Photo Makeover – getting rid of terrible stretch marks in photoshop

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Today I was reading some posts on a forum, and a photographer had a question.  “How can I get rid of these terrible stretch marks on my client’s belly?”  In real life I cannot say, but in Photoshop, it is a relatively easy task.  Below I have shown you the before belly with dark markings.  And my two after shots.  In the middle shot, I fixed the marks and then brought them back very subtly so it would look natural.  In the bottom shot, I made them disappear completely.

Tools used: 1st I used my “underexposure fixer” to brighten up the photo, as it was severely underexposed.  This made them appear worse than they actually were.  I then did a slight s-curve using a curves adjustment layer.  I then flattened the photo.  Next I used “powder your nose” from the “magic skin” action set.  I painted the powder on the belly. I increased the opacity of this layer to 100%, which normally I never do.  It helped a lot, but this belly needed more.

So I used the trick I taught you the other day in my video “skin tricks part 2.”  I made a new blank layer, sourced a skin color with the eye dropper (of the lighter part of skin), and then with the brush set to an airbrush soft round at 18% opacity and 18% flow, I started painting on the belly.  I let the effect build.  Slowly you could see things getting almost perfect.  I added a layer mask.  And then used black paint at 30% opacity, 100% flow. And I brought back a little detail in shadows and at the belly button so it would not look too powdery.  This resulted in the 3rd shot.

Then to bring back very light marks so it looked more real (as in the 2nd shot), I decreased the opacity of the “powder your nose” layer to 50%.

And there you get to the results below.  I hope this helped and you could follow me.  Feel free to save the photo and play yourself to see if you can duplicate the effect.

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 Photo Makeover   getting rid of terrible stretch marks in photoshop

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and teaches Photoshop to photographers across the globe.

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14 Comments and 0 Replies



  1. 1
    jodie says:

    Oh my gosh that poor woman! i couldn’t even finish reading the directions I felt so badly for her! I’m sure her beautiful twins were worth it though! :)

  2. 2
    Denise says:

    omg!!! I couldn’t even get past the directions. Dang Jodi!!! I’m in dire need of photoshop cosmetic surgery!!! awesome job!!!!

  3. 3
    Missy says:

    Wow!!! That is amazing! I can’t wait to try it now that I have your Magic Skin set!! Thanks Jodi!

  4. 4
    Meggan says:

    Isn’t the human body AMAZING!! It looks like that mommy is literally holding her two babies on her lap! So cool – thanks for sharing…

  5. 5
    ashley says:

    i have a huge question. can you share a easy way to create an action using a vector image? your tips are always so useful- thanks a million for this awesome blog!!

  6. 6
    maya says:

    awesome job! and nice that years later, she’ll be able to remember the most important parts of her pregnancy. i never got belly shots – if i’d had you to work your photoshop magic, i would’ve considered it.

  7. 7
    Maria Hays says:

    Wow, I have no words, that is an amazing trick, thanks!

  8. 8

    Wow. My sister is currently pregnant with her second and won’t let me anywhere near her belly due to her stretchmarks… Now she doesn’t have a choice. Bwahahaha.

    Thanks so much, Jodi! Another perfect tutorial.

  9. 9

    OMG THIS IS WONDERFUL,THAT IS SO AMAZING!!! YEAH I REGRETED GETTING PIC OF MY PREGNANCY. WHO KNEW THERE WAS A MIRACLE OUT THERE.

  10. 10
    Jackie says:

    holy wow… im impressed! my stretch marks didnt get too bad during my pregnancy but theyve been a pain in some recent photos of me… i can even get rid of the baby pooch lol. i have to say reguardless my son was worth it and i hope this poor woman felt the same! poor thing :(

  11. 11

    Wow, that is a really bad case of stretch marks. Honestly how can a woman let alone one carrying twins be able to see themselves with that bad a case of stretch marks?

  12. 12
    Marti says:

    I know this is about two years after this post, but I just found it very helpful. I am working with a bad case of stretchmarks and this just really helped me, thanks!!

  13. 13
    Ashley says:

    I almost cried looking at this. What our bodies do for our children! Anyway, you go girl! She had to have bawled when she saw what magic you worked!! WTG!

  14. 14
    Shannon says:

    I tried it on this image and it came out more natural looking running Magic Skin twice instead of using Powder your nose.



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