Introduction: Photoshop Tutorial Project: Fixing Poor Makeup and Applying Elements

In this tutorial we will be taking an unflattering image and editing it to appear more professional and remove any unwanted items. We will specifically be using tools such as the Clone Stamp tool, Spot Healing brush, Selection tool, Layer masks, and Adjustment layers to complete this tutorial. Ultimately this guide should be an easy way to understand the fundamentals of editing in Photoshop and can be a good way to begin practicing how to do so.


  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Base image
  • Background image
  • additional image

Step 1: Using the Clone Tool to Eliminate Unwanted Features

In this scenario we are aiming to get rid of the excess lipstick around this woman's lips. Select the clone tool and select an area of the face that is consistent with the skin tone. Carefully place that one around the mouth to eliminate the majority of the lipstick. We will fine tune any leftover marks in the following steps.

Step 2: Using the Spot Healing Brush

After using the cloning tool there is leftover shadows left where they should not be, creating an unusual protrusion affect around her mouth. We will use the spot healing tool to correct the tone around the face and make it appear more normal. Select the spot healing brush and carefully mark around the mouth area until the skin tone is well blended.

Step 3: Removing Items With the Lasso Tool

In this case the lipstick applier looks strange in the photo now that there is no makeup being applied where it was placed. We will remove the hand holding the lipstick so the focus of the image will be the womans face instead of her messily applying the lipstick. In order to do this, select the lasso tool and select the hand as closely as possible.

Step 4: Using the Move Tool/ Cut Tool

After the hand has been selected we want to remove it. In order to do so, press crtl + x or use the move tool to displace the area off the canvas.

Step 5: Reconstructing With the Spot Healing Brush and Smudge Tool

Because the hand covered the neck and shoulder line partially, we need to make up for the area left. Select the spot healing brush once more and trace the general outline of her neck and shoulder line in comparison with what we can see. This can be quite tricky to keep 100% proportional, so use the smudge tool to realign certain areas of the face, for example the jaw line.

Step 6: Blurring Impurities

Now that the neck and shoulder line has been reconstructed, blur the jawline to blend in with the blurring of the previous image and to get rid of any noticeable shape/color differences in the edited area.

Step 7: Choose a Background

Select any background you'd like to use for the final image. We want to add a background to create a more vibrant image in the end.

Step 8: Using Layer Masks

In order to create a clean cut out to put on our new background, use the quick selection tool to highlight the form of the woman. Once that is done, look to the bottom right of the screen where a circle boxed inside a rectangle labeled "vector masks" is visible. Click that icon and fine tune any blotchy areas surrounding the woman using the brush tool to mask it. Using a vector, or layer mask, is beneficial because it provides a way to eliminate certain elements of a piece in a non-destructive way. You can always remove the layer mask to return the image back to its original form.

Step 9: Adding Other Elements

Because we are aiming to make this photo look more lively, we will edit the expression of the woman slightly to make her seem more happy and enthusiastic in the photo. In this case, the easiest and most noticeable thing to adjust on her face is her eyes. We will select an image of eyes that follow the general direction of the woman's face angle and work from there. In this example I used the image shown above.

Step 10: Layer Masking Other Elements

To remove the excess area of the eyes we are imposing on the woman, we will use a layer mask again. Following the previous time we used a layer mask, we will select the area we primarily want to keep (in this case the eyes only). Apply the layer mask and gently brush out any remaining parts of the eye you do not want with a soft brush.

Step 11: Adding Adjustment Layers and Final Touch-ups

There is some noticeable tone differences between the background, woman, and eyes in our new picture. We can eliminate some of the noticeable blending by adding an adjustment layer to mask certain colors underneath it. Go down to the bottom right corner and select the icon that looks like a circle split in half diagonally. Select color balance in the pop-up list. You can choose what type of colors you'd like to put on the image, but in this case I chose to make the overall image somewhat more contrasted and cooler in color to hide the blending between the background and the outline of the woman. Doing this also makes the face pop out more, which is our key subject in this photo. At this time you also may do some minor touch-ups to the image as well (for example I made the lips slightly larger to make them look more proportionate on the reconstructed face) You now have you're new edited photo!