No brushes, textures, or layers needed to complete the 9 easy steps to do this.
Download the full size image used here
Open it in Photoshop & Crop to 100 x 100 pixels
Filters> Noise> Median
Filters> Sharpen> UnSharp Mask
Image> Adjustments> Auto Color
Image> Adjustments> Levels
Input Levels (the three boxes): 0 0.95 255
Output Levels (the two boxes): 10 244
Filters> Sharpen> Unsharp Mask
It may seem like a whole lot of steps but its just about selecting a tool and moving the sliders) about. Play around. I usually just do Shadow/Highlight, Median and Unsharp mask and its rather quick. You can even Save the settings used or record them via actions.
If there is anything you don't understand or just feel overwhelmed- I'm definitely willing to help ^__^