Makeup Tips for Taking Better Photos


Article by Hayley Hyer

Photography by Stock Images

We've all been there—you do your makeup to absolute perfection and love what you see in the mirror, but when you see yourself in a photograph, it looks all wrong. Cameras and lighting can make us appear pretty differently than we actually look in person, so to have your face look the way you want it in pictures, you'll have to make some adjustments to your regular makeup routine. Below are some basic tips from photographers to help you feel and look your best in your next selfie or professional shoot!


"Choose a foundation that’s right for your skin type and made to be photographed. It’s best to avoid any varieties with built-in sunscreen, as they don’t play nice with flash photography and can look mask-like in photos. Two of the best camera friendly foundations are Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Coverage Foundation and Revlon PhotoReady Foundation (liquid, mousse or powder)."

—Dallas Curow, Fashion

READ MORE: How to photograph well: Makeup tips to ensure you look as spectacular in pictures as you do in-person


"The eyes are the focal point in most portraits, so you need to make sure the makeup really exaggerates the eyes, so they stand out very well. The bolder the color, the more defined the eyes will be. Even if your subject normally wears brown or gray mascara and eyeliner, bold black will look much better when photographed. You want to use two or three coats of mascara to make sure that the eye lashes will be visible in a photo. Additionally, use an eyebrow pencil to fill in the eyebrows. Fuller brows look much better in a photo than very thin ones. Particularly for subjects with blond and light colored hair, the eyebrows will not show up very well at all in a photo unless you define them with the eyebrow pencil.

For eye shadow, use three shades, even if the color you or your subject chooses is neutral. Sweep the middle shade all over the lid and lower brow bone, dab the lighter color at the inner corner of the eye and apply the darker color just in the crease between the lid and the brow bone. This method creates depth and will make the eyes really stand out in your images."

—Erica Laker, Improve Photography

READ MORE: Makeup for Photoshoots: The Definitive Guide

Lips + Blush

"The color of the lips should be one notch darker than the best look in person. The lips should be shifted in the direction of darker red. Also, lip gloss is often used in making the lips fuller.

Use blush in one small notch darker than the best look in person. However, please make sure to make a few well-diffused applications in small quantities. The first time should be applied and spread in a wide circle, and the second and third in progressively smaller areas. This is to make sure that the edges of the blush are gradual and not abrupt. You can always add more, but once you apply too much, it is tough to blur the edge or remove some."


READ MORE: Makeup Tips for Headshot Photography


"Shimmery makeup is fun to play with, but it doesn’t always look great in pictures. If there are too many bright light sources around your model, the makeup will reflect them and take the spotlight away from other parts of the image.

Don’t go overboard with the highlighter, shimmery lipstick, and glitter eyeshadow. Keep your model’s face as matte as possible so that every part of their makeup complements their face."

—Taya Ivanova, Expert Photography

READ MORE: 10 Best Makeup Photography Tips for Beginners

Translucent Setting Powder

"Setting powder is one of the most important makeup products you can have in your beauty stash. It’s key to ensuring that your carefully-applied beat lasts all day and to keep skin from getting oily. The best setting powders are translucent (or slightly yellow) and are finely milled, so they can be easily blended or wiped away from the skin. One of the other things we love about this product is its universality. Because it has no color, it can be used on any skin tone or undertone without worry.

The only downside to using a setting powder? There’s a little thing called flashback, which occurs when you take a picture using flash and a white cast shows up on the areas where your powder was applied. (You’ve definitely seen it on the red carpet, if not in your own selfies.) This is due to the ingredients in translucent powder — namely silica — that reflect the light and create a white cast. Thankfully, there are a few powders out there that have solved this age-old beauty woe."

Makeup by L'Oréal

READ MORE: 5 Translucent Setting Powders That Won’t Give You Flashback

Related Businesses

Nashville Zoo

Botanical Gardens

Nashville Zoo

Nashville, TN

Nashville Zoo is a progressive and dynamic zoological park serving Middle Tennessee, southern Kentucky and hundreds of...

Powell Gardens

Botanical Gardens

Powell Gardens

Kingsville, MO

Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden, is set on 970 acres of lush, rolling hills. Known for its contemporary...

Museum at Prairiefire

Museums + Art Galleries

Museum at Prairiefire

Overland Park, KS

The Museum at Prairiefire provides ACCESS FOR ALL to understand and celebrate natural history and science. The Museum is open...

See More

Related Articles

See More