How would you like my makeup?

February 06, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

A question like "how would you like my makeup" can scramble some peoples thoughts like a dear in the headlight. I would like to touch the surface of this topic. This post is not meant to be comprehensive, nor is it focused on the the high concept specialized images.

Not every woman has perfect skin, and even those who may have great skin may have 'off' days. In other posts I have focused on the concept in clear communication, and this subject is no different. First of all, suppose a client (or photographer) has a Makeup artist(MUA).  The subject (model) may be asked to come in with 'clean' skin. This means little or no makeup. The a model coming into a shoot with a MUA may have everything removed, which takes valuable time. That said, a model should always do her best to keep her skin healthy and hydrated.

Some very basic terms:

Foundation: A powder or liquid that creates an even uniform color to the skin. It may cover imperfections and could even change skin tone. Different foundations are used for different skin including whether a subjects skin is very oily or very dry.

Concealer: A powder or liquid whose primary purpose is to cover imperfections in the skin. Common usages include dark circles under the eyes, blemishes, age spots. etc..

Dermablend: The is a professional product that functions like a concealer although much more effective. Dermablend, when applied properly can make tattoo's disappear entirely. 

Eyeliner: The is often applied directly to the eyelashes to make them look fuller. It makes the eyes 'POP' or can even can slightly change the shape of the eye.  Together with 'Eyeshadow' which is applied directly to the eye lid and under the eye brow, eyes can appear much more glamorous. 

Lipstick: Can make the lips fuller, change color, moisturize, and can bring emotion forward in the viewer.

Highlighter: Can accent the eyes, give a raised look to the brows, creating the illusion of brightness and height.

There are literally counter tops filled with variations of just the few categories that I have listed above but the real question what is the focus of the photo shoot? If the photo shoot is primarily fashion, a basic matte (not shiny) makeup style would be preferable since the focus may be on clothing, jewelry, or something other than the model herself.  Glamour and boudoir photography may require a more work around the eyes and lips as well as limiting imperfections in the skin. Swimsuit models may require a water resistant makeup.

The photographer should also communicate directly with the MUA not only in terms of makeup, but how the image may be shot. If he/she is primarily shooting with hard light, blemishes and wrinkles are more likely to show up versus using soft and diffused light.

Makeup must be applied carefully to achieve a natural blended look. Makeup done rapidly may appear blotchy and will require more time after the shoot in post production. 

All makeup must remain VERY clean including the tools used to apply the makeup. Skin sensitivity can cause very significant problems. Makeup infected with bacteria can lend you subject in the hospital with a long recovery period.  

OK, so you really don't have a MUA artist and can't tell an eyebrow pencil from a Sharpie. There are are still options in post production.  One site, , offers realistic eyelashes and eye shadow in Photoshop brushes. Another popular program is "Portrait Professional", that offers a variety of effects for the shape and body at a relatively low cost.







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