Beauty Retouching, Fundamentals

Concepts of Beauty, Biology & Aesthetics For Beauty Retouchers

There are thousands of video tutorials on how to retouch skin, hair, etc., but I haven’t seen anyone talk about what it is that needs to be retouched to make a female portrait more flattering.

In this video I’ve attempted to put in words and illustrate what I’ve learned ever since I started applying my own makeup, by observing other women, reading beauty tips in magazines, and watching makeup tutorials.

RELATED: Improve Your Retouching By Learning From Make-Up Artists

I share more of my own examples and further explore this topic in my upcoming Beauty Retouching video course.

If you are interested in Beauty Retouching, but know very little about female beauty and female faces, I think it won’t hurt to read the following: Physical Attractiveness according to Wikipedia.

The images I have included in this video are there for illustrational purposes only. Their copyright belongs to their respective owners. The digital illustration and retouching examples at the end of the video are mine (Julia Kuzmenko McKim).

The following aged celebrities’ images can be found here: What 12 Celebrities Might Look Like as Senior Citizens — Photoshop Magic! on

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You may also enjoy watching Danielle video by Anthony Cerniello from 2:28 to see live aging:


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Our New MUA Retouch Panel

Check out our new MUA Retouch panel, a smart Photoshop extension designed for delicate, intuitive, campaign-level retouching created with the Makeup Artist in mind. Developed by beauty photographer & retoucher Julia Kuzmenko McKim and makeup artist, photographer & retoucher Jordan Liberty over the years working in the Beauty Industry, the panel scripts are now available exclusively to the MUA Retouch panel users.

You don’t have to be a Photoshop expert to be able to successfully use it – our free exclusive Photoshop Basics video course will introduce you to the software and our video tutorials will help you get to know the panel’s functions.

Most buttons use common makeup names and imitate the effects of the actual makeup products so you can quickly navigate the panel’s sections and easily determine each buttons’ purpose.

Compare with our classic Beauty Retouch panel here.

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11 thoughts on “Concepts of Beauty, Biology & Aesthetics For Beauty Retouchers

  1. Donna says:

    Excellent tutorial. Thank you for filling in the gaps in the retouching profession.

  2. Elizabeth Von Bismarck says:

    I appreciated so much your answers to all the critics against retouching

    1. Yes, we are artists, just like painters, makeup artists and hairstylists – everything goes in making faces beautiful.

  3. Siyana Kasabova says:

    This is spectacular. I don’t know why I didn’t watch it sooner! Perfectly explained.

  4. Corey Rankin says:

    Good to watch this kind of assessment of beauty, but you didn’t touch on what I believe is the most important sign or indicator of beauty, which is, in women, a sign of ovulation timing – ie, when the woman is at the most fertile and ready to conceive – this is displayed in the woman by signs transmitting her readiness, so to speak – high and red cheekbones indicating the wad of estrogen stored there, full lips, clear and contrasting eyes, glowing skin, shiny hair.

    Makeup is designed to mimic these signs. Attractiveness is indicated by them, and attractiveness is designed to reproduce. Most of this is pointed out in the excellent book Must Have by Geoffrey Miller, which talks about why we buy makeup. The top makeup artists know this, and it is not talked about openly. Women do not generally know what they are doing when accentuating these features.

    1. MasterBeauty says:

      Thanks so much Corey! That’s great, and yes, I did not know about this. Will look that book up now 🙂

      1. Corey Rankin says:

        HI. the book has only a tiny part dedicated to makeup. The rest, however, is still excellent reading. There’s probably a bit on the web about the makeup beauty ovulation thing. It is an eye opener.

  5. Maha says:

    Well, that was enlightening and depressing at the same time, lol! I really enjoyed the information given and will take a look at the rest of the offerings in here. As a photographer, I want full control so I’m really interested in learning retouching, but what exactly to retouch, and this video really hit on it.

    1. Julia McKim says:

      I know, right Seeing the confirmation of what I talked about in my video on my own face now, a few years later
      And thank you! I’m very glad it was helpful for you!

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