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The Smashing Book #5

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70 Beauty-Retouching Photoshop Tutorials


Beauty retouching is probably one of the most popular application areas in which Adobe Photoshop is used extensively. There are two simple reasons for that. First, Photoshop offers a variety of advanced tools to smooth out skin and hair, optimize body proportions and emphasize some beautiful details. And second, if you have some experience with Photoshop it is easy to learn the basics and quickly produce very impressive and beautiful results.

Of course, beauty-retouching is a quite deceptive art. The masters of Photoshop create illusions which are hard to tell apart — unless you have both a genuine photo and the final result in Photoshop and can directly compare them. In fact, every day we consume perfectly retouched stars and models online and offline which just look different in the real life.

Still, it is not the reason to avoid learning advanced Photoshop techniques for beauty-retouching and study examples of how it is done in practice. The list below presents both image-tutorials as well as video tutorials. Most examples have a before-vs.-after-comparison and you can follow the modifications with Photoshop step-by-step.

You may want to take a look at the further Photoshop tutorials selections we’ve presented earlier:

Skin Link

  • Beautiful Skin4
    Not everyone has beautiful skin but you can make it better – at least in your photographs.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot5
  • Smooth skin6
    How to make a skin like the ones you see in magazines like Playboy.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot7
  • Beauty Retouching8
    Beauty retouching is one of the most demanding parts of photo manipulation. The main trick for your results to be astonishing is patience.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot9
  • Remove Freckles
    Reduce slight freckles naturally without using the Healing Brush. In this Photoshop tutorial, you’ll learn how to subtract freckles using a layer.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot

  • Perfect Skin10
    How you can get rid of all the acne and pimples and blemishes and scars on your face.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot11
  • Skin looking smooth12
    During the course of this Photoshop Lunacore shows you how to make skin look smooth.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot13
  • Makeup makeover14
    How to remove hair in front of someone’s face, retouch skin and apply makeup using Photoshop.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot15
  • Dark skin – bright skin
    This tutorial shows you how to make a dark skin bright(er).

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot

  • A chapter of Beauty Retouching16
    A free sample chapter of “Skin”, a Photoshop Retouching Book by Lee Varis about Beauty Retouching.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot17


Hair Link

Body (breasts, bum, figure, etc.) Link

  • Trimming weight24
    Trimming weight off with the Liquify tool.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot25
  • Digital Nip Tuck26
    Photoshop is probably the cheapest alternative to plastic surgery possible.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot27
  • Digital Nose Job28
    Simple and easy photo editing technique to give someone a digital nose job.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot29
  • Spare Tires30
    In this tutorial we will see how to remove love handles (or the extra fat around the waist).

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot31
  • Smaller Nose32
    This tutorial will walk you through the steps for reducing the size of a nose in a photograph using Photoshop.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot33
  • Bigger Bustline34
    Learn to make a bustline look huge and comically big.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot35

Eyes, mouth and teeth Link

Galleries Link

  • Celebrities Before and After
    Shows some photos of celebrities before and after beauty retouching.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot

  • Greg Apodaca
    Rolling the mouse over most of the images of this digital portfolio will display the original scan before it was retouched.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot

  • Touch of Glamour52
    Photo Retouching and Enhancement for Pageant, Model and Glamour Photography – Rollover effect also here.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot53
  • Amy Dresser54
    Portfolio of a full-time retoucher and illustrator.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot55
  • Retouche56
    Norm Nason is a senior graphic designer and fine artist.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot57
  • The art of retouching
    Glenn Feron was born, then found art and was born again.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot

  • Digitalpablo58
    Portfolio of Pablo J. Castillo.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot59
  • Digital Retouche60
    A German professional retoucher.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot61
  • Artist 2 Design62
    Experience retouching thousands of actors headshots over the years has taught Shawn the art of what to retouch and what not to.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot63
  • Digital Retouching Services64
    From very basic blemish clean ups to full out magazine quality beauty skin retouching.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot65
  • Retouchme66
    Creative high-end beauty, fashion and product retouching.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot67
  • Retouche Demo68
    Nice flash demonstration how to retouche a photo.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot69

