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I'm seeking suggestions for ways of correcting problems with the appearance of "eyebrows" in images taken at a 21st birthday celebration. I discovered retrospectively that the 'birthday girl' (Rachel) had some sort of 'cream applied selectively to her eyebrows by an Aunt - this was not visible except in flash illuminated photos. In photos where flash was used the cream interacted with the flash and produced an off-white layer under the hairs in some locations only and general overall greying / paling of the eyebrows.

The aim is to recreate eye-brows that are "normally dark" and natural in appearance. Some departure from reality is acceptable if it blends in so well as to be unremarkable to viewers.

  • I do not know whether the cream reflected the flash, or perhaps fluoresced. I've been unable to replicate the effect in tests with a range of products. None of the dozens of other people in the photos had anything except 'normal' facial illumination, so it was very sad that the person who mattered most was the one affected. She would very much like the effect eliminated in at least key photos. The effect was not obvious (to me) on camera LCD views.

I'm finding eyebrow editing challenging and advice on suitable methods is welcome. Complications are caused by the combination of underlying skin colour, the general whitening of the overall eyebrow and the desirability of replicating hairs at various angles and thicknesses. I've web-searched on appropriate terms but not yet found anything that seems especially appropriate. Attempts at cloning eyebrows from other photos of Rachel or other people has not been marvellously successful.

Top image: Typical 'out of camera' view of eyebrows.
Bottom image: After overall colour balance of image without special attention to eyebrows.
As uploaded view here

enter image description here

A few RAW shots may be available but most were taken as JPGs.
Image effects are similar from Sony A77 (24 Mp APSC), Sony NEX 5T (16 Mp APSC) and Nikon D700 (12 Mp FF).

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I am not a pro in editing, but I would try to select the affected areas in LightRoom (or Photoshop), and reduce the brightness of the bright areas ('Highlights' slider). Alternatively, you could change the curves and basically cut off the high end.

Both should result in the bright, whitish areas becoming less white and bright, and blend in better.

There are techniques in Photoshop to select the affected areas by color or hue, or even more clever, and that gives you more control and better effect, but I don't know how to do that. Anyone that knows Photoshop should be able to tell you that though.

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