This post is mostly about the problems I've been having with running photo retouching actions on my dark eyed but fair skinned daughter. My favorite Photoshop Elements action is 2 Minute Miracle from The CoffeShop Blog, but while it is ideal for my blued eyed boys, it does seem to have issues with my brown eyed girls (and one brown eyed boy).
Here, see what I mean. This is a photo of my baby (who is almost 5, ACK).
This isn't the best of photos, as silly mama didn't think she would want pictures of another child's birthday party. I didn't have my camera with me, so I took this with my iPod. Anyway, the only work done on this photo was cropping and I used the clone stamp tool to clean up some pizza sauce off her check (clone stamp tool on the laptop is almost better than wipies in the purse).
Eye Bright portion of it. I left the opacity of "Bright Eyes" layer at 100%, and as you can see it didn't result in space alien eyes at all. Actually, they look great. Except... it turned her brown eyes blue. A pretty blue, to be sure, but blue nonetheless. I've ran into this problem with other photos as well, although depending on the lighting sometimes it turns her eyes green.
Here's the same photo again, with the same 2 Minute Miracle action, but this time I set the "Bright Eyes" layer to 0%. She looks more like herself, but here her eyes seem a little dull and not quite right to me. Part of the joy that is the 2 Minute Miracle is the way it makes eyes POP, and these just don't.
Same photo, same action, now with the "Bright Eyes" layer set at 30%. It's better than 0%, but there is still a blue-ish cast. When I go lower to 20-15%, you can hardly tell a difference from the 0%. I can live with this, and it has been what I've been using for her photos, but I'm not completely happy.
PowderRoom After Dark action. This action was made for retouching dark complexions, so I hid all of the layers of it except the "Eye Pop" layer and left it at 100% (the skin smoothing and defining layers are just way too much contrast for fair skin). I can't discern much if any difference between this and the photo above, so it's not the solution I'm looking for.