Advanced Skin Softening
Although this technique has a number of steps, it’s actually very simple to do and is worth every extra step. It breaks away from the overly soft, porcelain-skin look that is just “so 2006” to give you that pro skin-softening look, along with keeping some of the original skin texture, which makes it much more realistic. This “keeping some of the original skin texture” look is totally “in” right now, so it’s worth spending an extra two minutes on. I also want to give credit to Ray 12, whose article on RetouchPro.com turned me on to the texture mask, which I now use daily.
Start by pressing Ctrl-J (Mac: Command-J) to duplicate the Background layer, as shown here. (See? I told you these steps were going to be simple.) ...