Jerry D Extreme Makeover Techniqes
by Bill Hurter and Jerry D
July 01, 2011 — Jerry D’s Extreme Makeover Techniques is a recently released book that reveals years of makeup, lighting, posing and Photoshop techniques that will allow you to beautify anyone who walks into your studio. Jerry D is not only a gifted photographer and Photoshop wizard, he is also a licensed cosmetologist and hairdresser, as well as a black belt in the Chinese martial art of kung fu. Jerry did not see the pieces of his life coming together, but one by one he perfected each craft until one day he saw what he could do for people.
When Jerry realized how he could change people’s appearance by doing their hair and makeup, he was hooked. People were amazed, especially those that never worked on themselves like that. Jerry began doing makeovers with people and he began to realize that their security was “all in the mirror.” He says, “From the time you’re old enough to recognize yourself in the mirror at an early age, this is when you start liking yourself and accepting yourself. Acceptance comes from the image of the reflection of the person we see. This image is so strong,” he says, “that we compare everything we do for the rest of our lives to the way we feel about ourselves when we walk away from the mirror.”
The following excerpt is designed to give you detailed instructions on how to make up the average woman on the street who ventures into the studio. The model for these images was Zandalee, a friend of Jerry D’s who came into his studio wanting a portrait made and instead, left with a complete Jerry D makeover. This is how it’s done.
Evaluating the Face Makeup: before and after
The first thing you should do when you meet a client is look at her facial structure (image 2). The face is a canvas, and it will dictate how you will do the makeup. The perfect face structure is oval. Most people, however, don’t have an oval-shaped face. Most people’s faces are more square, circular or diamond-shaped. With every one of those non-oval shapes, your goal will be to put “oval” back into the face. This is accomplished using lights and darks—highlights and shadows.
Sculpting with Highlight and Shadow
We are going to keep it simple, using basically the minimum amount of makeup to achieve the desired look. To sculpt Zandalee’s face, we’re going to use contouring powder that is two shades darker than her skin tone in the areas where we want to create shadows and highlighter powder that is a couple of shades lighter than her skin tone in the areas where we want to create highlights. It is important to choose a color-neutral contouring product for adding shadows and highlights. The only makeup products that should bring color to the face are the lipstick, lip liner, blush and eyeshadow. The color-neutral parts of the makeup should look like natural highlights and shadows.
As we’re working with shadow contouring, we’ll start directly along and under the cheekbone. In image 6, note the position of the finger—that is where you want to place the contouring shadow.
You want to take some of the darker contour color and brush it upward underneath the bone structure, putting the heaviest concentration of color there (image 7). You must also blend this tone down into the jaw line (image 8); if you don’t, the white jaw beneath the brown makeup will pop out unnaturally. Visually, what happens is that light tones advance while dark tones recede.
Brush the same dark contour along either side of the nose. This defines and narrows the nose. In image 9 you can see the “shadow” on both sides of the bridge of the nose. We’re still working with just the shadows.
Our next step is to apply the dark contour under the jaw line. Remember that photography will enhance image contrast, so it is important to blend these tones smoothly with the natural color (images 10 and 11)
By applying makeup in just these three areas, we’ve created contour and depth on the face. In images 12 (before) and 13 (after) you can see both sides of the face; with the contouring added, the nose looks narrower and the face has areas of light and dark that create roundness and depth. All of this was done without changing any of the lighting.
Our next step will be placing blush directly on top of the cheekbone. Blend it with an upward stroke and then blend it into the contoured area a little bit as well (image 14). It should blend completely, so that there are no clear lines of demarcation from area to area.
We’re now going to work with the highlights. This will further bring out those cheekbones. Apply a highlight to the cheekbone (image 17) as well as to the bridge of the nose (image 18). (Note: Highlighters should not include metallic flakes; these will look like dust specks in the final image.) Our eye will go right to the highlights, so if there’s anything you want to diminish or shorten, use shadow; if there’s anything you want to accentuate or lengthen, use highlight. Image 19 shows our model with the highlights blended and in place. Now it’s on to the eyes.
We want the eyes to show depth and roundness. If we just plant color on them, people will say, “Oh, nice eyeshadow.” We want them to see the color, really. What we want to do is create depth around the eye using the same principles of shadow and highlight we used to sculpt the rest of the face—dark tones recede while light tones advance.
Dark Shadow in the Crease. Our first brush stroke will be made with a dark tone of eyeshadow at the crease of the eye, because that’s where we want it to recede (image 20). This will make the eye look deeper.
Color and Highlights
Next, we’ll blend a lighter tone—in this case, a light-green eyeshadow—beneath the dark area, blending the two colors together (image 21). We’ll leave the center of the eyelid sparsely covered because our next step is to add a light tone along the base of the eyelid and in the center of the eyelid to create highlights (image 22). We’ll complete the look using a highlight beneath the brow (as shown in image 23).
The look so far, applied to both eyes, is seen in image 24. As you can see, the eyes appear deeper and more dramatic.
