The Honest Before-And-After Project



I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about my job. Rarely does this happen in my industry! If you google “before and after” pictures, there the results will be loaded with portraits of people who were unfortunately placed in a dark room directly under one and only one source of light. This simple trick creates huge, dark circles under models’ eyes and makes all imperfections so much more imperfect. Photos taken with a cell phone embellish the skin with a greenish tone.

This project differs greatly from the others.


It was born when we were negotiating a project for a well-known bank. Their budget was limited so they asked me to find models that can take care of hair and makeup themselves. The client does not have to be professional in production and it is part of my job to explain nuances.

It took me half an hour and 1.5 pages of screen to explain this nuance. The worst part I had no examples to show. What Google offered was too unfair. I realized that I had no choice but to create my own “before and after” project.

Finding a victim for the first project was a hard task. Not everyone agreed to be inspected by others without makeup and Photoshop. I personally would never plunge myself into such adventure. There is a thin line between love and hate, thus, it had to be someone I didn’t know. Also, the model had to be very beautiful herself, without any makeup. It is easy to explain why people with imperfections need professional help with hair and makeup. My goal was to show why immaculate people still need these services during photoshoots.

Meet Olga: A gorgeous, immaculate blonde, and a very brave girl!


She replied to my announcement among other 200 brave people. She was exactly what we needed. My stylist confirmed the choice, and we set up the shooting date. Olga promised to sleep well before the shoot and to not drink too much liquid the night before. If you have a photoshoot scheduled in near future, here is my article, “How to Prepare for The Photoshoot.

Olga could use whatever makeup she wanted to use before the shoot, so she applied some mascara and lip-gloss. In the middle of the first session, I showed her the photos we had done and sent her one more time to a mirror so she could make any changes she wanted. Isn’t she lovely?


Rarely do you see such flawless skin and such beautiful, natural blush. I even started to get concerned about the idea of the project, but my favorite stylist Anastasia instructed not to worry and began her magic.

These professional stylists carry so many whimsical professional tools in their bags. I named this one “the slingshot”. Anastasiya promised to create shiny crimped curls with it.


The back of my head often looks terrible. I have an excuse – I don’t see my back thus simply forget about it. Hairstylists who do not pay due attention to hair from all sides have no excuse. They think that because we are shooting mainly full-face, there is no need to spiff up the rear. They are very wrong. Well brushed, teased, and styled hair makes the photos so much better.


The top part of the hair has to be smooth, or the model will resemble a dandelion. Hair is ready. Olga has changed not only outside but also inside. See the mischievous twinkle in her eyes?



I will never understand makeup artists who think that their job has to be well-seen. They often sentence their poor models to shine by bright-sparkling purple-blue bruises around their eyes, using half a bottle of a base at once and, sure, that smokey eye works perfectly for a business breakfast meeting. This kind of professional hates me because, in my humble opinion, the professional makeup has to be the same as well applied foundation – invisible. It gently conceals flaws, evens the skin tone, freshens the look, and emphasizes the model’s best traits.


Olga has immaculate facial features. Usually, makeup artists have to correct a model’s features with shadows and highlights but here that is not the case.


We just applied base for half of the face. Guess – is it the left or right half?


Also, a common mistake is to use unspecific makeup. The mass market stuff is good for everyday tasks, but not for a photoshoot. For instance, in regular products, shine is bought by tiny light reflecting plates, while professional makeup contains light-diffusing spheres. The first can lead to overexposed white areas of skin, and the second just adds a gentle shimmering shine.


There are special shades for our purposes. They are more consistent than everyday products and some experience in applying it is preferable.



The final stage.


Now we are prepared for the “After” session

Isn’t she gorgeous?





Now I can officially tell and vividly demonstrate that there is a difference in working with professional hair and makeup stylists and without. Tell me what you think about the results.

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#Makeup #Production #Phototips #Photography