How My Posts Would Look If I Retouched My Photos


If you are a regular to my blog, and have read my “about me” page. You are aware at my dislike for retouching and photoshopping (and passing it off as real life). So take this as a warning, this post is probably going to offend some people. I’m not sorry, but at least I warned you!

I don’t own a copy of Photoshop, but I have used it before. As of right now I use Google Picasa for all my cropping and collage making. I created a blog button recently and I used a program that has photo retouching tools, so I signed up for a membership so I could do this post.

I thought I would show my readers what my pictures would look like retouched and matched up to their originals.. I didn’t do a good job of this by any means, and I used only basic tools, but you can tell which ones I did first, and which I did once I got the hang of it. I did these in one afternoon, which goes to show it doesn’t take much time to create a lie. It really only takes one swipe of the airbrush tool around your eyes to change everything.

retouchedI can understand someone having a huge volcano blemish and not wanting it to gross people out, or if you’ve blown a blood vessel in your eye. There are a million reasons why photo retouching is a blessing. However, at some point a line is crossed and it becomes a problem.

My least favorite makeup looks around the internet are the collages that show only the eye, with the whites whiter, and the blending is smooth and gorgeous, with no wrinkles or lines of any kind on their eyelids.

” Umm excuse me can I get a before and after of your whole face next time? “

Yeah right…>:)


There are bloggers teaching people how to do makeup looks, but their not giving retouching tips.  I’ve noticed that vloggers even retouch their thumbnails. I think I would like it more if people were honest, and shared the pre edit photos.

I can appreciate the beauty in the edited photos, however I can only do so when there is full disclosure. If you find yourself looking at a blog post, and you can’t see pores, wrinkles or individual hairs…. it’s not real. I refuse to support any bloggers or vloggers to edit themselves to oblivion.
retouched 4Starting my own blog has taught me how to be happy with what I have. I’m almost 30, my teeth are not perfect, or white. My eyelids are heavy and wrinkly. I have a pair of parentheses on either side of my nose from the way I sleep, some pretty noticeable pores, and very textured skin….but you already knew all that, and would be able to recognize me in public!

retouched 7f

I can’t even imagine if I retouched my photos for every post, and then ran into a reader…

” Holy shit, where did all those pores and wrinkles come from?”
” You look like shit today.”
“Amy, you forgot to spray on your Photoshop today.”

retouched finalSure makeup isn’t real either, but you can only do so much with makeup. Programs like Photoshop can take one person, and literally turn them into someone else… and I hate that. The worst part is there are people who think its real, who assume that it’s all makeup, and by applying a 4 inch layer of foundation and concealer you can look like Photoshop. Nope, all you’re doing is suffocating your skin (and looking like a bag of ass)!

retouched 6f

Sure, not everyone edits and good for them. Chances are if you made it to the end of this post, you don’t retouch.

This is an issue with many levels, celebrity retouching is one thing, and blogger/vlogger retouching is another. Blogging is supposed to be a “real”, “regular” person helping other regular people by giving them a real world view of things. Where does retouching fit into this?

“Look at my holy grail lipstick, but ignore where I edited my liplines with concealer and Photoshop? “
“Whoo these new eyeshadows go on so smooth, but ignore where I airbrushed my blending?”
“Look how well my pore filler works, oh wait you cant even see that I have pores… nevermind!”

No…just no!

What are your thoughts on this??? Comment below, or visit me on Facebook and Twitter!!


44 thoughts on “How My Posts Would Look If I Retouched My Photos

  1. I really enjoyed this post sweets! I absolutely agree with you on these things, especially the part when I go out and people would’ve be like “Dang you’re ugly without photoshop” and so on. I do retouch my photos with but I don’t think I cross the line, I just remove the blemishes, fix the lighting if needed and sometimes cover up my ladymoustache 😀 Something I never use is the airbrush, and if the lighting was good & my skin clear then I don’t even retouch them. And you my love are absolutely stunning without any photoshop, a beautiful women with gorgeous eyes! So thanks Amy for keeping it real! ❤ We already have enough over-photoshopped images in the magazines, blog's are great because we can see real people (well mostly 🙂 ). Xx

    1. 🙂 Thanks hun. I sometimes take out big red cuts on my hands where I pick at them. I figure people don’t need to see where I try to chew my fingers off in my nail posts.

      I can even see using the eye color thing in the future, to do posts for people who don’t have blue eyes!

