Tips for beauty bloggers: Photoshopping faces

After (too long) of a delay, I’m pleased to introduce our next instalment in Tips For Beauty Bloggers. Whether you’re a fellow blogger, a photography fiend, or just another Joe the Plumber looking to clean up some photos, I hope you enjoy this post!

I hemmed and hawed over whether or not to do this as a video, and in the end, I decided it would be best to. I’ve uploaded it to Vimeo (we’re still avoiding YouTube, at least for now) in HD format, so I’d definitely encourage you to view it fullscreen – seriously, you won’t be disappointed.

(Yes, I’m still childishly amused by the wonders of the internet. Now shh; less mocking and more watching!)

If you’ve enjoyed this tutorial, please link back to this post. A project like this one takes a lot of time and effort, so I’d really appreciate it if you could refrain from embedding the video on your own sites. Thanks!



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  • You don't show the before and after in the video do you? If so it doesn't seem to show up for me.

    BTW, great video. Very informative and fun to watch. =]
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    • Eek! I guess that didn't upload correctly – will fix that now :) Thanks!

  • Hands down, your blog is one of my favourite (if not my ultimate favourite) for these kinds of practical posts. I have absolutely zero artistic vision and spend ages fiddling around with photos trying to get them to do the things I want (inject some colour into them, stop them looking so washed out…) with absolutely zero success. I usually just trash all the photos and snap about 200. Then I whittle them down photo by photo until I have the least bad…

    So between this post and the amazing infinity effect one – well, I think you've got me covered. :)

    • *blushes* Thank you, my dear! I'm very glad that you're enjoying the series & finding it helpful :)

      To be honest, I take photos the same way you do – a ton of the same image, then whittle the numbers down until there's a reasonable amount of them. The only difference is that I compulsively follow up the process with a bit of additional airbrushing :P

  • Uh oh, guess who's using the Dodge tool on her eye bags from now on? :)

    I love the Curves tool. I like to set mine at a very very slight 'S' curve to give the photo more contrast when it is looking a little washed out. I haven't yet learned how to do the quick white balance in Photoshop either, so I still do it in iPhoto. For those who don't have these software, there's also a great online tool called Picnik that let's you white balance your photos easily. :)

    Great tutorial yet again. Bravo, Rae, bravo!
    My recent post Mermaid Colours with MAC Swimming Eyeshadow

    • Atta girl! ;) For a white balance in Photoshop, you *could* try command-shift-B, but I don't usually like what it does – but, still, it's an option!

      Glad you liked it ♥ Thank you!

  • lyn

    Thanks for sharing… this is very useful! I kinda stopped using PS since moving to Lightroom. I love how quickly I can edit in batches and that it doesn't destroy/degrade the original files. It's pretty nifty at cataloguing too.
    My recent post My Current Favourite Eye Makeup Routine

    • Np :)

      I've had my eye on Lightroom for a while (everyone always speaks so highly about it!) but I've used Photoshop for ages – it's hard to turn your back on a love like that :P

  • Thanks for posting this, I don't use Photoshop to edit my photos but it was helpful nonetheless! x
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  • Kat

    I can't see the video yet, so no comment there – but your hair! It looks amazing like this :) It suits you so well.

  • D.Sadie

    Wow, great tutorial! I wish I had PS now!


    • Thanks! It's well worth having – I honestly can't imagine blogging without it.

  • Haha, you sound exactly like you look, if that makes any sense – very cute! The video was great, though it wouldn't work in full screen mode for me – it freaked out my computer and everything was black, even though the sound was still going. o_O Scary. I had PS on my PC loooong ago, but now I'm on a mac and I can't pay an arm and a leg for a copy of PS, so I have Gimp! :D But your tips were very helpful!
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    • Haha, so I've been told! I hope that's a good thing :P

      Is there any way to buy an old copy of PS for cheaper, or something? I believe we're on CS5 right now, but honestly, for basic stuff – any one of the old versions would serve you just as well. :)

      • It is a good thing – you're adorable :)

        I use Gimp ( which has a similar interface to PS, but not "similar," if you know what I mean. It actually works well for amateur projects (i.e., anything I do), so I'm okay with it for now.
        My recent post MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner in Soothing Beige

        • Ah! No, I've heard some really good things about gimp – and as far as I'm concerned, there's no point in having functions you're not going to use! ;)

  • J C

    OMG! Thanks so much. I have the hardest time photoshopping my photos. Btw, for what it's worth, you look amazing in the Before as well.
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    • Aww, thank you! I hope this makes photoshopping a bit easier for you in the future :)

  • makeupmorsels

    Never knew about the dodge and burn tools! Thanks for all the tips :) It sometimes (all the time, actually) drives me nuts that Photoshop Elements doesn't have curves or masking. And also, I'm with Kat, your hair looks fantastic!
    My recent post Auric Blends- My Fragrant Friends

    • You're very welcome! & I'm glad you like the hair – thank you!

