How to Make Eyes Glossy in Photoshop

Written by filonia lechat
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How to Make Eyes Glossy in Photoshop
(Polka Dot RF/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

If the eyes are the window to the soul, you may want a picture of your eyes to be as shiny and glossy as a perfectly washed pane of glass. It can be difficult to capture that kind of gloss in real life, with hard lighting situations, subjects blinking and competing background colours, but you can recreate a glossy eye look using a graphics software program such as Photoshop. Photoshop, part of the Adobe Creative Suite, lets you quickly tackle eye makeovers, adding as little or as much dramatic effect as desired. With a few clicks, your subject’s eyes will be ready for a close up.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open Photoshop, click the “File” menu and click “Open.” Navigate to a picture with eyes to make glossy and double-click the file name. The image opens in the Photoshop workspace.

  2. 2

    Click the “Magnify” tool, which looks like a magnifying glass, on the bottom of the “Tools” palette. Zoom in on one eye so it fills up most of the screen.

  3. 3

    Click the “Lasso” tool and draw an outline around the eye, giving it an outline of blinking dotted lines. Right-click the outline and select “Layer via Copy.” The picture doesn’t change, but a new Layer 1 is added to the “Layers” palette on the right side of the screen. If you don’t see it, click the “Window” menu at the top of the screen and click “Layers.”

  4. 4

    Double-click the Layer 1 line to bring up the “Layer Style” window. Click the “Satin” line under the “Styles” column, which puts a check in the “Satin” box and opens the “Satin” dialogue window. Click into the coloured box to the right of the “Blend Mode” option and select a colour similar to the person’s eye colour. It doesn’t have to match exactly.

  5. 5

    Move the “Opacity” slider to about 70 per cent. Move the “Distance” slider to the right or left, watching the eye in the picture and see the gloss patterns emerging; they appear differently the further to the right or left you go. Move the “Size” slider all the way to the right.

  6. 6

    Write down the numbers in the “Opacity,” “Distance” and “Size” boxes and click the “OK” button to close the “Layer Style” window.

  7. 7

    Click the Background layer in the “Layers” palette and repeat the “Lasso” and “Layer via Copy” process on the other eye.

  8. 8

    Double-click the new Layer 2 and repeat the “Satin” process. Instead of using the slider bars, type in the numbers you wrote down so that you get the eyes the exact same degree of gloss. Click “OK” when satisfied.

  9. 9

    Click the small lines icon at the top-right of the “Layers” palette. Click “Flatten Image.” Click “File,” click “Save As,” type a new name for the photo and save it to your computer.

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