Smooth skin

Before and After comparison of making smooth skin in Photoshop:
So this technique works really well if you have a photo where someone has shiny spots on their face. Essentially, its kinda like adding virtual foundation. Oh yeahhhhh.
Lets get this party started!

First open your image in Photoshop:
This is just a random goof ball shot of my daughter from the other day.
Next, you want to duplicate your background:
I named my new layer blur, you can name it or leave it. Naming your layers only really becomes handy when you have TONS of layers going on in an image, and this simple trick only takes two!
Once duplicated, you need to blur the image to get that soft smooth look.
 You do that by going to File>Blur>Guassian Blur

 Now your duplicated image is blurry. 
You can adjust the radius of the blur to suit your needs.
I usually leave mine around 20.
Once you have the radius set, click OK.
Now you need to add a layer mask onto our new blurry image.
(See how my blurry layer is blue? That indicates what layer your working on.)
So, after making sure your working on the right layer, click on the bottom of the layers pallet and click>add new layer mask.

You will now have a white box next to your blur image.
 This next step looks crazy cause of all the arrows, but its really simple.
Click on your new white layer mask you just made then click on Paint Bucket on left hand side of screen.
If your working color isn’t black in your colors pallet you need to change it.
(if you have random colors in your color swatch double click to bring up the color pallet and choose black from there).
Now that you have black as your paint bucket color click on your image.
Your blur is gone!
Sounds counter-intuitive right?
Well it would  be if that was it, BUT now grab your paint brush, and change your color to white.
Taking your new white paint brush, brush over the skin where you are needing that liquid foundation. 
(make sure your on your new black layer or you will just be coloring your photo white! eeeek!!)
If the effect is too harsh, you can change the opacity of the paint brush in the option above the photo.
(If you accidentally color over eyes, or something else just switch your brush back to black and correct it.)
Wahoo! She has soft skin!! 
If the effect is still too much, you can adjust the opacity of the blur image.
If there are a couple of blemishes on the subject you are working on, use the clone tool first to get rid of them, then apply soft skin.
The difference can be pretty amazing!!
Here is the finished product:
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  1. says

    I have lightroom right now but really want to get photoshop! I cannot believe the difference in the before and after! Your daughter is beautiful!

  2. says

    Hi Leesha, I do this same thing using an inverted high pass filter, but I often wonder if the Gaussian blur is the “better” way to do it? Do you know the pros/cons of either method? Thanks! Great post!

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