Makeup and Flash Photography forums

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May 28, 2004
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I've been reading on other boards the frequent general write off of titianium dioxide as the culprit of ghost faces with flash photography. I've been doing makeup for quite a while and I'm also a photography student, and there are more important factors which will contribute to the ghost face effect. In no particular order, here are my observations: 1. Translucent face powder. This reflects more light than a colored powder that matches your foundation. Choose a shade that visually resembles your foundation color. You can also apply the same face powder on your neck and chest to ensure a seamless effect. 2. Face powders with reflective properties. Candle-lit, glowy powders don't work well with close-up flash photography. And if you're outdoors in the summer, this can mean double-trouble! Choose a natural or matte finish. 3. Makeup matching face but not neck. Using AHAs/Glycolics/sunblock only on your face will create a difference in skintone when compared to your neck. The face will eventually get paler/pinker than the neck, and our programming to buy a foundation to match our face will only further accent the difference. If this is the case, your best bet would be to match your foundation to your neck and use a sheer application on your face. Set with a powder that matches the foundation. And of course, you may want to start using your treatments on your neck/chest to balance your skintone and to evenly ward off premature aging. 4. Under-usage of blush and bronzer. Flash photography will natually dilute color, so make sure you use enough blush that enhances your skintone. Bronzer also helps to ward off a pale face. To avoid a blotchy (or chalky) look, choose shades that are near the depth of your skintone. 5. Concealer is too light. AKA "Raccoon Eyes". Tough call since you don't want to have dark circles. The best way to avoid raccoon eyes is to use a concealer that is very close to your foundation shade. If it's lighter, then tap a touch of foundation overtop to blend the tones. 6. Camera Flash is too close to face. Here we have Uncle Bernie with his flash camera, squeezing in to take a candid picture of two feet away. At this distance, the flash is bound to drown out your features. No makeup will fix this error and still look natural under every other situation. Just tell Uncle Bernie to step back to at least 6+ feet so he can enjoy better results. 7. Titanium Dioxide. If your skintone is fair to light and you're following the guidelines above, you should not have problems w/ titanium dioxide. The pigments in makeup will diminish the reflective properties of the titanium dioxide. If you're medium to deep in skintone, products that contain high percentages of titanium dioxide may give you an ashy finish. If this is the case, choose products that have a chemical sunscreen. Hope this helps!!


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