Wednesday, February 3

CoffeeShop Retouching Tutorial: Skin Retouching in LightRoom2

I love Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 as I have mentioned a few times before. Did you know you can do minor retouching in LR? Today I am going to show how to remove small blemishes and smooth skin... You should also check out my tutorial on making eyes "pop" in LightRoom.

I want to mention this is the worst sample image. I should have used a photo of myself to really convince you of the magic of LR retouching rather than a young kid with flawless skin. However, it has been rainy and nasty here and I am not in the mood to see a "before" image of me splattered on my blog. That is not something ANYONE should have to look at without a few drinks or perhaps after they have just been dilated...

The first step is removing small blemishes, and the second is to smooth the skin. Imp has a small facial blemish in this photo (well, actually it is a dimple, but pretend it is a blemish). While in Develop Mode, click N for the spot removal tool (1) and then click on Heal (2).

Click and drag to select the blemish.

Then adjust the sliders until the blemish is gone (1) and click on Close (2). I am choosing to ignore the small bit of blueberry pancake on his face at this time. :-)

Skin smoothing is so easy in LightRoom2. Click K for the Adjustment Brush Tool (1), click on the Effect pull-down menu (2) and click on Soften Skin (3). This is not a preset!

I put the effect at 100% (1) and check Auto Mask (2). Then I paint over the skin, trying to avoid the eyes, mouth, hair, eyebrows, etc. If you make a mistake you can change your Brush to Erase. Wow, now Imp can be in a Little Mr. Perfect kid pageant with that skin... SCARY!

Once you finish painting over the skin adjust the Skin Smoothing slider down until the skin looks smooth yet natural (1) and then click on Close (2).

That was really easy, especially when you start with flawless skin like Imp's. ;-) This technique also works wonders on skin that is not as perfect (again, I refuse to put a large blow-up photo of my face without makeup up here at this time). Just be sure to not go crazy with the skin smoothing. Nothing looks worse than super smooth scary alien skin, especially on children or men. :-)

If you have any questions, please post them them in my CoffeeShop Flickr Group!


  1. Thanks so much for your tutorials. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog, however I dont have a soften skin preset in my Lightroom. Can you tell me where you got it from?

  2. thank you for making that so easy!
    Im a photoshop girl, but recently got LR2.
    Its so different, its great to see it all laid out, Im a very visual person.
    thanks again, Rita!

  3. I just found your site and LOVE it. I was looking through it the other day and could swear that I saw somewhere a trick to putting your picture back the original without having to push ctrl+alt+z a million times...if you could let me know that would be great...I have been experimenting with all you wonderful actions. My email is Thank you!

  4. Gosh, your tutorials are so easy to follow!! Trying to justify buying Lightroom2. Would you recommend waiting for 3?

  5. magnificent submit, very informative. I ponder why the other specialists
    of this sector don't realize this. You must continue your writing.
    I am confident, you have a huge readers' base already!


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