This is the continuation of the article on makeup that appears in the July, 2011 issue of Rangefinder. We left off (page 125) where Jerry was adding color to Zandalee’s eyes, and now we’ll move on to mascara and eyeliner. Jerry D’s Extreme Makeover Techniques is a recently released book that reveals years of makeup, lighting, posing and Photoshop techniques that will allow you to beautify anyone who walks into your studio. Aside from the chapter included here, the book includes 16 different how-to profiles, detailing a wide variety of makeover techniques.
Mascara and Eyeliner
You want to brush the mascara onto the eyelashes with an upward stroke, making them look longer (image 25). If your subject doesn’t have long eyelashes, sometimes you’ll also want to use darker eyeliner to make the lashes look more contrasty and noticeable.
This is one of the most important things in makeup application. The blusher and the contouring we did on the cheekbones form the bottom part of a frame for the eye; the eyebrow is the other part of the frame that contains the eye. The two work together in framing the eye.
As seen in image 26, to determine the ideal high point for the eyebrow, start at the center of the right eye and position a pencil (or, in this case a makeup brush), one pencil-width to the right of the center of her pupil. This is where the arch of the eyebrow should be. Next, move the pencil one pencil-width to the left of the pupil (image 27). This is the corner of the eye, and if you draw a line straight up from that point, this is where the eyebrow should begin. Next, position your pencil diagonally from the corner of the nose to the corner of the eye (image 28). This is how far the eyebrow should extend.
What’s really important about this is the illusion that the eyebrows create. When the eyebrows are too short or too small, the subject’s face will look rounder, heavier, and longer. If you allow the eyebrows to extend too far outward toward the ear line, the face will look broader—but if you measure from the corner of the nose to the corner of the eye, the eye and the eyebrow are placed in a direct relationship with one another and the face looks more proportionate. This makes the eyes look more open and natural, slims the face, and provides a natural frame for the eye, based on its shape and the dimensions of the face. Note: When the eyebrows are too long, going almost to the center of the nose, or too thin, the person will be perceived as looking angry. Rectifying this situation is useful for both men and women—particularly for individuals who frequently deal with the public.
In image 29, the extra eyebrow hairs are being removed. You really don’t need to remove a lot of eyebrow hairs. “I’m using my thumb at the high point,” says Jerry. “I’m lifting here, so I know where I’m going. I’m epilating the hairs just at that peak. When I pluck those hairs, it starts giving me a line toward that peak, giving me the illusion that the brow is arching up, from the beginning of the brow. You want to extend that line straight down, to the extension, completing the arch.” You may, at times, have to use a little eyebrow pencil to extend the line of the brow to its natural conclusion.
In image 30, you can see a dramatic difference between the left eye and the right eye. The right eye looks almost flat—not as open as the left. Yet, the makeup is the same on both eyes; the only difference is the eyebrows. The finished eye looks more open.
Applying Color to the Lips
If you just apply color to the lips, they become very flat. Regardless of the shape of a person’s lips, you can make them fuller by applying a line just outside of the natural line of the subject’s lips. Bottom or top, you don’t have to stay within the perimeter of the person’s natural lip line.
To accomplish this shaping, Jerry uses a lip liner. This is a darker shade of lip coloring that essentially does what the neutral dark contouring does for the cheekbones of the face; it holds everything in and would be considered the shadow. Line all the way around the lips, shaping them. If the lips are flat on top, you can put a little more point in, giving them more definition. Again, you can also make them fuller by going slightly outside the natural line of the lips.
Now, apply lipstick that is a little bit lighter than the lip liner (image 33). As you can see in image 34, the overall effect on the lips isn’t quite working yet; we need to add highlights to the lips to give them roundness and dimension.
To complete the look, a lighter-colored lip gloss is used to apply a highlight to both lips toward the center (image 35)—and you can definitely see the difference (image 36).
Before and After Makeup
You can now see the difference now between the before and after looks. Image 37 shows Zandalee with no makeup, as she arrived at Jerry’s studio. Image 38 shows her after the completion of the makeup process. Neither image has received any Photoshop treatment.
The ABCs of Photoshop
After the makeover, Zandalee’s hair was blow-dried to be nice and straight and she was ready to do some variations on the makeover.
The photographic process, even digital capture, is not always kind to the human face. Even after Zandalee’s makeover, you can see in the original capture (image 39), that the camera does not lie (yet). There is local contrast built up in the face, and even though there is a solid foundation of makeup, imperfections in the skin and hair are plentiful. Also, because her bangs blocked some of the light from eyes, it created a shadow area over her eyes (see image 40). Also, the skin did not have a radiant soft glow, which is a trademark of Jerry D’s makeovers (image 41).
Thus, it’s time for a quick Photoshop makeover. Included here are three sets of befores and afters. The Photoshop techniques employed to bring together the finished image are quite similar, since the lighting and makeup were almost identical throughout.
You can see from the “straight” image (image 43) that digital capture is very sharp and very unforgiving. Some “surgery” was called for in Photoshop, to take the edge off of Zandalee’s features. In Jerry’s words: “The first thing I did, was to go in with the Clone tool and even up the edges of her hair line. I went in and blended the skin, again using the Clone tool, using 30% opacity and 67% flow and a fairly large brush size. I went in and stamped [cloned] everything I didn’t like in the photo. I don’t like to do it too heavily. I like a light touch so I get a nice soft effect. The trick is to blend things together subtly.
