50 Portrait Retouching Tutorials To Take Your Photoshop Skills To A New Level

Is it something that often happens to you? You just sit and keep on looking through your photos on the computer screen trying to take a closer look at your full-size pictures. And then it occurs to you that they didn’t really suck that much during the actual shoot?

Photo by Mario Mayer
Photo by Mario Mayer

Of course, what you see during the shoot with your eyes and what you get after the photo session is not the same thing. But do not let your despair take possession of you! Photoshop will save the world with its advanced tools to smooth out skin and hair, optimize body proportions and emphasize some details. Just like beauty!

Photoshop is capable of making slightly imperfect photo into an awesome shot. Thus, I have put together 50 beauty-retouching tutorials for you to learn Photoshop techniques and study examples of how you can do it in practice. Here, you’ll find both image-based tutorials as well as video ones. Most of them are before vs. after comparisons and you can just follow all the edits with your Photoshop step-by-step.

If you still do not have Photoshop, (really?), you can get it here.


1. Professional Photo Retouching Bikini Model

2. How to Slim a Face in Photoshop with Just a Few Easy Steps (Tutorial)

How to Slim a Face in Photoshop







3. Retouch images in Photoshop with frequency separation

4. Photoshop CS6 Presets: Photographic Toning Retouch Method

5. How to Create a Porcelain Skin Effect in Adobe Photshop CS6 (Exclusive Tutorial)

6. Video Tutorial: Harmonise Tricky Tones and Colors


8. Video tutorial: Control tonality with Photoshop’s Black & White filter

9. Photoshop Tutorial: Wrinkle Reduction

10. Video Tutorial: Enhance Detail Using Correction

11. Superb Skin Airbrush Technique

12. Super Fast and Easy Facial Retouching

13. How to Create a Glamour Style Composition Using Patterns and Masks

14. How to Apply Makeup to a Model in Post-Production Using Adobe Photoshop

15. Skin Retouching Actions Preview

16. Photoshop Fashion Retouch – Shadowy, Sultry Eyes

17. Age Progression – Photoshop Tutorials

18. Easy Facial Retouch using Photoshop

19. Professional Retouching Tutorial: Healing

20. Professional Photograph Restoration Workflow

21. Professional Photograph Restoration Workflow

22. Photo Retouching – Change Hair Color Photoshop Tutorial

23. Adding Reflections To Sunglasses With Photoshop

24. Contrast Layers

25. Skin Retouching Tutorial

26. How to Make Yourself Stunning with Digital Retouching in Photoshop

27. Black & White Is the Key to Better Color


29. Dramatic Skin Retouching Technique (Premium Tutorial)

30. Make Bright Eyes in Photoshop

31. Redhead Girl With Freckles Retouch – Photoshop CS6 Tutorial

32. Video Tutorial: Non-Destructive Burn/Dodge in Photoshop

33. Shadow Recovery of Backlight Problem

34. Golden Skin Tutorial

35. Photoshop Quick Tip: How to Use a Tilt / Shift Effect on Portraits

36. Pure White Portrait Retouch

37. Photoshop Quick Tip: Create a Dragan Style Portrait Effect in 5 Steps

38. Basic Photo Editing Tutorial

39. Eye Color Change

40. Adding a Realistic Tattoo the Easy Way with Photoshop

41. Learn how to creatively retouch portrait photos in Photoshop

42. Changing Specific Colours MINI TUTORIAL

43. Advanced Colorization Techniques

44. Photoshop Makeup Tutorial

45. Realistic Makeup Application in Photoshop

46. Increase Breast Size in Photoshop

47. How to Enhance & Retouch an Image – Photoshop Tutorial

48. Photoshop tutorial: Retouch photos with realistic perfect skin

49. How to Make Facial Retouching in Photoshop

50. Yet Another Colorization Tutorial

Find Something Useful?

If you found some useful tricks and techniques, feel free to like & share this round-up with your Facebook friends! Also, it would be awesome to see the results of your photo retouching experience, so use comment section to show off your final images or share your thoughts.

Check out our tutorials on Retouching with Cloning Tools: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

If you need deeper photo retouching or can’t apply any Photoshop technique naturally, you can try professional online photo editing service FixThePhoto for help.


By Nancy Young

Nancy is a passionate freelance writer and blogger. She writes inspirational articles on web design, photography, and technology. She enjoys traveling, reading and meeting new people. Nancy believes in a magic of written words to inspire and motivate. She is also working as a writer at OneDesBlog.


  1. I think a lot of these look artificial, an awful lot of them I actually prefer the original. The one taking away the freckles is kinda insulting!

    1. Ditto! I counted 3 that had useful ideas, the rest – the first photo was better!
      Note also that out of 50, 4 are male? So guys, you really dont need much ‘work’ only someone to fix your grandfather’s photo or tp make you more grizzled. Women, you cannot be photographed as you actually exist, silly people. You need to throw on makeup and then, because you are hideous anyway, we can photoshop you.

  2. wow, this was.. pretty horrible. A lot of the photo’s are bad to begin with, but often the retouching made them a plastic-y, fake-looking, overexposed mess. And yeah, removing all the freckles, changing darker skin colour to pretty much white (the hell?) and taking all the personality out of a picture by flattening out minor wrinkles and dirt to a fuzzy airbrushed dollface? Blegh. Not good.

