June 22nd, 2010
Beauty 101: How to Do Your Makeup for a Photo
By The Fashion Bomb Staff

You’ve seen it: the cringe-worthy party pics tagged of one of your friends (or even you) where foundation is totally off, eyeshadow looks completely washed out, and lashes are hanging for dear life. *cue Psycho theme song*

What’s a girl to do?

Well with a few techniques, you can ensure you won’t be secretly untagging your pics next time you sign on Facebook. You’re not always guaranteed your photo op will be taken with a high resolution camera so be prepared. Check this out:

Skip any face products that contain SPF (unless you’re taking pics outdoors) as they can tend to make your face look “ashy” and discolored once the flash hits it.

Use a foundation primer like Laura Mercier Foundation Primer or Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer after moisturizing to prep the face for foundation. A good foundation primer will help to reduce the appearance of pores and will allow foundation to last longer.

Use a foundation that isn’t too matte or too dewy. Anything ‘too matte’ can make you look sickly and anything ‘too dewy’ can make you look extremely shiny in photos. For flawless coverage that comes in an amazing amount of shades for skin of color, try Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation. Make sure your foundation matches your neck. And keep in mind that for many brown girls, the use of two different colored foundations may be needed to provide a more natural look since we don’t all come in one even tone.

Carry blot powder or blotting papers to touch-up any shiny areas. Shine will translate to “grease” in a picture. Try MAC Blot Powder (or plain ole toilet paper if you’re in a bind).

This should go without saying, but facial hair + pics = disaster. Get rid of excess facial hair and be sure to properly groom your brows.

Always start with an eyeshadow primer. It’ll make your eyeshadow last longer and the color payoff will be amazing. I can’t say enough about Urban Decay Primer Potion, but MAC Paint is also a good choice, too.

Go easy on the shimmer and glitter or be prepared to look like a disco ball. Also steer clear of chalky colored shades (which some times can look pretty in person) as they can appear stark white in photos. In general matte eyeshadow shades tend to photograph better than their shimmery counterparts, but there are some satin and slightly shimmery finishes that look great on camera, too. The key is balance.

Apply a touch of sheer gold or silver shadow in the inside corners of your eyes to make them appear big and bright. Don’t forget the mascara!

Do NOT forget to apply blush. You may even want to give your cheeks an extra dusting of blush for photographs to avoid looking washed out no matter how light or deep your complexion is. Not sure what to do with blush? Check out my post on Blush 101.

To make lip color more vibrant and to help it last longer, after applying a lip moisturizer (good ole Chapstick works perfectly) line your lips and fill them in with a lip pencil that closely matches your lip color. Blend the pencil so that no sharp lines are visible. Then apply your favorite lip color. Avoid frosty, very glossy, or very shimmery shades as these tend to not translate well in photos. For skin of color, a bold matte or cream lipstick in a vivid shade looks great.

When your face is done, a few spritzes of MAC Fix+ Spray are very necessary to keep skin looking fresh. If you tend to get oily, try Urban Decay De Slick Makeup Setting Spray to help your makeup last and keep shine at bay.

Tools of the Trade:

And that’s all she wrote, folks.

Have any horror or success stories to share about your makeup pics? Leave them in the comments ;)

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14 Responses to “Beauty 101: How to Do Your Makeup for a Photo”

  1. Joanne_ says:

    Hey Danielle!! So I finally used the lustre drops and I, er, uh…..

    LOVE IT!! LOL!

    Ok, so here’s a tragic photo story. This is when I was new to MSF’s and the glittery horror that comes with them. I would apply it all over the face pretty much like you would a face powder! LOL. Went to a dinner party one night, took pics, the next day, I’m tagged in pics. I’m thinking, “yes!” Because I just know I was crute that night. Uh, no ma’am!! I looked like a fool had threw confetti all over my face!! LOL!! Never again.

  2. brittnie says:

    I love this!! Thanks

  3. Danielle says:

    Yay! Glad you liked the lustre drops, Joanne_!

    Girl, I am cracking UP at your MSF story…lol. Especially the “I just I know I was crute that night” part….lol. Which MSF was it?

  4. Cherokee says:

    Thanks Danielle, I have tragic pictures that of course I have been tagged on Facebook. I can deal with the shiny face but what I can’t stand and can’t figure out is how ashy and gray my eyes look in pictures when wearing concealer. What am I doing wrong???? HELP!!!!

  5. Danielle says:

    Hey Cherokee!

    Might be some SPF in that concealer or it *might* be too light. What brand and shade of concealer are you using? Can you link me to a pic of you somewhere—you can email the link to me here: http://www.thestyleandbeautydoctor.com/contact/. I won’t post or share your pics but it helps me help you ;)

  6. Jenn says:

    Hey Danielle,
    This year before my birthday dinner I took pics of myself before heading out. I put on a mix of greens, browns and golds but when I looked at the pics, my eyeshadow looked red in the pics. Why is this?

  7. Joanne_ says:

    It was Cheeky Bronze. I like it now though, now that I know how to use it. Hehehehe

  8. Tiff says:

    Thx for listing the products we can try…so helpful!!! love posts like this:)

  9. kris says:

    love the tips. could u do a post on how to apply foundation and powder so we dont get those awful streaks etc. on our faces. thx

  10. Danielle says:

    Thanks, ladies :)

    Kris, I’ll see what I can cook up ;)

  11. Danielle says:

    @Jenn Hey—what did you put underneath the shadows? Could just be the lighting or the angle of the pic. Can you also contact me here: http://www.thestyleandbeautydoctor.com/contact/ with a link to some pics so I can help you figure out the problem?

  12. Dari says:

    Danielle, this was all too true for me in one picture.

    I took one picture at a club and my eyebrows were gone! I looked like ET and it was not pretty.

    I’ve been darkening my brows before I leave the house ever since, just in case friends want to whip out the camera.

  13. Cherokee says:

    Thanks Danielle, I will get those pics out to you.

  14. [...] our Beauty 101: How to Do Your Makeup or a Photo feature, Fashion Bomb reader Kris recently asked if I could do a post on how to apply foundation [...]

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