Sometimes when we look at other people's images we wonder just how much is the original photo and how much is done in post. Here I will show you an image that I've enhanced to make the colours more intense, the eyes sharper and brighter and how I added a texture to the background to give it a finishing touch.
This is the final finished photo beside the original that I worked from. For a lighting set-up photo, see my instagram stories.
To start, I zoomed in on the eyes. I duplicated the layer and set it to 'screen' then masked it back to black. I then took a white brush and painted in over the mask in the area of the eyes to brighten, focusing especially on the highlight from the flash. I then sharpened the area in isolation to the rest of the face including the brows. Sharpening can add definition and make brows and lashes look darker.
Next step was the skin, I reduced the reds slightly using the hue/saturation tool. I then sharpened the freckles and smoothed all other areas using gaussian blur with a mask on the red channel.
Then I zeroed in on her lips, they were pretty perfect the way they were but I made them softer in the creases so they looked less dry and evened out the colour with an airbrush on 'colour'.
Next I added a texture from https://stock.adobe.com to bring some depth to the background. I put the texture layer on 'overlay' mode and masked it in. I also brightened the darkest part of the hair to bring it up.
Then a quick boost to the contrast and an overall sharpen to finish!