This is the cheapest (and least painful) facelift you will ever have! As we all know, there are good "facelifts" where you look like you just returned from a relaxing vacation (Vacation Lift), and, of course, there are bad facelifts where everyone knows you have had a facelift (Drastic Lift). Depending on how the image will be used, you may be asked to do one or the other type of wrinkle removal, so let’s do both.
Select the Clone Stamp Tool S and change the size to about the size of her irises, 0% Hardness, 30% Opacity. Starting close to her nose, option-click (PC: Alt-click) the area at the top of her cheek and below the wrinkles under her eye to select what you will clone, then click and swipe the cursor under her eye across the wrinkles. Continue clicking and cloning the under-eye area until the wrinkles are softened, but still visible (change the Size as needed). Move to the other eye and repeat. Notice this also brightens the darkness under the eyes.
Now move to the nose/mouth area. With the Clone Stamp Tool at the same settings work on the nasolabial creases (or the parentheses). Option-click (PC: Alt-click) the area on her cheek that is parallel to the crease and, starting where the nose and crease meet, swipe down the crease just one time.
She looks “refreshed” but we want to make sure we didn’t over-do the image. Click at the top of the History Window (in order to see the image as it looked when you first opened it), and click again on the last bar in the History Window, going back and forth a few times (so you can see the “Before” and “After”). (REMEMBER: do not perform any other action until you click on the last bar of the History Window and its highlighted again, otherwise, you will erase everything that was showing on the History Panel!) If anything looks over-done, use the History Brush Tool Y with Opacity between 20-30%. Size according to the area, and Hardness 0% to bring back what was there.
Now all we have left to do is clean up any other distractions like the pigmentation on her nose, obvious pores in her skin, the shadow around her nose, and anything else that may look distracting.
Before & After Vacation Lift
Select the Clone Stamp Tool S and change the Size to smaller than the size of her irises, 0% Hardness, 60% Opacity. Starting close to her nose, option-click (PC: Alt-click) the area at the top of her cheek and below the wrinkles under her eye to select what you will clone, then click and swipe the cursor under and around the outside of her eye over the wrinkles. Continue to click and clone until the wrinkles and darkness under the eyes are gone (change the Size as needed). Move to the other eye and repeat.
Now with the Clone Stamp Tool at the same settings, click and eliminate any imperfections on the rest of the face, without changing the color and shading of the skin as much as possible.
Now it’s time to bring back some of the wrinkles and skin texture by using the History Brush Tool Y Opacity 30%, Size 80, and Hardness 0%. But first we need to remember where we started and click at the top of the History Window (same as in STEP 3 of the Vacation Lift above — REMEMBER: do not perform any other action until you click on the last bar of the History Window and it’s highlighted again, otherwise, you will erase everything that was showing on the History Panel!)
With the History Brush Tool, go over the whole image one time. Then decrease the Opacity to 20% and the Size to 20 and go over any areas where you want to bring texture or shading back. We went over both corners of the eyes, the corners of the lips, the area around the nostrils, and the area above the lips one or two more times. Sometimes when we bring back the shading we want, we also bring the wrinkles, blemishes and/or skin discolorations back. Use the Clone Stamp Tool changing the Size as needed to the size of the area, 0% Hardness, and 30% Opacity.
To bring back a little shadowing under the eye, use the Burn Tool O Exposure 20%, Size 45, and Hardness 0% and swipe one time under each eye.
The lips are the only other give-away to this woman’s age. Use the Clone Stamp Tool changing the Size as needed to the size of the area, 0% Hardness, and 30% Opacity and smooth out some of the wrinkles and unevenness, using the History Brush Tool if you make a mistake. Lastly, if the final image looks too over-done (which it does), use the History Brush Tool with Opacity between 20-30%, Size to fit the area, and Hardness 0% to bring back the original skin/texture. Our final sweep with the History Brush Tool was at 20% Opacity.
Before & After Drastic Lift
Usually when we retouch family portraits, female clients will sometimes say they want drastic wrinkle removal when they really only want the wrinkles softened. As you can see in the Vacation Lift, when uneven skin pigmentation is smoothed out it makes a big difference in the youthfulness of the skin. Men, on the other hand, rarely want much wrinkle removal – even the Vacation Lift is too over-done. Remember to use the “Facelift” option gently and sparingly – A lighter touch with this tool is usually the better choice.