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Photoshop Elements Tutorial: Tricks for Removing Under Eye Circles

by Erin Peloquin on March 8, 2013 · 7 comments

Removing under eye circles in Photoshop Elements is a quick and easy technique, if you do it the right way.


    • Make sure the eye area is bright enough.  If you didn’t use a reflector and have shadows in the eye sockets, lighten them with Levels and a layer mask.  Here is my eye brightening setting and mask:


  • Turn off that Levels layer temporarily by clicking on the eyeball so that you can avoid funky color shifts.
  • Next, add a new, blank layer by going to the Layer Menu and selecting New > Layer.
  • Click on your Clone Tool to turn it on.  Change the tool’s blend mode to Lighten and the opacity to 30%.  Your tool options should look something like this.  (Screenshot from Elements 11.)
  • Size your tool so that it is just a little less wide that the under eye circle.  Hit ] to make your tool larger and [ to make it smaller.
  • Set the target for good pixels to replace the dark circle with by holding down alt or option and clicking on good skin under the inner corner, just under the dark skin.
  • Brush once, staring at the inner corner and dragging all the way to the outside edge of the eye.  Repeat, but only if necessary.  I usually hold my brush a little below the eyeline to make for a more natural appearance.  We all have some amount of shadow under our eyes – removing it 100% makes for a fake looking photo.  This image shows you where my paint strokes were:
  • Turn that Levels adjustment layer back on, and you’re done.

Note that I softened some crow’s feet with this technique as well, very lightly.

It will take you longer to read through this article than it will actually take to remove those under eye circles in Photoshop Elements. :)  Happy Friday, everyone!

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