Basic Postproduction Tips to Survive a Potential Boudoir Crisis

Basic Postproduction Tips to Survive a Potential Boudoir Crisis

There comes a time where you need to cut ties with other artists who are not blending well with your company. Makeup artists are very hard to come by in my small town and when one failed to show for more than one appointment it was time to say our goodbyes. But what happens to the session that was a no show? While your client is waiting in that chair, with her excitement starting to wane, it is time to take action. If you are prepared this will be a breeze.

If you know how to apply makeup yourself than you are out of the woods at this point. However, in many states it is illegal to apply makeup without a license as well as any heated tools on hair. For myself, neither option mattered. I can paint makeup on in post, but the best I can produce in real life is Chapstick. After explaining to the client the situation and the options she chose to let me work on makeup in post instead of a reschedule. While this was not the ideal way to shoot with the mood slightly altered, the assurance was key to her confidence.

I highly recommend a stylus and Wacom tablet for such work. Producing the same results with a mouse or trackpad would blow my mind (seriously if you have, send it my way). Starting off on a clean slate can be a lot of fun work if you are ready for it.

The workflow is simple and would be to build up on different layers in order to maintain the work separate from one another in case it is too drastic once you take a step back. Naming these layers will also help lessen the confusion later on when you want to reduce or rework that layer.

Blemish removal is a easy but also can be time-consuming if the skin in question is severe. In this case there were only a few spots to remove, however had it been a severe case the time to remove the affected area will be very beneficial to the end result. Using the spot removal or the patch tool are the easiest way to remove small spots. However be careful with too large of a spot removal as it can give very altered results if too close to another tone.

Keeping the layers separate will allow you to work on the under portion of the eyes without touching the eye lashes. Using a Hue/Saturation layer, use the red channel and pull down the saturation in order to reduce the reds on the skin tone. Invert this layer (command-i to invert) and use a soft white brush to remove the reds in the specific spot in question. This allows for a local application instead of reducing reds on the entire image.

After the reds are diminished, create a blank layer for the eyes. Using a soft pure black brush, the eyelashes and shadow can be applied. I prefer to open the properties option to create a slender brush rather than a round. This gives more control on creating lashes as well as applying the liner. Low flow at around 2 will give the ability to build up on the layer instead of having to mask it off.

Lips can be a lot of fun to work with for a variety of looks and colors. After applying the brush color lightly and at a low flow onto the fuller portions of the lips, add a dodge and burn layer to emphasize them. Use the layer options such as darken, overlay, and others to play around with the color and intensity you prefer for the look.

Lastly, as in most of your normal retouching workflow, use your dodge and burn to give your signature look. The rest of this set took on an ethereal feel, so a gradient layer coming from the bottom up was added to soften the mood.

Soften the look for the portrait looks right before the boudoir.

Since this incident I have found an incredible artist who understands one no-show is immediate separation. Knowing you can produce the results is a confidence needed in boudoir work. This is not an ideal option if you are showing 50-plus images, but it can help you in a pinch, or even to add onto existing makeup.

There are many ways this can be accomplished but this has been the workflow that works best for myself and many others who have used it. Feel free to list a great way you have found to apply a certain makeup layer set.

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