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How to Create a Strawberry Lips Effect for Beginners in Adobe Photoshop

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Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial I'll show you how to create a delicious strawberry lips effect. You'll learn how to combine two stock images using some basic Photoshop retouching techniques, blending, matching color, and taking care of details.

Whatever your skill level is with photo manipulation and retouching, let us recommend some essential photo manipulation resources for your future projects.

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:

1. How to Crop the Image and Change the Color of the Lips

Step 1

Open the model image. We 'll work on the lips only, so use the Crop Tool (C) to select the area just around the lips. Remember that the background should not be involved in the selection.

cropping imagecropping imagecropping image

Press Enter to apply the change.

Step 2

After cropping, we'll change the color of the lips a bit. The reason here is to match it with the strawberry's color. Activate the Quick Selection Tool (W) and drag over the lips area. Don't worry if the result doesn't look good—we'll fix it quickly later.

select lips select lips select lips

To make the selection more precisely, press Q to enter the Quick Mask.

quick mask showquick mask showquick mask show

Make sure that the foreground is black and hit B to activate the Brush Tool. Use a hard round brush to carefully paint on the unwanted area outside the mouth and the teeth inside the mouth so they won't be affected by what we do after. You can switch the foreground to white to fill in the missing areas of the lips or to correct anything wrong.

result using quick maskresult using quick maskresult using quick mask

Step 3

Hit Q again to exit the Quick Mask and show the selected result.

show lips selectionshow lips selectionshow lips selection

Step 4

On the lips layer, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation (call it the first Hue/Saturation adjustment). This way, the effect only works on the lips. Change the Hue settings to a small value (+6) to make the lips more orange.

lips hue saturation 1lips hue saturation 1lips hue saturation 1

2. How to Retouch the Mouth

Step 1

There are some areas around the mouth which look a bit hairy. You can leave them like that, but if you want to retouch them, press Control-Shift-N to make a new layer.

hairy areashairy areashairy areas

Take the Clone Tool (S) and remember the Sample mode should be All Layers. The size of the Clone Tool depends on the size of the file you're working on. Mine is 1200 x 800 px, and I've used the 50-55 px brush. Hold the Alt key and click on the area below the hairs. After that, drag the brush over the areas you want to edit. Repeat this step until it's covered. I don't want the result look too unnatural, so lower the Opacity of the brush to 60-65%

cloning areacloning areacloning area

Step 2

The result needs to be a bit darker as it's in the shadow area. Use the Lasso Tool (L) to select the area under the lips, and then go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves. Remember to check Use Previous Layer To Create Clipping Mask and decrease the lightness until it matches the existing shadow.

darken cloning resultdarken cloning resultdarken cloning result

Step 3

The right corner of the lower lip does not look very good. To correct it, make a new layer and use the Clone Tool to remove the indicated area and make the right corner more in proportion with the left.

cloning right corner cloning right corner cloning right corner
cloning right corner resultcloning right corner resultcloning right corner result

3. How to Add the Strawberry Texture

Step 1

Open the strawberry image. Use the Lasso Tool to select the body of the strawberry and drag it above the lips area.

select strawberry bodyselect strawberry bodyselect strawberry body

We'll make it the lower lip, so use the Free Transform Tool (Control-T) with the Warp mode to drag both sides of this strawberry part upward and the middle section downward, following the form of this lip.

tweak lower liptweak lower liptweak lower lip

Step 2

Hold down Control and click the mask of the first Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (in step 4 of section 1) to load its selection.

load lips selectionload lips selectionload lips selection

Click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a mask to this strawberry layer.

lips selection maskinglips selection maskinglips selection masking

Now use a medium-soft round brush with black color to carefully erase the upper lip and the right edge of the lower lip's corner. The reason for erasing the upper lip is that its details don't look good, and the light there doesn't match the face. Decrease the brush opacity while painting on the contour to make the strawberry part blend more smoothly and naturally with the existing lip.

lower lip masking resultlower lip masking resultlower lip masking result

Step 3

Select the lower area of the strawberry and add it to the upper lip. Use Control-T with the Warp mode to make this strawberry part a bit curvy, following the form of the lip. Move the bright parts slightly leftward to fit the light on the model (from left to right).

select another strawberry partselect another strawberry partselect another strawberry part
tweak upper liptweak upper liptweak upper lip

Step 4

Mask off the lower lip and the unwanted area outside the mouth using the same method as in step 2. Lower the brush opacity as mentioned to reveal some details of the contour.

upper lip masking upper lip masking upper lip masking

Step 5

The result still looks flat and dark. To correct it, select the two strawberry layers and hit Control-G to make a group for them. Change the group's mode to Normal 100% and load the lips' selection by holding Control and clicking the first Hue/Saturation layer mask. Increase the lightness a lot by making a Curves adjustment layer with this selection.

lips curves 1lips curves 1lips curves 1

On the Curves layer mask, use a soft black brush to paint along the shadow area under the lips, the contour, and the space between the lips to define their light and shadow. Try to make the right side a bit darker than the left to fit the light source.

lips curves 1 maskinglips curves 1 maskinglips curves 1 masking
lips curves 1 masking resultlips curves 1 masking resultlips curves 1 masking result

Step 6

Use another Curves adjustment layer and drag the lightness down, and then use a soft black brush to reveal the bright parts on the left, some tiny seeds on the right, and the middle section. Leave the effect visible on the edges and the shadow areas to strengthen the contrast. Vary the brush size while painting on the different areas using [ and ]. You can also lower the brush's opacity to achieve a more realistic result.

lips curves 2lips curves 2lips curves 2
lips curves 2 maskinglips curves 2 maskinglips curves 2 masking
lips curves 2 masking resultlips curves 2 masking resultlips curves 2 masking result

4. How to Do the Final Touches

The result looks pretty good but still incomplete. Create a new layer on top of the layers, change the mode to Overlay 100%, and fill with 50% gray. 

Hit O to activate the Dodge and Burn Tool. Use the Dodge Tool with Highlights Range and Exposure about 20-25% to paint highlights on the middle selection, especially the left, and also the upper contour of the lips. 

Use the Burn Tool with Midtones Range and Exposure about 20-25% to strengthen the shadow, define the edges between the lips, and create more details on some tiny areas. Hold the Alt key while painting to switch between the Dodge and Burn Tool

The trick here is to change the foreground to a gray color (it's best to pick the color #808080—the same color as this fill layer) and use the Brush Tool to erase anything that looks wrong, and then you can start to repaint that detail with the Dodge/Burn Tool.

DB new layerDB new layerDB new layer
DB resultDB resultDB result

Awesome Work, You're Done!

Now it looks really delicious!

I hope that you've enjoyed my tutorial and learned something new. Feel free to share your ideas or comments in the box below—I'd love to see them. Enjoy Photoshopping!

final resultfinal resultfinal result
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