Are You Adjusting the Red-Color Balance on Your Selfies? Because You Should Be

It'll make you look like a Hadid.

Models selfie compilation
(Image credit: Design by Dana Tepper)

Yes, the Kardashians and Hadids have genetics on their side, but if you think their selfies are of the #nofilter persuasion, you're sorely mistaken. In fact, they've got the sneakiest of tricks up their sleeve. It's good old-fashioned color theory and comes courtesy of celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta who works with the Kardashian-Jenners, Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Chrissy Teigen, Shay Mitchell, and Jessica Alba just to name a few...

It's clear from thumbing through Instagram that he's imparted this wisdom to his clientele and now it's ours for the taking. Brace yourself, because this is practically Studio Art 101.

The Red Theory

Every time Ta uploads a photo of one of his clients, he heads to the color editing section of Instagram, chooses the red color, and adds a subtle vermilion tint to the image. What does this do exactly? It enhances the overall warmth AKA increases the bronze-y glow, color intensity, and overall💥. In other words, it's a MAGIC HOUR LIGHTING hack.

Red-Color Balance Adjustment options screenshot

(Image credit: Design by Dana Tepper)

Unabashedly intrigued, I decided to give the technique a try on one of my older selfies. And suffice it to say, I now have uploader's regret for the original. This is a game-changer. Albeit a sly, nearly undetectable one.

Before and After Red-Color balance has been adjusted

(Image credit: Design by Dana Tepper)

For the "After" photo above, I took the original image and increased the redness by 20. It's not a *major* difference, one that you can only really appreciate in a side-by-side, but I like it that way. Because what good is a selfie if it's 100 percent obvious you edited it, right? Riiiiiight, John Mayer?

View more of Ta's gorgeous face-beat-and-filter work below:

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Beauty Editor

Lauren Valenti is Vogue’s former senior beauty editor. Her work has also appeared on,, and in In Style. She graduated with a liberal arts degree from Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts, with a concentration on Culture and Media Studies and a minor in Journalism.