“At this point,” says Jerry, “I also do my ‘cosmetic surgery.’ I remove or alter anything that they probably won’t want to see, like a little crookedness in the nose, which is fairly common—and anything that I feel is contrary to what they’d want to see. For instance, here, I’ve evened out the bridge of the nose a little bit because it’s uneven and a little bit wide in the original capture.”
When asked what he looks for in cloning the skin surface, Jerry replied “To find a target area, I look at the skin tones that I want to keep, and use those areas as targets” [note: when using the clone/stamp tool, you must first select an area to clone, and when you click on an area to paste that information into, it draws information from the target area]. “What I’m looking for is tonality, because you don’t want to put a highlight into a shadow area. As long as the skin tone is the same relative tonality as the area you want to blend, you can use the same target area over and over.”
“Next”, says Jerry, “I come in with my Dodge tool, and lighten the whites of the eyes with it. I remove just a few of the blood vessels, caused by lack of sleep, but not all of them, or otherwise you get an unnatural look. I use an opacity of 10, a flow of approximately 60 and a brush size small enough to fit inside the pupil of the eye.
“To subtly bring up the color of the eyes, I use the same brush size with the Dodge tool and just hit the colored area once or twice to subtly bring out the color of the eye. I might also do the same with the catchlights in the eye to make them whiter and give them a little more snap. I might do that several times. The eyes are so important in a portrait. In every portrait I do, I want people to look first at the eyes.
“At this point, I save what I have done so far,” Jerry says. “You will notice that I have not worked on a background layer so far, but on the original. The reason I feel safe doing that is that (1) I often shoot RAW, so there is always an untouched original, and (2) what I’ve done so far is very simple and I’m not worried about damaging the file. I always ‘save as’ thus preserving the original, and if I do make a mistake and go too far, I simply don’t save it and revert to the original JPEG and I’ve only lost five minutes or so.
“After doing this, I then close the file and reopen it. The first step is to create a background copy layer. Then I go to Gaussian blur at about 20% opacity. I want to blur the background and make the skin very soft. I love Photoshop’s ability to give you a wide range of control over these effects. While there are many fine tools for softening the image, Photoshop’s Gaussian blur give you the ultimate in control, which is important if you want to vary the amount of softness on the person’s face.
“I then take the Eraser tool, working on that layer. It is set for 30% opacity. I don’t want my background to be strong, so I pretty much leave that alone. The entire purpose of this is to have really soft skin, but it still has to be believable, so I go in stages. What I do is lower the opacity (30%) and I use a large brush size. I will hold down the mouse with one click, and erase everything that I want to sharpen with little circles, just as if you were waxing a car. I start around the perimeter of the person and I effectively sharpen the edges of the image with one maneuver. The lowered opacity helps to blend the sharper areas (erased areas) with the softened areas and because it’s subtle because of the minimal opacity, the effect is not noticeable. Just so that you know, the setting on the brush is ‘764,’ so it’s a fairly large brush size.
“I will now go back over certain areas with the same settings on the eraser tool. I go over the hair to bring out the stands of hair. I go over the face a bit, particularly the eyes, eyelashes, eyebrows, bridge of the nose, lips, tip of the nose and chin, etc. These are all areas that need to appear sharp in the final image. The rest of the skin, I’m going to leave soft. I really like the soft-focus effect, it’s kind of idyllic.
“I now go to about 70% opacity, still in the eraser tool, and I will bring the brush size down to about the size of her pupils. I want to erase and sharpen the eyes and all the areas surrounding them. I will follow the line of the eyes, eyelashes and eyebrows; I touch the bottom of the nose, the line of the lips’ all without sharpening the surrounding skin tones.
“I now make the brush size a little bit larger so I can go in and hit some of the hairs. I want the viewer to be able to count some of the hairs, because I want the overall impression of the image to be that it’s very, very sharp, even though it contains huge areas of soft focus, like the skin and the background, which is completely softened.
“The parts of her clothes, with detail especially, need to be sharpened to give the image a certain reality. The parts of the image you’d expect to be sharp should be sharp.
“I now flatten the image, and go to Adjustments, and go to Curves, and bring in a little bit of contrast—darkening my darks, and brightening the skin tone. Next, I’ll go to my color balance and change her color balance. I’ll include a little blue and minus a little red, and now, I’m happy.
The final image in the series shows how the background is made to fit the image—dark to one side, bright and soft on the other. This is done with cloning and softening with Gaussian blur. The background should complement and not distract.
Bill Hurter is the editor-in-chief of Rangefinder and AfterCapture magazines. He is the former editor of Petersen’s PhotoGraphic and has had such interesting jobs as a stint for the L.A. Dodgers and news photographer on Capitol Hill during the Watergate hearings.
Jerry D owns and operates Enchanted Memories, a successful portrait and wedding studio in Upland, California. Jerry has been highly decorated by WPPI and has achieved numerous national awards since joining the organization.
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