Got It
This website uses cookies. More details


Learn Photography

Photoshop Elements > Retouching >

Bags under Eyes


You can easily remove bags under eyes.

Be sure to check off as you go along.


1) Preserve your original file.

If you haven't already done so, go to Preserve Your Original File.

2) Create a Background copy layer.

If you haven't already done so, go to Create a Background Copy Layer.

3) Be sure to use the Zoom tool to enlarge the area to be retouched.


1) Select the Selection Brush tool.

2) Select the area under the eye.


3) Feather the selection.

Go to Select > Feather, enter a value, and click OK.

Try a value of 10 px.

The value needed varies according to the size of the file.

Use a larger value with larger files, smaller values with smaller files.

4) Move the selection to the cheek, or if the cheek has glare, to the forehead.

Use one of the following methods to move the selection.

Don't use the Move tool to move the selection.

After you know how to do this tutorial, you may automatically use the Move tool for the next step.

Try to remember not to do it!

Method #1 - Move with the Arrow Keys

Use the arrow keys to move the selection.

Method #2 - Click, Hold, & Drag

You can't click, hold, and drag a selection made with the Selection Brush tool.

Instead, click on another selection tool.

Make sure New selection is selected in options bar/Tool Options.

Then, click, hold, and drag the selection.


5) Press Ctrl + j.

A new layer will appear, called Layer 1.

The thumbnail for the layer looks like a checkerboard.

The layer contains the selected area, the "skin graft."

6) Rename the new layer as Left eye.

7) Select the the Move tool.

8) Use the arrow keys to move the skin graft over the bag.

The feathered edge should blend into the lower eyelashes.

9) Reduce the opacity of the Left eye layer.

This lets some of the bag show through the skin graft.

By doing so, the retouching looks more realistic.

80% was used here.

Reducing the opacity will probably be sufficient.

However, you can experiment with the following.


Gaussian Blur

You can blur the Left eye layer slightly.

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.

Try a radius of .5.

Adjustment Layer

You can also use a Levels or Hue/Saturation adjustment layers above the Left eye layer, to modify the exposure or color.

1) Create a Levels adjustment layer or a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer above the Left eye layer.

2) Press Ctrl + g (PSE 15: Ctrl + Alt + g) to group the adjustment layer with the Left eye layer.

3) Make a correction with the Levels or Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.

The adjustment adjustment layer, because it's grouped with the Left eye layer, will only affect the Left eye layer.

If you haven't already done so, go to How to Group.

Perfection? No!

Retouching doesn't have to be perfect.

Viewers of the portrait will be looking at the eyes, not below the eyes.

And, what is noticeable when a photograph is enlarged to 200%, probably won't be evident at 100%

10) Compare by deselecting the eye icon of the Left eye layer.





11) Repeat the above steps with the right eye.

Make sure to deselect the previous selection by pressing Esc or Ctrl + d.

Make sure the Background copy later is active (highlighted) when you make the new selection.

Saving the Photograph

If you haven't already done so, go to Saving Files.