advanced photoshop

Quick Trick: Stylise the skin

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Tips & Tutorials, by Anna-lisa Saywell

Retoucher Laura Ferreira shows us how to colour cast and supplement skin in fashion projects, using intuitive adjustment layer tweaks

Step 1: Adjust tones for contrast

Quick Trick: Stylise the skin

Activate the Channel Mixer adjustment layer, with Monochrome activated. Set a layer blending mode to Soft Light at 30% Opacity. To adjust the brightness of facial T-zones create a new layer, filling with a solid #808080 grey. Set the layer blending mode to Soft Light, 20% Opacity and use a 15% Opacity white brush to raise highlights.

Step 2:  Utilise Channels

Quick Trick: Stylise the skin

Apply a Curves adjustment layer, blending mode set to Color at 50% Opacity and tweak the Curves channels. Also brighten the image with an additional S-curve layer. Two separate Selective Color adjustment layers were added to introduce purple casts in shadowed areas, tweaking Magenta and Blue color drop options.

Step 3: Finalise colours and tones

Quick Trick: Stylise the skin

To add the final details to the image, tweak the Selective Color Black sliders until the amount of purple tonality is correct. This adjustment layer should stay at 100% Normal blending mode at all times. In the same adjustment layers, set the Yellow sliders to 10, enriching Magenta colouring.



  • JaKay

    Adjustments through Channels has its place, can be useful or might be the only way to get what you want in certain circumstances, but overdoing it leads to a surreal looking cartoon. Taste is needed when using some of these tools, to keep things real, or close to it.

    The chick in this example looks excellent in sample 1, and that’s something you don’t want to mess with too much. The 2nd sample is getting over the edge in the background, with a dark purple sky and the green treetops turning way off color. She has a tan look in #3, but at the sake of losing all other elements, wouldn’t it be more real looking to isolate her with the tan and just tweak the background elements?

  • Love the fashion retouching style you have created in this tutorial.
    May I ask where did the image came from? Or what image online I can
    download to try this fashion retouching style your doing.


  • Anna-lisa Saywell

    Hi Jo,

    This image is not owned by us unfortunately. There are plenty of free stock sites out there if you would like to type it into google or follow this link. Many thanks


    i dont get this tut the little photoshop panels on the the photos don’t match up with the steps given. you can see in the curve adjustment the blue and green has been touched not selective colour. and also when i try to do selective colour in the blue and magenta drop downs not a single thing happens only happens in the red channel and in the layer panel you can see the steps dont match whats shown in the photo so how can i get this look cause this steps down work.

  • Adam

    Ridiculously vague tutorial. D+ work. Thanks for wasting my time.

  • That is great piece of work.