I’ve seen a few porcelain effect tutorials for photoshop but none of them really convinced me. So, I found a portrait and started a process of trial and error applying different filters and blending modes. Eventually I achieved the nice glossy effect you can see below.
Stock image used
Download from author’s page: http://faestock.deviantart.com/art/Portrait-of-a-girl-121627174
The first thing you need is a portrait. I used a photo by *faestock which unfortunately is no longer available on DA because she took it off but you can find lots of portraits on sxc.hu or deviantART.
The quality of the photo is not very important here but I would suggest you get a higher resolution one. The details of the skin are not so important because we are going to apply a lot of blurring to make the face as smooth as possible.
Open your photo in photoshop and duplicate it to have one as backup.Turn the duplicated image to black and white and using the Levels, increase the highlights and middle tones, Basically increase the overall contrast.
We are going to use the Surface Blur to soften the skin because it keeps the edges sharp. So, go to Filter>Blur>Gausian Blur. Depending on the resolution of your image you must add more or less blur. Apply the blurring multiple times. You want to make the face as smooth as possible but keeping the edges as sharp as possible by using a small radius and threshold. Also use the Blur Tool (Shift R) with a big soft brush, strength 80-100% and Mode Normal. The advantage of the Blur Tool over the Surface blur is that the blur is only applied on the places that you want so you have more control over the edges of the face using smaller brush sizes.
Eliminate the eyelashes and eyebrows using the Clone Tool (S). This may be a little tricky and it can take a while because you have to be careful not to damage the surrounding areas. I spent about 15 minutes on this step and this is what I got.