Usually in Photoshop or Elements, enhancing specific areas of a picture is a three-step process: first, you make a selection; second, you create an adjustment layer; and third, you choose adjustment layer settings.
But the Smart Brush tool in Elements offers a way of combining all three steps in a single process. You might try it out once or twice, decide it’s not for you and not use it again. This is because it’s based around the Quick Selection tool, which is certainly quick, but creates very tight selections. These are good for defined outlines but no good for subtly blending an adjustment into surrounding areas. But for certain subjects it’s actually very effective.