Airbrushes Starting To Get TV Stars "HD-Ready"

Before going on TV this week, the makeup person used a device with a long nozzle and tube to apply base to my face. When I asked her what it was, she said it was an airbrush, and they “you’re going to see it a lot more with HD.” Apparently an airbrush can get the makeup and smooth cover into all the little cracks and imperfections that would otherwise be exposed with the new hi-definition TV sets. No doubt the makers of Desperate Housewives will be copping the technique. The show saw its ratings plummet after the advent of Hi-Def sets let viewers see the stars wrinkles and age-lines in true detail. Just when you think the veil of magic of is going to be destroyed, TV builds a thicker veil, with more sequins. Thanks, Television, for keeping the dream alive!

(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. missdona says:

    As long as I don’t have to look at pimples, it’s all good.

  2. 7j6cei says:

    HA HA HA HA HA… HD Strikes again. Good thing though cause my X-Wife forced me to watch that stupid show!

  3. Adam Hyland says:

    seems to me that airbrushing is similar to gelling the lenses at the behest of Elizabeth Taylor, who didn’t want to be seen to have visibly aged in her films. Granted, the result was to turn a higher resolution film into a lower resolution film, but airbrushing does the same thing on a smaller portion. rather than blurring the field of vision, we now blur just faces.

  4. catskyfire says:

    And people wonder why stars, when photographed under normal circumstances (like, oh, getting groceries or a coffee), look so ‘terrible’.

    This is just the latest challenge to HD. They’ve already had trouble with ‘blood’, as well as ‘expensive settings’. On regular TV, you can use plain stainless for ‘fancy silver’. On HD…it’s way too obvious that it’s not the good stuff, and people do notice.

    Makes me wonder what Psycho looks like in HD.

  5. says:

    hooray! more young girls have a made-up fake image to live up to!

  6. joemono says:

    My wife and I just got an HDTV a couple of days ago. We were watching Law & Order: SVU last night in Hi-Def and you really could see all their imperfections. I think it makes the characters seem more real.

    And I thought poeople stopped watching DH because the writing became really, really stupid. I know I stopped watching it after realizing I was watching a show about a bunch of horrible people that I hated.

  7. liquisoft says:

    I wish life were in HD.

  8. DrGirlfriend says:

    Political candidates would do well to keep this in mind, lest they suffer a Nixonesque, candidacy-ending debacle solely because they look like ass on TV.

  9. CaptainSemantics says:

    Airbrushing makeup has been used for a few years already, and it’s not just used for television. Photographers and theatre artists have already jumped on the airbrush bandwagon. It’s also a lot quicker/easier (well, once you get the hang of it), so you can go through more actors/models in less time.

    Look, Mom, I’m using my theatre degree!

  10. full.tang.halo says:

    once again why I can say no thanks to HD p0rn….*shudders* stretch marks and cottage cheese thighs

  11. missdona says:

    @joemono: We just got our HD set too. Heroes was our first show on Monday night.

    I was totally obsessed with Ando’s pimples and the scratch in the magnifying glass.

  12. scoosdad says:

    Some of the higher-end HD studio cameras used by the networks actually have circuitry that can be programmed to recognizes various skin tone hues, and gives the option to slightly blur the image only where those tones occur. The equipment used to scan film for HD broadcast also has that capability.

    I guess Ben wasn’t sitting in front of one of those cameras. And was the cable channel he was on even broadcasting in HD? Not too many of the cable news channels are doing HD yet.

  13. Nytmare says:

    News anchors, especially the local ones, already look like grotesque mannequins. Now they’re going to start looking even worse. The future: CGI heads with synthesized voices.

  14. bbbici says:

    My HDTV problem is when you can see that an actor is plastered in makeup when their character is not supposed to be wearing any, like men at any time, or women that just got out of bed or something.

    Another problem is that all that makeup actually makes many actors’ skin worse than nonactors.

    At least HDTV has cured a lot of my foolish crushes on actresses after i saw how wrinkled and carbuncled they were.

  15. kellyhelene says:

    Funny, when I played a zombie at a theme park haunted house we did our makeup the same way.

    you know what’s really fun? For a couple days after you’ll blow your nose and it’ll be makeup colored!

  16. INconsumer says:

    i’m surprised this isn’t a jezebel article.

  17. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    Psycho was in black & white & the “blood” in the shower scene was actually chocolate syrup.

  18. tcabeen says:

    We don’t have a TV line into the house right now, so we catch up on Ugly Betty on the network’s website. They posted last season’s finale in HD, and let me tell you, Vanessa Williams’ face was shocking. Not bad … we just saw far more detail than we were accustomed to. It took a couple of minutes to get used to.

    And then we realized the actors and actresses themselves must be FREAKING OUT about this.

    So how long before QVC starts selling home air-brush makeup kits?

  19. lemur says:

    @bbbici: Not that I have crushes on any actresses these days but I think HDTV is going to have the opposite effect on me. I find women that look natural much more attractive than those who are completely covered with varnish. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not totally anti-makeup or anti-plastic surgery but it does not take much for me to find makeup or surgery to be too much.

    For instance, I do not find any of the desperate housewives particularly attractive. But I find Jill from Home Improvement more attractive than any of them… I know that’s not the majority opinion. Why is she more attractive to me? I think that’s because she looks normal rather than some strange creature from another planet. I know she has makeup and maybe the actress (whose name I can’t remember right now) has had some plastic surgery but it has not been overdone.

    So if HDTV is going to peel away some of the fakeness, actresses are going to look more attractive to me.

  20. Falconfire says:

    @CaptainSemantics: you also dont have to worry about brushes, which need to be cleaned and sterilized every time.

  21. parad0x360 says:

    @lemur: yea same here, i have an hdtv and i can tell some people look far worse in hd. At the same time we can see the damn makeup because the picture is so sharp.

    I’d rather have a natural looking person then someone who looks like they just had their face painted. We can still see acne despite it being skin colored.

  22. RandomHookup says:

    Expect to never seen another woman over the age of 40 on TV again.

  23. Optimistic Prime says:

    @full.tang.halo: I totally agree. I refuse to watch my filthy movies on Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. Betamax ftw!

  24. zentec says:

    What will happen is they’ll just crank back the detail on the camera. That permits the older talent to continue to apply large amounts of pancake make-up without it being so obvious.

  25. the_wiggle says:

    @tcabeen: kits already being sold – sephora, nextag, ebay, etc.

  26. TechnoDestructo says:


    Is that why she’s your ex?

  27. StevieD says:


    Jill from Home Improvement

    Huba huba

  28. StevieD says:

    I love p_rn on HD. Oh look, stubble.

  29. MadMolecule says:

    David Pogue blogged about this same thing a while back: []

  30. A similar thing happened to David Pogue a few months ago.

  31. Wow, sorry about that! I was so eager, I didn’t even read MadMolecule’s post! Early to bed for me tonight!

  32. zolielo says:

    HD is fun as so few star actually have great skin. The Bionic Woman and her castmates seem to be the exception that I recently noted.

  33. gruffydd says:

    @tcabeen: I’m coveting an at home air-brush makeup kit!