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Beautify a Face

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6. Increase definition of the eyes

We have learned in our previous steps that it's important to have the focus on the eyes and how Photoshop can help us with that. In this step we're going to increase that focus by increasing the contrast in the eyes by brightening the whites and making the eyelashes darker.

Add a new layer by clicking on the Create a new Layer icon New Layer in the layers palette.
Rename this layer to  Eyes .

Go to the menu and select Edit / Fill...
Select 50% Gray and click OK.

Fill window (50% gray)

Set the blending mode of this layer to Soft Light: Soft Light blending mode

What we've done is creating a 50% Gray layer with a blending mode of Soft Light. This will have no effect on our image as you might have discovered. However... when we make parts of this gray layer darker or lighter it will actually effect the brightness values of the image underneath. More about this Photoshop technique can be found in my Non-Destructive Editing Photoshop tutorial.

Select the Dodge Tool Dodge Toolin the tool bar. With the Dodge Tool selected make sure that in the options bar the option Exposure is set to 100%:

Dodge Tool - Options Bar settings

Note: normally this value would be much lower (quite often below 10%) if we were to use this tool directly on an image (without using a 50% Gray layer), but this is not the case right now. The option Range doesn't matter; you can set it to any value because it doesn't have any effect on our results.

Continue by changing the brush options of the Dodge Tool by clicking on the button marked with A.
Set Master Diameter to 2 and Hardness to 0%:

Dodge Tool brush settings

Zoom in on the left eye with 500%. Start by moving over the largest white areas while holding down the left mouse button (avoid touching the iris, eyelashes or skin). Only release the mouse button when you're done. Don't go over the same area a second time after releasing the mouse button.
Use the same approach for the right eye.

The difference will be hardly noticeable at first, but by turning on/off this layer in your layers palette you'll notice that it's quite an improvement. Again, switching layers is the best way to figure out whether you made the correct adjustments.

If you prefer a stronger effect, then can drag and drop this layer with the mouse on the Create a New Layer icon New Layer in the layers palette...

Duplicate Layer

...and lowering its opacity until you like what you see.

Continue by Locking the Eyes layer (and the duplicate of this layer if you have one).

MouseOver

Eyes (white) - Before/After

 

Time to work on the eyelashes. Add a new layer by clicking on the Create a new Layer icon New Layer in the layers palette.
Rename this layer to Eyelashes . Fill this layer with 50% Gray like we did with the eyes, but this time set the blending mode of this layer in the layers palette to Overlay. I've chosen overlay, because it gives me more contrast than the Soft Light blending mode would have given me.
Select the Burn ToolBurn Toolin the tool bar. The brush size we're going to use is 3, the hardness is 0% and Exposure is set to 100%. Again, the range option doesn't matter.

Zoom in on the left eye with 500%. Move your mouse cursor over the upper eyelashes while holding down the left mouse button. Only release the mouse button when you're done. It's the same story as with the eyes; don't go over the same area a second time after releasing the mouse button.
Use the same approach for the right eye.

If you prefer to do the lower eyelashes too (hardly visible, so I wouldn't advice it), then do this on a new layer, again filled with 50% Gray and a blending mode set to overlay and lower the opacity of this layer, because the effects are probably going to be too strong. Of course you can also consider to lower the opacity of the layer with the upper eyelashes.

Lock the Eyelashes layer.

MouseOver

Eye lashes - Before/After


Notice that the difference is minimal, but that's mainly caused by the low resolution and quality of the original image. You'll have better results with other images that you edit in Photoshop.

7. Fix Hair

We going to fix the hair to hide her right ear. First let's look at the following image:

Hair that needs to be fixed

The line A-B marks the length of the ear. With hair it's important to clone with large strokes, as if we're painting strains of hair, this to avoid patterns and in the end gives the "new" hair a more natural look. In order to be able to make full strokes between A and B (the full length of the ear), we need to set the source of the Clone Stamp Tool somewhere close to C. It is preferred that the distance between B and C is slightly larger than the distance between A and B so that we're able to cover the complete ear.

Add a new layer by clicking on the Create a new Layer icon New Layer in the layers palette.
Rename this layer to  Hair .

Select the Clone Stamp Tool Clone Stamp Toolin the tool bar.
Now compare the settings in Photoshop's options bar with the ones I used:

Clone Stamp tool - Option Bar settings

Make sure that you have the same settings (the hardness of the brush is 0%).

Some might wonder; instead of using an opacity of 100% why not use something like 30% and cloning over the same area several times? The reason is that cloning over the same area with a 30% opacity tends to blur the fine strains of hair. A lower opacity however can be used at a later stage to fine tune the results after using the Clone Stamp Tool which was set to a 100% opacity.

With the Clone Stamp Tool selected, hold down the Alt key (Option key on the Mac) and move the cursor to the area marked with C in the previous image of the hair. Press and release your left mouse button (which will mark the source area for the Clone Stamp Tool) and release the Alt key (option key on the Mac).

Zoom in on the ear with about 200% and start at the left, place the cursor on the lower part of the ear, press the left mouse button and move the cursor upwards under the same angle (parallel) as the other strains of hair and release the mouse button when you've covered the top of the ear and repeat this whole process again, but this time start slightly to the right:

Hot to use the Clone Stamp tool

It should be possible to cover the ear in 3 or 4 strokes. When you're done, look for patterns and fix them with the same Clone Stamp Tool and change its size (remember the [ and ] shortcuts) or source if you have to. Turn the layer off /on a few times to get a feeling how well you're doing. You might also need the Burn or Dodge Tool to control the brightness levels in some areas, but make sure that you select a pretty large size and rather low exposure setting in the options bar like 10% or lower if you do so.

I can't show you a straightforward Photoshop technique to clone hair, because quite often there are many steps involved. All I can advice is to experiment and to be patient. Also remember that to combination of the Clone Stamp Tool with other tools is highly recommended (if necessary).

Lock the Hair layer.

MouseOver

Hair - Before/After

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