Tutorial: Quickly Remove Bags Under Eyes Using Curves in Photoshop

There are a few different ways to address bags under the eyes when you’re editing a portrait in Photoshop, but the video above shows one that is both simple and extremely effective.

The tutorial was created by Dani Diamond, who explains why other methods that use Dodge & Burn, the Clone Stamp tool or the Patch tool just won’t give you results that are on par with his way. Instead of using any of those tools, he simply adjusts the tones under the eyes using a new curves layer.


It won’t replace the texture like the patch or clone tool and it doesn’t simply lighten the wrong tone like dodging the area would, instead it actually replaces the darker tones under the eyes with a lighter tone of your choosing. Simple and extremely effective… we couldn’t ask for much more.

To see more from Diamond — be it more tutorials or if you’d like to browse through some of his work — head over to his YouTube channel or Facebook page by following the corresponding links.

(via Reddit)

  • Thomas Sommer

    You are basically eliminating a part of his face here.

  • Sir Stewart Wallace

    I like it. It’s a nice trick to add to my arsenal.

  • Adam Cross

    nope. stop making people look like aliens/mannequins

  • Denis Germain

    a long complicated way to do something simple…
    1. create a new layer > change to lighten blending mode
    2. sample the “desired” skin tonecolor and paint over at 15% on the new layer
    3. adjust layer opacity to taste (50% to make it look natrural)

  • mokleTkcuF

    Another way to skin a cat.

  • Mark Mulder

    Yeah…except the dodge/burn method looks a lot more realistic than this example. IMO of course.

  • Don Tusk

    He looks like Sean Patrick Flanery after plastic surgery

  • Beth

    Huh? What? The “top” eyedropper in Curves is what sets the dark (or white) point. Not sure what he means. Can anyone elaborate?

  • Jim Johnson

    Yeah, a simple curves adjustment to lighten it would make the skin look more natural.

    He kept talking about matching tones, but the skin tones under the eyes are different than the place he sampled. His final result looked really weird to me.

  • Fernando Callo

    This is way better

  • bob cooley

    This is the method I use, too. works like a charm, looks incredibly natural and is very simple.

    It works for both taking away dark circles, and you can reverse the technique (use darken blending mode) for dampening shiny spots on skin due to oily skin.

  • Alan Klughammer

    I heard about a method a while ago separating colour and texture. I have modified it so that bags, blemishes and skin shine can be removed very simply. I even made an action for the initial set-up.
    I have more detail on my site

  • sirfucious

    Or even easier and more accurate, Increase exposure +39 and highlights/shadows +62.

  • Benoit Grogan-Avignon

    Does this work better than frequency separation?

  • gi

    I like the effect. Your teaching style is eradicate. You are going too fast. You take for granted that we know every detail of how to complete each individual task.

  • Eport

    Oh no! An article about retouching, actually talking about retouching. How dare they try to deceive you…

  • Zach Sutton Photography

    Only PetaPixel would take a video made by an Fstoppers writer, using another Fstoppers writer’s face as an example, and then cite reddit as the source.


  • joey

    you don’t use frequency separation for the same thing?? Your question makes no sense. You might dodge and burn this.

  • Joseph Farrugia

    The way you wrote it makes no sense, care to articulate better?
    (increasing exposure in PS on a separate layer then increasing shadows by 62 has little or no effect, BTW)

  • Benoit Grogan-Avignon

    Unlike your question, which sounds like you’re asking why I wouldn’t use FS for this, mine does make sense. Unless of course you do mean your question as it reads. In that case, yeah, I do use FS for the same thing, along with dodging and burning. That much is obvious from my asking. But thanks for the useless comment that doesn’t answer my question. I was aiming to have the author answer because I do in fact use FS to copy colour detail from blurred layer and it works fine.

  • Jan ‘Archee’ Bloch

    how about paint with soft light or linear light brush mode, right on
    the image.. change opacity, flow of the brush and sample image.. no need
    to crate new layer.. ( this is in case you deal with large images and
    new even blank layer would eat up space and ram.. otherwise same applies
    to blank layer.. brush modes work same way as layers…