It is not uncommon for a photo to be retouched more than once. Maybe you spent a night sleeping over it, maybe you learned a new trick and most commonly: maybe the client came back with some feedback.

In this case, you will go back to the files and re-do some of the work you already did. If you did it all on the background layer, you may find yourself in a bad situation. The work that requires a fix is already used in another layer. Say a liquify filter. Since you can not un-liquify an image, you will have to redo everything and then liquify again. But this is true not just for liquify, it’s true for everything: healing brush, dodge and burn, working on skin, or on eyes or on lips. Fixing the skies. This is why we use layers.

But before jumping into Photoshop, here is a quick look on the lighting setup:


Each layer does one thing, and one thing only. even better, it does it in a way that does not interfere with the rest of the layers. If you want to re-do the lips, no problem, just re-do the lips layers.

In the video above, I will demo a short session with some non-destructive tips. Some of the tips use the RAWexchange Retouching Toolkit, but the principle remains the same even if you use other tools.


00:00 – intro + raw export
00:30 – cleaning the image with a solar curve layer
00:47 – creating a work plan
00:58 – healing brush on a new layer (@100% hardness setting)
02:15 – why non destructive is important
02:32 – removing stray hairs (clone tool and mask)
03:05 – about rotating the image for easy workflow
03:35 – Dodge & Burn with the toolkit D&B layer to maintain saturation
04:10 – why working on a luminosity layer makes sense
05:50 – adding more eye brows (note that eye brows are consider “good” facial hair, while mustache is considered “bad” facial hair)
06:20 – creating a sharp lip-line, with the clone stamp tool (@brighten) + fixing it in D&B
07:30 – fixing the eyes with a healing brush (on a separate layer)
08:10 – cloning in layer (@brighten mode)
08:30 – why it’s important to zoom in and zoom out while you work
09:00 – handling color (using the Retouching Toolkit average function)
10:30 – color grading
11:00 – final pixel peeping touches
11:20 – smart liquify with the Retouching Toolkit
11:23 – more pixel peeing – Stefan, when will this ever stop….
12:06 – reapplying liquify

Recommendations from the Pros


Alice’s Garden


Tim Burton style background at 10,000px x 5,625px
12 lighting moods, mix and match freely
Depth and sky channels


300 files in over 11GB
Perfect for smaller photo studio
Backgrounds, Textures, Ambient Effects & Stocks
Everything for creepy, gloomy & morbid composing


Retouching Toolkit

Rated 5.00 out of 5

Retouching Tools for Professionals
Photoshop CC+
For both Mac and PC


Elements Bundle

Rated 5.00 out of 5

Over 900 files and textures
Up to 36 MP resolution jpg files
Commercially licensed

Average rating of all bundled packages:
Rated 4.8 out of 5

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