By DEIDRE M. BASTIAN
FACE lift surgery has been around in its current form for about 100 years. During that time, virtually every permutation of the procedure has been attempted, leaving some with success and some without.
But in today's fast moving cosmetic market, media, surgeons and patients eagerly await 'new advances' on devices and procedures. We all want a simpler means of obtaining excellent results, even though the cart sometimes gets in front of the horse too quickly. Furthermore, cosmetic surgery is said to be a means to help almost anyone feel better, as virtually everyone has at least one thing they dislike about themselves.
Many people may wonder if plastic surgery is really worth the risk associated with it. Therefore, if you are left wondering if it is worth it, the real question should be: Do you perceive yourself to be acceptable, or not good enough?
The truth about plastic surgery is that while many people embrace it for medical or cosmetic reasons, it is most commonly used to boost self-esteem or improve what seems to be an ugly thing to themselves or others.
We all have our own definition of reality and, unfortunately, there are many people who choose plastic surgery in a bid to look like famous persons they admire. They may wish to have lips like the actor Tyson Beckford, Leonardo DiCaprio's beautiful eyes ,or the celebrity Eva Mendes smooth skin.
But let's face the common denominator: "Nobody likes wrinkles", even though people of colour are often blessed with skin that tends to show lines and wrinkles later than fair-skinned ones. Botox is now as common as getting a manicure or an eyebrow waxed, which can complement your overall appearance, especially if you are a prominent public figure.
As an extension, if you are a professional photographer, you may need to apply photo touch-ups at some point in your career. With trained eyes, you may detect blemishes a mile away.
For the most part, model photographs that are printed on magazine covers endure many hours, even days, of skillful touch-ups. Nonetheless, taking nothing away from this concept, be mindful that everything that glitters in magazines is not all gold.
Photographs do have their share of problems. Some of them have been under and overexposed, have a dull complexion, plus acne and wrinkles caused by stress, with many additional facial flaws. But, thankfully, the Photoshop editing technique demonstrates a 'no-needles-needed' surgical approach to wiping away the signs of time while still maintaining a realistic look.
On a lighter note, Photoshop's picture facelifts allow you to skip the Botox or snip, tighten, cut and 'pull and tug' procedure, since achieving a younger look in photographs only requires a few clicks of the mouse.
Ordinarily, performing minor face lift techniques to minimise distracting features, such as smaller-sized ears, noses, mouths, chins - or even enlargement of small features, such as eyes or cheekbones - can become a reality. But remember: A small and subtle fix is all you want, as it should be discernible to you only and not obvious to a casual observer.
Given these points, if you wish your photos to look fantastic with a 'bling, bling' appearance, here's the trick: In Photoshop, open the photograph that you want edited. Go to layer, duplicate layer and click OK when the duplicate layer pop-up appears. Select the eraser tool.
Zoom in on the face, and erase everything except the skin. This includes the background: Eyes, lips and hair (Also, if there are obvious freckles or beauty marks, erase them as well).
You may want to turn off the layer of the face underneath by clicking the 'eye' icon in the layers palette. This is needed so that you can see where you are erasing.
With the top 'skin' layer still selected, go to filter, blur, Gaussian blur, and adjust the radius so the skin becomes blurred (but not too blurry). Click OK when you're done. Then go to layer, flatten image to join both layers together.
Well done. At this point you should now have a face with smoother skin, and you should have removed enough of the deeper wrinkles or blemishes without going overboard to make the model look like a plastic china doll.
See how easy that was. With a few simple steps and no surgery, you have now introduced yourself to the fountain of youth forever by means of a few clicks, rather than the many snip and snaps endured with a real facial surgery. So, until we meet again, fill your life with memories rather than regrets. Enjoy life and stay on top of your game.