Bleach Bypass Textured Skin Effect

I have had people ask me how to get that textured skin look in my work, so I will give you the fundamentals and urge you to explore your own style. Whereas specifics are generally deemed as my trade secrets.

What it essentially boils down to in Photoshop is using a bleach bypass process (there's dozens of ways) and this visual effect has been around for many decades. Then I'll add back in the color, sharpen and sometimes use a high pass or emboss layer on a duplicate layer in overlay model. Finally it comes down to hand touch-ups with the dodge/burn, smudge and clone stamp tools for key shade/highlight enhancements and fixing those overcooked areas.

In this image, Angela Jolie has an extremely airbrushed look, so I will use an embossed layer and some tonal contrast work in addition a bleach bypass process.

I intentionally exaggerated the effect so you can see how intense it can be. Texture, grain and noise filters are also useful, if the skin is completely void of details.

Applied a noise reduction filter to the above image:

Here's a couple other examples in which I used the bleach bypass process:

Additional reading:
Improving Local Contrast with Unsharp Mask
PhotoCreate A Skin Texture In Photoshop

See also: FreakingNews Tutorial: Easy High Contrast Textured Skin Effect

Happy Photoshopping...