Beauty 101: How to Do Your Makeup for a Photo

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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