Home > Tutorials > Photoshop Tutorials > Performing A Make-Over Via Photoshop’s Soft Light Blend Mode

Performing A Make-Over Via Photoshop’s Soft Light Blend Mode

I have previously briefly touched upon working with colors inside a photo in order to change a persons hair color or eye color. This tutorial expands a little bit upon the previous one and helps set some basic procedures for some of the more common functions required for a makeover in Photoshop, such as applying a tan, changing the eye color, and enhancing the lip colors. While there are many different ways to accomplish these tasks, in this tutorial I will focus primarily with using the Brush tool combined with the Soft Light layer blend mode.

First off, our starting image:

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 11.05.42 AM

We’ll start this off by giving her a slightly warmer skin tone. Essentially applying a fake tan, if you will. So, create a new layer above your starting image and fill it with a nice dark brown. I used color code #7A3B22 for this specific image, however you can get fairly flexible with this.

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 11.06.11 AM

Once you have this layer created, set the Blend Mode for the layer to Soft Light. This should give you’re model a nice even tan while maintaining the original lighting. I have the following result:

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 11.06.46 AM

Now that we have given her a slight tan, lets change the eye color to something a bit more green. To do so create a new layer, then choose a brush with a pixel size slightly smaller than the models eyes in your image. With an opacity set at about 60%, paint the eyes a bright green color. Focus more towards the center, leaving the outskirts more opaque. This will help maintain a realistic look for the eyes. Once you are done, change the blend mode for your eyes layer to Soft Light as-well. Here is what I have:

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 11.13.37 AM


Now with a tan, and bright eyes, her lips are simply way too pale. To give the lips a little extra punch, go ahead and choose the Magnetic Lasso Tool and outline the lips. Then choose a bright color and paint over the lips on a new layer. As I am sure you already guessed, set this layer’s blend mode to Soft Light.

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 11.15.50 AM


Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 11.16.20 AM

If you did not get quiet the desired outcome with the lips, or eyes, or tan – you can now select either of those layers and open up the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Tool to quickly change any of the colors and further enhance or dull them.

Here is my final image, with the original one on the right hand side of it for comparison:




About Michael Boguslavskiy

Michael Boguslavskiy is a full-stack developer & online presence consultant based out of New York City. He's been offering freelance marketing & development services for over a decade. He currently manages Rapid Purple - and online webmaster resources center; and Media Explode - a full service marketing agency.

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