Month: December 2014

Adding cosmetics after the fact – simpler than you think!

Insomnia is great for a couple of things – video game completion, seeing every post on Facebook ever, and of course, doing horrible, horrible things in Photoshop.

Since I’m not sure what the results will be at the start, I usually use images of myself that I’ve taken for other art portraits to test new ideas. ┬áThe results range from useful to hysterically awful.

This particular one might be something to add to your portrait arsenal, so I’ll share.

The image I used is a few months old:


This is the completely unedited file, sporting the fabulous unbrushed and unwashed hair from the ‘I’m home sick’ school of media design. I’m sure you have better ones laying around.

DON’T paint directly on the original image. At least not for something like this. That will result in a series of headaches that just aren’t any fun.

This is a job for layers!

Using the selection tool of your choice (I used lasso, but whatever works for you) select the part of the face that you’d like to change the color of. I copied that selection to a new layer, refining the path with some feathering – feathering is basically adding a vignette of transparency to the chosen selection. The more feathering, the greater the area.

Once you have your new layer, you can adjust the color and transparency to your heart’s content, blending the new color over your original work file.

One thing to keep in mind – your feathering also affects how far the change will go. For the blush, I added a great deal of blending. For the lipstick, be more conservative, or you may change the color outside the line of the mouth.

For lips, adding a little highlight shine doesn’t hurt either.

Final result:


I did a total glamazon makeover to amuse myself, but this technique can be as subtle or intense as you choose to make it.

Have fun!