Video-Tutorials Link

Complete Workflow Link

  • Pure perfection
    Spin raw beauty into pure perfection. Very detailed tutorial.
    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot
  • Beautify a Face 100
    This extensive Photoshop tutorial will show you how to beautify a face.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot101
  • Ultimate Makeup102
    A series of steps to improve skin tones, modify shadow and light patterns to increase the impact, and enhance the eyes and hair to create a striking portrait.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot


Artistic Retouch Link

  • Phoenix Hair Effect103
    With some simple brushing techniques, and a bit of color tweaking, you can spice up your photos with this flaming hair tutorial.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot104

More beauty Link

  • Longer Nails
    You would like a woman’s nails to be longer? Here we go…
    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot
  • Eliminate Cellulite
    In this tutorial you can learn how to eliminate a person’s cellulite.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot

  • Nail manipulation105
    Manipulating nails by increasing length and changing shade.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot106
  • Airbrush retouching
    See what`s possible with Photoshop`s airbrush tool.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot

  • Retouching for Beginners107
    This tutorial shows a couple of simple techniques you can use to enhance your portraits.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot108
  • Photoshop Beauty
    Some ways to improve your photos with the help of using Photoshop.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot

  • Tone Down Highlights109
    Sometimes the only thing that keeps a good portrait from being a great portrait is a little too much shine on the skin.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot110
  • Looking good111
    Great Techniques for Photoshop Beauty Retouching.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot112
  • New look
    Whatever a model looks like, we can give her a totally new, beautiful look.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot

  • Glamour Style113
    Suzette Troche-Stapp is one of the most sought-after photographer/digital artists today.

    Photoshop Tutorial Screenshot114

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 /2008/01/10/adobe-photoshop-tutorials-best-of/
  2. 2 /2008/03/28/adobe-photoshop-video-tutorials-best-of/
  3. 3 /2008/04/03/adobe-photoshop-tutorials-rainbows-glows-and-light-effects/
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Dirk Metzmacher is a professional Photoshop trainer and book author with over 10 years of experience. He is also the creative mind behind (Photoshop-Weblog), a blog about techniques, tutorials and resources related to Adobe Photoshop.

  1. 1


  2. 2

    One thing that I didn’t find in here (at least not directly), that I had to scrounge up tutorials for…is for skin reflections. The flash picked up some oils on the skin and was a big pain to try to fix.

    Still this is a great round up of tutorials.

  3. 3

    again…mine is not in the list …sigh ~

  4. 4

    Not a fan of this collection. Smashing usually puts really inspirational pages together.
    This is rubbish … there’s no beauty in this use of photoshop. It’s not inspirational. Faking the real world isn’t cool.

    @Jak – why do you think Nikki Brown’s comment ‘spoils this’? She’s just stating her opinion. And it’s a very valid one. My opinion, for what it’s worth is that you write like a child :)

  5. 5

    this is the WORST smashing article i have ever seen.

  6. 6

    TJ @ Smartblogtips

    July 15, 2008 8:31 am

    Thank you very much. nice tutorial collections

  7. 7

    i’ll agree that most of these tutorials are used for unethical purposes (creating an unrealistic standard of attractiveness or physique) however I would be a poor designer if I didn’t take away at least some measure of inspiration or photoshop knowledge, whether it be unethical or not. So in terms of this articles ability to impart ideas for projects upon the reader it it successful, at least on me.

  8. 8

    How disgusting. This goes beyond removing some pimples from a wedding picture. This is changing the physical anatomy of a woman so she is barely recognizable.

    @Jak, do you really believe that those models are fat in real life? They’re actually really skinny. Photoshop morphs them into physically impossible waifs.

    What is ugly about having some freckles? Why should we “brighten” a black woman’s skin?

    There are some things that photoshop is useful for. Moving obstructions, changing the lightening, cleaning up red eye. We DON’T need photoshop to beautify people who are already models. I wonder why they even hire models for magazine shoots anymore, you won’t recognize them in the ad

  9. 9

    To all those complaining: whether or not it is unethical is irrelevant. Photo manipulation is an essential skill for graphic designers. Moreover, the market demands beauty-retouching. If any one designer stops retouching in protest, another designer will gladly do it. Take your activism elsewhere.

  10. 10

    I’ve got only one word coming into my mind to describe this SM article:

    Brilliant selection, well done.

  11. 11

    Lots to learn from this. Thanks!

  12. 12


  13. 13

    Hate to say it, but crap like this is totally unethical. The only thing that is slightly interesting is the changing the hair color. And WHY are all of these images of women in pseudo sexual poses? Way to re-enforce stereotypes and marginalize women.

