Have you ever wondered how to change your skin tone in your photos? Well I am here to help you! Editing photos is my favourite part of content creation and after this tutorial you’ll be able to do the following things:
- Make yourself look more tan in a photo
- How to take away any redness in your face or on your body
- How to smoothen your skin
When it comes to editing photos I always use the same software: Adobe Lightroom Classic! I prefer using the desktop version so I can edit on my laptop but you can also do all of these steps in the free Lightroom Mobile app.
Have you never used Lightroom before? No worries, this step by step guide is suitable for any level: from beginner to pro!
Other editing tutorials you might be interested in
How To Change Your Skin Tone in Lightroom
How to make yourself look more tan
This is often what people want to know the most when it comes to changing your skin tone: how to make yourself look more tan in a photo. It’s a pretty easy trick and one that I pretty much always use myself. I have really fair skin and I burn like a crisp in the sun. So when I don’t have the time to apply self tan before I go shooting I just follow these simple steps!
Step 1 – Import your photo in Lightroom and apply a preset
For this tutorial I went with my new preset Portrait 2, this way only subtle changes are made and we can focus on adapting the colour of my skin!
Step 2 – Determine the main tone of your skin
Scroll down in the editing tabs until you reach HSL, go to the Hue section and on the left you’ll see a tiny circle which you now click on!
Once you’ve clicked on this circle you can now hover over your skin with the cursor. Now you can see on the right which hue and colour you will have to adjust!
Step 3 – Play around with the saturation and luminance
Once you’ve determined the hue of your skin tone (this can vary from red to orange and yellow) you can start making adjustments! Head over to the saturation bar and start playing around with the orange slider. As I said before I am pretty fair skinned so I like to turn up the saturation!
The final step is to play around with the luminance! This one is pretty straight forward: if you want lighter skin turn up the luminance and if you want to look more tan simply turn down the luminance.
You can clearly see the difference in skin tone below!
How to take away any redness in your face or on your body
So, not only do I burn like a crisp when I stay in the sun for too long. My face also has the tendency to turn red when I go hiking, sometimes you can even see a shade of purple coming through :p. And since a red face isn’t that attractive in a photo I wanted to show this little trick that I often use!
To show you the difference a few tweaks can make I went with a photo from my trip to Vietnam and picked one from after hiking up Bai Tho mountain.
Step 1 – Import your photo and apply a preset
Just like before I went with one of my Portrait presets! You can see below it only makes minimal adjustments and no colour alterations!
Step 2 – Change the hue of your skin tone
As you can see this time the main hue of my face isn’t orange but red. By sliding the hue slider more towards orange you can correct the redness in your face!
Step 3 – Adjust the saturation and luminance
Since we changed the hue more towards orange well also adjust the orange sliders for the saturation and luminance! To assure that no redness pops through I still lower the saturation of red as well!
Below you can see a close up of my face before and after.
How to smoothen your skin
I am not going to teach you how to widen your eyes or narrow your nose. I am very much against altering your face or facial expressions in any way but I do love to smoothen out some blemishes from time to time! To show you in detail I chose one of my own close up portrait photos. Below you can see the result after just applying my preset Portrait 2
To be completely honest, I only discovered this feature in Lightroom a couple of months ago. It seems that every time I edit a photo I also learn something new, thats why its so important to always keep on practicing!
When you click on the brush tool (top right), you can go to effects and then select the Soften Skin.
Next you simply go over your face with the brush and you’ll see that it becomes way smoother.
I want to show you a little extra as well! For a photo like this I love to make my makeup and jewellery pop! I select a new brush tool and after selecting the desired parts I lower the blacks a little and I put up the clarity.
I hope you enjoyed these tutorials! If you have any questions just drop them in the comments below!
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Charlotte Lint is the founder of Charlies Wanderings.
Charlotte has traveled all over the world and is based in Belgium where she also owns her very own dental practice.
She is an expert on writing efficient travel guides and finding unique places to stay.
Every month she helps over 134.000 people discover the most beautiful places in the world through her detailed travel guides.