How Can Imperfect Models Take Perfect Pictures?
We have all seen models flaunting their beautiful, bare and seemingly-perfect bodies in fashion magazines. Is all as it appears? No, a simple cyber-trip to various modeling sites locates endless images with models lamenting their stretch marked limbs. So how do they take flawless shots? Industry insiders know pictures often are airbrushed, retouched and even body-swapped (when one model's body part is placed over the featured model). These steps are done post-production after the model leaves the set. The top method for covering stretch marks at the shoot is body makeup. Body makeup is thicker and tackier than normal facial foundation. It can come in a stick, compact or tube. On location it often is applied by skilled makeup artists, but it is possible for you to do at home with the same results.
Products for a Stretch Mark-Free Look
You'll need a small, plastic spatula; a triangular sponge; and a powder brush. An industry favorite, lauded by celebrity makeup artists, is Dermablend's Leg and Body Makeup. Common application mistakes include using too much product, starting with an oily surface, choosing the wrong color of coverage, applying the product incorrectly and double-dipping from the container (contaminating the makeup).
Color Matching and Prep
First, match the body makeup shade to the skin surrounding the stretch marks. If you go lighter, you will bring attention to the area. Therefore, if you tan in the summer, you will need a shade that is darker during those months. Prepare the skin by making sure it is free of body lotions and oils.
If you have a compact or stick, use the spatula to chip off a few flecks of product. This prevents bacteria from forming in your makeup. Never double-dip into your makeup or use your fingers. From a tube, squeeze less than a pea-sized dot onto your wedged sponge. Using the slender edge of the sponge, place the makeup along the line or groove of the stretch mark by tracing it. You are filling in the crevice. When you are working with a grouping of marks, start in the center and work out. Use your fingers to stretch the skin and flatten out the mark. Then with patting and dabbing motions, blot the makeup along the pattern of the stretch mark. Do not wipe or smear. Continue until coverage is even.
To keep the coverage in place for up to 12 hours and to keep the makeup from transferring to your clothing, use your powder brush to dust on a setting powder. Wait about 5 minutes for the makeup to cure. Depending upon the severity of the stretch marks and the area of the body affected, you will have different levels of success. It should only take a few minutes once you get the process down.