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I'm totally against airbrushing—in theory. Since I'm also one of the many women who loathe how they look in photos (a peek at my Facebook page reveals this with way too many embarrassing images of me making the fishy face in attempts to look "hot"), I couldn't help but be intrigued when I heard that Panasonic has a new camera that offers instant retouching.
See the story — and the amazing results — when you keep reading.
The Lumix FX78's Beauty Retouch feature is made up of two (rather awkwardly-named) components: The Aesthetic Retouch and The Make Up Retouch. The former is the tool that works like an airbrush to get rid of imperfections—you can clear up your skin, mattify shiny spots, whiten your eyes and teeth, even make your eyes appear bigger and more defined. The Makeup Retoucher is more for enhancing individual features, including changing the tone of your skin with the "foundation" button, giving cheeks and lips a tint, and adding either blue, green, brown, maroon or pink shadow to your lids with the eye shadow tool. You can also darken the subject's skin using "Cosmetic Mode," an option you turn on before snapping the photo, just like the flash or the zoom. (Instant spray tan!)
I tried the camera myself this morning, using all of the re-touching applications available and probably going a bit overboard. However, after a few misses, I finally found a happy medium. My favorite tool: the shine eliminator really did erase all the oiliness around my T-zone, which will definitely come in handy over the summer. However, the rest of the Aesthetic Retouch didn't seem to make much of a difference. The Makeup Retouch was fun to play with, giving you the ability to choose how your blush is applied (on the apples, up the cheekbones), between a natural or rosy lip color, or whether to add colorful or neutral shadows. The foundation tool, however, was terrible—offering shades that should be named "Snooki," "Jaundiced," or "Casper."
I experimented with lots of combinations, seeing which colors and options would make me look the best. But when I lined up all the images next to each other I realized that I prefer the natural me, without all the retouching and added makeup. The real me may not be perfect, but it's much more interesting. Which shot do you prefer, before (left) or after (right)?
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