Makeup Editing/Removal

Whether it be part of retouching a portrait, or just for fun, removing and modifying makeup on your computer is a nice skill to have.

There are lots of ways to do this, but after looking at different techniques from others, here’s what I’ve found works for me.

Image that I used:


First, I duplicated the background layer.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 3.28.41 PM

I started with the eye makeup. I used the brush tool, softened the edges and change the blending mode of the brush to either “hue” or “color”. I picked “hue”. It looked better for this photo.

I then sampled her skin tone as my paint color and painted over the eyeshadow to calm down the bright colors.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 3.32.50 PM

Next, I wanted to reduce the area of eye makeup. Frequency Separation is a wonderful technique for that. I copied this layer to start. I use Affinity Photo for my editing, and Frequency Separation is a built in feature.

On the low frequency layer, I used the clone stamp tool with 100% soft edges, and a low to medium opacity.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 3.42.32 PM

Sampled her skin, and started cloning where I wanted less or no makeup: her brow bone and inner corner.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 3.42.08 PM

Next up: her lip color.

I selected her lips on the low frequency layer, and smoothed and feathered the selection with the “refine” feature.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 3.49.54 PM

Using a HSL adjustment layer, I made her lip color more natural than the original pink. I set Hue at -12.2, Saturation at -15, and Luminosity at -3.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 3.55.51 PM

I noticed that her eye shadow application was uneven. (Darker on her left eye than her right). So, I burned where needed to even things out.

Before and After!

Makeup Before and After


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