As a digital artist/retoucher I love collaborating with photographers producing beautiful images like this one of Taylor Swift, shot by Jeremy Cowart. This image called for careful retouching and subtle techniques to enhance her natural beauty.
In working on Beauty shots like this one my standard workflow is to first go through the image cleaning up any out of place bits, then I carefully worked on her skin using a combination of the Heal Brush, the Clone Tool and a little paint here and there balancing just the right amount of texture with an overall smoothness to make sure her skin looked perfect. Then I removed the stray hairs that always seem to show up in closely cropped shots like this.
After the basic cleanup was done I then focused on bringing just the right sense of light to her eye with a gentle Curves adjustment. Keeping in mind that the viewer’s eye tends to go to the sharpest part of the image I always like add just a little more sharpness in the eyes. For this part I usually make use of the HiPass sharpening technique combined with a layer mask to limit the effect to just the eyes.
After applying the sharpening to her eyes I then added a subtle Glow to her skin by manipulating a copy of the Blue Channel to create a selection I could add the Glow through. The next step was to add a couple of “Bling” highlights on her earrings. And finally the lighting was enhanced with a Curves Adjustment Layer that added just the right sense of drama.
Here’s a closer look: