How to make eyes sparkle

I am no Photoshop expert — far from it.  But I have picked up a few tricks that I love and I’m in the mood to share one.  We’ll call it an early Valentine gift to anyone who wants it.  It’s a really fast and easy way to make eyes sparkle and enhance their detail.  When used correctly, people looking at your picture should think, “Wow.  That person has lovely eyes.”  Rather than, “Wow.  Those are some seriously Photoshopped eyes.”

I don’t have Elements, but I think this will work there too.  So here we go:

I chose this photo of my baby because his eyes are so prominent — plus I just love that little chipmunk!  This is the unsharpened, un-messed-with version.  There’s a nice catch-light, but not a lot of detail.  We can do better.


With your picture open, select the Lasso tool:


Click the “Add to selection” icon and set the feather to 5 px:


Draw a circle around each eye with the lasso (it doesn’t have to be perfect, but do your best):


Hit “Ctrl” “J” on your keyboard or choose “Layer via copy” from your layers menu — you’re making a new layer here:


Now do this:

Set the radius to 5 pixels and hit OK:


Ta da!  Now you have a really creepy picture.  It’s probably not the look you’re going for though, so try changing the blending mode to “Overlay”:


Now you have super sparkly eyes.  I didn’t adjust the opacity here, but I would normally turn it way, way down — to a point that looks sparkly not crispy like this:


Here’s a before and after:


Happy early Valentine’s Day!

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