Years ago I thought I was able to figure out a shots color color correction in post. For the most part that’s true-if I spend enough time working on a photo I can, particularly if I look at it next to another image with proper skintones. I know the approximate color temp. of my strobes (and hotlights if I’m using those).
I’ll tell you what… that’s a very inefficient way of working, and one that I no longer use. Instead I picked up a product that came highly recommended called WhiBal. The one I ordered is credit card sized and I keep it in a pouch in my camera bag. Once my subject is positioned and the studio lights are set, I take one shot with the calibrated gray card in the frame. Then in Photoshop RAW Converter I click the card with the white balance eyedropper and color in the photo pretty much snaps into place. The next step is to select all the images used with the same lighting setup and use the “Develop Settings > Previous Conversion” operation. It will quickly adjust the color temperature and tint to the color corrected image settings.
The reason I believe this product is superior to others on the market is simple. They use a SpectroEye Spectrophotometer on each card before shipping to measure the cards to be spectrally neutral. You can visit their site and watch the infomercials (which are surprisingly interesting), or you can just take my advice, spend 25 bucks and get your own.
One thing I’d like to add is that proper color balanced skintones are not necessary the most flattering tones. But once you know your image is white balanced it makes it much easier to do subtle color tweaks to make your image perfect!