How to Make a portrait look better
1 Create adjustment layer
Use File > Open to browse to a portrait. To remove colour casts, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > White Balance Adjustment. In the White Balance panel, click Picker. Place the crosshairs on an area that should be white (say, a shirt).
2 Balance the whites
Click to sample the area that should be white. In our example, the picker detects a warm hue, so it automatically drags the White Balance slider left to -12. This cools the colours and makes whites white. The skin now looks less orange.
3 Boost exposure
To brighten up an underexposed portrait, choose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Exposure Adjustment. Drag the Exposure slider to the right. We now have two adjustment layers in the Layers panel working on the background image.
4 Duplicate layer
Select the Background layer in the Layers panel. Press ç+J to duplicate that layer. You can then work on the copy of the portrait and have the original close to hand if you make a mistake. Label the duplicated layer ‘Retouched Version’.
5 Remove blemishes
In the Tools panel, click and hold down on the Healing Brush tool’s icon to reveal a pop-up. Choose the Blemish Removal tool. Tap the left or right square brackets to adjust the tip’s size. Click on a blemish to replace it with clean skin.
6 Reduce wrinkles
Select the Healing Brush tool from the Tools panel. Place the cursor near a wrinkle and å- click to sample a smooth patch of adjacent skin. Place the brush tip over a wrinkle and click to spray the sampled smooth skin over the wrinkle.
7 Remove hot spots
Select the Paint Brush tool. Choose Layer > New Layer, and label it ‘Hotspots’. Set the layer’s blending mode to Darken, and opacity to 45%. å- click to sample some skin colour. Spray over a shiny hotspot to fill it with the sampled colour.
8 Whiten teeth
Click on the Retouched Version layer and select the Dodge Brush tool. In the Options bar, set opacity to 25%. Go to Tonal Range and set this to Highlights. Spray over the teeth and eye whites to brighten them in a subtle way.
9 Tidy stray hairs
You might find some skin covered in stray hairs. If so, select the Healing Brush tool, then å- click to sample a clear patch of skin close by. Place the brush tip cursor over the unwanted hair and spray to replace with clean skin.