How to Do Your Makeup for Pictures

mother taking selfie with family

Generally speaking, putting on your makeup for pictures takes a little longer than usual. Whether it's a portrait, a selfie, or another kind of picture, it's all about making your best features stand out and concealing unforgiving areas.

Prime to Perfection

woman applying primer to face

An easy way to make your skin look truly flawless in photos is to use a primer after you've cleansed and moisturized your face. This will smooth your skin and provide the perfect base before makeup application.

Balance Your Skin Tone

concealer under eyes

Color correcting concealers are an ideal way to even your skin tone and make your face look one-dimensional in preparation for foundation. Certain hues can cancel unflattering areas of your face and prevent them from showing up in pictures. For instance, green color correctors reduce redness from blemishes or sunburn and peach color correctors erase dark circles from under your eyes.

Strip Back Your Base

woman applying foundation

Once you've primed and color corrected your skin, you can proceed with foundation. However, try to keep it minimal to avoid it looking too cakey in close-ups and selfies. You could even skip it altogether and opt for something more natural-looking and lightweight, like BB cream or tinted moisturizer.

Contour to Your Heart's Content

woman with highlight and contour makeup on face

It's important your face looks beautifully sculpted and defined for close-ups, so make sure you spend time using a contour palette to draw attention to certain areas of your skin and push back others. A highlighter is a great tool to use primarily on your cheekbones, cupid's bow, the center of your forehead, your brow bones, down the middle of your nose, and in the center of your chin. It will make these areas pop in pictures. Then use a darker cream or powder under your cheekbones, on either side of your nose, around your hairline, and under your jawline to flatter these areas for the camera.

Go Easy With Blush

woman applying blush with a fluffy brush

You want your blush to show up in photos, for sure, but try not to apply too much for a selfie. Otherwise, it might look too over-powering. Grab a big, fluffy powder brush, dip it in your blush, and apply it on the apples of your cheeks once and blend outwards. If you're posing for a far-away shot or portrait, you can repeat this process a few times so your blush doesn't look too subtle.

Translucent Powder Is Your BFF

woman applying translucent powder to face

To achieve a flawless finish that's totally Instagram-worthy, polish your face makeup with a good dusting of translucent powder. Apply lightly with a fluffy brush to eliminate the risk of shine. If you have an area of your skin that's prone to excess grease, pay particular attention to it. After all, if you're using the flash on photographs or taking them in artificial lighting, there's a good chance shiny areas will show.

Layer Your Eyeshadow

smoky eyeshadow makeup

Eyeshadow doesn't always look as prominent as you hope in pictures. To overcome this, apply two or three extra layers of eyeshadow than you usually would before your photo session. Stick to the usual ruling when it comes to bringing out your eyes (a lighter shadow across your lid, a darker contour color in each crease, and a highlighter in the inner corner and along your brow bone) but keep building it until it has the wow-factor.

Fill in Your Brows

Fill in your browns

It's important to fill in your eyebrows so they show up better and add definition to your eye area in pictures. However, try not to use an eyebrow pencil, powder, or pomade that's too dark as it will make your brows look unnatural and inconsistent with the rest of your face. Your natural eyebrow hue is the color they'll look in pictures, so try to stay as close to this as possible.

Accentuate Your Lashes

woman applying artificial eyelashes

Whether you're doing a selfie or a long-distance shot, it's a good idea to accentuate your eyelashes so they don't get lost in the rest of your face. The best way to do this is to apply false lashes that are thicker than your real ones. You can then create more volume with a few slicks of black mascara for a fun, fluttery effect that's exceptionally photo-worthy.

Over-Line Your Lips

woman applying lip liner

To plump your pout and make it look super kissable in photos, over-line your lips. This involves making your lips look bigger by using lip liner to draw a line that's slightly above or below your top and bottom lip. Then fill this in with a bold, rich lipstick for gorgeous smackers that make maximum impact.

Achieving Picture-Perfect Makeup

Perfecting your makeup for pictures can take time. Your results can depend on the type of shot you're taking and the lighting involved, but it's mostly about experimenting with different techniques until you find what works for you and your skin tone. If in doubt, take a test shot and then adjust your makeup accordingly to get the best possible photos.

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How to Do Your Makeup for Pictures