How to do Professional Facial Retouching in Photoshop

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Today i decided to create one new tutorial where you can learn how to do professional facial retouching that professionals use for photo processing in fashion magazines.

Final Image Preview

How to do Professional Facial Retouching

Resources

Step 1

Open photo and resize it by using Image > Image Size to 1500 px width and 1000px height.

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 1

Step 2

Let’s start by correcting color on photo. Copy layer by using Ctrl+J. Blur photo a bit using Fliter > Blur > Gaussian Blur with following parameters:

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 2

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 3

Step 3

Change layer blending mode to Color for this layer.

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 4

Step 4

Go to Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options and on Advanced Blending remove check marks from R and G channels.

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 5

Now adjust color slightly to your taste on this layer using Image > Adjustments > Curves.

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 6

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 7

Step 5

Now we are going to remove skin defects. Create a new layer. Choose the Healing Brush Tool, then select Sampled in Source parameter and select All Layers for Sample parameter. Choose the part of the face, that we’ll be using as a sample.

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 8

Step 6

Using the Healing Brush Tool (choose soft edges of the brush) and holding the Alt button we choose the most clear skin area, then overlay the sample image on the problem skin area to remove the defect.

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 9

Step 7

Then go to forehead area and remove defects by using the same method.

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Step 8

We also remove small wrinkles that possibly annoys the eye (still working with the Healing Brush Tool).

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 11

Step 9

In the end we should have the following result:

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 12

You can see on photo below where i applied Healing Brush Tool:

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 12a

Step 10

Up to this moment we should have three layers – bottom layer (original photo), layer with color correction and the upper layer, on which we have carried out skin cleaning. Copy all the three layers twice by using Ctrl+J for each layer, then move the copies of the three layers grouping them like on image below. Finally merge both new layer groups together, using Ctrl+E and you will have five layers. Temporarily turn off visibility of the upper layer and work on the other layer (Layer 1 copy).

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 12b

Step 11

We are going to work on creating the perfect skin texture. Choose the Polygonal Lasso Tool and select the face (it’s not necessary to select regularly).

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 13

Step 12

Invert the selection using Select > Inverse and delete everything that is situated in the selected area by pressing Delete button. On the layer you should only have the face now. Select eyebrow area using the Polygonal Lasso Tool and delete it using Delete button.

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 14

Step 13

Press Ctrl+D to deselect selected area. Remove the second eyebrow and start deleting eyes on the same way.

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Step 14

Now do the same thing to the lips area.

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 16

If you turn off visibility on all other layers you can see we should have something like a mask on layer. Turn back on visibility on all layers except upper layer.

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Step 15

Apply Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur to this layer with following settings:

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 18

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 19

Step 16

Change layer opacity to 65%.

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Step 17

Turn on visibility of the upper layer.

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 21

Create Clipping Mask for this layer using Layer > Create Clipping Mask. Apply Filter > Other > High Pass with following settings:

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 22

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 23

Step 18

Change blending mode on this layer to Linear Light.

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Step 19

Change layer opacity to 50% for this layer.

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Step 20

You can stop here if you’re satisfied with the result. But there are too many red and yellow color tones on the portrait, sometimes it can be noticeable on the last steps, as in this case. It can be easily corrected, for this purpose merge all the layers into one using Ctrl+Shift+E and apply Image > Adjustments > Color Balance with the following parameters to newly created layer:

How to do Professional Facial Retouching 26

Final Image

How to do Professional Facial Retouching

Now this tutorial is complete. You can make extra color correction as well or convert photos to grayscale or sepia mode. Hope this tutorial was useful to you.

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  • http://wwwconceptsevenstudio.com Graphic Design Ohio

    Great tutorial, what would these supermodels do without the fine tuning of photoshop. It really is amazing how far this program as come. Thanks for the tips!

    • sai

      nice tutorial..

  • cojixon

    Well done. Catched another retouching skill.

  • http://FashionFL.com Jim

    This is a very nice “quick and dirty” method which is great for web resolution and TF shoots with inexperienced models. It’s well worth knowing, and I use a workflow that’s very similar from time to time.

    That said, this is NOT the way photos are retouched for magazines! My typical workflow for magazine submission includes 35 to 40 layers and takes from 9 – 12 hours to complete. It includes pixel level dodging & burning, individual hair adjustments (yes 1 by 1), 3 separate RAW conversions (hair, skin, eyes/lips). It includes a lot of operations that most people have never played with in photoshop (like “apply image” instead of “high pass”).

    A quick tip too: Learn to name your layers in a meaningful way, it will save you HOURS if you have to go back and re-adjust something later!

  • Devendra

    Its really great thanx.
    Pls help me how to create a glass effect in photoshop

  • kushaldeep

    I was waiting for this bt im not gttng da results maybe bz im still using photoshop7.I hv put layers as shown above bt wen i merge down my layer order isnt da same as shown nd the 2 background copies are still visible.I sit on da top most layer n merge down-tht means da top two would merge?As i merge these two blue color appears in da image.Plz tell how i shud merge, n wat bout bkground copies,step by step..

  • Reji Koshy

    Nice very good

  • photoshop fan

    Cool

  • http://www.bshare.com.au Macy

    Thank you for taking time, this tutorial is a fab! I’ll take this one.

  • Rissa

    I can’t do it in Photoshop elements 9, i can only go to level 4 Layer style, no blending options unless i am doing something wrong.

  • Venkatesh

    Nice Tutorial!!!!!!!

  • M.Srinivas Gupta

    Naturally tutorial rocks…

    Thanks again

  • http://www.invitatiinuntabotez.net/ Invitatii Nunta

    I’ve followed this tutorial step by step on my own picture, and i really looked great at the end of my work. Thank’s for the tutorial.

  • Al

    Very nice and easy…Thanks. It provides a simple way to retouch a photo and also opens the door to develope other methods. Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.deepetch.com Luke watts

    Wonderful tutorial..step by step presentation really easy. Thanks for posting

  • http://www.deluxetricks.blogspot.com otodeluxe

    Very great tutorial. I have been surfing all this while looking for something like this

  • http://www.alexgrecov.yolasite.com alexys

    I saw many tutorials until now about retouching, but far this is the best and with better results then others.
    Thx a lot !

  • aina

    great tutorial! thank you photoshopstar!

  • sabeer

    this is awsum…. a must say great tutorial..!!

  • Thawma Ralte

    So great, I’m gonna use it so often.. I know it.. Thanx, great Tuts..

  • http://samweb.tj/ Sogdiana

    Great! I couldn’t imagine that by means of photoshop it is possible to gain such effects. I love this tutorial. I will use it in my works. Thanks to the author.

  • 2lits

    thanks duds… this is helpful for the new beginners like me.

  • blue

    Am I the only person who thinks she looked better before getting the treatment? Just because you can ‘shop out every little defect and blur the hell out of a pic doesn’t mean you should.

  • tope banabas

    God bles you for this. thanks a lot

  • boran

    in my opinion should always display layers that are active and it would be easier to follow ….

  • Michlle

    :-( I found it to be very confusing (beginner)

  • mamali

    could you please tell me , how to merge those layers exactly ? i have a problem in this unit . help me please .
    thank you .

  • invitatie-nunta

    Werry helpfull and easy to follow tutorial. Great job. There should be more like this.