Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Young Elites

The Young Elites

This is the first fauxto I've ever done where makeup and a wig played a bigger role than Photoshop. It was while reading the very first chapter of THE YOUNG ELITES by Marie Lu that I knew what my next fauxto would be. The main character, Adelina Amouteru is a young girl who has white hair (that means lashes and brows too!), light eyes, and has one eye missing. Oh, and she also happens to be kinda evil, or just has a lot of nasty darkness brewing in her head.

When I first thought about portraying this character I thought I'd just end up making the color alterations in Photoshop and calling it a day, but when I tried to do that, I failed miserably and everything just looked too "fake". So this time I resolved to suck it up and rely on the real world for my characterization.

I scoured Pinterest for some Young Elites theme boards and found a cosplay one with a link to a pretty cheap wig ($12 on Amazon) and then went to CVS and bought one of those mascaras that has two ends, one with the "conditioning" end and the other just plain mascara. Fun fact: When you paint your eyebrows with that stuff and then let it dry, it's really really hard to move your eyebrows, so your expressions are pretty limited!

Funny story, so I was in my bathroom, putting on the mascara while wearing the wig and my plumber came in. It was an interesting moment.

After my hair and makeup were done it was fauxto time. I set my camera up on the tripod, stood right in front of it, and made faces at it for about 150 shots. I used the remote to take the pics and, as always, the shoot required endless amounts of taking a shot then running around to look at it and adjusting from there.

Now it was time to Photoshop! My (sometimes) favorite part!

My eyes are brown. After Photoshopping them this color I now wish they were blue because coooooollll. To change the color of my eyes in Photoshop, I just selected the area I wanted to change in my iris, feathered it 10px (that is a super important step to make sure it's not just going to change color on a harsh line) and then used the Selective Color tool to reduce the brown pigments and replace them with blues and greens. I just fiddled with it until I got the color I was going for.

I replaced my eyebrow in the original photo with one from another shot because it was clearer and brighter and then finally I darkened the hell out of the area where the "hidden" eye is.

Adelina Amouteru had one of her eyes removed and so she has scars over that area. I tried shopping in scars but again, those just looked incredibly fake. So instead, I just used the burn tool to continuously darken that part to make it look (somewhat) like scars over what could be a missing eye.

And that was it! There was a lot of technical, tiny Photoshopping details made to this fauxto but for the most part, what you see here is what was photographed!


Check out The Young Elites by Marie Lu!
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Have suggestions for YA fauxtos? Share them with me in the comments below with any specific ideas you have in mind!


  1. First of all, your cheekbones are a work of art. Second, I love this photo! I'm sure it's a great representation of the character, but even without any context, it just looks baller. (As I believe I commented on Instagram already, hehe.)

    It's really cool to hear all the behind-the-scenes production stuff too. Real world and computer processing. I always like your making-the-photo stories. :)

  2. That looks awesome, Margot! You did a great job, and you'd never know you had been your own photographer!

    I always love seeing your photos and hearing what you've done behind the scenes!

  3. THIS IS INTENSE! So cool ;) I think you did an awesome job bringing Adelina to life. You really do look like how I would've imagined her!