135. Brighten a Face with Digital Makeup
Before You Begin
91 About Layers and the Layers Palette
116 Paint an Area of a Photo with a Brush
117 Paint an Area of a Photo with the Airbrush
178 Colorize a Photograph
As we age, we lose color from our skin, turning almost pale and lifeless in extreme cases. To combat this effect, most women wear some kind of makeup: some eyeliner to outline the eyes, eye makeup to add color and depth to the eyebrow area, a bit of blush to rosy up a cheek, and some lipstick to add color and definition to the lips. Even if your subject is not a woman, a bit of neutral color here and there can erase the sun's effect on the skin, leaving your subject more youthful. In this task, you'll learn how to apply makeup after the fact, or to touch up areas that simply wore off during a long day of festivities.
Create Eyes Layer
Open an image in the Editor in Standard Edit mode, and save it in Photoshop (*.psd) format.
To create a layer for the eye makeup, click the Create a new layer button on the Layers palette or choose Layer, New, Layer from the menu. Name this new layer Eyes.
Apply Eye Makeup
Zoom in on one eye. Click the Brush tool on the Toolbox. On the Options bar, select a soft, round brush. Adjust the Size so that the brush is about the same width as the eyelid. Select the color you want to use as makeup; I pressed Ctrl, and when the mouse pointer on the Brush tool changed to an Eyedropper, I clicked on the image to pick up the subject's blue eye color. To add an almost metallic effect to the color, I set the background color to light gray, clicked the More Options button on the Options bar, and set the Hue Jitter to 15%. This setting causes the brush color to change between the foreground color and the background color as you brush.
Although they don't need the extra color, this technique can also be used to create unique portraits of children. If you desaturate an image, for example, and then add touches of color to a child's cheeks, lips, and hair, you can create an angelic effect.
Change the blend mode for the Eyes layer to Soft Light. Brush the eye makeup color over the eye lid of each eye. Adjust the effect by lowering the Opacity of the Eyes layer, or selecting a different blend mode such as Hard Light, Hue, Color, or Overlay.
Create Lips Layer
To create a layer for the lip color, click the Create a new layer button on the Layers palette or choose Layer, New, Layer from the menu. Name this new layer Lips. Change the blend mode of the Lips layer to Soft Light.
If you're not sure what makeup color to use, you can view sample eye, lip, and cheek makeup colors on the Web, at various makeup manufacturers' Web sites.
If you want to add eyeliner, use a very small, hard brush set to 50% Opacity. Pick up the color of the skin just under the eye, and darken it (by lowering the brightness in the Color Picker) to create a natural eyeliner color that's not black (black will be too dark if you use it on a photo). You can use this same brush to stroke in thicker eyelashes if you like.
Apply Lip Color
With the Brush tool still selected, set the foreground color to the lip color you want to use. On the Options bar, adjust the Size of the brush to fit the width of the lips, and then paint each lip carefully with the color you've chosen. Again, you can adjust the effect by changing the Lips layer's Opacity and blend mode. Try Hard Light, Hue, Color, Vivid Light, Linear Light, or Overlay.
Create Cheeks Layer
Create a layer for the cheek color by clicking the Create a new layer button on the Layers palette or choosing Layer, New, Layer from the menu. Name this new layer Cheeks. Change the blend mode of the Cheeks layer to Soft Light.
With the Brush tool still selected, set the foreground color to the blush color you want to use. Alternatively, can press Alt, and when the brush tip changes to an Eyedropper, click the image to sample the existing cheek color. Click the foreground swatch at the bottom of the Toolbox and use the Color Picker to increase the sampled color's saturation (and add a bit more red if you like).
After choosing a blush color, on the Options bar, increase the Size of the brush to around 1/2 to 1/3 the size of one cheek. You might want to decrease the Opacity to around 30% so that you create a subtle effect. Click the Airbrush button on the left end of the Options bar and then click the More Options button and set the Fade setting to a low value such as 9 so that the paint will quickly fade away to nothing as you brush. This will help you apply the blush more naturally to the cheek. For help using the Airbrush, see 117 Paint an Area of a Photo with the Airbrush.
Using short strokes that begin at the highest point of the cheek and move toward the outer edge of the face, paint the blush color onto the cheeks. Do not apply blush closer to the nose than two of the subject's finger widths. Continue applying the blush, creating a small triangle of color on each cheek. Adjust the effect by reducing the Opacity of the Cheeks layer, or by selecting a different blend mode such as Overlay or Hard Light.
View the Result
After you're satisfied with the image, save the PSD file. Then merge the layers together by selecting Layer, Flatten Image and resave the result in JPEG or TIFF format, leaving your PSD image unflattened so that you can return at a later time and make different adjustments if you want.
If this method does not produce the subtle effect you're looking for, erase everything on the Cheeks layer using the Eraser tool and try applying the cheek color again, this time with the Brush tool's Opacity set to 40% or less.
If your subject has a nice blush on her cheeks already, but you want to bring it out more, use the Sponge tool to increase the saturation of color in the cheek area. See 147 Adjust Saturation for a Specific Area.
I decided that I could improve this portrait a bit by adding a touch of makeup. I also used these same techniques to change my hair colorI always wanted to see what I'd look like as a redhead! Look for the before and after images in the Color Gallery.