20 Best Portrait Retouching Software - 2020 Complete List
By: Rob Adams, travel photographer, asian food aficionado
Votes: 227(Rated: )
If you work with portrait photography - in a studio or outdoors - you know firsthand how demanding customers can be. They pay good money and they expect to look good in their pictures. No imperfections, no signs of aging, no unruly hair or flat-looking faces. Which means that once again you have to spend hours airbrushing photos in the all-mighty and uber-expensive Photoshop. Or do you?
Luckily, there are tons and tons of portrait retouching softwares that are also worthy of your attention. No, you don't have to google them, because we did all the hard work for you! We have compiled a list of 20 best retouching softwares that can actually rival Photoshop in terms of face and body editing. Want to know what we have discovered? Then let's get started!
Although Photoshop's reign isn't going to be overthrown any time soon, it doesn't mean that the pool of portrait editors has nothing else to offer you. We have searched high and low to bring you this list of 20 best portrait retouching softwares you might want to consider. We've chosen portrait editors for different user groups and price ranges, and listed their pros and cons so that it would be easier for you to choose. Here're our reviews!
Portrait Pro is considered one of the best portrait softwares. Equipped with a sophisticated AI, this program offers both automatic and manual portrait enhancement. Portrait Pro's superb face recognition technology enables users to edit their portraits without making selections or drawing masks. With this software, you can smooth the skin, get rid of acne, apply digital makeup and sculpt facial features. But since some of these effects are quite intensive, it's a bit too easy to turn your model into a plastic doll.
PhotoDiva is a freemium program with an easy workflow and tons of tools for impeccable portrait enhancement. It allows you to smooth the skin, erase wrinkles and dark circles, whiten the teeth and more - all of it either manually or with automatic presents. This software comes with the face sculpting features, digital makeup effects, tools for changing or removing the background, as well as a built-in collection of artistic filters. Thanks to its powerful AI, this is a perfect choice for both newbies and pros.
PhotoWorks is a feature-rich but easy portrait editor. This software is equipped with a content-aware AI that turns a tedious retouching process into a one-click thing. With PhotoWorks' beautifying presets, you can smooth the skin, erase wrinkles and oily glare, whiten the teeth, and more. You can also tweak your facial features and modify your body as well: make the figure slimmer, legs longer, etc. All the edits are performed either by a click or a slider drag. So if you are looking for smooth retouching with no masks and selections, give PhotoWorks a shot.
Luminar is the software that constantly breathes down Photoshop's neck. Relying on AI technology, this photo editor is a bit more of a multi-purpose photo editor rather than a portrait enhancer, but it still allows users to smooth the skin, get rid of blemishes, whiten the teeth, and perform just the tiniest bit of face sculpting. All edits are performed with sliders, eliminating any need for manual selection. Despite all changes being quite decent, Luminar's portrait retouching is still subpar to less expensive softwares.
Value for money: ................................8
Final verdict: .......................................9
Photolemur is portrait editing software that mostly utilizes automatic enhancement. It has the simplest workflow - once you open your picture with Photolemur, its smart AI analyses your headshot, then fixes the skin, teeth, eyes, etc. Working as a standalone piece of software as well as a Photoshop and Lightroom plugin, this program is a real time- and resource-savior for newbies or busy bees. Still, since there's little to no room for manual adjustment, you barely have any control over the effects.
Movavi Photo Editor is a fairly versatile piece of software. It offers basic portrait enhancement features like skin smoothing, teeth whitening, or blemishes and acne removal. There are also a virtual makeup instrument and a face sculpting tool you might find useful. The effects look natural and their intensity can be controlled with a slider. However, the software lacks any one-click presets that would simplify retouching, so most times you'll have to resort to manual selection to touch up your pic.
ON1 Photo RAW is a photo editor for RAW images. In terms of portrait editing, it is almost on par with Photoshop, minus the difficulty. Edits can be performed with just a slider drag, but there are additional tools (including masks) for manual retouching that help you control the result. Using this software, you can smooth the skin, get rid of blemishes as well as whiten the teeth and eye whites. Still, to use ON1 Photo RAW to its fullest, you'll need a hi-end computer.
PaintShop Pro is as close to a Photoshop clone as you can get. This portrait editor is equipped with blemish removing, teeth whitening, and red-eye removing tools. With it, you can smooth the skin with a slider drag, brush on a little tan, or thin the face with a click. Besides, you can manually modify facial features or certain body parts with the Warp tool. All in all, the retouch result you are going to achieve is decent and natural-looking. However, some users might find the software's cluttered interface off-putting.
DxO PhotoLab is a popular RAW converter and editor. While excelling at basic and more profound photo enhancement, this software lacks any retouching tools per se. Though it does not mean that you can't retouch your portraits in it. But you can only do it through local adjustments of exposure, white balance, blur, etc. Although you can certainly achieve a stunning and natural-looking result, it might take your hours and hours to do so.
Fotor is a web-based app for photo editing. It is aimed at newbies and those who just prefer their retouching routine to be quick. Inside, you'll find easy-to-use tools for removing blemishes and wrinkles, whitening teeth as well as smoothing the skin. Besides, Fotor allows you to slim the model's face and apply a virtual makeup - lips, eyeshadows, you name it. But despite how easy and accessible this software is, you put yourself at a certain risk when you upload your pictures to the website.
