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!