Smoothing Skin Perfectly
When you see glamour shots - you know, photos of The Beautiful People who look so absolutely perfect - one of the things you are not seeing is the texture of the skin. No wrinkles. No creases. No pores? Indeed, the skin appears to be perfectly smooth.
Use the Healing Brush and a plain-color source area to smooth skin.
Here is how you can achieve that effect without blurring:
- Open a copy of your image.
Whenever you use a technique that makes permanent changes to the pixels in your image, you should work on a copy. That preserves the original image, which not only protects you from any errors that you (or Photoshop) might make but also keeps that original for different techniques and tricks in the future.
- Add a new layer by clicking the New Layer button in the Layers palette.
- Make a selection. The selection should be away from the face area, and sized at least one half the width and height of the face.
- Fill the selection with color, then deselect. Press Option+Delete (Mac)/Alt+Backspace (Windows) to fill it with the foreground color (it does not matter what color).
- Select the Healing Brush and set the source point. Make sure that the Sample: All Layers option is selected in the Options bar and that Aligned is deselected. Option/Alt+click in the center of the filled selection.
- Paint over the skin. In the Layers palette, click on the lower layer, the original image layer, to make it active. Click and drag with the Healing Brush to smooth areas of skin. The Healing Brush replaces the texture of the skin (pores and all) with the texture of the source area (smooth). Use short strokes that follow the contour of the face. Make sure that you do not paint over eyebrows, nostrils, lips, and other areas of critical detail.