Going to show you how to go from this
This tutorial was originally done in Photoshop 7.0 but should easily translate into other versions and programs.
We're going to start with this image of Mariacarla Boscono.
Open that, then open a new 100X100 canvas with the background set to white. Resize and move your image around until you have it just how you want to. Mine came out like this:
Looks kinda "blah," huh? Sharpen the layer once, then duplicate it twice. Set the middle layer to Soft Light 100% opacity and the top layer to Screen at 50%. Oooh, much better:
Create a new layer on top of this and fill it with #F8BB9A and set it to Overlay.
Now it's time for fun with gradients. First I made this one
set to Saturation.
set to Soft light.
I then used this brush
by _joni in colour 7DA7D9 set to Multiply at 40% opacity.
Looking good so far. Still kinda plain though. So I went back to the original photo and picked out a few bits I liked. Then I cropped, resized, and repositioned them over what we already have. I then sharpened each one to clean them up a bit. Each of the three mini images is on its own little layer--this is important for the next step.
Ctrl-click on one of these layers in the layers palette to load its selection. Then create a new layer UNDER it. Go to Select > Modify > Expand by 1 pixel. Flood this with black to create a little border. Repeat this with all 3 small images. Merge (Ctrl-E) each image with its border layer.
At this point, I took the layer with the eyes, duplicated it, desaturated the duplicate, and set it to 33% opacity. I repeated this step with the other two layers, using different opacities on the desaturated copies to obtain different effects. The hand is set to 20% and the one with the arm (and boob) is set to 75%. The eye layer was bugging me, so I merged the normal and desaturated layers and flipped them horizontally. I'm satisfied, so I merged ALL the mini-image layers together.
Then I took this filter by colorfilter
and set it to Overlay, then moved it under the mini-image layer. I erased the bits that were covering unwanted areas and it came out like this:
Neat. But what about the mini-images? They should be fancy too. So I took this base (also by colorfilter)
and placed it on top of the mini images. Then Ctrl-G it (the command is "group with previous" but I don't remember where that is on the command menus.) so that it only covers the layer with the mini images. I set this layer to Overlay and ta-da!
Woosh. It's really coming along now!! I hardly do an image anymore without using some sort of light texture, so I took this
light texture (again by colorfilter and set it to Screen. I moved it around a little bit until I liked its effect. Then I moved it under both the blue border brushy thing layer and the mini images layer. I wound up with this:
Looks good. I then added a some text and lowered the opacity of the text to 66%. A random text brush by colorfilter and we're done! wow, it's gorgeous!
Remember, this icon is only an example. Please do not follow it step by step to create the exact same icon. Instead, use it as a way to learn new techniques that you can apply in your own creative ways.