    Niki Brown

    • 14

      @niki brown

      get a grip of yourself, these tutorials are a collection to learn from, the techniques can be applied to emphasize the male body easily, it just so happens that women can have a lot more work done with them (make up etc).

      You must not have noticed the male tutorial subjects either? Get off your high horse.

      @everyone else

      great tuts!

    • 15

      ya! off cause i agree with you.

    • 16

      Do you honestly think you speak for all female? Everyone has the right to CHOOSE what they prefer, and what they like. Stop putting everyone else in your shoes.

      The fact that you are CRYING over ridiculous pictures puts YOU in the stereotype of a useless crying female. If you don’t like this, GO AWAY. But the fact that this is too much for you, and that it destroys your view on females show much… you’ve just shown how incredibly WEAK you are.

      “marginalize women. ”

      I’ve got a new line for you feminists. What are you gonna do about it? They say that guys should not hit girls, but I make acceptions for people like you. Some of my female friends like sexy, some don’t care. But if you EVER interrupted any of us with your “this insults females” I swear I would punch in your face, and I will make sure you are beaten down by males and females.

      Not every female is as weak-minded as you are. And by the way, do you know what most guys do when we find a picture of a muscular guy in his underwear? We don’t cry on how degrading it is. No, we get out of here and never speak about it (gay bashing may or may not occur.)

      Though, what I said is too much for you. That is why you should be punched in your face. You don’t speak for all women, you don’t speak for all humans. Go to hell

    • 17

      Go burn your bra somewhere else.

  14. 18

    Great compilation of PS tuts… So much to learn, so little time.


  15. 19

    Federico Espinosa

    July 15, 2008 5:19 am

    very nice tutorials

  16. 20

    Absoulute must-have bookmark form all artists…
    Gg guys!

  17. 21

    lol there all women

  18. 22

    OMG, this is the best selection ever.
    Well know tricks, and some new ones. You guys rock.
    Put a DONATION button NOW!!!

  19. 23

    Thank you Smashing!

    I have wanted to get my hands on tutorials for some of this stuff for AAAGGGGGEEESSS now! Especially the really heavy stuff like the beauty retouching and the liquify tool!

  20. 24

    Manasa Malipeddi

    July 15, 2008 6:08 am

    Amazing!! I’ve never seen a more comprehensive list! Thanks so much. I’ve been looking for tutorials like these for ages. It couldn’t have come at a better time. I had installed Photoshop CS3 Extended just yesterday.

  21. 25

    Markus of Sweden

    July 15, 2008 6:13 am

    Wow! This is amazing! Thanks!

  22. 26

    very nice collection

  23. 27

    @ Niki Brown: aw, why you got to spoil this, this is just a collection of “tuts”, go and voice your mind-set to the rest of the world! …ads sell, imagine if Bacardi showed a add with FAT ppl drinking rum on a sofa infront of a telly! … it just wont work! ….besides u are most prob more than 150Kg. Get a life!

  24. 28

    wow! very nice tuts to learn! thanks for the great list

  25. 29

    Hey! better photoshop than dangerous plastic surgery. thank you for the collection {:

  26. 30

    What a collection !
    Thanks ;)

  27. 31

    I have to agree with other people’s comments — I found this article to be very offensive and encouraging stereotypes. I realize that people do this stuff for a living, but I’ve always looked to Smashing for inspiration, and this is not it.

    • 32

      So correct me if I’m wrong, but what I perceive you saying is it doesn’t matter what your client thinks or wants. You’re going to tell them, “sorry, you look like shit and there ain’t a thing I can do about it”! I guess being such a naturalist, you think women shouldn’t wear makeup or any other thing that makes them look different than when they wake up in the morning. What a crock! Talk about a bunch of self righteous bullshit.

  28. 34

    How come all of the women in the before photos look better than the after ones? Especially the main photo from the front page

  29. 35

    I agree with many of the comments above that POSTS LIKE THESE MARGINALIZE WOMEN and make pigs out of men.

    The editors of Smashing seem to spew these stereotypes on women a lot, but I agree with another of the comments above that this is the worst smashing article yet.

  30. 36

    Marek Wojtaszek

    July 15, 2008 10:09 am

    Now that is brilliant. I was just about to look for some professional retouch articles and there You are :)


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