retouch versus touch up

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Hese

Senior Member
German
Hello there,

could you please help me with the difference between "retouch" and "touch up"?

Actually, I want to say that most photographs in magazines are touched up/ retouched.

Which one should I use?

I suppose you have to use "to alter" when talking about clothes? I had some alterations made on my skirt. Is that correct or would you go for "retouch" or "touch up"?

Thanks a lot in advance
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You can use either term to mean the same thing. "Retouch" sounds more professional than "touch up". However, they both mean to alter a photographic image either with chemicals or digitally. In the old days, "retouching" a photograph involved sitting down with a tiny brush and some paint or ink. Nowadays, these modifications are generally made digitally.
     

    Hese

    Senior Member
    German
    Thank you very much.

    So if I understood you well, I can say "touch up a photograph" and "retouch a photograph" (although the verb retouch is safer for there is no sexual connotation - thanks for the hint!)

    Is it possible to retouch your make-up?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hello, Hese. I took a quick look in Google to see how often people used "retouch" with "makeup". I only came back with 4,720 hits. Now, I'm certainly not advocating Google searches as a way to answer word and grammar questions, but such a low number indicates its use is uncommon.

    I suggest you follow Copyright's suggestions about these words and their use.
     
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