1. First, crop your picture. Try to make it interesting. Then resize it to 100 x 100 pixels.
2. Then sharpen and smooth out Mike's skin with the soften tool. Your icon should now look like this:
3. Now, duplicate your base once and set it to Soft Light 100%. Not much of a difference in Mike's picture but still lol
4. Now we are going to use This gradient and set it to Burn 100%. Mike should now look like this:
5. Here's the complicated part. Merge all of your layers. Then, copy the new base and paste it as a new image. Go back to the OLD place you just cut your new base from and UNDO merge all. That's under edit, and click undo merge all. (please tell me if there's any confusion on this)
6. Now, delete the soft light layer and the gradient layer from the layers pallette. In that image, you should be back to the origional sharpened and smooth skinned Mike we started out with. Use your selection tool and cut a peice from that and paste it onto the new Mike pallette. You won't need the old Mike anymore.
When you paste it, paste it to the side so it's not in the way of your base. It should now look like this:
7. DUPLICATE the peice of Mike you just pasted onto your pallette and set it to Screen 100%. It should now look like this:
8. Now, use the pen tool and create a dividing line between the screened peice of Mike and your base.
9. Yes we're getting close unless you're stuck on part #5. It's understandable. Now, use this Light Texture and set it to Screen 100%.
10. Now use this Texture and set it to Screen 100% as well. Your icon should now look like this:
11. Now for the finishing touches. Take your Pen Tool out again and use it in white to make a heart, wave, whatever. Set it to Overlay 100%. Using overlay makes it look cool, but with the Light Texture, it also gives it a unique color to it. It should now look like this:
12. Now, for the text. I used white for the tiny text, sized at around 2 pixels. It doesn't really matter what font you use. My tiny text reads "Macaroni and cheese will make your butt shiny". It's fun to put random things in lol. Keep the blending mode on Normal, just lower the Opacity to 60%.
You are now finished with your icon :D
I hope step 5 wasn't too confusing. I'm obviously bad at explaining.
Show your results if you like :D
*And if ANYBODY knows who made the gradient, the light texture, or/and the spot texture, please tell me so I can credit.