Hair stylist: Kurt Lowry Model: Karen at ID NYC. Hair stylist: Kurt Lowry Digital cameras are enabling makeup artists to achieve a level of perfection that's a decided advantage over makeup artists who have never worked with digital photographers.
I like seeing my work right away—there is more detail in the digital preview. If it isn't working, you know right away what to do and how to change it. If your idea doesn't work, you can add more hair, makeup, accessories to make the shot better than the original idea. It's always easier to start with less and build.
The main difference between applying makeup for film and digital is you have to be more aware of the skin tones and blemishes on the face. Colors and skin textures show more on digital. You see every little hair on a model's face.
So what are the basic rules for applying makeup for a digital photography shoot?
• Blending is the most important thing. You must make sure all the makeup is blended smoothly and correctly in circles. If the foundation or concealer doesn't perfectly match the skin tone, it shows 10 times more on digital than film.
• When applying gold, silver, purple highlighter, or lightening tool under the foundation, it must be evenly blended with the foundation or the digital camera shows where it wasn't blended correctly more than film.
• Glitter and highlighting effects need to be applied precisely. When done poorly, the digital camera shows the imperfections as blurry, greasy, messy.
• Pigmenting colors, like a sharp pink or blue, turn out brighter in digital capture than in film.
Overall, colors are more pure and brilliant on digital than
• Motion is also a factor. As models move, their makeup shifts. If a model touches her face, the foundation can be rubbed off. We can see it on the digital camera and correct it right away.
• Lipstick is the first thing you notice when it's out of place. Models tend to bite lipstick off. You have to be on set watching all the time.
• Blemishes are best covered by exfoliating the skin first, then applying concealer, foundation, and concealer again. One of the advantages of digital is that if a model's skin is too sensitive the blemish can be Photoshopped out.
• Hair always needs to be styled because it moves as the action on the set moves. Make sure you hire a makeup artist and hairstylist that work well together. Synergy on the set is really important. This is true for film and digital.
• Eyebrows must be styled and shaped for the right look. Every little hair shows up on digital.
In contrast to all the technical dos and don'ts, there are no style rules of makeup application . . . except the ones you give yourself. My favorite tool is a sponge. Wetting it before dipping it into foundation keeps the skin dewy and fresh looking. Other tools I can't live without on the set are my brushes, powder puffs, Q-tips, and an excellent foundation.