1. Photograph: Where You Begin Is Where You End Up
Before you start glossing up the lips and expect beautiful results, it is important to note that the better quality photograph you begin with, the better your finished result will be. Large, well lit, beautiful pictures work best. In this picture we will be retouching Miss Pennsylvania USA contestant, Marissa Rule, who I had the opportunity to work with briefly in early 2014.
2. Blemish Correction
We’re not really going to cover “retouching” lips in this tutorial, however for the purposes of this image, we do need to get rid of a stray hair that has found it’s way the the lip area of Marissa’s face. I created a new layer and named it “Blemishes”. Next, with my Healing Brush (J) set to heal “Current and Below”, I quickly painted away that strand of hair by painting on that new layer.
3. Create 50% Gray Layer
Create a new layer and name it “Glossy”. This will be our dodge and burn layer to enhance the shine of the lips. After creating this new layer, go Edit>Fill and choose to fill this layer with “50% Gray”. Hit “OK” and then set this layer to the Blend Mode “Soft Light”.
4. The Dodge Tool
Grab your Dodge Tool (O) and look to the control bar at the top of the working area. Set this tool to the “Midtones” range and I’ve found that typically an exposure of about 25% is perfect for this kind of work. I am also using a tiny brush size. I and simply dodging areas that are already bright, however I am taking additional care to work on the very edges of the ridges and textures on the actual lip. Accentuate the highlights which run along the edges of these ridges on the lip to really give the lips a subtle, yet pronounced, POP!
5. The Burn Tool
Next up, grab the Burn Tool (O) and set the range here to “Midtones” as well and set the exposure a little higher than the Dodge Tool, I’m rolling with about 40%. We want to begin painting over the depressed areas of the lips. I like to focus on the deeper, dark lines typically found along the small textured ridges in the texture of the lips.
6. Intensify and Turn It Back
Lastly, I want to duplicate this dodge and burn layer to double the intensity of the overall gloss. I’ll then reduce the opacity of this layer until the gloss looks just right.