am bombarded with sales people selling me bullshit- i try oh so hard to grin and bear it.
      But inside my head -I whack myself for creating all the BS that i am hearing. I created these monsters- aaargh!

    22. I am so glad you are blogging again!

      Now someone give me a hint about Diamond Cosmetics please.

    23. Waiting impatiently for more..! :-)

    24. Hi Joella,
      I havent worked with Diamond Cosmetics. I don't believe they are amongst the major suppliers in Europe.

    25. Hi prokrastina-

      I know- i hang myself in shame, sorry for the delay but really getting there now!

    26. Hi Rowena :)) you don't have to excuse yourself for the delay ;) ummm ... but I wanted to say sorry that I haven't read your blog for weeks and months :(( but school was getting really hard and I had absolutely no time for my hobbies :(
      Now the written exams are over (don't have results yet), but the oral exams are yet to come, mid of July ... and there is sooo much to learn, I don't think I can fit all those books and stuff I wrote into my head :((

      So much stuff, so little brain :(((

      But I'm really glad you're still around, I really am!
      I will now do some backwards reading *gg* and see what I have missed ;)

      oh, and I'm also interested in the nailpolish post. I made a quick inventory yesterday and I own about 700, most of them American brands, some German, some English. No Chanel :-D and I'll keep it this was *eg*

      I own a few Diamond Cosmetics (I think I got them from England, but I don't really remember), but they're as good as LA girl or NYX or Milani, in my opinion. Ever since I started using the sparitual color lock basecoat, all nailpolishes seemed to adhere better, no matter if it was a $2 polish or a $18 polish.
      The only thing I'm still complaining about is the drying time of my Sally Hansen polishes. No matter which speed dry top coat I try, Sally Hansens always take at least twice the time as others *shrugs* and stay dentable for much longer :(

      I love nail polish :))) hee hee.

    27. *way, not was ... "I'll keep it this way" I wanted to write *g* next time I'll proof-read my comment before hitting the "post comment" button ^^

    28. Hi Caitlyn!
      Yes, you were sorely missed but a girl has got to do what's a girl's gotta do!

    29. i was working at a magazine before and i agree.. makeup takes sooooo longe because we just have to perfect it. and yes pro muas dont have to use the product hahaha jsut have to claim it as something else,

    30. Hi Kumiko Mae- haha, you know the drill then!:-)

    31. Hi Rowenna,

      Can you tell us something more about the process of retouching? I *just* watched this documentary called Chasing Beauty, and there was one part that I found sooo interesting. They were using this computer program with these face "masks" that they place over photos of people's faces and then based on this "mask" they retouch the face just a little bit to get closer to the ideal face. I would love to know what this program is called, and find it and play around with it and then blog about it! If you know of programs like this, I would really love to know! Thanks :D

    32. Hi Ziba!
      Oh i wish i can help you there.:-( But i am just the stupid biatch that keep saying to these retouchers more, more more!
      From what i can recall, it has always been photoshop. If ever you find what you are searching for, do share the knowledge here?


    Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.