When I had the use of an iPad, I really got into makeup and plastic surgery software. You’d think I was absolutely the last person in the world to even contemplate plastic surgery, but the resulting face, even though it wasn’t really me anymore, was undeniably a grade more feminine.

On my phone right now I have two image editing apps called Polish and Toon Art. The first is a general editor with most functions required to process raw images.  It has a few beautification tweaks. The most effective common ones convert spots and wrinkles to smooth surfaces, enlarge eyes and soften shapes. I don’t really use these. It does have a cartoon option but it’s pants.

Toon Art on the other hand, has two filters out of the hundreds they offer which I think improve my look. One works on faces, and requires a pretty close-up photo, while the other is a full body cartoon, and pretty nicely done line art, so that I really do become a cartoon character.

Montage of Minnie the Minx

Koala Swim

The image I got from the face filter Pop-2 with this forward-styled blonde wig, put me in mind of pinups from the 40s, 50s and 60s. A bit of asking Mr. Google about these and I discovered my Hollywood spirit animal is Veronica Lake, inventor of the “peek-a-boo” hairstyle. Of course she was a famed beauty of her time, and the idea that a mere little algorithm can put me in her league, is crazy.  (In the mashup above, image is reversed for same side partings),

Philosophical thoughts

Of course it is for fun, to see what you can do. But the whole process itself is one of artifice and presentation. Veronica Lake no doubt had the services of the best couturiers, makeup artists and hairdressers that money can buy to achieve her effects. And I have my network of these too, on a much smaller scale, obviously. Not forgetting of course, the photography itself, the use of diffuse lighting at various angles to reduce shadows on the face, etc. for soft focus effects.

Is there a concern that people are presenting a manipulated image of themselves that is false? It put me in mind of an old science fiction story which postulated some kind of holographic external image visible to other people which concealed their true bodies, called a Hypnad. There’s a plot point in this story where the Hypnad system breaks down and everybody realizes how ugly they really are. I think it just serves to be upfront about using beautification filters, but they should be allowed, for the purposes of fun and experimentation.

Thanks for taking the time to read my article and would love to hear your comments regarding my article or answer one or more of the questions I’ve posed to you below:

En Femme Style
  • Have you used a particular photo app to enhance your looks before you posted a picture?
  • Which photo apps are your favorites and why?
  • What to you use the photo apps to enhance?





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Smartina Fonteyn

At 53, been CD since whenever, but only in the last year have I become very confident and positive about it. I’d love to tell the story of this personal transformation.

Latest posts by Smartina Fonteyn (see all)

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Active Member
28 days ago

Hello Ladies, The whole concept of makeup could be described as, “presenting a manipulated image of themselves that is false.” Many woman would be horrified to be out without makeup. My look is completely changed by apply my makeup. I am not as good as some it’s the professionals who have done my makeup during a make over session, but I have learned from them and feel I apply it fairly well. I have met a few people who did not know me yet in both personas and most did not realize I was the same person. There is also… Read more »

Alexandra Forbes
Active Member
27 days ago

This subject is one I’ve thought much about in recent years and I appreciate you posting about it. In general, I feel that photo manipulation of one’s body and face is not healthy. Of course, this kind of manipulation predates photography itself, with subjects often requesting that an artist painting their portrait kindly withhold less flattering characteristics. Since then, especially with the advent of the airbrush and later Photoshop, how one appears to audiences can be heavily doctored. Now, with social media apps, the matter has become very concerning, especially in terms of how young people perceive themselves physically. In… Read more »

Last edited 27 days ago by Alexandra Forbes
Joelle Rae
26 days ago

I’m just a little disappointed that you had to Google search the image of my favorite starlet of the Golden Age of Hollywood!!
Her’s is a tragic story of too much, too soon that often a companies Hollywood fame.

Gabriela Romani
Managing Ambassador
Trusted Member
26 days ago

Disclaimer: This is not directed to anybody in particular. Specially not to the author of this article, Smartina. While using different apps to morph our image can be amusing, similar to the old school house of mirrors at the state fair, doing so and presenting an image different than how the person is able to make herself look in person and the posting that image in social media and not even disclose that is a morphed image is borderline dishonest, imho. Hopefully those who have been members for more than one year have noticed a difference in the public photos… Read more »

Managing Ambassador
Active Member
26 days ago

thank you Gabriela for the clarification

Sabrina (Brina) MacTavish
Managing Editor
Trusted Member

I wish to add from the editorial perspective. Having open and insightful discussions on timely topics, especially those which will become more prevalent in our society, should be seen as opportunities for all of us to grow in our knowledge, expectations, and compassion. I will always do my best to give voice to differing opinions from my own and what may be seen as the majority, because once a movement starts it won’t be long before they switch places. This particular topic has me firmly rooted on the fence as I personally believe both have a place (I have done… Read more »

Gaje Snolyn
25 days ago

Hello beautiful ladies! As a Photoshop artist for the past 30 years, I’d like to add my two cents in. It’s true that many out there consider the manipulating of photos as taboo. And I can guarantee you that there isn’t a fashion magazine out there where the front cover model hasn’t been re-touched to some degree. But, when it comes to crossdressers, please tell me what is so different about gluing on false eyelashes as opposed to a skilled Photoshopper, drawing in thicker eyelashes with the brush tool? Why is it ok to insert foam hips and butt cheeks into our undergarments, but… Read more »

Gaje Snolyn
5 days ago

In my photoshop work, there’s a difference between “beautification” and correcting for the imperfections of the camera and incorrect lighting. Like I said, I rarely go overboard in my usage of the many tools that Photoshop offers, although I could, and I have. It’s always up to the person in the photograph. I’ve seem so many snapchat photos posted on the various web sites out there. Now, you wanna talk about total image manipulation??? Check out a snapchat image and you’ll see what I mean.

Sable Allison
23 days ago

I love using apps as part of the feminization fantasy, such as faceapp, but I appreciate online spaces like CDH which are kind of an oasis from the rampant photmanipulation that goes on all over the internet. You’ll never weed it out completely, but to have websites with strong principles around the subject is very important for not only crossdressing culture but culture at large. There is plenty of Wild West out there. Whenever I post manipulated images I’m pretty upfront about it. My motives are just to look hot and make art. It is also important for me to… Read more »

Sabrina (Brina) MacTavish
Managing Editor
Trusted Member
Reply to  Sable Allison

Excellent points!

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