Realistic Digital Makeup Application in Photoshop

Natalie Portman with Makeup Applied in Post
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Has there ever been a time where you just couldn’t be bothered to apply make-up before a shoot? Or perhaps the eye shadow you opted for just didn’t work. Whatever the case, adding make-up in post in much easier than you think.

Once you get to grips with the basic techniques, the possibilities are endless…

Ready? Let’s roll!

Step 1. Open your chosen image in Photoshop. Try to start with an image that has minimal make-up to begin with as this will allow you more freedom to get creative. Once you have opened your desired image, create a new layer.

Step 2. The first thing we are going to work on is darkening the eyebrows. For this we are going to use a Quick Mask. Select the Quick mask button which can be found under the color swatch on the panel located on right hand side of the screen. Then use a hard edged brush to paint over the eyebrows. Although you have black selected this will come out red, don’t fret this is perfectly normal!

Step 3. Now press the Quick Mask button again. You should be seeing something similar to the image below. Choose Select>Inverse.

Step 4. Choose a color which you would like to use for the eyebrow and use the Paint Bucket tool to fill the selected area.

Step 5. Now change the layer option to Soft Light, and decrease the opacity as you see fit. You can also use the eraser tool with a soft edge brush and a lowered opacity to lightly remove any unwanted colored areas around the brow.

Step 6. Now you have the ability to use Quick Masks to easily change the color of certain features, you can apply the same technique to alter the hair color. I have opted for an reddish auburn color here but feel free to play around with it. Just remember to always start with a new layer. Once you have altered the hair color, if you want to further adjust the tone, contrast or hue etc you can use Image>Adjustments and use any of following the settings to add more emphasis to the alteration.

Step 7. Adding eye shadow is super easy. I have chosen a brown tone as I feel it will look more realistic but you can choose any color of the rainbow for your own image. Create a new layer, set the layer option to Soft Light, and select a soft edge brush. Paint the eye shadow around the eyes and choose different colors to add more depth. Experiment with a range of opacities and brush sizes to create a natural appearance.

Step 8. Now for the blush! Follow the same steps as you did above for the eye shadow on a new layer. When applying the blush try to consider where it would be placed in real life. You can always tone it down later on by reducing the opacity of the layer.

Step 9. Let’s make those lips stand out with a little lipstick. Create a new layer then use the Quick Mask technique to isolate the desired area and fill it with whatever lip color you want. Clean up the edges with the eraser tool. For extra impact and to achieve a deeper color, duplicate the layer.

Your image should now be looking something along the lines of this one below. Fantastic, right?

Step 10. It’s all about the finishing touches. To complete your image all you need to do is flatten the image by selecting Layer>Flatten Image, add a curves layer to sharpen those highlights, midtones and shadows, then spruce the whole thing up with a little dodge and burn.

Use the dodge and burn tool to add depth to your digital make-up. Think about where the light naturally falls and recreate this effect with the dodge and burn tool. Add some shimmer to the lips, bring out the contours of the face, and emphasize the eyes.

There you have it! Digital make-up in ten easy steps. So what are you waiting for…?

Check out the before and after below.

One Response to Realistic Digital Makeup Application in Photoshop

  1. roshy10 says:
    Looks like you also dodged the skin and applied red to the hair

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