Digital Make-up Tutorial: Changing the Lip Color


Yesterday, I just found out that Nov 1 is self-portrait day. Coincidentally, I posted a self-portrait on my earlier post, which makes me celebrate it without knowing not until yesterday.

And in line with that, I would like to share another self-portrait to celebrate Self Portrait week. Not! But instead I’m posting another self-portrait to share one of my favorite Adobe Photoshop Technique — how to change the lip color of your model or actually how color change any part of your model’s face or body. And I mean any part, hair, nail, eyes, eyebrows, lips, eyelids and cheeks! So with the digital world, who needs all those make-up shades?

Oh and before we start, note that this tutorial is not meant for beginners but rather for Intermediate Photoshop users, who has an idea about the concepts of masking and blending.

For your reference, here’s a photo of me changing lip color in a breeze. And I tell you, you can think of any shades that you want, including neon green and orange.

How to do it?

  1. Open Image – Layer – Duplicate Image. Duplicate your main image to avoid damaging your original photo just in case you don’t like the final outcome. To be honest, I do this all the time when editing any photo. I would like to preserve my original image for when the time comes that I would like to use the same image on a different or better processing.
  2. Press Q to  Enter Quick Mask. Select the brush tool. Make sure that the foreground selected is black.  Paint over part of the image that you want to color change. Once painted, the body part (ie.lips) should have a red overlay. If any case you have mispainted any other part, select the white color as foreground color and repaint the parts you don’t want to change color. The white paint will serve as an eraser .
  3. Press Q (again) to exit quick mask. During this step, the whole image except the painted area (ex. the lips) will be selected.
  4. Select Inverse. Go to Select tab > Inverse. This step will select the part you want to change.
  5. Copy and Paste. Click Ctrl + C Then Ctrl+P. This will copy your selected area and automatically paste it on another layer.
  6. With your new layer selected (lips layer), Go to Image > Adjustments> Hue and Saturation.
  7. On the Hue and Saturation window, Select Colorize, then adjust the colors to your liking by moving the scroll bars of Hue, Saturation and Lightness. Experiment! Tip: Check the Preview check box to view the outcome just before you click the Ok button. Click OK after you have decided which color you want to apply.
  8. Blend Blend blend. Same with the real makeup, it has to be well blended, no harsh and visible lines. With the lip layer still selected, decide if you still need to blend the color of the lips. From the layers pallete, Select layer blend effect drop down.  For this image, I selected overlay to achieve the effect. You can choose different blending effect depending on what you would like to achieve.
  9. Optional: If you find the color/ shade to strong you may adjust the layer’s opacity option to 80% or 50%

Tip: you can also try this technique for the eyes and the cheeks. remember my first digital makeup post? I actually applied the same technique on the eyes and cheeks to enhance its color and make it more vibrant.

So there you have it! It may sound or look too complicated to do, but If you’ll get the hang of it, I think it’ll only take you a few minutes to do your own digital make-up! Try it and get some red lippies on, like mine. *smack

Another Self portrait

2 Responses to “Digital Make-up Tutorial: Changing the Lip Color”

  1. Hey Karen

    Nice tutorial here. I can see how this could be applied to photography, an excellent technique.
    I couldn’t help but consider applying the masks tool to digital painting – a perfect way to go back in and apply a color or texture to a certain material without having to worry about painting over other parts of the image. I haven’t played much with the different blending modes in photoshop, which I ought to do. I’m going to give it a shot when I get a chance. Thanks!


    • masking is so much helpful right? glad to be of any help. let me know if you have questions along the way once you give it a try. Goodluck!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: