How to Enhance and Fix Facial Imperfections in Photoshop | shine, wrinkles, blemishes etc.

So you're in the market for some good ol' fashion photoshop magazine style trickery.

The first tool we're going to be using is the healing brush ...

Set your healing brush settings to the following if they're not there already. Choose a brush size that's about the same size as a skin blemish on your models face.

Zoom in on your models face and find a spot that's generally unblemished/clear; hold alt/option and select that spot.

Then brush over any little skin imperfections one by one, using small brush strokes.

Try to choose unblemished areas that will match the skin on the blemished area you're about to fix so that you have pores where they should be and blur where it should be.

Next we'll even out the skin tone a little and remove a bit of shine. This works for a lot of shine as well. I'm going to touch up that bit of sheen between the bridge of my models nose and her eye.
First choose the eye dropper tool and select a colour close to the area you're going to improve.

Now select the brush tool with the Fill and Opacity set to 30%.

Make a few brush strokes over the area you wish to fix, but don't over do it. Less is more!

Now for a little enhancing! I'm going to brighten up her eyes by first lightening the iris. Select the dodge tool with an exposure of 25%.

Zoom in on the eyes and make a few brush strokes over the iris of the eyes.

Select the burn tool next with an exposure of 25% and a small brush 

Make a brush stroke or two around the outside of the iris, like indicated below ...

Still using the burn tool, make several brush strokes along the eyes and eyelashes, and then using a slightly fatter brush, make a couple strokes along the creases for a smoky effect *optional* You can do the eyebrows as well if they're looking a little light.

My photo's looking a little dark so to finish things up I'm going brighten the entire image and bring a little warmth into the photo. To do this, create a new solid colour layer.

Choose a light mellow yellowy colour.

Set the colour fill layers blending mode from Normal to Overlay.

Decrease the Opacity to whatever you think looks best for your photo. I set mine to 30%.

Now to add a touch of contrast I'm going to duplicate my background layer {remember to select it first}

Set the duplicates blending mode to Soft Light. Adjust the Opacity to your liking. I set mine to 10%.

Before we sharpen and save our photo, if it's looking a little grainy you can reduce the noise. First we'll merge our Background copy layer down by selecting it first and then hitting Layer > Merge Down.

Next we'll select Filter > Noise > Reduce Noise and enter the following settings. If your photo is really grainy try changing the Preserve Details to about 10%, and play with it from there.

To sharpen your photo select Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask and enter the following settings.

And that about does it!

Simple and discreet, and doesn't leave your model looking like she was dipped in plastic.


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