Lightroom is a popular Adobe product for photo editing. This software is as jam-packed with tools as Photoshop, but at the same time it shares the same weakness with its bigger brother - its workflow is confusing. Lightroom has very few beautifying features - skin smoothing and teeth whitening are among them. Additionally, you can retouch portraits using local adjustments. There are also tons of portrait enhancing presets online that you can download. But bear in mind - they rarely come cheap.
Beautune is a simplistic portrait editor mostly aimed at casual users. It is equipped with all the basic retouching tools that allow you to even out the skin, remove any imperfections, make the teeth whiter, etc. You can also reshape the face a little bit and apply makeup to the lips and eyes and even change the hair color. Although certainly easy to use, Beautune still looks more like a gimmick since its effects are not that realistic.
FaceFilter3 is a portrait editor that relies on its AI. It has all the tools to perfect your photos - from skin smoothing to blemishes and wrinkles removing. You can even apply makeup - blusher, mascara, lipstick just to name a few - and reshape the face. All the edits are performed with a slider drag, making the retouching process easy. Still, the overall effect is a bit plastic-looking. This might be due to the fact that the app uses outdated technologies - it hasn't been updated since 2013.
PicMokey is a web-based application for photo editing. It offers plenty of tools for fixing whatever might be wrong with your portrait. You can make your skin flawless, whiten your teeth, and spray on a bit of tan. There are also makeup and face sculpting features, although the makeup effects are somewhat stark and the sculpting is just a fancy name for a warping tool. All in all, PicMonkey gets the job done in terms of decent portrait editing, but it puts you at a risk of a privacy breach whenever you upload your photo to the site.
Perfectly Clear is both a standalone photo editor and a plugin for lots of popular softwares. It is perfect for users who value their time, since all the edits are performed either with a mouse click or a slider drag. You can even out the skin, change the complexion, remove blemishes and dark circles, whiten the teeth, and more. Besides, Perfectly Clear comes with a face slimming tool and a virtual makeup feature. The downside to this software, however, is that it is quite overpriced for its toolkit.
Affinity Photo is a popular photo editor initially developed for Mac. It is quite similar to the all-mighty Photoshop in terms of its features and workflow complexity. It has very few actual retouching tools (i.e. no presets or sliders), but you can still perfect your photos using more advanced tools like Frequency Separation, Dodge, and Burn. Affinity Photo is a lot cheaper than Photoshop and does not require a subscription. But still, if you want to enjoy its full potential, you'll have to be quite a photo editing savvy.
Capture One is a beloved RAW processor. This is, no doubt, a program for professional users, since it is jam-packed with advanced features. Portrait retouching with Capture One would require meticulous manual selection and mask drawing. Sadly, it offers no tools for face sculpting or makeup. But if you want to edit your headshot like a pro, Capture One is perfect for the job. If you can find your way around its nightmarish interface, that is.
Akvis Makeup is a simplistic portrait retouching editor with a clear interface. It offers both automatic (via numerous presets) and manual (via masks) portrait enhancement. You can make your skin even and radiant, erase wrinkles and blemishes, and whiten the teeth in a blink. But contrary to its name, Akvis Makeup has no makeup function, nor does it have a face sculpting tool. Although relatively easy-to-use, this portrait editor cannot grant you a natural-looking effect due to its subpar AI algorithms.
SoftSkin Photo Makeup is yet another portrait editor developed mostly for casual users. With it, you can perform basic enhancements - get rid of imperfections, fix the skin color and texture, apply virtual makeup. The edits are decent and easy to apply. It's doubtful that you would need any help with the software, but if you do, you might face a problem as there are no tutorials, tips, or how-tos online whatsoever.
Beauty Box Photo is a plugin for many popular photo editors, including Photoshop and Lightroom. It offers both manual and auto retouching, with a bigger emphasis on presets. With Beauty Box Photo, you can even out the skin and remove any blemishes using masks and intuitive sliders. There is little a user can do in terms of other enhancements, since the plugin is solely dedicated to improving the skin tone and texture. That means there is no teeth whitening, virtual makeup or face sculpting tools.
Not a standalone program
Some presets are weird
Which Is the Best Portrait Software for You?
This was our choice of 20 best portrait editing softwares. As you can see, these programs vary in price and in workflow complexity, but they all provide you with the same thing - a comprehensive toolkit for portrait retouching.
Portrait Pro clearly stands out among the rest of the programs. It is called one of the best skin retouching software for a reason, as it offers quick editing and grants you a natural looking result. But still, it's not completely without flaws. For one, it lacks the Reset button that would abort any changes made. Then, all the updates aren't free. And lastly and sadly, Portrait Pro is quite demanding in terms of hardware.
If you're looking for equally efficient software (but minus the high system requirements), then direct your attention to PhotoDiva. This free portrait editor combines ease of use with sophisticated AI technologies, proving that you don't need much expertise to edit your portraits on a professional level. PhotoDiva operates smoothly even on low-spec computers and doesn't put a strain on your wallet. And most importantly - the software relies on automatic retouching. This means that you no longer have to kill countless hours retouching photos and you can spend the time doing what you like - shooting portraits.
Turn your ordinary pictures into beauty shots with PhotoDiva.Download this free portrait photo editor right now!