Four ways to use Photoshop for putting your best face forward
Dating online, you want to make a fabulous first impression. But you don’t want to make a false one. With filters and editing apps as part of the cultural zeitgeist, it's not surprising that a quarter of singles have admitted to Photoshopping their images before posting them. If you want to fine-tune your own pictures, here are some pointers that can help you shine online.
1. Be choosy about the background of your photo
You can tell a selfie has been Photoshopped by clues in the background. Subtle editing is key, and you should take frequent breaks from it. If you’re using Photoshop:
- Create two image layers
- Smudge the top one
- Isolate the body from the background, using a layer mask
- Add a third layer and clone stamp it to remove any overlap
Using layers in Photoshop allows you to format multiple images, add text, or change the background of an image. You can also use a layer style to add special effects, such as a glow or shadow.
2. Leave some imperfections unhidden
Imperfections are natural, so you don't want to appear too perfect. Don’t smooth your skin over too much in Photoshop; some of the best filters include the spot healing brush, which removes any individual blemishes you may want to touch up.
3. Avoid only fixing obvious issues and subtly accentuating your best features
Only hide imperfections that truly bother you. You don't want your edits to get too complicated and do want your pics to look like the best version of yourself.
Some major Photoshop over-editing pitfalls include:
- Brightening colors too much – this can give your image a neon color
- Adding too much contrast – this results in a loss of naturalness
- Toning your image too much – this can make your image look overly edited and out of place
What’s more, don’t crop your image too much. This can result in a heavily pixelated photo. And whatever you do, don’t crop a picture of yourself at the joints. Finally, avoid over-whitening your teeth or making your skin appear as though it’s plastic.
4. Whatever you do, don’t try to Photoshop your hair
Photoshop’s contrast and brightness tools are great for enhancing your skin tone and makeup. But too-perfect hair tips off potential dates that your photos are edited. It’s super noticeable when hair has been touched up in pictures.
That being said, you can subtly enhance your hair color using Photoshop. To give your hair more shine and color naturally:
- Add a color fill adjustment layer
- Limit this layer to the highlights by double-clicking the layer and selecting “blend-if” in the blending options
- Click and drag the left slider on the “underlying layer” slide
- Change the blend mode to “overlay” and adjust the color (this will result in a more natural highlight hair color)
Avoid becoming a "'shopaholic"
When it comes to retouching selfies, less is definitely more. You never want effects to upstage your natural charms. With these tips in mind, you can keep any effects in the supporting roles they were meant to play.