You probably will not get the colors you want because of the color profile on your camera or RAW software does not meet your wishes.The camera and lens selection can also play a role. Lighting too (see answer by Michael C).
Lenses can transmit different frequencies. For example, some produce warmer colors while others are cooler. Some lenses also have defects, eg. For example, "glow" when opened wide. Some people find a soft focus in portraits as pleasant.
The automatic white balance in some cameras normalizes color differences between lenses. For other cameras, it does not work. Setting Custom White Balance normally neutralizes many color differences in the lens.
If you are disciplined, you should Set the custom white balance , However, if you record in different lighting conditions, forgetting the white balance may ruin dozens of subsequent shots or waste your time in post-processing. (How important this is depends on your workflow.)
Some cameras allow color shifts for automatic white balance. Since AWB on my camera tends to produce images with more magenta than I would like, I set AWB to increase the complementary color green.
You should too On your camera, choose the color profile that best suits your needs. Usually one or two profiles will suppress magenta colors. The options available vary by camera manufacturer:
- Fujifilm: Provia, Velvia, Asti, Classic Chrome, ProNeg-High, ProNeg-Low,
- Canon: Default, portraitlandscape Neutral, loyal,
- Nikon:Default, Neutralvibrant, portraitlandscape Just,
- Olympus (Picture modes):i-Enhance, Alive, Of course, muted, portrait,
Sony(Creative style):Standard, Alive, Neutral, Clear, deep, light, portrait, Landscape, sunset, night scene, autumn leaves.
(You are welcome to suggest changes to camera manufacturers and profile names …)
In general, cameras also allow adjustment of saturation, contrast, highlighting, shadows, noise reduction, and sharpness.
The annoying skin tones are most likely magentaless so red. Even if the colors are accurate, you may prefer less magenta.
Many tools do the same.The concepts for curves and layers apply to almost all other color customization tools. Apart from that, you can use whatever tool you like best. Regardless of what you choose, It helps to know which primary colors and complementary colors belong together(Red-cyan, green-magenta, blue-yellow), as well as red magenta and blue cyan differ.
You can reduce the magenta by around Adjust curvesto increase the complementary color green in relevant areas. Use the color layer mixture to prevent the overall brightness of the image from changing. Use layer masks to isolate changes.
You can do the same with Adjust level, You can use the Auto button or use the Eyedropper tool to select white, gray, and black dots. Then look at each channel to see what the software used as a starting point for your customizations.
Sometimes slightly desaturatedis enough to fix skin tones. Use a layer mask to isolate changes.
Michael C states that he likes HSL / HSV / HSB adjustments. I do not use it at all, because I do not know how to adjust "Hue" to get the intended results consistent.
You can try it too Set temperature and color, (In addition to saturation, these are the main color adjustment tools in Google Photos.)
Some editors included Skin color specific tools, If these are available to you, experiment with them until you find the settings you want.
In your sample image, the "whites" of the girl's eyes are pink. I used the level tool's gray eyedropper to select a point in their sclera. This resulted in RGB gamma settings of (0.71, 1.08, 1.26). Different points give slightly different values, but this is just a starting point, so it does not have to be "perfect".
I changed the gamma values (0.85, 1.08, 1.1) because I thought the result would be too blue / cyan. Then I changed it (0.85, 1.15, 1.1) to reduce the magenta slightly. Her cheeks are still pink, but it should look more natural and maybe more to your liking.
Another approach is to use auto white balance for a copy of the image. Then use the color coat mixture to maintain the luminosity. Adjust the opacity of the color plane to the taste. (I used 50%.) The result is a bit different. (This is an advanced version of the Laurence Payne approach.)