Lips are almost as important as eyes in a retoucher’s list of priorities. A simple retouch would be to burn the line where the lips meet, then enhance the tones with an Adjustment Layer.
Besides boosting the colours, there are other useful techniques to make the most of your subject’s lips.
If you’d like to alter lipstick colour, add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer – just as we did when retouching the eyes – or you can even make them fuller.
Just draw a loose selection, feather it by 10 pixels then enlarge with Transform Mode.
How to retouch lips
01 Burn the gap
Press Cmd/Ctrl+C to duplicate your Background layer, then select the Burn tool from the Tools Panel. In the Options bar, set range to Midtones, and Exposure to 15%. Using a soft-edged brush, draw along the line where the lips meet to give them more definition.
02 Adjust the tones
Click on the Create Adjustment Layer icon in the Layers Panel and choose Curves. Draw an S-shaped curve with two points to boost contrast, then choose Red from the RGB drop-down menu and push the curve up – use different colour settings for other colours. Hit OK.
03 Add a mask
Press Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert the Curves Layer Mask and hide the adjustment, then grab the Brush tool from the Tools Panel. Hit D to reset white as your colour and paint over the lips to reveal the tones. Finally, play with the Opacity of the Curves layer to fine-tune the effect.