Hello Mr. Mig,
Looking at this technique, your doing it very, very simple. The technique your using is the basis of the look you see for magazines. Very important. Where the bluring of a duplicated channel (turned alpha channel). Then you can apply image (channel blending) it on the duplicated BG layer in softlight, hardlight, overlay modes, ect.ect,. Then vary the opacity. Very flexible, even using the adjustment layers for lightening and darkening (burning & dodging) on their (inverted) layer masks. And this method does not give you that (as your demo, shows)....how can I call it.....that video game graphics look (smoothing), low contrast look on the skin (haloing). I have seen images (printed) from magazines that some of the smoothing is overdone and not enough contrast in the skin. But one has to understand the paper (grade) has a lot to do with that too, amoung other thigs as well.. The poorer the paper grade, the more contrast to use. This might be too simple to some, but a very important technique...Even if someone wanted that smoother, haloing look, you just vary the opacity of the blended layer (Duplicate BkGd).
Very good walk through of this technique..... More power to ya.