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Open a photo of a face that you'd like to retouch. I downloaded this one from Shutterstock. The first step
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is to make 2 copies of the photo by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + J twice.
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Name the top layer, "High Frequency_Texture"
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and the middle layer, "Low Frequency_Blur".
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Click off the eyeball icon next to the top layer to temporarily hide it
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and go to Filter, Blur and Gaussian Blur.
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Drag the slider until it blurs the skin just enough to hide most of the pores and
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blotchiness. Then, click OK.
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Make the top layer visible and active.
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Go to Image and "Apply Image".
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For the Source layer, click "Low Frequency_Blur" and for the Target Blending
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Mode, click "Subtract". The Scale is 2 and Offset is 128. Then, click OK.
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Change the Blend Mode to "Linear Light". At this point, your photo will look exactly the same.
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Make the middle layer active. Zoom into areas of the face by pressing "z" to open your Zoom
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Tool and drag it over the forehead.
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Open your Lasso Tool and draw a selection over the inside of the forehead.
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We'll feather it, so its edges will be soft. For me, the best way to
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preview the amount of feathering is to click the Refine Edge button or go to Select and Refine Edge.
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Drag the Feather slider to the right until it's blurred approximately this much.
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The actual pixel amount on yours, may be very different than mine depending on your photo's
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size and resolution. Remember your pixel amount and click "Cancel".
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At the top, in the Feather field, type in that amount.
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Deselect it by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + D. To apply the feathering,
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draw another selection inside the forehead.and go to Filter, Blur and Gaussian Blur.
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Slide the Blur Radius to an amount that makes the blotchiness disappear. The texture remains
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because it's on a different layer. Click OK and deselect it. If you see some imperfections
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in the texture, we'll take care of them in a few minutes. Right now, we're just concerned
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with removing the blotchiness and overall inconsistencies. To reposition the face on
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your canvas, press and hold the Space bar as you drag the image.
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Draw another selection around the cheek
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and make sure you don't get too close to the eyes, hair, lips and neck.
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Press Ctrl or Cmd + F to repeat the last filter you used, which was Gaussian Blur.
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Delete the selection and draw another selection around the other cheek. Repeat the filter and deselect
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it. I’ll repeat these steps for the chin.
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Next, let's retouch the nose.
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Since the nose has more problems with texture than blotchiness, we'll retouch its texture. To do this, make
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the High Frequency texture layer active and this time, we'll use the Clone Stamp Tool.
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Make sure the Mode is Normal, the Flow is 100% and "Current Layer" is showing.
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Make its Opacity approximately 35 to 40%. To make your stamp tool bigger or smaller, press the
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right or left bracket key on your keyboard. We'll copy the texture of a smooth area of
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the skin and clone it onto the nose. To do this, Alt-click or Option-click on a smooth
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area of skin to copy its texture and brush over a small area of the nose to clone the
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texture onto it. Go back to the same smooth area, Alt-click or Option click on it
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and brush over another small area of the nose. Continue this until the entire nose
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is smooth. Remember, we're not cloning color, nor brightness & contrast; we're only cloning texture.
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Let's retouch the neck of your subject. Drag the neck into view. Since the neck has
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problems mostly with skin blotchiness, I'll make the Low Frequency Blur layer active
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and open my Lasso Tool again. I'll draw inside the neck and shoulder blades avoiding getting
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too close to her clothing, chin and hair. I'll repeat my last filter, which was Gaussian
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Blur, and I'll deselect it. To fit your image back onto your canvas, press Ctrl or Cmd + 0.
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To see the before and after, Alt-click or Option-click on the eyeball icon next to
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the bottom layer to hide all the other layers. To make all the other layers visible again,
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Alt-click or Option on the eyeball icon again. If you want to finesse it more by removing
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tiny spots of texture imperfections, zoom into the area you want to finesse by pressing
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Ctrl or Cmd plus the “Plus” key on your keyboard and drag your subject to the area
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you want to finesse. Make your High Frequency texture layer active again. This time, we'll
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open the "Spot Healing Brush". Make your brush a bit larger than the spot your want
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to remove and simply click or brush over the spot. Continue to click or brush over other
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tiny, texture imperfections until the entire face is flawless.

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