In my never ending quest to collect enough Mac photo enhancement apps to equal the price of Photoshop, I came upon an easier, faster, less expensive way to improve portrait photos with a minimum number of clicks.
The app is called PhotoDazzle: Beautifier and it’s one of those inexpensive photo wizard apps which does one thing. Improve the faces in portraits. With two exceptions, PhotoDazzle: Beautifier could be the most fun you can have creating classy looking portraits.
The tools are straightforward, familiar, but somewhat limited to enhancements on the face– eyes, nose, lips, teeth, skin, hair. Otherwise, the tools are what you expect– a magic brush, undo, eraser, a loupe, a color picker, and a bunch of effects which are rendered on the screen in real time.
You’ll find specific tools to enhance eyes, eye color, lashes, brows, as well as teeth, lips, and skin. A simple slider bar adjusts the intensity of each tool.
For example, it’s relatively easy to change eye color, add eyeliner or lip gloss with just a few clicks. You can add or change the color of a beard, dye hair to a different color, add eye shadow, or whiten eyes.
Skin blemishes are easily removed while rouge and makeup is easily added, including shadows, shine, soft glow and the all important tan.
All editing is non-destructive to the original portrait photo, and therein lies one of the two issues I see in PhotoDazzle: Beautifier.
First, trial and error is your friend. While the tools are simple to operate, you still need a steady hand for each control; the more you use it, the better you get, but trial and error takes time.
Second, non-destructive doesn’t mean what it used to mean. PhotoDazzle: Beautifier works very well, but previous versions were prone to occasional crashes while applying effects. Yes, it uses Apple’s built-in OS X Core Image and it’s fully 64-bit so it renders in real time, but stability has been an issue, even on an up-to-date Mac with 16GB of RAM.
Otherwise, if you’re after an inexpensive way to put notable improvements into your portraits, this is a good place to start.