The Quickest Way to Get Smooth and Creamy Skin...in Lightroom!

September 30, 2017

The Quickest Way to Get Smooth and Creamy Skin...in Lightroom!

Who doesn't want smooth, creamy, flawless skin?

By using Lightroom's Adjustment Brush, you can give your portrait subjects skin that's as smooth as a baby's bottom in just a few quick steps.

Here's how it's done:

Open your Image in the Lightroom Develop Module

Select the image that you want to edit.

We'll be working on this photo:

Smooth and Creamy Skin in Lightroom

Once your image is selected, move to the Develop Module by clicking Develop in the task bar at the top of the interface or by pressing the letter D.

Smooth and Creamy Skin in Lightroom

Zoom in to enlarge the facial area so that you can see what you are doing.

To zoom into a image, you can click on the zoom buttons on the Navigator bar at the top right of the interface:

Smooth and Creamy Skin in Lightroom

The last button is a drop down that allows you to select from other zoom levels:

Smooth and Creamy Skin in Lightroom

Or you can use the keyboard shortcuts Cmd +/- (plus or minus) on a Mac or Ctrl +/- on a PC to move though the zoom settings in the Navigator bar.

Select the Adjustment Tool and Change its Settings

Select the Adjustment Brush tool from the tool strip under the Histogram on the right side of the Develop module. The Adjustment Brush tool is the last button, located on the far right-hand of the tool strip.

When the Adjustment brush panel opens, it will show the last settings used by the brush. To zero all of these settings, double-click on the word 'Effect' at the top of the panel.

Smooth and Creamy Skin in Lightroom

Set Clarity to -100 and set the brush size to something that will be easy to use on your particular photo.

Also, I like to work with the Mask Overlay turned on. To turn it on, check the box next to 'Show Selected Mask Overlay' under the image area or use the keyboard shortcut O.

By the way, you can also change the color of the overlay using the keyboard shortcut Shift+O.

Smooth and Creamy Skin in Lightroom

Brush on the Smoothness…

Using the Adjustment Brush, brush over the area of the face and/or neck. The Mask overlay will help you see where you have and haven't brushed.

Smooth and Creamy Skin in Lightroom

Continue brushing until the entire area is covered.

Be sure and avoid the eyes. 

If you need to, you can erase an area using the Erase brush. Switch to the Erase brush by clicking on Erase at the bottom of the Adjustment Brush panel and use the size slider to change the size to something that suits the area that you are erasing.

Smooth and Creamy Skin in Lightroom

Be sure and switch back to the regular Adjustment brush before continuing.

As you are working, here are a few helpful shortcuts to keep in mind:

  • You can toggle the Mask Overlay on and off using the keyboard shortcut O.
  • You can toggle between before and after views of your image by pressing the backslash key (\).
  • You can change your brush size on the fly using the right and left bracket keys. The left bracket ( [ ) makes the brush smaller and the right bracket ( ] ) makes it larger. You can also control the size of the brush using the scroll wheel on your mouse.

And now, my photo with the face area completely covered:

Smooth and Creamy Skin in Lightroom

Now, turn off the Mask Overlay to see how the photo looks. You can do this by unchecking the check box next to 'Show Selected Mask Overlay' under the image area or by using the keyboard shortcut O.

Now, just adjust the Clarity slider until you get a look that you like. I think subtle is more natural looking, but it's up to you. 

Smooth and Creamy Skin in Lightroom

Once you are happy with the image, click the Done button just below the image.

So here are our before and after images:

Smooth and Creamy Skin in Lightroom

Smooth and Creamy Skin in Lightroom

To see this process in action, check out the video below, courtesy of Gary Goldberg.

BTW, in this video, Gary uses Lightroom's built in Skin-Softening brush. It's basically the same brush that I'm using above, but I manually put in my own settings.

Further Reading

3 Tips for Perfect Skin inside Lightroom

Lightroom tips: 6 quick tricks for giving your portraits a professional finish

11 Steps for Basic Portrait Editing in Lightroom – A Beginner’s Guide




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Our Blog

It’s That Time of Year!  Tips for Great Holiday Photos
It’s That Time of Year! Tips for Great Holiday Photos

December 11, 2017

With just a few days until Christmas, it seems the right time to talk about Christmas and Holiday photography.

Here are a few tips:

Get ready! Be sure to be ready for lots of picture-taking. That means having your camera gear packed up and ready to go, if you will be on the road, or just ready and waiting for you if you’ll be staying home...

Continue Reading

Finding Faces: Using Lightroom CC's Facial Recognition Feature
Finding Faces: Using Lightroom CC's Facial Recognition Feature

November 30, 2017

If you've ever spent time scrolling through your Lightroom catalog looking for images of particular people, you know how frustrating it can be.

But Lightroom can help with that.

Continue Reading

The Gang's All Here! Tips for Taking Great Group Holiday Photos
The Gang's All Here! Tips for Taking Great Group Holiday Photos

November 20, 2017

It's that time of year again! Time for holiday fun and family gatherings.

And it's a great time to capture your family in a group portrait.

Here are some tips for shooting a great group photo:

Continue Reading