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Two of the refinements that flummox a lot of photographers who are not seasoned retouchers are for eyes. Dark circles, especially the subtle ones and eyes that aren’t the same size are hard and impossible respectively in Lightroom. Perfectly Clear Complete has facial recognition that, coupled with tools for fixing these issues, makes it easy to do.

Darkness under the eyes

Part of the reason there are almost always dark areas under the eyes is that the eyes are round. The darkness helps define the shape of eyes. Without it, the eyes tend to look flat or even pasted on. Calling them dark circles is really a misstatement. A more accurate description would be “dark half-ish circles.”

Begin by right-clicking then choosing Edit In in Lightroom. Select Perfectly Clear Complete.
This photo is right out of the camera. Dark areas under her eyes are obvious.

Perfectly Clear Complete in Lightroom

Perfectly Clear comes with a stand-alone version as well as plug-ins for Photoshop, Lightroom Classic and other image editing applications. Right-click then choose Edit in > Perfectly Clear Complete in Lightroom Classic, select the 16-bit TIFF option, then click Edit. For this tutorial, I’ll concentrate on just her eyes.

Face detection

Spin down the Face Selection section in the right sidebar in Perfectly Clear. Click “Show and Adjust Control Points.” If the yellow circles are not exactly over the pupils in the subject’s eyes, drag each one to cover the pupil in each eye.

Put the yellow dots over the model's pupils.

Once this important step is done, uncheck the Show and Adjust Control Points box, then spin the Face Selection section closed.

Lightening under-eye darkness

For purposes of this tutorial, I have turned off all of Perfectly Clear’s controls to show just the effects I am apply to the eyes.

Spin the Eyes pane open. Check the Dark Circles box. Move the slider to the right to lighten the area under the eyes. Click the checkbox for the before view, then click it again to see the after.

Sizing eyes

Next, Click the Eye Enlarge box. Move the control to the right to make the eyes bigger. Be careful not to go too far. Uncheck the box to see the before. Click again to see the after view. Adjust the slider to taste.

The finished portrait

Move the slider all the way to the left to see the original. Slowly move it to the right to reveal the final version. All of the retouching you see in the “after” view was done in Perfectly Clear processing an untouched original.

The settings

Perfectly Clear Complete has a volume control for the effects that have been called into play. 100 is the default. Settings below that reduce the amount of the effect. Numbers above 100 increase it.

Move the slider all the way to the left to view the original photo from the camera with no adjustments at all. Slowly drag it to the right to reveal the final version done solely in Perfectly Clear Complete.

Get a great deal on Perfectly Clear Complete with Kristina Sherk’s retouching presets.

Photograph: ©Kevin Ames