So you had a photo shoot on Saturday morning and it seems that your model partied hard the night before? She’s holding up well, but there are eye bags that give her away. This video tutorial from Mathieu Stern will show you how to remove the eye bags in under a minute. Instead of using the Healing Brush or Clone Stamp, it relies on modifying curves and masking. It preserves the texture of the skin and removes the dark areas under the eyes, and it takes a few steps in Photoshop.
Note that this tutorial won’t work that well for the massive, swollen eye bags, as it only evens out the color. Other Photoshop tools can heal those, or some decent sleep. But if the areas under the eyes are just dark and not too swollen, this technique does a pretty good job! In the video, you have Mathieu’s example on a gorgeous portrait. And as an owner of quite visible eye bags, I used my selfie for demonstration.
How to do it?
1- Duplicate layer and add New Adjustment Layer > Curves.
2- Click on Thumbnail of the adjustment layer, and then double-click the color picker to set black points.
3- With the color picker, choose light skin color and save the new target colors as default. When you’ve done this, click on the dark skin color. The photo will appear brighter and with changed tones.
4- Click on the Layer Mask Thumbnail of the “Curves” adjustment layer. Now go to Image > Adjustments> Invert, or press Ctrl + I (Cmd + I on Mac). The image should now be back the way it was.
5- Now it’s time to mask out those eye bags. Choose Brush tool and the color white. Adjust the size and feather of the brush. Make sure to reduce opacity, or else the changes will look everything but natural.
After this, simply draw on the dark areas under the eyes. You’ll see the brighter tones appear and the skin look more like the area around them. Change brush opacity if you need to, depending on the photo. I had to reduce it more for the left side of the image, as this side of the face is darker. These were my results:
I must admit I’m in love with the Mathieu Stern’s series of short Photoshop tutorials. And considering that I’ve had prominent eye bags for the most of my life, this one is my favorites so far. In only a few steps, I can look at least half-decent in self-portraits. Although I do need to get some sleep, too. :)
How do you like this tutorial? How do you usually get rid of the eye bags on a model or in a self-portrait?