Although I used my CS5 for virtually everything, I havent really bothered too much with effects plug ins. So I thought I would ask you guys what you have plug in wise when your having a mess about. Bllack and white, sepia effects etc, not specifically for Model work just general.
If you are looking for click and play the OnOne suite is pretty good, though it does need a reasonably powerful computer to handle it.I have it for a bit of fun. The B&W module is superb and worth having on its own, the perfect portrait crap for anything other than the odd image, masking is now built in and pretty awesome and perfect effects provides a good range of styles that can be tweaked and stacked. Perfect resize is what was once called Genuine Fractals
On the downside I do find it quite clunky compared to Photoshop though and have moved back more towards using that with actions lately.
They do free versions of the individual modules along with a 30 day trial so the easiest is to have a play and see what you think.
Back on topic... The only general effects plug-in I use is DXO Film Pack as it has some nice B&W presets as well as one or two colour ones.
I've also got the Nik Suite (now Google) but never used it as I've been a bit disappointed by the quality of some of the colour & B&W conversions it produces and haven't the patience to persevere further with it.
I've tried various Topaz plugins, didn't like them as many of the effects looked too fake/over the top (they all look a bit HDR-like as if trying to replicate the effects of some low-budget TV sci-fi series).
Imagenomic Portraiture I use all of the time for skin work, worth every penny IMO.
I also use Red Giant's Knoll Light Factory in moderation. Expensive but is occasionally on sale and there's not really anything else like it.
I'd actually like to try On One's suite mentioned above but since I'm still on CS4 I can't.
In all fairness, if it's colour effects you're after it would be wise to invest time into developing your own curve presets and save them in PS. Lots of companies are doing this and making a lot of money out of them (companies like Little Lusker, Totally Rad and Greater Than Gatsby to name a few).
I have Imagenomic Portraiture, NIK Silver Effects (now Google) and Alien Skin. I used to use them all regularly up until a couple of years ago but hardly ever do so now. Personally I find the ability to create styles (Capture One) and Presets (Lightroom) far more flexible and quicker to apply to a bunch of images in one go. In Photoshop if I want a colour wash I'll just use solid colour layers (typically Lighten or Multiply blend modes), selective colour layers and eyeball it.
For skin smoothing I just use the patch tool and then D&B to eliminate bags and enhance contour.
My point being I think plug-ins are something you grow out of once you become familiar with the tools in your RAW processor or Photoshop.
It also needs Photoshop CS6 or higher to run it, and it's worth noting that many plug-ins are moving away from supporting older versions of PS so it's always a good idea to check before buying.
The version I have does not require Photoshop at all and even the 'Photoshop' version does not use Photoshop itself. That was stopped back around version 4 or 5. It does the job then returns the image to PS once sorted. This computer only has 5.1 but never had an issue with sending to and from PS with version 9 of OnOne. Do have a problem with OnOne if I try too much with it but considering this started as a XP machine and is nowhere near the minimum spec its a wonder the set up works at all. There is a free demo so time enough to find out and ask questions. They are pretty good at dealing with customer queries.