      I tried using Elements for a while; drove me absolutely up the wall. Adding a basic curves layer is the single most useful tool in my image-editing arsenal, so I can't imagine having to make do without it!

  • I love your new hair! :D I don't have photoshop and really, I could do to learn your tips so I'll be modifying them with the photo editing programme I'm using :) I like that your pics look natural post production unlike some that look absolutely mannequin like – good job Rae!
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    • Aww, thank you darling! It's gotten longer since I took these photos, but the shortness is definitely growing on me (at least, when it's curled) :)

      Hope they're easy enough to transition into whatever it is that you're using : )

  • Kate & Zena

    EEP! Who's face is that!? I just want to pinch those cheeks! (I'm just kidding. My grandma used to terrorize me with this. I use to scream at this.)

    Hey, you totally should not erase that freckle by your nose. That freckle is cute.

    P.S. Zena sends you lots of kisses….and lots of bounces of a blue tennis ball. (She's been crazy about that I-will-not-swear tennis ball. I had to buy a pack of them after she destroyed the one I use for my robe. I about KILLED her for that one.)

    • I agree about the freckle :)
      My recent post MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner in Soothing Beige

      • Haha, thanks ladies! I really do adore my freckles, but that one's all on its own – my auto-pilot brain airbrushes it out when I'm brushing out any blemish scars! >.<

    • Lol, same here! I'm just like, PLEASE DO NOT PINCH MY CHEEKS IT REALLY HURTS. :p

      Hope you and Zena are doing well, my dear!

      • Kate & Zena

        We are. Z's been on a tennis ball kick. Have I told you about her tennis ball thing and why I had to buy a new tennis ball? When we first adopted Z, her owners told us she liked SQUEAKY TENNIS BALLS. Okay, squeaky ones (yes, they exist). So, we bought her three SQUEAKY TENNIS BALLS. Well, guess which dog avoided her tennis balls most of the time? Um, yes, that would be Zena.

        Now, I had an old regular tennis ball made for a dog (they're a teensy bit softer than a regular tennis ball and with doggy designs all over it) from my old dog (I CLEANED THAT BALL. It was an icky procedure) that I use to fluff up my robe in the dryer (because I like a very fluffy robe, okay.) Well, two weeks ago, I was getting reading to do my laundry. I put the ball in my hamper on top of my robe; exactly thirty seconds later I hear a muted THWACK against the front door that sounds an awful lot like a tennis ball followed by Zena racing down the stairs and grabbing said object. I race over to my hamper and hunt for the ball….only to not find it. Zena had STOLEN MY BALL and THROWN IT DOWN THE STAIRS to chase it. Racing down the stairs, I hear ripping sounds and think, "Oh good, the dog is destroying her ducky toy or some other fabric thing."

        Oh no. She wasn't destroying her duck toy; she was destroying MY TENNIS BALL.

        So, guess who had to use a squeaky tennis ball because their tennis ball was annihilated by a four-legged terrier? Me. Sometimes I wonder if that dog has a death wish.

  • Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
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  • ohhh what an amazing tutorial!!! you did a really good job, thank you!! I know a few basics but I learned a lot more now! and I love the Curves one, it makes a picture 10x better! Thanks!!!! I'll be referring to your tutorial next time I edit. :)

    • Aww, I'm glad you liked the tutorial, Denise! :) The photos on your blog look great to begin with, if you ask me – they really don't need much retouching at all!

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  • beautymishmash

    Wow, thanks for this tutorial! I never realised that you could still look so natural with photoshop, I always imagined it would make you look really fake! I definitely want to try it now ^_^

    • Imo, good photoshopping is something that *can't* be seen – I'm sure there are other opinions (and no less legitimate), but that's how I like mine! ;) Have fun giving it a try : )

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  • styleezta

    thanks so much! very helpful :)

  • jamilla

    I have a non-artistic, warts and all photo policy on my blog. I think that people should see me as I am, with all my defects and quirks. However, photoshopped images can be lovely.

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  • ur video has helped me soo mch u kept just the right balance of natural look with the thinking less is more discovered u a day ago and already loving ur posts :)

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