      I just wish everyone use a light hand with it…its so scary. I even look at those pics and find the edited ones more attractive, but thats because that’s whats popular right now. BLECH

      HAHAH ” Lady Moustache” Your gorgeouss darling!

  2. I don’t think the edits you made to your photographs are as dramatic as some of the photoshop ‘makeovers’ I’ve seen. Yours are quite tame, actually. Mostly airbrushing, lightening and brightening. You’re not moving cheekbones.

    That said, I think everyone appreciates it when photographs are real and not retouched.

  3. I’m so glad you did this post! I know i’m not great at doing eye shadow, but some of those “single eye” shots out there are just too damn perfect with no eye lines at all, it used to make me feel like I was terrible until I realized it was pretty much all photo shopped. I’m not going to lie though, I do edit when ever I get bad zits! lol

    1. Yes, It took me months to realize it wasn’t my makeup, or camera. It was the post processing.

      I sometimes have to take a cat hair out of a post, if it’s stuck to my nose or something.

  4. OMG preach it. I so agree. Now on instagram I will sometimes use a filter and well it’s instagram but for a blog that you are reviewing or trying to show regular people how to do makeup … let’s keep it real. HA I did one time ask people on instagram and FB and I think even a blog or two how they got their photos so perfect and their eyeshadows so creased perfect and no one would tell me. Now I know bahahaha Love your blog and your personality always!!

    1. Thank you hun!!!

      I instagram filter too 🙂

      None of those people will admit straightening their eyeliner in post. I’ve seen a blog post from a really popular vlogger, and you could see where she edited her winged liner. Booo

  5. Ok, I’m using what you just used from now on, omg, I can finally have a different eye colour! Ahahaha 😀
    I know you hate it, but this to me is a great idea, when I’ll have wedding pics taken you can bet your sweet ass I’ll have them airbrushed and perfect looking! I don’t edit for the blog though, sometimes I just increase the light because I need it, but that’s all. I have huge expression lines on my forehead and they are visible in some of the pics, I hope I didn’t gross anyone out 0_o
    And you know there is a difference between your retouched pictures and the originals, but not that big, you already look amazing so you don’t need it 😀

    1. Thanks hun, the eye color changing is a fantastic idea for bloggers. Most of them wear contacts anyway. I’ll probably use that tool as well, but with the original and probably a note.
      😀 I can’t wait to see you with blue eyes. ( I used pic monkey)

  6. You freaking rock! Amazing post! Love this! & You take amazingly beautiful pictures without any retouching. I agree with those ridiculous single eye makeup shots that might as well be cartoon, they look so fake! No way in hell someone’s real eye looks like that! 😛

  7. This is a fantastic post. And I agree with Karen, your Photoshop edits are pretty mild, but your point gets across very well. And I also agree with Kristina, I’m a beginner when it comes to eye shadow, but these photos that are clearly airbrushed and edited make me feel like an eye shadow failure!

  8. Here here! I never retouch my photos, just crop them 🙂 I couldn’t be bothered with all of that anyway. Omg you would live the photo shop thing o saw the other day. .. They photo shop a piece of pizza into a model haha. It’s fake but still funny!

  9. I use Microsoft Office photo editing tool for cropping and also for some brightness/darkness and contrast to show the nail polish colours as close to real as possible.
    I used to photoshop when I was like 16, but now I don’t even bother. All that fakeness leaves me quite cold and unimpressed. I do appreciate a lot when bloggers don’t edit or do it close to minimal. And that’s also one of the reasons why I like your blog. It looks real and I do have to say, for me very skillful 🙂

      1. I just realized that I might have sounded hypocrite, if you look at my about/contact page. Although I didn’t “shop” it to look better or anything, just to make it more artistic (cause again all I did was playing with lightness/darkness, added black and white and some more lightness/darkness plus the webcam makes blurry pics anyways XD).

  10. I used to edit all my Myspace/FB pictures years ago (me and my bff – so picky about our looks), but since I started this blog I actually thought to myself – I want to be real. I mean there’s no fun (not to mention the hassle) in airbrushing my entire face, having to fix all the flaws. I think that’s what makes us beautiful. If I do airbrush a photo, it’s a – just for a blurred effect, not to hide my flaws or b – to make my lips stand out more if it’s a photo of a lipstick swatch. I think this is a good opportunity for me to become comfortable with myself and try my hardest not to nitpick at all the flaws I see in myself because the reality is nobody is perfect. I never even realized people Photoshopped the whites of their eyes, that’s crazy! Ha, I actually thought to myself a few days ago while taking a picture, why are my eyes so red and veiny?! Am I the only one like this? I guess not! I love this post, it really brings up some interesting points. 🙂

  11. Here here! I especially hate when they alter the way the makeup looks- I understand if you’re self-conscious about your skin (hey, I’m a teenager and we all look like pizzas) but if you’re fixing your shoddy blending or plumping up your lips, you’re not giving a realistic view of what the products actually look like. Ugh this is such a huge pet peeve!!

