The beginner’s guide to makeup for photos

A photographer friend wanted to know what advice to give her clients as far as getting ready to have their picture taken because they are busy moms and don’t have much time at their disposal. How you do your makeup for photos and why you need it anyway?

The theory.

Photographs are two dimensional images; therefore the look has to be helped with makeup so that the face doesn’t look flat. You can bring forward the high points of the face by highlighting the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, the center of the chin and cupid’s bow.

Pictures have a tendency to wash-out facial features. Especially if you are fair skinned, you won’t appear as defined as you see yourself in the mirror. To compensate you can accentuate your eyes, brows and lips.

The skin prep.

  • Remember to drink plenty of water and avoid sodium rich (salty or processed) foods the day before to avoid puffiness.
  • Start with a clean face and don’t scrub or do anything that might irritate or redden your face. Moisturize  your face really well. Don’t forget the area around your eyes. Use a lightweight moisturizing and soothing serum. I used First Aid Ultra Repair® Hydrating Serum. I also like Vitamin Enriched Face Base, an advanced oil-free face formula with shea butter that instantly hydrates, softens and cushions the skin.
  • Gently massage your face, relax… you can even add a few drops of lavender essential oil under your nose.
  • Generously apply lip balm. Wait a couple of minutes for everything to completely absorb, while you do your hair.


The makeup.

  • If needed, pinpoint conceal any blemishes, blending at the edges.
  • Fill in your brows with a crayon or powder that is a shade lighter than the color of your brows- you will obtain a softer, more natural look and it can also help add dimension.
  • Curl your eyelashes. Apply two or three coats of mascara. Top and bottom. Clean the under-eye area with a q tip dipped in eye cream.
  • Apply a lightweight concealer under the eye, like Clinique Airbrush concealer tapping gently with your middle finger.
  • Using a sheer lipstick, apply color to the very top of your cheekbone and gently tap it on, then spread it towards the temple to get a rosy glow.
  • Wipe excess balm from your lips if needed. Apply the same same sheer lipstick on the lips. Clinique – Chubby Stick Baby Tint. Be generous, reapply as needed.
  • Lightly powder only the T zone (the forehead, the area around nose and the chin) to avoid shine and maintain a natural, dewy look. I love Charlotte Tilbury air brush flawless finish skin perfecting powder
  • Use a highlighter right above the cheekbone and on the arch under your brow. This Chrlotte Tilburry  is really good. It can be replaced with a drop of baby oil, serum or moisturizer, depending on your skin type. Tap tap tap. You want to do this so the light can bounce off those areas and create a contouring effect (so your face won’t look flat).

This is the actual look  (styling and makeup ) I did for a photo shoot last week.

makeup for photos

I also want to share with you this  5 minute make-up video, great for all those times when you’re in a rush. I admire and love Lisa Eldridge; she’s a renowned international makeup artist and her tips are always on point. Also, this basic powder contouring video if you feel you want to learn more about that.

I hope you find this useful!





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