Photo Retouching

Retouch Basics for Graphic Designers and Photographers

We’ve got important Photoshop techniques here for you, all focused on improving your photo manipulations and retouches. This tutorial will teach you how make skin smoother, and how to make charming eyes. By simply adjustment layers you will make better colors. Then, you will make grain on skin, to more realistic look.

Preview of Final Results

With this tutorial you will create amazing beauty retouch, which can be used in printed media – like in magazines, flyers, adverts and more. You can use this knowledge in your designs, or even if you are photographer! You’ll need Photoshop CS5 or newer to follow this tutorial.


Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Open stock photo with the model. Duplicate it – drag layer to “New layer” symbol.


Step 2

Now you’ll be working on duplicated layer. Choose Clone Stamp Tool. Use soft brush. Hold alt and pick cleaner fragments of skin. Then use stamp tool under her eyes, erase freckles and wrinkles. (Feel like plastic surgeon.) You should play with brush size.


Step 3

Go to her forehead. Also with clone stamp tool erase hair strands and wrinkles. Use smaller brush.


Step 4

Duplicate layer when clone tool was used. From top menu choose Blur > Gaussian blur.


Step 5

Add mask to this layer. Mask everything, but except face and neck. Mask eyes, hair, lips and nose. Facial features will be more detailed, than skin.


Step 6

Decrease opacity of this layer to 70%.


Step 7

Now her face is dolly-like. Add new layer. From top menu choose Filter > Noise > Add noise.


Step 8

Add mask to this layer. Fill it with black.


Step 9

Back to layer with blur. Hold alt and click on mask.


Select all (ctrl + A), then copy (ctrl + c) selected area.

Step 10

Go to noise layer. With alt holding click mask and paste copied mask (Ctrl + V).


Step 11

Decrease opacity of this layer to 3%. Then change blending mode to overlay. Skin will be look like real.


Step 12

Add new layer. Pick Big, soft brush and use #d0b3a6 color. Draw some strokes on her face – where skin isn’t perfect.


Step 13

If it’s needed, choose from top menu Filter > Blur > Gaussian blur.


Step 14

Change blending mode of this layer to Soft light. It will make skin lighter.


Step 15

Back to grain layer Duplicate it.


Step 16

Place layer on the top. Change blending mode to Divide, change opacity to 8%.


Step 17

Add adjustment layer – Brightness/Contrast. Set it as shown.


Step 18

Cool! Now fill mask with black. Then, with soft, big brush draw some strokes on her skin.


Step 19

It’s time to add make-up. I think her blonde hair would be suit to blue eyeshadow. Add new layer. Pick soft brush and decrease opacity of it to 50%. Draw gently eyeshadows.


Step 20

Change blending mode of this layer to Hue. Decrease opacity to 53%. It will be base for eyeshadows.


Step 21

Create new layer. With the same brush settings and color, draw on the edges of an eye.


Step 22

Now change blending mode of this layer to Hue. Again. :).


Step 23

For the smoky eyes effect, draw some shadows on the top of an eye. Use the same brush settings as in step 19.


Change this layer blending mode to Multiply.


Step 24

Add new layer. Change its blending mode to Multiply. Set smaller brush and draw edge of the eyelid (the same settings as in step 19, but size is 1-2px).

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