By  on September 12, 2008

These are the final days of television pancake faces. To be exact, D-Day for the layer-upon-layer look that imparts news anchors with a serious pallor is Feb. 17, 2009. That’s when stations will be required by law to go digital and the analog programming that entered living rooms for decades becomes a dinosaur in the dawning high-definition era of sharper broadcasts for all.

TV makeup artists haven’t experienced a similar job-altering event since the switch from black-and-white to color in the Fifties. The change comes with its share of trepidation. “People are very scared of it,” says James Vincent, director of artistry of The Powder Group. “The HD camera picks up exactly what we see with the naked eye.” Pigments are brighter, blemishes stand out, excessive shine comes across as sweat and wrinkles can appear wrinklier. “There is no room for mistakes,” says Kristina Duff, a makeup artist who has handled CNN talent.

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