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Thread: Make Up Fluorescing

  1. #1
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Richard

    Make Up Fluorescing

    I did a photo shoot yesterday which was lit with a pair of ProPhoto monolights (which were not my lights) bounced into an umbrella. The eye makeup of two of the models seemed to fluoresce. The makeup did not fluoresce when I shot with my 550EX strobe, bounced off the ceiling and modified with a Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro, only with the ProPhoto lights.

    Unfortunately, I did not keep any of the images with the fluorescing makeup. The MUA, changed the makeup and I deleted the ones that made the model look like a raccoon.

    I have not had the problem of fluorescing makeup for a long while. I know, however, that you cannot avoid that look by placing a UV filter on the lens. The way to avoid it is to change makeup, sometimes change lights or place a UV filter over the lights.

    I think that most hotshoe flashes have a bult-in UV filter to prevent the fluorescing makeup problem.

    Has anyone had that problem recently?

  2. #2
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Make Up Fluorescing

    If you mean you've had an issue where the makeup seems a lot brighter in the image than it does on the person, the answer is yes. I've had that problem with both my Speedlights and with studio lights. I suspect that is why your bounce light worked.

    A MUA I know who does a lot of film and television work tells me that this is due to brighteners (actually ground up sea shells) put into some makeup that is forumulated to give the eyes more "pop" especially for use at night under artificial lighting. She likened it to reflectors that are put into street signs. In daylight everything looks quite normal, but hit it with an intense beam of light of a car headlight, it becomes a reflector and bounces light right back at you. Do that with makeup, and the raccoon look shows up.

    You are correct, the only solution is to remove the model's makeup and replace it with makeup with a different formulation that does not have a reflective formulation.

  3. #3
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: Make Up Fluorescing

    Richard,

    You mean like this... Fluorescing Jumping Spider ?

    Though in that case, I was specifically trying to cause the fluorescence.

    It does make me wonder if (as Manfred kind of mentioned) that what you were seeing was more a case of super-high reflectivity as opposed to fluorescence. In my case, I have to use a filter on my flash to change the wavelength of the light output from the flash to one that is known to cause fluorescence and then another filter on my lens to eliminate that color of light and allow in just the fluorescence light. I do know that many things will fluoresce and they will do so at different wavelengths and that sea creatures (ie: the shells Manfred mentioned) are very common flourescers, so I'm not ruling it out. I've also learned that multiple individuals of the same species can have different fluorescence responses (I have had two spiders of the same species, and one fluoresced very well, while the other didn't at all), so if it is a fluorescence issue, I don't think you can make a blanket statement and say that that particular make-up will always fluoresce - if it is indeed coming from seashells, it could be simply the batch of shells they got for making that particular batch of make-up.

    Oh the challenges we face for photography...

    - Bill

  4. #4

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    Re: Make Up Fluorescing

    Reflections from and through ingredients in makeup will produce the effect you say. That's one of the purposes behind the stuff. As to why one light over the other perhaps the difference is some combination of direction, power, frequency, etc. To quote from a find...

    Pearlescence, also sometimes spelled as "pearl essence", is a shine or gloss effect commonly used in a wide variety of cosmetic products. The most usual source of pearlescence is the natural mineral mica covered by a thin layer of titanium dioxide. This coating causes goniochromism the color appears through interference effects with the naturally translucent mica, and varying the thickness of the titanium dioxide changes the color.[4] Alternatives exist, including the suspension of tiny flakes of a suitable material within the product, often a wax such as glycol distearate. A shimmery substance found on fish scales, most usually obtained from herring and one of many by-products of commercial fish processing, can also be used for pearlescent effects, primarily in nail polish, but is now rarely used due to its high cost, bismuth oxychloride flakes being used as a substitute instead.

    If women only knew what they put on their face,, they'd still use it.

  5. #5

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    Re: Make Up Fluorescing

    Yes, we would! I wonder if a light brushing of a face power that is marketed to diffuse the light would help? I think Revlon makes one. Or even a basic matte powder--a color that would further confuse the light. These products are often marketed for darker skinned women, and I notice they aren't so offensive (even in daytime). The lighter skin-tones only seem to multiply the reflection.

    I have very light skin and had to learn early on not to apply too much make-up if I was going to have pictures taken. My face tends to be a blur with dark blurs for eyes otherwise.

  6. #6
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Make Up Fluorescing

    Quote Originally Posted by ggt View Post
    Yes, we would! I wonder if a light brushing of a face power that is marketed to diffuse the light would help? I think Revlon makes one. Or even a basic matte powder--a color that would further confuse the light. These products are often marketed for darker skinned women, and I notice they aren't so offensive (even in daytime). The lighter skin-tones only seem to multiply the reflection.

    I have very light skin and had to learn early on not to apply too much make-up if I was going to have pictures taken. My face tends to be a blur with dark blurs for eyes otherwise.
    Gretchen - this is a problem with eye makeup; specifically eye shadow, not with general face makeup issue. Yes, there can be problems with general face makeup, but a bit of powder that has been lightly daubed on does help; but the MUA really needs to have a good base of primer and foundation in place for this to work properly over a long day.

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