Create a flawless foundation splash to photograph beauty products like a pro

Post by
Ruth Stephensen
Create a flawless foundation splash to photograph beauty products like a pro

Beauty brands love showing off the tone and texture of their formulations in product imagery. These images are so impactful that our Pinterest inspo boards are filled with sexy texture and splash effects from premium beauty brands like Bobbi Brown, Nars, Dior and Giorgio Armani to name a few.

Being the curious creative types that we are, we found ourselves wondering how do commercial photographers get that rich creamy looking texture without emptying 45 bottles of foundation?

To find out we challenged creative mum-of-two Jemma Johnson to recreate this effect from her dining room table at home - with very impressive results!

Read on to find out exactly how she did it.


Creating the 'Foundation'

Jemma experimented a few different solutions to create her 'foundation' liquid.

To get the right consistency Jemma tried various combinations of milk and cream. Milk alone was too thin but when she added whipping cream she was able to get a thicker, creamier consistency.

Achieving a good match in colour was a little trickier, Jemma initially added some different coloured baking gels but in the end found that flavoured milk already had a great tone.

Winning foundation formula combo: 2/3 iced coffee milk drink (for colour likeness) mixed with 1/3 whipping cream (for thickness/consistency)

Setting up the shoot

Jemma used her dining room table with a plastic mat to protect it from splashes. She set her plastic container on top, filled 3/4 with the liquid, and placed her tripod on the table with the camera facing down.

As she was shooting indoors, Jemma used her continuous light soft box with two A1 sized foam boards to amplify the available light.

Camera Settings


Top tips for capturing the best splash

Post Production

Jemma had done a great job matching the colour of the foundation and was able to darken and colour grade it further in Lightroom. She cloned out the container and bubbles and increased the ‘Luminance' slider within the Noise Reduction settings to give the liquid a smoother-looking texture.

She also cleaned up some highlights and shine from the bottle to make the label clearer to read and adjusted the curves.

Final Result

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