Check out Jezebel.com which looks at the photo retouching work done to a Redbook magazine cover photo of Country Music star Faith Hill. It’s really a very well done retouch, and fairly indicative of the portrait retouching that goes into pretty much every magazine cover shot you see these days, but for some reason, people are making a big fuss, like this isn’t “business as usual” (but believe me–it is).
Some of the retouches were pretty standard fare; they made her look a little thinner overall, trimmed and smoothed her waist on the right side, removed blemishes on her arm, lightened her skin tone, and removed some facial wrinkles.
The more interesting work appears to be done on her arm, which is much thinner and slightly repositioned in the final cover, plus part of a second arm was added behind her (pretty masterfully I might add). This is most easily done using the Liquify filter and its powerful “Pucker” tool (I downloaded the before photo and tried the arm thinning, and waist fixing myself, and both combined took just a few minutes using Liquify, but of course I was working on a very low-res version of the photo).
I used the Healing Brush to remove wrinkles and blemishes, and then a skin softening technique to smooth her skin. I would love to do a quick video tutorial on how to achieve the same final result very quickly, but I don’t have the rights to use her image for the tutorial, so I’ll keep my eye out for something similar).
At one point, my wife and I thought the before photo was from the same shoot, but was not the actual photo used, but if you look at her hair (especially how it appears over her dress area) you realize that it is indeed the same shot).
Anyway, the site Jezebel.com did an in-depth (and sometimes humorous) look at the retouch. Here, they show a large animated version of the cover showing the before and after rotating back and forth, and then here they show a point-by-point annotated look at what was retouched. This is definitely worth a look, and I send my kudos to Jezebel.com for the in-depth coverage, and to Redbook’s retoucher, who I think did a very slick and professional retouch.