Has this ever happened to you? While browsing your favorite online message forum someone drops right into (and out of) the conversation with a one or two sentence spammy message? These people never contribute anything to the conversation except for a blatant advertisement. This is what happened to me last week. Someone dropped right into a active discussion with the one sentence message.
Want a better online dating profile – try http://www.airbrushdate.com
At this point my curiosity got the better of me. I knew that Judie was doing a rather extensive series about Online Dating. So why not see if this Airbrushdate was on the up and up. Of course it wouldn’t be as much fun to give them my hopeless photo. Skip to the next page where the fun begins. Take a look at who I sent them and what the end result was – then decide for yourself whether Airbrushdate measures up.
First I found that the Airbrushdate site advertises as being in beta. Their primary business is to take your online dating photo and “airbrush” it so that you’re better looking.
Here’s some questions and answers from their FAQ:
Why should I use AirbrushDate.com for online dating photos?
Let’s face it, as much as we hate to admit it, your online photo is the single most important factor in getting the date. Without a great photo, your profile is less likely to get clicked. Why not put your best face forward? Airbrush Date will help you make a great first impression.
What type of photos work best?
Straight-on headshot–portrait style photos similiar to those on the front page of AirbrushDate.com–will work best. Don’t be afraid to get close to the camera! Our “digital cosmeticians” have been specially trained to tackle the challenges presented by Mother Nature, including wrinkles, dark undereye circles, acne, and many more. Airbrush Date’s digital cosmeticians use the same technology and techniques that make celebrity photos appear so stunning on magazine covers.
It’s a nicely laid out site and they offer a range of common photo touch up options. To get started you upload a photo, and then indicate by number (see below) what you’d like them to do with the picture to make it better:
Your Airbrush Options
1. Wrinkle removal
2. Increased hair coverage
3. Teeth whitening
4. Eye color enhancement / red eye removal
5. Double chin reducer & jaw line enhancer
6. Acne removal
7. Mole & wart removal
8. Hair color highlighting
9. Eye dark circle and bag removal
It seemed simple enough. Now all I needed was a photo to send. I looked around at some old crazy photos I had on my disk and found a perfect subject.
Meet Patrick Tribett. That’s his photo below from a July 2005 article on TheSmokingGun.com. The picture seems to meet all the criteria from the Airbrushdate FAQ – mainly it is a straight-on headshot that is also a close up.
Patrick was caught trying to make a purchase at Bellaire’s Dollar General Store. It seems according to the arrest report he’d been huffing spray paint and stopped in the store for a refill. The store promptly called the cops (most likely to report the presence of a guy with gold spraypaint all over his mouth). The remaining arrest information is here.
Patrick looks like a guy who could use some help in the dating department. What better way to get him a date than to spruce up his photos and make them more suitable for a dating profile. Will Airbrushdate be up to the task? Let’s find out!
Here’s the exact photo that I uploaded to Airbrushdate:
Now that I had my test subject. I only had to come up with a plausible excuse for why the photo I would submit to Airbrushdate.com was of a guy whose mouth was covered in gold paint.
After a few minutes I drafted this email and sent off his photo as an attachment.
Airbrushdate doesn’t require any upfront payment. They’ll touch up your photo and post it online (watermarked) for your approval. If you like what you see, the cost is only $9.99 via PayPal for a full high resolution photo.
Here’s my email to Airbrushdate.com:
After I uploaded my photo, I sat back and waited. Airbrushdate promises a 48 hour turnaround time. And they were right on time. It took them a little less than 24 hours to get me back the NEW and improved Patrick Tribett photo.
Meet Patrick Tribett – he cleaned up pretty well don’t you think…
Patrick now has a nice clean set of photos to use for online dating. His hair is fuller and there’s no more explaining that messy “gold stuff” that was all around his mouth and nose. Granted, he looks a little like a police artist sketch photo. But given the material that Airbrushdate had to work with – it’s not half bad.
So should you use Airbrushdate to fix your photos prior to posting them for online dating? If you have minor corrections like red eye reduction or removal of minor photo imperfections – absolutely!
Obviously my test was a tad “tongue in cheek” — however the end result they delivered was prompt (beating their service guarantee by a full 24 hours) and they re-touched exactly as I instructed them to.
Cost: $9.99 per photo
What I liked:
-Followed my instructions exactly
-Excellent results (considering what they started with)
-Can view watermarked proof of photo without paying anything in advance
What could be better:
-Discourage people from spamming forums with their URL