Finding the right balance between just enough touch up and accidentally making your photos look unnatural and doll-like can be hard if you don’t know the proper guidelines and steps. While every photo editing app and platform has its own set of rules and functions, some things are common across all of them. Knowing what to look out for and what mistakes to provide can make all the difference.
Let’s dig into the how of skin smoothing and blurring, and then discuss how to do it perfectly.
How to Smooth Skin
Most photo editors will have a blurring option that you can use for your skin or the whole photo. It can either be applied to certain areas or the entire photo, but if you want something good enough it can do the job.
In photo editing apps, you can choose to blur blemishes and spots automatically or with the help of special blurring brushes and dedicated tools. Photoshop, for example, has a Spot Healing Brush for this purpose, and Facetune has this feature to some degree in almost all of its filters and makeup effects.
Mistakes to Avoid
Smoothing skin out isn’t always conducive to a good and professional finished image. You can get more ideas for editing photos with the help of some simple searches, or even by taking inspiration from popular photographing and editing styles.
Rules can even be different when you’re going for an ethereal or eerie look, and they can be different if you want something more abstract.
Not Keeping the Original in Mind
It’s easy to over-edit if you don’t constantly compare the image you’re editing with the original one. This can make you easily lose track of how different it looks, and you might be tempted to keep adding changes until it looks nothing like the original – or like what you wanted it to look like.
Keep referring to the original photo as you go through the process. It will give you a good idea of how much you want to change without making the editing look too obvious.
Not Calibrating Your Computer Screen
Your computer or phone might have display settings that alter how you see colors and give them a certain tint – usually yellow to avoid irritation to the eyes. Photos might not show as they would on other devices if the display quality for your monitor or phone screen is lower than needed.
This might mean you inadvertently end up with less than ideal editing results, so make sure your screens are all set to default before you begin work.
Smoothing Out Everything
Sometimes you might be tempted to edit out all the imperfections and spots you can see on your face. Zooming in on the photos can only make it worse, and you might end up with skin that doesn’t look quite human.
Keep in mind that natural skin is at least a little textured, and that smile lines, wrinkles around your eyes, and some imperfections do a good job in making your photos look natural and human.
Avoid smoothing out everything in the photos and don’t overuse the blurring effect. In fact, you might even want to leave on a few wrinkles, beauty spots, and under eye bags. All of these things are now considered very attractive in certain contexts, with professional models flaunting their under eye bags and cosmetic companies releasing products so people can add freckles to their skin.