How to Photoshop Skin (& In Real Life)


One of the best things I learned last year was how to do a high-frequency separation layer to edit skin. Truth be told, I never took the time to properly learn skin retouching. I was well versed in clone stamp & spot-healing, and I thought that was enough to get me by. But when I started taking on more commercial work, I quickly learned that my ghetto way of editing skin wasn't going to cut it.  If you're serious about being a photographer, this is quintessentially the most  important tool to have in your back pocket when it comes to skin retouching. It really is a game changer, so today I'm sharing this technique with you guys in 4 easy steps. Learn it, use it. 


High-Frequency Separation Layer

This is the only way to remove blemishes while retaining the texture. 

It's better than concealer.


4 Easy Steps to do a High-Frequency Separation Layer


Step 1. Duplicate  (cmd+J) your Background layer twice. Rename the top layer "high frequency" and the bottom "low frequency." Then group the two layers (select the two layers & cmd+g)


Step 2. With the Low Frequency layer selected, Filter>Gaussian Blur filter and choose a pixel radius with which all the fine details will be blurred. I have mine set at 1.3 but I recommend you guys experiment with different radiuses just to see the different effects. 


Step 3. Now select the High Frequency layer and go Image > Apply Image and use these settings.

karen rosalie how to photoshop skin

Step 4. Now change the Blending Mode of the "High Frequency layer" to Linear Light.


& now you're ready to use the clone stamp & spot-healing brush on the "low frequency" layer for your skin problems. I have this recorded as an action so I don't have to do these 4 steps every single time.

(Here is a video tutorial if you guys are having trouble.)


& I know this is super late to the game, but I finally got myself a beauty blender last week! It's literally a life changer. It's actually what inspired this post to begin with. Using the beauty blender is like photoshop, but in real life.  I'm really big on having naturally soft and healthy skin vs using a ton of makeup products, so I'm also sharing the 5 skincare products I'm using to keep my skin smooth and silky on and off camera.


5 Skin-Smoothing Skincare Products 

(Pink Edition)


The first step before photoshopping your skin is to have great skin. A tip I've gotten from a lot of MUAs on set is that the secret to great looking skin is in the prep work. Keep your skin happy and hydrated, and your makeup will apply more evenly and polished.  



I'm hooked! I've never really been the type to wear heavy foundation, the most I wear is BB Cream. (Currently cycling between MAC's BB Cream & La Mer's Soft Fluid Foundation.) I love how easy to use this beauty blender is, it cuts my foundation application time in half. The only thing I don't love about this is how often you have to clean it. Does anyone have any tips for this?




My girlfriend got me this last month and I don't know how I've lived without it.  It has a waxy formula and kind of feels like vaseline. I have the rose flavored one (of course) and it's amazing.  Would highly recommend! Not to mention, their packaging is super cute. 



I've been a fan of Darphin products for a while now, and I've used this product for almost a year now. They're a French beauty brand, and one of the skin specialists recommend this to me after analyzing how tired and worn my skin is.  I use this serum right before my moisturizer and I like how easy it spreads over my skin.  & check out their guide to properly applying serum!



I've been using this product for a few months now and I have to say I'm a fan. It takes my makeup off and makes my skin feels so hydrated and smells so good after a wash.  I also like it because I heard Audrey Hepburn uses this brand.


5. EVE BY EVE'S Frosted Primrose CREAM BLUSH (50% off)

I'm obsessed with this product and I bring it with me basically everywhere I go because it's so compact and versatile. It's super easy to apply and adds a creamy pink finish to my face for a nice every day glow.  


& these are my tips for photoshopping skin on and off camera! Let me know your thoughts or questions in the comments below!