Symone Seven

Seven Days Blog


How do I use Frequency Separation as a beginner?


Want to use frequency separation to retouch but too intimidated to try it? This post is for you! Frequency Separation is just a tool that retouchers use to target skin tone and skin texture layers separately. In this post I will break down how to set up frequency separation and the easiest way to use it to retouch!


  1. Create two background layers by hitting the keyboard shortcut COMMAND J twice

  2. Label your layers by double clicking them. Label the bottom one “TONE” and the top layer “TEXTURE” 

  3. Turn off the top “TEXTURE” visibility by clicking the EYE ICON next to the layer name

  4. Select the TONE layer then go to FILTER tab and select BLUR, and then click GUSSIAN BLUR from the drop down menu

  5. Set your radius between 5-9.0 and hit OK

  6. Turn back on the TEXTURE layer visibility by hitting the space where the EYE ICON was

  7. Select that layer then go to IMAGE TAB and click APPLY IMAGE

  8. Fill this information into the respected slots in the dialogue box- Layer: tone , Blending: Subtract , Scale: 2 , Offset: 128 

  9. Then hit ok to accept these changes. Your layer should turn gray but you should still see a faint outline of your photo. 

  10. Change the blend mode of the TEXTURE LAYER to LINEAR LIGHT

 I also have tutorial on how to record an action for frequency separation so you don’t have to repeat this long process every single time you edit photos. Link: 


  1. For skin smoothing: circle an uneven skin area with the LASSO TOOL with the TONE layer selected

  2. Go to the FILTER TAB then select BLUR and click on GUSSIAN BLUR

  3. Use the same radius you used to set up FS and hit ok

  4. Repeat steps 1-3 on various problem areas until it’s even. You can repeatedly go over the same areas

My advice is to clean your photo of texture blemishes before doing frequency separation such as using the HEALING BRUSH TOOL on pimples. To make this skin smoothing effect natural, I sugguest making a copy of the TONE LAYER to do the blurring and then turn down the layer FILL to blend it with the original.

Want more tips like this? Check out my other posts on, my instagram @symoneseven or my self titled youtube channel. 


Neweeer monolight on a c stand

46”  octabox at 2 o'clock above her

White reflector under her bust 


Photo: @symoneseven

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