I did some photography for an older lady and she said she wanted some wrinkles and blemishes taken out. I thought maybe this tool would also work when painting a portrait from a photo, if you get the same request about blemishes, etc.
You pull up the photo in photoshop and use the Orton effect. The steps are listed at this site:http://www.practicalphotoshopmag.com/2012/06/11/orton-effect-try-this-quick-soft-focus-photoshop-trick/
You can make the effect more or less extreme depending on preference.
Here is a photo of how I used the effect on a photo of the cutest granddaughter in the world.