Fstoppers Reviews Joel Grimes Beauty Brushes

Fstoppers Reviews Joel Grimes Beauty Brushes

It's always best to get it right in camera, but sometimes, there are cases where subtle things may go unnoticed but become visible later during the retouching process. Having the right set of tools is crucial. 

I invited model Erica Morhet to join me in the studio for a quick headshot session to test out the Joel Grimes Beauty Brushes. I ask her to come with a very light, natural makeup look without any lip gloss or eyelash extensions, so I could see how practical these brushes were if I was in a situation similar to the one we created. Below are two headshots we took; I have included before and after images so you can compare. I went for a subtler look with the brushes, but you have complete control over how little or how much of an effect you wish to apply to your work.  

What's Included in the Bundle

  • Beauty retouching quick-start videos 
  • Catchlights and Irises Photoshop brushes: 32 brushes
  • Eyelashes Photoshop brushes: 85 brushes
  • Hair Photoshop brushes: 103 brushes
  • Lip gloss Photoshop brushes: 69 brushes
  • If you are not familiar with installing brushes within Adobe Photoshop, included are PDFs and a video on how to load these brushes. Grimes also has separate videos, where he demonstrates how he uses them in his work in two different examples. 

A portion of the brushes that are included in the bundle.

Excerpt from the included PDF showing examples of the brushes.

What I Liked

There's an abundance of brushes to use. While every single one may not provide benefits to everyone, you have several choices. You may find a few favorites and stick to those for the majority of your work.

What Could Be Improved

My only grievance with the beauty brushes is the naming convention that was used and the organization of the brushes. I could spend some time renaming and reorganizing the brushes, but it would have been nice if it was set up a little better. We are all going to have our own set of favorites from these brushes, so we can individually reorganize our favorite brushes to the top of the list. 


You might be placed in situations where a makeup artist isn't available, perhaps you wish to add more volume to the subject's hair, or simply wish to add the missing catchlights in post. Whatever the reason or desired results you want, save time and easily retouch your photos with these tools. To me, anything that improves and helps save time is invaluable. I have already started to use these brushes in some of my other photos, and I can see myself continue to use them in future projects.

As Grimes states in one of his videos, "It's a set of tools that aid you to get you to your end result."

Joel Grimes Beauty Brushes are currently available if you'd like to try them out yourself. 

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Alexander Petrenko's picture

You missed "before" images and link to promo price ($27) https://www.joelgrimes.com/joel-grimes-beauty-brushes-sale

Ignace Maenhaut van Lemberge's picture

She looks so fake..

Bert Nase's picture

but for $467 it can't be bad!


Yeah, sometimes i dont get what portrait photographers going for when they smooth the skin out to anime qualities.

Ryan Cooper's picture

I can't speak to the experience of other photographers, but personally I often get clients pushing very hard to retouch to oblivion. To the point that it infuriates them if I refuse. They are used to seeing photos in their IG feed all day that go through filters that wash the skin out to an utter blur so they instantly become self conscious as soon as they see any skin texture at all. I don't put any of "those" images in my portfolio but the reality is that shots like that are more "in-demand" from individual clients than more natural, realistic ones.

Shai Yammanee's picture

I’ve had to deal with the same thing with clients.
Not only do they want me to retouch them to an unrealistic state, they go and put on filters after the fact as well.

I do what I can to educate the clients, but as stated above, they are so used to being able to put filters on everything that reality looks too harsh to them.

It’s incredibly frustrating.

Ryan Cooper's picture

Yeah, I try to do what I can do educate them but things like skin texture are important to us, they just don't matter to them. Every other IG model around them has completely obliterated skin so that is what many clients are coming to expect.

I'm at a point where half the time I don't even know what a given client looks like before they show up for the shoot because all their photos are so retouched and so mega filtered that there isn't much left of the original person.

Lee Christiansen's picture

I just love the fact that these are "normally" $467, but at the moment they're just $27

So... not really $467

My daily rate is "normally £10,000 per day... but to you...

Alexander Petrenko's picture

It is much cheaper. 463.

Ryan Cooper's picture

Well to be completely fair, it is meant to be a super low price in order to build hype on initial release. It is really a similar thing to giving away a bunch free to build hype. That said, I do agree that they aren't worth anywhere near $467 and I would be surprised if he sells many copies of this once it goes to full price.

Alexander Petrenko's picture

Should there be disclaimer "We will be paid some commission if you buy through this referral link" ?

Ryan Cooper's picture

Important to remember that, while the things you mention are true, and relevant they are not something that clients will notice. Just other compositors. Joe's compositing style was designed to be eye catching but also relatively low effort to execute. It is very business oriented and is successful at what it is. He has specifically designed a commercial look that is quick to deliver and doesn't require expensive location fees.

Mark Harris's picture

Well but Joel's version looks like a real person while yours look more like a cartoon so it is a matter of perspective and styles so you acting like yours is superior is just childish and disrespectful.

Gary Hutcherson's picture

Thanks for making the video. I've seen a lot of these brushes being promoted with "1 click and it's all done" editing solutions to improve your photo (whether it be portrait, landscape or whatever) so it's good to see the reality of how much work goes into getting the brush to work correctly in a real situation. I don't want to go as far as to say that the adverts are miss-leading, but clearly there is a lot more to do (and a lot more PS skill required) than is implied from the adverts. Your video was very helpful.

Alex Ventura's picture

Thank you, I really appreciate your comment and you are correct. I find that most things require some tweaking and nothing is one click and you're done.