HOW TO RETOUCH: Pt. 4 Retouch Eyes, Lips, Eyebrows – Photoshop Tutorial


We’re up to part 4 of this 12-part series! Today we’ll talk about all those important facial details, how to retouch eyes professionally, how to clean up a pair of lips, and how to trim the eyebrows to get a perfect line and cover any stray hair. We’ll tag-team off of the frequency separation that we created in part 3 to get rid of veins in the eyes and talk about working with our layers to trim the edges of the eyebrows.

See All 12 Parts!

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Part 1: Camera RAW Processing

Part 2: How to Liquify & Pushing Pixels

Part 3: How to Retouch the Skin

Part 4: How to Retouch Eyes, Lips, & Eyebrows

Part 5: How to Retouch Hair

Part 6: Dodging and Burning the Photo


Part 7: How to Get Moody Contrast & Tone

Part 8: How to Color Grade the Photo

Part 9: How to Sharpen the Photo

Part 10: The Benefits of Destructive Editing

Part 11: Create Lens Flare and Digital Lighting

Part 12: Tone Smoothing Grain and Finishing


DOWNLOAD my free action for retouching eyes professionally by clicking here!

1. Retouching the Lips/Eyes


Because we have already set up our frequency separation layers (as we discussed back in part 3 [LINK]) we can go ahead and use our Healing Brush tool and make sure we set this tool to sample only from the current layer using the drop-down menu up in the control bar at the top of the screen. Sample and paint over the any blemishes on the lips and any veins in the whites of the eyes with a very small brush tip on this tool to dust away any blemishes in the eyes/lips and really clean things up using this method.

2. Add Gloss to the Lips



One quick way to add contrast and gloss to lips is to create two new layer sand use a very small brush and paint over the bright parts of the lips with white on one of the new layers and then paint over the little shadowy areas with black on the other layer. Blur both layers by a couple pixels using Filter>Gaussian Blur and then set both layers to the blend mode Soft Light and reduce the opacity until it looks realistic. NOTE: I duplicated the highlights layer to give a little more “zip” to the gloss on her lips.

3. Begin Retouching the Eyes


The first step to retouching the eyes is to create two Curves Adjustment Layers and set one to the blend mode Color Dodge and the other to the blend mode Color Burn and fill each layer’s mask with black to make the crazy lighting disappear.

4. Brighten and Darken Eyes


I’m looking to paint in these masks that we created to gently boost the brightness of the bottom of the eyes, around the iris’, and a quick dab on the catchlights to brighten them as well. I look to darken the little bits around the edge of the iris and the edges of the eye. I circled the bits I want to brighten with yellow and the bits I want to darken with blue.

5. Darken the Eyes


I set the opacity of my Brush tool (B) to 10% and set my foreground color to white. I’m going to use a small, soft-edged brush and paint gently around the edges of the iris’ and then dab a little darkness on the edge of the exposed whites of the eyes. Adjust the opacity of the Color Burn Curves Adjustment Layer if you need to lessen this effect.

6. Brighten the Eyes


I’ll use that same small, soft-edged brush set to an opacity of 10% and dab some brightness in the bottom of the iris’ and a quick stroke of brightness following around the edge of the iris, but not painting on the actual iris.

7. Neutralize/Get Rid of Eye Redness



Create a Vibrance/Saturation Adjustment Layer and reduce Vibrance to -50. Fill the mask for that Adjustment Layer with black. Grab your Brush tool (B) and set the opacity of the brush to 50% and paint over the whites of the eyes to neutralize and redness or yellowness that may be in the eyeball. TIP: This is also a great way to naturally brightness teeth without making them look unnaturally white.

8. Trimming the Eyebrows


To get a nice, sharp line across the top of the eyebrows, I like to use the Pen tool (P) and draw a path across the top of the eyebrow and complete the selection (check out the video to see exactly what I did) and then hit Cmd + Return (Mac) or Ctrl + Enter (PC) to load the path as a selection. Select the Lasso tool (L) and use your arrow keys to nudge the selection downward to overlap some of the eyebrow hair. Create a new layer and use the Healing Brush tool and sample skin from a little above the eyebrows on the forehead and paint over the top of the eyebrow with skin to “trim” away any unevenness in the top of the eyebrow.

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