14. Practical demonstration on beauty retouch

Beauty retouching can take a great deal of time, especially if you are unfamiliar with the frequently used tools and techniques in Photoshop.

In this Photoshop class Karl does a practical demonstration of a beauty retouch, explaining the most common Photoshop tools and effective techniques. He also reveals a number of useful tricks that can help optimize your workflow and save you time.

You can follow along with this class using the work along file (available here) as Karl covers common beauty retouch techniques such as color correction, burn and dodge and liquify.

In this Photoshop class we cover the following:

  • Beauty retouching in Photoshop
  • How to remove blemishes in Photoshop
  • Photoshop keyboard shortcuts
  • How to use the Healing Brush tool for beauty retouching
  • Using layers and layer masks
  • How to use burn and dodge for skin retouching
  • How to use Photoshop liquify tool

For more in-depth classes on beauty retouching, visit our Advanced Photoshop for Photographers section.


  1. I didn’t get that moment with hue/saturation if compared to burn and dodge. With burn and dodge to reveal a darker or lighter layer you work with black color to do this. But, with hue/saturation it is the opposite.

    Before that moment I thought I understood the basics, and now I’m in doubt. So, what do you do when you work with hue/saturation? You draw that effect on top of the layer underneath?

    1. Oh, sorry, didn’t pay attention that with burn and dodge you reveal using white as well. At some moment for some reason I started thinking that black meant “negate” and that it removed a mask from a layer underneath.

  2. These videos are just helping so incredibly much! Learning a lot of new stuff i did not think much of before and are going full on learning burning and dodging. Thank you so much for doing this work and being such a good teacher to listen to!

  3. Hi Carl , great tutorial learnd a few things to . Just a question . What if you already put on a layer with shift – command – alt – E and you continue to work but then you see something you have mist on a previous layer you want to fix ?

    1. Hi Marco, one option would be to put a layer mask on the new layer and then rub through to reveal the layers below on the area you wanted to fix, and then make the necessary adjustments and then redo a new sandwich layer.

  4. God did not make anyone perfect or anything perfect for that matter. Photoshop is man’s answer to make things perfect and you Karl is a great teacher that makes boring subject so interesting! Great tutorial, I can’t believe is sat over an hour for ‘click click’ and a monologue and loved every minute of it.

  5. Excellent instruction on this one! I really like this form of burn and dodge; I have found the standard tools by those names to be less controllable and a bit “clunky” to use. What I really like is how it keeps the integrity of the skin textures instead of bleaching them out to porcelain doll status.
    This has helped my editing ability to reach a huge learning curve, and I haven’t even hit the advanced editing modules yet!

  6. thank you Karl.
    1. do you think magic mouse is better than using the Pen?
    2. what is the brand and model of your TV/Display to be sure that is showing perfect res. same as Retina on your Macbook?

    1. Hi Art, I prefer a wacom tablet and pen compared to using the mouse as it makes burn and dodge easier and I find it more natural. The best screens you can get for colour accuracy are the NEC or Eizo colour edge but it depends on your budget. Some of the new Imac screens are pretty good but maybe a little too contrasty.

  7. Lots of helpful information and workflows. I like the skin texture detail that still exists after the retouching here. Alot of retouching I see nowadays ends up looking very fake like porcelain or plastic that I greatly dislike.

  8. Just wawww!!!!!Thanks Karl for sharing your experience. Very informative and very well explained. It will bring my works to the next level from now 🙂 Just AMAZING tips – you have answer my questions I had for years !!! Cant wait to watch your next episode

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