I have smoothed boniness before — like when models have bones sticking out of their chest, they want that subdued. That’s somewhat common. … The skin is another story: we completely remove veins and freckles and moles and bags under the eyes all the time. We often remove body hair, subdue wrinkles, whiten teeth, pop the eyes. We also smooth kneecaps and veins in the hands and things like that — anything that’s distracting that takes away from the product being featured.
[In mascara ads] they wear false eyelashes, of course, in the photoshoot, and we completely draw the lashes in one by one so it’s just like a forest of eyelashes. That’s like the biggest lie of all — you can’t achieve that."
— An anonymous retoucher shares some trade secrets