Beauty Retouching, High-End Beauty & Fashion, Interviews & Making Of Stories

Artist Spotlight: Ionut Matache

Ionut Matache is a Romanian fashion and beauty retoucher whose work stands out with its clean and natural finish. With only 5 years of experience in the industry, he already has a solid collection of international publications in the leading fashion and beauty magazines such as Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire and more. Here’s what Ionut has shared with us about his experience in the retouching industry.



Photo: Sabine Villiard, Retouch: Ionut Matache


It was February 2011 when I decided to start learning high-end retouching techniques. I didn’t know anything about the art of retouching, so I had to start from scratch. Two months later I bought my first Wacom Bamboo tablet.

RELATED: So Do You Really Need A Wacom Tablet For Retouching?


Photo: Sabine Villiard, Retouch: Ionut Matache


My highest achievement so far was a publication in Vogue Italia about a year ago. You can see the entire editorial here.


Vogue Italia. Photo: Greg Lotus, Retouch: Ionut Matache


My workflow is very simple and straightforward. It consists of a few main steps:

  • First, I do the healing and cloning on an empty layer using darken and lighten modes for more control;
  • The next step is dodge & burn on a grey layer;
  • For color treatment I use mostly curves or gradient, sometimes even both, it depends on the image I am working on;
  • Finally, I create the overall look for the images. The color adjustment layers always stay on top, which allows me to tweak them if the client requests it.

Photo: Sabine Villiard, Retouch: Ionut Matache


When I first started out, I was using Model Mayhem as a platform to find clients. After a bit over a year in the industry, I changed my approach and started promoting myself and finding new clients through sending e-mails.

I sometimes work with different photographers, but generally, I prefer long-term relationships with selected clients.


To grow as an artist it’s important that you push yourself and accept new challenges. I often take on difficult projects which help me develop new skills. I also like to train my vision by seeking inspiration in other photographers’ and retouchers’ work.


Photo: Sabine Villiard, Retouch: Ionut Matache


For the past 5 years, I have learned quite a lot about the industry and I would like to share a few tips with you:

  • Don’t be a retoucher solely for the money – to be successful in this industry you need to be passionate about what you do;
  • Always use non-destructive techniques;
  • Forget about the mouse and invest in a graphics tablet device. It will speed up your workflow and help you get better results, especially when dodging & burning;
  • Develop your eye for fine details;
  • It’s inevitable that you will have to do some free work in the beginning until you build a strong portfolio. If the editorials get published, that’s a plus;
  • Last but definitely not least, meet all your deadlines – this is vital if you want to build trust with your clients.


You can find more of Ionut Matache’s work on his website.

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