Beauty Retouch (Part 1)

In this Photoshop class, where Karl is joined by professional retoucher Viktor Fejes, we look at the initial RAW processing of an image file before commencing further work in Photoshop.

Here, Viktor explains the techniques required for skin retouching and the reasoning behind his retouching process. The pair also explore concepts such as color profiles, visual aid layers and how to optimize your workflow.

Using his visual aid layers (which you can download here), Viktor uses tools such as the Clone Stamp, Healing Brush tool and Burn and Dodge as he clearly demonstrates the initial phases of how to retouch a beauty image. In just a few steps the difference is clearly visible and you’ll be amazed at how effective and versatile just these simple techniques can be.

In this Photoshop class we cover the following:

  • How to retouch a beauty image
  • How to retouch skin
  • Using Visual Aid Layers to retouch skin
  • Color profiles: Adobe RGB, sRGB, ProPhoto
  • How to fix skin blemishes using the Clone Stamp tool
  • How to use Burn and Dodge to retouch skin
  • How to optimize your retouching workflow

If you have any questions about this class, please post in the comment section below ?


    1. Hi, yes that is a good option in many situations but normal blend mode is also adequate for many situations it depends on the area you are working on.

  1. So Viktor is effectively using the brightness layer to assist in creating a 3D ‘ball’ effect to determine a curvature to the face which reduces sharpness of shadow and a smoothing in rate of transition between areas of contrast?

    Complete NEWB comment here!

  2. Cant wait to watch the rest of Viktors photoshop tutorials and see how you make these help layers!

    I also, absolutely loved the sound tracks to the editing in this video. I hope they continue throughout this series 🙂

    1. Thanks Nathan, enjoy. The Visual Aid Layers are available as a download action in our downloads section but you will need to watch the rest of the video to know how to create your own and set them up.

  3. Hi Karl,
    Have to say absolutely loving the courses so far, learning so much it’s fantastic. I have a question about colour spaces and wondering what your opinion is. I understand that sRGB is ideal for online/screens and AdobeRGB is great for print. If you have an image that you intend to use across both print and online, is it best to edit in AdobeRGB then convert to sRGB and make any colour corrections, or would you treat each instance individually, in affect editing the same image twice?

    1. Hi Adam, shoot in AdobeRGB (you can change in your camera menu). Edit in AdobeRGB and save it that way and only export a jpeg in sRGB for use online. There is no need to adjust anything further once you’ve finished the AdobeRGB editing.

    1. Hi Niki, 16bits is my preferred choice for the retouching stages to provide more tonal value and especially to avoid banding in graduated backgrounds.

  4. Hi Karl, love your content! Can’t seem to find enough time to watch and shoot but I love it! I believe that you or Viktor mentioned the importance of monitor calibration. What tool(s) do you use to keep your monitor’s colors accurate? Thanks for the lessons!

    1. Hi Fred, unfortunately we can’t offer these images to work along as they are not photos we have taken, they are examples from other photographers, however in the ‘Downloads’ tab at the top in the ‘‘Photoshop For Photographers’ work along files’ section you could use the same techniques on the ‘Beauty’ file there, hope this helps

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