Hello makeup-lovers and fellow spooks!
There was a Weekly Challenge on Makeup Geek a while ago with the theme "Fashion week" and I decided to participate for the first time in quite a while. :)
I always participated in competitions before but Makeup Geek changed the rules a bit since I participated last time. There is one particular rule that made me hesitate a bit before entering; the rule that none of the photos must be edited in any way. This is of course a good rule in many ways since it is more fair and since, of course, the focus should be on the makeup and not on how good the picture is. But, I am not the very best photographer and therefore I always edit my photos before posting them on the internet, simply because I don't think the colors are the same in my photos as in real life, which can mean a huge difference to the makeup.
When it comes to close up photos of makeup I am particularly sensitive in the editing issue, because taking a close up photo means that every little blemish, detail and uneven part of skin shows up, magnified like crazy. And of course this doesn't look good in the pictures, so that's where the editing part comes in.
Tips on photography
I use a Canon EOS 450D camera at the moment but as soon as I get a steady income I will buy a better one. :P For editing I use Photoshop.
*Always use natural light! Sit in front of a window when taking your pictures.
*I set my camera to Manual mode. For close up photos I usually set the aperture value to around 5.0-7.0 and the shutter to 1/200.
*If you have good light conditions: low ISO.
Bad light conditions: high ISO.
Here is the unedited picture. The only thing I've done with this image is cut it so that the eye gets in the middle of the picture.
Now, let's start editing!
Step 1. I always start my editing by making the dark parts darker; I don't know why I do this first. Habit I suppose. When you photograph with flash the colors will be a bit "washed out" and thus don't show up as vivid on the photo as in real life. Black is the worst, probably, and even though the eyeliner is solid pitch black in real life it can still show up gray or brownish on the photos
Set the opacity of your brush to around 15% and go over the black areas with black a couple of times. Don't do this too many times or it will look fake. Remember, we want the makeup on the picture to look like it did in real life. :) Then, select the Burn tool (exposure at about 10%) and go over the black areas with it.
Step 2. Then I grab the healing brush tool (the one that looks like a patch) and start getting rid of unwanted imperfections, like scars, stray eyebrow hairs etc. I guess you could spend hours on this step but I don't really mind a few lines so I keep it simple. ;)
Step 3. Now it's time to intensify the colors. Pick up your brush tool and set the opacity to between 2-5%. Then, pick out a color that is the same color as the eyeshadow you have used. For instance I used Buttercupcake by Sugarpill in the inner corner so I pick out a bright yellow and paint over the area where I used Buttercupcake just to compensate for the color that the camera has washed out.
Step 4. Mark the areas you want to highlight by pressing Q and then paint over them with the brush set to opacity 100%. Press Q again. To highlight, use the Curve tool.
Step 5. To create more depth in the eye, go around the iris with the Burn tool. This will give the eye a more 3D look.
Step 6. If you already have great skin you can skip this step. Create a new layer by pressing Ctrl+J. Go to Filter --> Gaussian Blur --> Set the radius to between 5 - 20. Go to Layer --> Layer mask --> Hide all. Now the blur will disappear. Pick up your brush tool again and set the opacity to about 40%. Paint over all areas of the image that you want smoothed out. Now there are different ways to proceed. I usually just lover the opacity of the layer to 66% (to me this gives the best result, I have no idea why...) and thus get structure to the skin but still a smooth finish. If you want a more thorough tutorial on skin smoothening click here.
Note: This step is highly optional and as one of my readers pointed out often unnecessary, so if you don't want the image to be blurred you can simply skip this step. :) I don't always use it myself, either.
Step 7. Now the only thing that remains is to put a watermark on your picture so that it can be traced back to you whoever reposts it. :) Here is a tutorial on how to create curved text.
I hope this has been helpful! :) If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.