  12. I enjoyed your post and agree with some of it to an extent. There is a difference between enhancing and altering photo’s and until I became a Pro Make-up Artist I didn’t understand any of it. What a lot of people do not see is models or work ‘post production’ to be able to appreciate an Artist’s work and also to understand that not everyone has the best skin. Whilst I do not change features such as making eyes brighter or larger or even changing the shape (I am confident in my ability to that with make-up) I do like to smooth out wrinkles or blemishes to add to the overall appearance. As an advocate for more natural beauty, however, it is never to change the way a person looks. I am happy that the person people see when they run into me or a natural beauty model (natural as in not my SFX or drag models etc) I have worked on looks the person they see just without the make-up. As for what photographers and clients do for campaigns and the like, that is a different story. People can see that I am me on my YouTube channel and that makes me happy enough! As you said everyone has an opinion and a lot of people will be divided on this. This is simply my view. xoxo

    1. Personally I don’t see a difference between enhancing and altering. The problem today is people think that bluring skin is a normal thing. How can someone with acne believe that a foudation works, if the person who they look to for reviews, edits their face. They can’t….

      Photo editing and makeup are one in the same, however most of the time people are not fooled into thinking a woman is wearing makeup. They know babies are not born with winged eyeliner and red lipstick.

      Of course everyone feels differently about this, and its severity.

  13. You are so right about this. Personally, I hate photoshopped and fake looking pictures. It creates a negativity towards your true appearance and gives girls a false sense of what they should look like. When I started my blog, I told myself that I wouldn’t retouch any of my pictures, and I never will. Thank you!

  14. I totally get where you’re coming from with this. I think I’ve occasionally retouched a huge zit or particularly distracting cuticle, and of course I always do color correction on my swatches to get them as accurate as possible, but other than that everyone here has seen my flaky acetone fingers and huge nose pores. But thanks for sharing this! I always love what you do with makeup, and it’s great to know that we can all just be real here 😀

  15. THANK YOU SO MUCH! It’s so discouraging sometimes to have a client show me a retouched image and ask me to make them “look like that.” UGH! Photos can be so deceiving! I’ve even asked some photographers I’ve worked with to not airbrush so much because it’s less realistic and I prefer authenticity!

    1. Yeah, I was just talking to my husband about this and I said. ” What does a makeup artist do when someone looks in the mirror after their appt and are upset because they don’t look like their friends wedding pictures”

      Its a pain in the ass!

      1. I feel like it’s my job to explain beforehand “you have a lot less lid space than the picture you’ve shown me” or “although you want the airbrushed look, your freckles are still going to peek through” I think people just have unrealistic expectations! You’re still (hopefully) going to look like YOU with makeup on!

      2. Indeed, everyone has some degree of Body dysmorphic disorder. I think the worst possible thing to ever say is ” Make me look like….”

  16. I think a little touch up is fine, adjusting the colour balance/lighting/etc., maybe a blemish or a pesky hair that got in the way. But those heavily airbrushed/photoshopped pictures are a big turn off for me. I don’t see the point of uploading a picture of yourself edited so much that you can barely recognize yourself.

    1. Once you cross the line of what you look like in real life, there is a big problem.

      I too belive that touching up blemishes and things isn’t horrible, but in the blogging world you can’t tell people something works and then show them an edited photo.

  17. This is so interesting…I didn’t know that so many people retouch their photos. Thanks for posting, I love looking at all these pics. And you are so good at doing your eyes–whenever I look at your shadow/liner/mascara combos, I get a little jealous!

    1. Sometimes its harder to spot, and sometimes its done really badly. I’m a view larger, and zoom in kind of person. I leave my photos open for that, you can see fallout, glitter, mascara mistakes, all kinds of stuff on my face. The photos that you can’t see pores or anything, usually are blured. 😦

      I only post the ones that turn out good, I have my days where my eye makeup is jacked, and I just wash it off and scrap the post. 🙂

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