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Beauty Box Photo Plugin Review

The Beauty Box Photo Plugin is available for Photoshop, Elements and Aperture and enhances your portrait photography. Daniel Bell reviews.

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The Beauty Box Photo Plugin is a plugin for Adobe Photoshop, Aperture and Photoshop Elements which is an easy way of smoothing skin and removing blemishes to give your portraits a professional look. We are testing it here using Photoshop CS5. The plugin is available for $99 (around £65 as of 24th May 2013).

Beauty Box Screenshot 1

Beauty Box Photo Plugin Features

  • Automatic Mask: The Auto-Mask button automatically creates an underlying mask
  • Smart Skin Smoothing: Adjust the skin smoothing effects with three Smoothing controls
  • Shine Reduction: Reduce the hot spots caused by bright lights on shiny / sweaty skin
  • 30+ Preset Styles: Add a variety of colour effects on top of the basic retouching to give your photo a glamour, fashion, or dark and evil look
  • Batch Processing: Let Beauty Box set the mask and smoothing automatically for batch processing
  • Control Over Mask: Make changes to the mask with advanced Mask tools
  • Detail Sharpening: Use fine-tuning controls to preserve important details like hair, eyelashes and jewelry
  • Add Texture: Bring back skin texture like pore structure that can be lost because of the smoothing
  • Increased Speed: By using OpenCL, Beauty Box Photo is super fast on both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards
Beauty Box Screenshot 2

Beauty Box Photo Plugin Performance

When you open the plugin it automatically enhances your image and the default setting creates a much improved picture, even before any fine tuning. The auto-mask works really well, but if you want you can easily add any skin that has been missed, but it's unlikely you'll need to do this. When editing you're able to save up to three snapshots to enable you to continue editing without losing your work.

Preset - None
Default edit

There are plenty of fine tuning tools available to add your own touch. If you prefer there are 36 presets available. Below you'll find a range of images using each of the presets.

Digital Anarchy Beauty Box Photo Sample Photos

Unfortunately we ran into problems with the "Use GPU" options, this is supposed to speed the process up but it gave us an error warning. Thankfully, we were able to untick the box and our images processed, just a little slower than they might with the GPU option working. Although we were able to use an action to use batch processing it was a slow process on my computer, a good idea to set it off processing and come back later.

Beauty Box Photo Plugin Verdict

If you shoot a lot of portraits and don't have a lot of time to spend editing them, the Beauty Box offers an ideal solution if you are a Photoshop, Elements or Aperture user. Results are impressive even with the default settings, you can fine tune or use one of the presets. We had a little trouble with the GPU, but fortunately the manual told us how to fix this, we just weren't able to utilise the quicker speeds offered.

Beauty Box Photo Plugin Pros

Easy to use
Quickly improves portrait shots
Auto-mask is very accurate

Beauty Box Photo Plugin Cons

Errors when trying to use GPU
Batch processing is slow
Some of the presets are strange


The Beauty Box Photo Plugin is available for $99 (around £65 as of 24th May 2013). For more information, visit the Digital Anarchy website.

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josa 9 25 Czech Republic
29 May 2013 5:56PM
Bordello and Witchy get attention for sure...Blush

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