The wonderful world of Photoshop

What models usually do know, but consumers don’t, is that there’s a lot of photoshopping going on. Or, could be going on. The prettiest of models don’t need it that much, but celebrities on the other hand… Personally, I can use some nice shoppery, but I’m also not ashamed of the original version of me. So in this blog I’m gonna show you how it works. I’m gonna shop myself.

So we needed a picture. I asked my lovely friend Melissa Houben to shoot me. I decided to do my own makeup (which I suck at…) and, poor Melissa, I picked the most unflattering photo. Hello, fat chin. I’m gonna improve this photo step by step, so you can check out the results in this awesome slider-thingy.

Step 1: Liquify

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Liquify is my best friend. With this tool you can push and pull, to make someone slimmer or alter ones nose. I targeted my arm, my jaw and my brows. I also did a touch-up on my hair line and head shape.

Step 2: Dodge, burn and healing brush

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Time to clean up! With dodge (lighten) and burn (darken) I flattened the ugly folds in my neck. I also filled in the holes in my hair and brows with burn. With the healing brush I got rid of the deep lines in my neck and took care of the pimples. With clone I removed some stray hairs from my neck.

Step 3: Skin and eyes

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My eyes whiter, my skin darker and some shiny shine on my cheekbones. Usually that’s done by a great makeup artist, but well, we didn’t have one. You might think my skin looks a bit weird now, but it will get better when I apply the final filter.

The finishing touch: Alien Skin

Alien Skin? Yes, that’s the filter software I live by. It contains color filters, a bit like Instagram but a thousand times more advanced. You can change every setting on every filter, thus creating your own color moods.

Below there’s a slider to show you the before and after. I clean up nicely, right?
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Photoshop, yay or nay?

There’s a lot of discussion going on about Photoshop. It is said to be bad for young girls’ self-esteem, and according to some, Photoshop should be forbidden. What do I think? I think Photoshop is great. It’s a tool that helps creating a prettier image, without annoying pimples, stray hairs and red spots. Of course, people do have pimples, hairs and spots. But do we want to see them all the time? I don’t.

I do think it’s important to create openness. People usually don’t look like their printed image, because of multiple reasons. The makeup is perfect, the lighting is good, the clothes are pinned at the back and of the hundreds of shots, just one is picked. That one is then digitally enhanced in Photoshop. A shopped model is like a McDonalds hamburger in a McDonalds ad. It looks nothing like the squished, sauce leaking thing you find in the box.

That’s allright, as long as your expectations are matching. Don’t expect yourself to look like a shopped Victoria’s Secret model. Heck, don’t even expect yourself to look like an unshopped VS model. Looking like that is a fulltime job. I have better things to do – eating McDonalds hamburgers, for example.

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