May 01, 2014

How to Create Realistic Eye Makeup in Photoshop

Principles of Applying Eye Makeup

If you are going to apply makeup in Photoshop it is important to understand some basics on how real makeup is applied. Makeup does not make people look better on it’s own, it must be applied correctly. There is a huge difference between well applied makeup and poorly applied makeup. The same is true in Photoshop. In today’s episode, we show you how to create realistic eye makeup in photoshop.

This episode starts out with some of the basics of makeup application. We talk about how to open up the eye using eye shadow. We also show you several different eye shadow applications, each of which serves a different purpose.

Blending in Eye Makeup

Eye shadow is applied in Photoshop using the brush tool and a layer set to Multiply blending mode. This will make sure the color blends into the skin and looks more realistic.

The trick is to make the changes look like they are natural and not done in Photoshop. To add skin texture back into the makeup we use Blend-If to lessen the visibility of the eye shadow over the skin highlights.

Creating Eyelashes in Photoshop

You can spend time drawing in your own eyelashes but we have found that using eyelash brushes is the way to go.

In this tutorial we show you how to download and use eyelash brushes from a great resource – Obsidian Dawn.

Contouring the Face in Photoshop

To finish off the tutorial we show you how to contour a face. Contouring will help draw more contrast between highlights and shadow and bring out features like cheek bones and eyebrow arches.


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    Aku Pöllänen

    Great tutorial once again! Especially the contouring tip is something i would see myself using for some cases! Thanks a lot!!

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      You are very welcome @akupollanen:disqus! Glad you enjoyed this episode!!

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    Great as usual Phlearn but I have a lot of custom brushes from the internet to Bellevue Avenues eyelash brushes, and find myself always just drawing in my own. There is a setting in the brush panel where you can Fade the brush. Find the right amount and the brush looks amazing.

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    Aaron could you provide a tutorial on using Photoshop to create a “high key” look. I tend to shoot darker dramatic style and use Photoshop for enhancing that look.

    But one reason is that many of my attempts at high key style don’t come out very good. The exception is when using your Pro Wedding Photographer tutorial. Those techniques work well but I do not understand the basic principles of why it works. If I take an image and try to create a high key look The feeling is not right. I am not sure what I should do with hue and saturation, and how to handle shadow and highlight, what to do with skin tones…to create something that works.

    I am having fun trying, but if you could nudge me and others in the right direction that would be awesome.

    But even if you don’t pick this idea, thank you so much for all the knowledge you share here every day on Phlearn!

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    Keith Darch

    Outstanding as always, Aaron.
    I’ll be shooting a theme inspired by Will Cotton in the next few weeks and wondered if there is a way to build a virtual cotton candy set in Photoshop. There will be a basic set so it would be a case of adding elements to complete the image…….the problem I’ve encountered is making the cotton candy look convincing on a large scale, even when using various cotton/cloud brushes I have found.
    If you choose to make a tutorial on this, that would be awesomeness, but otherwise, any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

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    Great quick tutorial. I wonder why you chose to use multiply and screen for the cheek instead of a dodge and burn. Are you just showing a different way?

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      Leszek Frankowski

      You mean the Dodge and Burn Photoshop tools? I think there’s no real point to using them. First of all they’re destructive unless you use them on 50% gray layer set to Overlay/Soft Light etc.

      But even then they’re not nearly as flexible as this technique. Imagine you want to clip another layer to be visible only on the part that you dodged/burned. Can’t do that with 50% gray.

      And even more importantly, it’s sometimes beneficial to add a bit of color when you’re dodging/burning instead of just changing the lightness. Can’t do that with Dodge/Burn tools either.

      Sure, they have this thing where you can restrict the tool to Highlights/Shadows/Midtones but you can do that much more precisely using Blend If layer style.

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        You can clip a selective color adjustment layer to the 50% gray layer and add color that way when you dodge and burn. It’s the way I do it anyways.

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      Hi @wholewitt:disqus! Yes! It’s just a different way! Everything is a preference 🙂 In the end, its what works best for you 🙂

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    Raf Geekee

    Hi Aaron, I have a video request 🙂 . I am a bearded dude much like yourself (although your beard is soo much more awesome then mine) but i have a problem. Every time i take a pic, My beard just looks like a bunch of black mass on my face. It would be real awesome of you if you could create a lesson for bringing out the details of facial hair while keeping the rest of the image intact. I notice a lot of fashion photo’s emphasise the highlights but i cant figure out how they do it.

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    How about a video on removing 5 o’ clock shadow? I have certain ways, but would love to see how you do it.

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    Kate Smith

    I have a suggestion! A tutorial on how to remove redness from the whites of the eyes… That would be awesome!

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    Sandeep B V

    An awesome tutorial. Understood a lot about how to make a face realistic. Am using the same for making my cartoon images look more realistic. Also one of the best tutorials I have come across that gave a good understanding of getting the cheeks right. 🙂

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    Superb tutorial, Aaron and stunning web site as well. It gave me more than paid lessons in terms of understanding advanced photoshop methods. Really appreciating your talent and your time. Thank you, dear Aaron. With the love and best wishes from Ukraine.

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    cheers for the tutorial. you guys have me hooked! one thing i was hoping you could do a tutorial on, was how to achieve “black skin” like in this example attached. I have been dying to find out for ages. Love your work. Take it easy. cheers.

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    Russell Brown

    Learning so much from your tutorials, would enjoy seeing you working on some food photography.

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    Bill Broere

    Some very cool tips on the eye makeup! Easy to follow and very real, awesome results!

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    Leanne Hardy

    Thanks again Aaron – you do a tremendous job of sharing your awesome knowledge with us.
    Really appreciate it.

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    Great video tutorial! I watched a lot of these before I learn myself. 🙂