How can I match face tone in this picture. I tried Match Color and playing with Curves and Hue/Sat layers. Also this Youtube tutorial makes it look so easy but it didn't work for me at all.

enter image description here

  • 1
    My two cents: even if you get the color/brightness of the faces matched, the lighting is very different in the two images and that in itself will make it stand out as Photoshopped.
    – Manly
    Nov 1, 2016 at 21:35
  • 2
    If the purpose is to try and make it look like that girl was really there then... never going to happen! The lighting, exposure, lens, everything is just too different.
    – Westside
    Nov 1, 2016 at 22:26

2 Answers 2


Assuming "zero edits and adjustments to the group of three boys". If the group were not untouchable, then I would start by inserting a light against their faces. There is plenty of room to increase the exposure.

Look at the end of this answer. I Added an alternative result where the exposure of the base image was fixed as soon as the newcomer was separated,

But let's keep the boys "as is". The skin color in this case is not matchable with the northern tone of the boys. But the saturation, contrast and brightness are matchable.

A little is also possible to do for the light. The direction of the sunlight is the most important.

Then there are some social qualities that must be in balance to make the newcomer to blend well into the group.For example a skirt of the same style would have been useful. I added only the "in Photoshop" things and this is the result:

enter image description here

The receipt:

  • make an accurate selection that contains the newcomer. Drawing a clipping path in high zoom is the only generally good method. Save that selection, you will need it several times
  • copy the newcomer into a new layer to prevent accidental edits to the boys
  • keep the selection on. Add a new adjusment layer "huesaturation" (note: the layer mask has the selection automatically) -reduce the saturation
  • keep the selection on, add a new adjustment layer Curves
  • adjust the curve for good sunlight
  • take a black brush, paint into the layer mask the area, where sunlight is not wanted. Fix the transition zone with a soft white brush /(note: keep the seletion on)
  • keep the selection on, add a new adjustment layer Curves
  • adjust the curve the face in the shadow
  • take a soft black brush and paint over the mask to restore the sunlight
  • take the clone brush to fix possible 1...2 pixel inaccuracies at the sunny borderline of the newcomer. There must not be any high contrast borderline.
  • goto newcomer's layer, add a slight gaussian blur with high zoom to make the newcomer not sharper than the boys. SKIP the blurring if you still add something!

If you do not consider the social balance essential, you're ready.

The beard is drawn onto a new top layer that has blending mode hard light.Keep the selection on when adding the beard. Let it cover the mouth. It's easiest to erase the extras.

The beard was first solid black that was thinned by a big eraser with opacity 50%. Then the grain was added, blurred added again coarser grain, finally wiped the extras off by the eraser and reduced layer's opacity.

Reduce newcomer's sharpness to the same than the sharpness of the boys by adding a slight Gaussian blur. Have a high zoom for proper adjustment.Ready.

ADDENDUM: Original group with more light. Warning This lifts up the possible inaccuracy of the separation of the newcomer. A plenty of careful cloning was needed also in the dark side. NOTE: this would not be an issue if you start with already separate newcomer.

enter image description here

Actually the question didn't declare whose face should be kept "as is". If the base image can be modified, then one should consider some subtle skintone enhacements to the faces of the boys, too. That is possibly more hard to detect than radical changes to newcomer's face. An example:

enter image description here


It's to difficult to match these since shot with different types of light sources, but you can change the hue. Just select the photo and add a few photo filters + exposure + curves. It could work if you do it with love and patience.

enter image description here

  • 1
    pretty good, but probably also good to blur her face a bit, as her face is much sharper than the other guys (probably because of better camera + better light + better focus)
    – Luciano
    Mar 2, 2017 at 13:51

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