* PicMonkey affiliate links used in this post. See full note below.
So far I've stuck with PicMonkey's Basic Edits and Effects for my beginner photo editing, with some Text and Overlays when I'm "designing" something for the blog. I recently branched out to try the Touch Up features and am so impressed at it's ability to beautify my mug.
PicMonkey Photo Touch-up FeaturesHere's the list of everything I did to improve this photo (hopefully without going overboard)...
Blemish FixThis is actually my face at one of its clearest times. Yet there were still some noticeable bumps and spots along the cheek, chin and forehead which this feature helped clear up.
AirbrushIn addition to the bumps and spots mentioned above, I also have large pores and an ugly scar above one eyebrow that the airbrush feature helped smooth out. (My forehead might be on the verge of looking a little botox-y in the after; go extra light on this feature.)
Wrinkle RemoverThis picture was taken when I was 21, so hopefully not too many wrinkles. Yet I still had deep and noticeable lines under my eyes, and even natural smile lines. This tool helped make those less defined.
Spray TanThe natural lighting made my forearm and my collar extra pale, and the spray tan tool helped add a little natural skin tone color to those areas.
Teeth WhitenWho couldn't use a little extra teeth whitening? (Unless, of course, you already whiten your teeth ;)
Eye BrightenThis is a cool feature that helped make my hazel eyes pop. Especially in a professional profile photo, those eyes might benefit from showing a little more life.
Blush Boost, Lip Tint, Mascara, Eye Shadow, HighlightsThese features can help add a little color to pale lips, enhance undefined eyes, or touchup makeup not showing up in the photo. Another fun way to use these is trying out makeup colors before buying. It's like a virtual makeover to try out new makeup--how fun is that!
Tips + Tricks for Using Touch-Up Editing ToolsThere are a few things to keep in mind when touching up personal features in a photo. Here are a just a few things to consider...
Keep it natural.Each of these features has the potential of making you look terribly fake, and well, just plain terrible. With each tool you use, consider if it looks natural--is it normal for a person to be this wrinkle-free, to have this smooth of skin, to have this white of teeth, or this color of skin? Wrinkles and blemishes add character and make us human. Without them (or at least hints of them), we're no better than magazine covers that shave off thighs and bellies that might make stars look a little more like us--and that "look" is human.
Be true to you.In addition to being naturally human, it's important to be naturally you. What colors and touch ups fit in with who you are and what you look like in real life? Is this photo an accurate portrayal of what you look like on a daily basis, or an attempt to look like Barbie? (Barbie's plastic--it's not a good look on us humans.)
Go light.With each tool you use, always go light. Find where you think it might look good, then consider going a little lighter. Too light will still improve your photo without looking fake, but too heavy on the effects will just not come out right. Basically, there's no such thing as "too light" when touching up a photo.
Basic edits first, then touch up, and end with effects.When editing a photo, start with basic edits, adjusting your photo for color, brightness etc. Then, dive into Touch Up features to improve complexion, whiten teeth or whatever else needs to be done to improve the people in the photo. Finally, end with Effects to make the photo look processed how you like. Doing this out of order could cause your touch ups to look worse (especially in regards to colors).
Not every tool is needed.If you're editing a close-up profile pic, then go through the tools but recognize which ones are needed and which aren't. If it doesn't actually improve the photo, then don't apply the changes. Or, just start with pointing out the 1-3 main areas that need improved and do those without using every single touch-up feature available. This will help accomplish that natural, human-looking appeal mentioned above.
Not every photo needs it.Finally, not every photo needs touched up. If there's glaring shine on someone's forehead, an obviously yellowing smile, or a distracting pimple, by all means fix it. And if you're adding a close-up profile picture to your social media accounts, by all means make it look like you on your best day (and no better). Otherwise, for the average snapshot, these touch up tools may not even be needed. And that's okay.
Try your own photo touch-ups for free at PicMonkey.
Check out Jen's touch-up tutorial on PicMonkey's blog for more fun before and afters and great tips on getting the most out of PicMonkey's Touch Up tools.
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