We love makeup. We don’t always wear it, but we definitely get how it can be fun to put on and experiment with and use as a tool for self-expression. But the extremes to which makeup can transform a person’s face sometimes shock even us, as is the case with the striking makeup before and after portfolio of artist Vadim Andreev.
According to the Daily Mail, Andreev is on “a mission to prove women don’t need to resort to surgery to transform plain looks into those of a beauty queen.” All they really need is a dump truck full of makeup and a copy of Photoshop.
“I started taking these photos to show people they can change, be more attractive, look and feel happier,” he said.
Whether they look “better” in the before or after is moot. It’s the extent of the transformation that is striking. While most of the women started out very attractive, a lot of them are unrecognizable in the afters. If I knew one of Andreev’s before pictures and then saw one of the afters walking down the street, I do not think I would recognize her. I would probably just say, “Whoa, that woman is wearing a lot of makeup.”
Andreev says the photos are enhanced with a bit of retouching, but he insists that it’s just cleaning up a hair here or adjusting the lighting. Most of the look he claims is natural. That said, this appears to be the woman from the first transformation, post makeup but before image editing:
While I’m not convinced the Photoshop is as minimal as Andreev says, I’m genuinely impressed by his makeup skills. Contouring like that is not easy to do! But does anyone really want to look like his afters? It’s certainly some impressive work and would probably look really good in the right lighting, maybe in a dark club or on camera. But that looks like some full drag slap and probably wouldn’t wear as well in real life.
Even Andreev says this isn’t necessarily a look for all the time. And he also works with men who might be looking to try an extreme new look or just go for something natural looking.
“There are little make-up secrets for everyday,” he said. “Everybody can use them.”
Unfortunately the secrets aren’t really secret. His main tips just involve wearing under-eye concealer, cream blush, black mascara, and pink lipgloss. He also recommends wearing a highlighter on the cheekbones and bronzer under the cheekbones and along the chin, but that’s not a particularly novice-friendly technique. Someone shared the same trick with me when I was 14, and I spent two years with a hard brown line drawn right under my chin.