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Photoshop Tips: Tan Skin Tone

Oct 30, 2006 5 Comments

tan skin tone

Someone emailed me and asked how to make the golden/tan skin tone as seen in many movie posters and magazine advertisements. Believe it or not, the effect can be achieved by just couple mouse clicks. Here is a quick Photoshop tutorial to show you how to make a tan skin tone effect and apply makeups on the model. Let’s take a look at the image below, the left image is original photo and the right is final image.

Before & After

compare image

1. Overlay Layer

Open the original document that you want to apply the effect. Go to Layer > Duplicate Layer (or press Cmd + J) to duplicate the original layer. Set the duplicated layer Blending mode to Overlay. Then adjust the Opacity to 70%. The Opacity may be vary, depend on the brightness and color of your original photo source.

step 1

2. Highlight Spots

Select the original layer. Choose the Brush tool, set brush Size = 200px, Mode = Color Dodge and Opacity = 10%. Use the Eyedropper tool to pick a sample skin color from the image (Option+Click on the image). Gently brush on the areas that you want to be shine.

step 2

3. Eyeshadow

Make a selection around the eyelid, go to Selection > Feather (Cmd+Option+D) to feather the selection by 5px. Make a new layer and fill the selection with a light pink color. Then set the blending mode to Hue.

step 3

Make another selection slightly smaller than the pink layer. Again, feather it by 5px. Fill it with a blue purple color and set the blending mode to Darken.

step 3b

4. Eyeliner

Make a selection of the eyeliner. Feather it by 3px. Make a new layer. Use the Gradient tool (pick a green color, select Foreground to Transparent), then drag from the lower corner to the upper corner of the selection. Adjust the blending mode to Multiply.

step 4


Use the same technique to finish off the left eye. You may also use this technique to apply the color of the lip, blush, etc.

final image

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5 Comments… +add yours?

  1. Feb 17, 2010 @ 09:48:39

    Weddings Fashion

    wowww what a tip man, thats very nice work, i will try it in my cs2

  2. Mar 03, 2010 @ 21:11:55


    I will also try it for myself its fun.
    Perfect Tan

  3. Mar 15, 2010 @ 06:50:00

    Seo Service India

    i have done Use the same technique to finish off the left eye

  4. Jun 11, 2010 @ 06:55:55


    gr8 effect…! just loved it…

  5. Jun 22, 2010 @ 09:56:14


    Using your methods…

    The Photoshop procedures are good, but,
    The model went from a human being to a plastic mannequin.
    Seems to work if an orange effect is wanted.

    If I saw a person on the beach turn that color I would call an EMT.

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