This is a question I’ve gotten a lot actually – so here I am with some makeup tips regarding makeup in photos! These tips don’t apply to everyday makeup, so everything you’ve learned and have been doing is most likely fine. That being said – let’s get down to business!
1. Always apply color to the lips and cheeks!
This is a really good starting point – what we’re looking to create is contrast on the face! Photography tends to flatten the features and make our best features look less prominent. You really want to use your makeup to bring those features forward…oh, and when I tell you to apply color, don’t think I’m saying “you need a red blush and a red lipstick!”. In the picture above (which you’ll have to excuse – the party was very warm) I’ve used a small amount of matte bronzer for contour and lightly dusted some plum blush over the cheekbones and into the temples – then I applied a bit of a peachy-nude lip color for cohesion. If I was to skimp on the color, how do you think my face would have looked?
2. Avoid foundations and concealers with heavy sunscreens!
A foundation with a built-in sunscreen can be a fantastic product (if the SPF is 30 or higher) – but avoid using one on days when you know you’re going to be photographed! This is a really common problem for a lot of people – they’re taking pictures only to find that they look “ghosted”…well, I’ve done some research and it turns out that the sunscreen in most foundations actually reflects light and contributes to a ghostly appearance in flash photography. A simple (and foolproof) solution would be to just avoid foundations containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (the two are mixed to create UVA/UVB protection) – that way you don’t have to worry!
3. Avoid translucent powders – instead, reach for a powder with a yellow tinge!
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip…translucent powders typically have the same properties of a sunscreen in the sense that they tend to reflect light (often to diminish the appearance of imperfections). Once again, this can make the skin look ghostly (or gray, depending on the skin tone) and really works to flatten your most beautiful features. A good solution would be to reach for a powder with a yellow tinge – they don’t have this effect in flash photography (and are also fantastic for setting under eye concealer)!
Important Note: I’ve personally used two translucent setting powders that haven’t given me any problems…one would be Make Up Forever’s HD setting powder (which is a makeup must-have for most people anyways) – the other is Kryolan’s mattifying powder (when I spoke to one of their representatives at IMATs, I believe she said it was the rice bran powder that made it safe for flash photography). Sometimes things aren’t rules - just generalizations to make things easier - this is one of those times!
4. Use matte colors!
Now, this is something you’ve probably noticed – piling on the shimmer can actually make your face look oily(crazy right?)…this becomes more true for photos because any light reflected is going to be easily picked up by the photographer. Remember – pigment is lost in photos – so apply a good base and really saturate your lid! In regards to textures on the eye it’s totally up to you – remember though, saturate!
5. Apply your makeup in natural light (or at least good lighting).
This one goes without saying – for me there’s been quite a few times where I’ve been in a pinch and left the house looking like an oompa loompa simply due to the terrible lighting in my bathroom. Obviously these are things that we can work around – and it’s a pretty easy fix, but it’s so much easier when you just don’t have to! I always tell clients to apply their makeup in a well-lit room – that way their colors are going to appear in their true capacity, and it’s going to be a lot easier to see the areas of the face you’re looking to correct…which obviously contributes to a more professional application and a more beautiful you!
Do you have any “picture perfect” rituals you’d like to share?