Thanks so much for the feedback. I really appreciate it! ♥
The photograph is just a stock image--so the picture quality is different from the raw images of my photographs that I used to make wallpapers from. It originally has a pastel-pink vintage-like hue but I wanted something darker and of a more regal feel, so I just edited the colors in Ps.
And yep, there's a degree of pixelation that bothered me--but for lack of a better stock (which is another way of saying: I should've looked for a better one )--tried to downplay it by applying a blur. But it seems, the original weakness of the stock didn't escape you~
I've yet to try Topaz Clean though~ Have you tried it? I'm curious as to what in can do... so maybe I can incorporate it in my workflow esp in processing my images. ^^