Let’s look at one of the most popular types of photography, where the correct display of makeup is of particular importance. Of course, this is Beauty.

It is worth noting that professional beauty photography is an exclusively team game.

This is primarily fashionable current trends. This is a planned use of one or another makeup style.

Here everything is connected, and if at least one link falls out of this chain - then a good result will not be possible. The model should be a professional, not a pretty girlfriend, a stylist should also be an expert, not a friend who knows how to hold powder and a brush. If hair is in the frame, then they should be worked on by a professional who will enhance the image with the help of a hairstyle. And of course, one of the important members of this team is a retoucher.

This is the perfect picture. However, every professional photographer has often faced a situation when unexpected surprises await him on the site: a model with problematic skin, or even a mustache, or even a model that is not a professional model. There are many surprises in the workflow ...

In any case - no matter what the result was in the studio, the task of the retoucher is to catch the idea of ​​the shooting and to give the images a perfect look, to delicately process all the important details. Of great importance is the quality of the material provided and the exact formulation of the task for the retoucher. The ideal option is a list of specific refinements and an example of the style of processing and work with colors.


On the first wave of the popularity of Photoshop and other graphic editors, very often there were photos that looked "blurred out" to a state where the model cannot be recognized. The skin lost its texture; the make-up colors did not correspond to the actual ones and looked artificial. With the development of a modern trend to preserve the natural look of photography, as well as the general development of retouching, now these pictures look ridiculous, just like amateur work.

Modern skin retouching of makeup is based on preserving the texture of the skin and real makeup colors. The main direction of the work of the retoucher is to save the texture of the skin, and in no case to spoil the light-shadow picture on the photo.

Also, it is necessary to take into account the age of the model in conjunction with the image that it transmits.

Beauty- retouching consists of:

- analysis of the general appearance of the skin and work with obvious shortcomings

- taking into account the conditions of shooting: if it was, for example, cool, then you should remove redness or goosebump; or to correct the make-up that "ran" from the heat

- Makeup: shadows, eyeliner, eyelashes, eyebrows, lipstick, skin tone. It is necessary to pay attention to every detail.

- Arrangement of accents on a photo.

Separately it is worth talking about working with commercial photos, the main purpose of which is the sale of cosmetics. When working with such images, you need to pay more attention to the features of cosmetics - color and texture.

Also there is a photo style of  "Editorial", where the task is different. Here the fantasy of the master of make-up has a wider scope than in commerce. The model becomes a canvas, where the make-up artist demonstrates his skill and imagination. For a retoucher, this means that detailing the color and texture does not necessarily correspond to reality.


In photographs of this kind, it often happens that different materials are used to create the necessary image. It can be glitter, paint, paper, water or oil, food - anything. Therefore, for the retoucher it is important to understand the difference in the textures of the skin with the applied material, taking into account all its light and dark areas, its transparency and other features.

We have prepared several detail examples with a description of beauty retouching:


The photo shows detailed work with the eyebrows and eyelashes area - the volume and density are increased, the color and texture are emphasized. All this is done with the help of Dodge & Burn techniques and correction layers. Eyelashes as well as makeup contours are made with a brush.

The following photo is a sample of the classic work in this genre

Pay attention to lip treatment - corrected drawbacks of lipstick texture and color alignment (using corrective layers), gloss is also added using contrasting Curves and High Pass in Soft Light overlay mode to emphasize the lipstick texture and make the lips bulky and their color saturated.


Also it is worth to look at the processing of nails - this is one of the important details that you cannot forget! Here, the skin, cuticles were treated with a tool, the nail was more accurately shaped with the help of Liquify. The Gradient Map + Curves adjustment layers were painted in the necessary color, the dash was finished with a brush.

Sometimes the key task of the retoucher is cleaning the photo. In this work, the method was used, on the LOW layer - Healing brush, on the HIGH layer - Clone Stamp, then we used the Dodge & Burn technique on the gray layer to work with light and shadow.

In conclusion, note that the magic button does not exist. Retouching of the skin and make-up is one of the most difficult tasks in the technical plan, since it requires a huge concentration on small things and, certainly, a professional point of view.


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