    1. IT’S A TUTORIAL ON ‘HOWS’, maybe if your read it, you can learn from it, I’m not saying that learn how to remove the freckles but using the technique on how to do other stuff….people this days

  3. Does it bother anyone that 90% of these are tutorials to make women more “flawless”? It just adds to the commercialized beauty ideal: unattainable without computers. I think so many of these photographs are beautiful without the cheap “retouching”.

  4. 37 is just cool. 😀 While most of these are “Oh, you have wrinkles? Let’s blur the crap out of them!!” This one is “you have wrinkles? Let’s make that ART!” 12 “glamour style with patterns” is cool. It’s “ooh hey, Effects!”

    20–image restoration. Yay!! Very helpful! 22–Nifty concept!33–useful!

    Other than that–either the pic was fine before, and tweaking it creats a specific effect, where neither pic is “bad”, they just might be useful for something else — 28, ‘dramatic skin retouching, I’m looking at you — Or the ones where you change the hair or the dress–or they’re downright MEAN!

    17 with no freckles?? MEAN! 18? MEAN!

  5. Wow, how horrible!!! Most of these look artificial and badly done! God, why would you whiten a tan skin? Why would you remove the cute freckles from that poor child’s face? Why would you add an unrealistic tattoo to that poor model? Why did you think it would be wise to give all those persons a plastic, gross effect to their skin? You made all those pics look worse. I hope you don’t call yourself a photographer or a PS-expert…

  6. Thanks for the tut. I like it. Everyone has their own style or tastes and as long you learn the mechanics of a given tutorial it can give benefit the way one wants to see it. Keep up the good work Nancy! BTW there are some real uptight haters on this thread. They must be 12 like most you tubers who can’t go without negative bombardment. Bunch of losers!

    1. No one insisted that the afters were better than the befores. The techniques are what is important and they could well be utilised with other subjects. I use quite a bit of post processing – not to make photographs look better, but to make them project how I feel about the subject matter, and how I would like it to look. If you don’t post process at all you must accumulate a fair amount of crappy photographs that fail to answer your artistic whims.
      Good tutorials Nancy.

      1. SMD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. lol i thought the freckles disappearing and making the black girl look white was bad… then I saw the ‘increase breast size’ one

      1. otherwise I like your work 🙂 you clearly have photoshoping skills, more than many of us anyways. Some of them may look a little fake but that’s just because they are, and otherwise it wouldn’t look much different from the original.

  8. I like the examples here. They use some exaggerated examples to show some of the retouching styles out there. If you don’t like the examples here, just leave without complaining.

  9. a lot of photoshop is stupid, to me at least. Honestly, what happened the the world…? Natural beauty. That what we should be supporting. So many of those pictures looked horrible compared to the originals. I wish society would realize what’s important. Because what is important will change the world and increase value more than any fake advertisement could. Photoshop is okay to brighten something you cannot see well because of poor flash. or to bring out a rainbow. Or to show the natural beauty of someones eyes, instead of change them completely…ugh…

  10. Talk about taking away the natural beauty of these people. I think that all of the originals were better than what was done to them, this is what our photography tried to do to our wedding pictures we ended up just using out originals, I have a mole on my cheek that she removed, I was pissed these are the things that make us real and beautiful.

  11. Apparently freckles aren’t attractive. Dark people aren’t attractive. Old men look good in photographs, but god forbid if a woman has a wrinkle. And Asian women have small breasts. Great. Good work. Takes the whole point of photography (to capture beauty in everything) and flushes it down the toilet!

    1. I will totally correct your vision of small chests , yes 30 years ago but no longer now their food is more available, and as for looks WOW many are just plain gorgeous.

  12. I like these tutorials. I can get a general idea on editing photos and suit it to my preferences. Thx.

  13. I know you are all appalled by the amount of photoshop that goes on but come on people those are the pictures that you see everyday in your magazines and commercials. They are all photoshopped and changed like this. This is good if you are going into the professional world.

  14. It looks like there are a lot of affected people here, that they got blinded by their own emotion and opinion, that they forgot the title LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL, It’s just a TUTORIAL PEOPLE for those who want to learn, IT DID NOT SAY “HOW TO MAKE PEOPLE BEAUTIFUL” OR “THE ONLY WAY TO BE BEAUTIFUL” guys/girls let us not be blinded by our own opinion

  15. hi…
    can any one tell me that is it possible to change the oil painting effects image back into its original form, is there any easy way or editor for it. please guide me if you have a solution for this problem. this is the image showing blow

  16. A great collection of Tutorials and I want to say txs a mill. I will not use them all and diffinately not the same way as you but now I at least know how I could do thinks. Thanks again!

  17. Hi Nancy I have every time read your article I do not know why I regular reading your article. I think you always write a good content that’s why I read your article.

  18. All good collection of photo retouching tutorials. I gone through few of them. Most of them are full of good and informative resources. Truly It will help to build up a skilled on photo retouching task. I am impress to see all tutorials.

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