Makeup Tips, Tricks and Products to Help You Look Great in Pictures

Everyone wants to look great, but looking great in person and looking great in pictures are two very different things. Your favorite foundation can be the culprit behind a bright white ghostly glare, your perfect nude lippie can wash you out, and your everyday blush might be invisible in pictures.

Here are some makeup tips, tricks and products to help you look great in pictures.

  • Photography Changes Things 1 of 23

    Whether you're in the studio with a photographer, at a wedding or just out at night with friends, there are going to be pictures. And other people will see them. There are a few general rules that you need to keep in mind with your makeup, but also some very specific steps that I keep in mind whenever doing my makeup when I know cameras will be around.

  • Avoid Shine 2 of 23

    First, your goal should always be a matte or semi-matte finish. Shimmer, glitter and shine often come across as oily or reflect too much light. Keep this in mind when choosing foundation, blush, bronzer and even eye makeup.

    Urban Decay Eye Shadows in Naked and Easy Baked, $18

  • Forget Sun Protection 3 of 23

    Secondly, you should avoid sunscreen. I'm usually a sunscreen fanatic, so this is difficult to recommend, but it is true! Physical sunscreens like Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide work by reflecting light away from the surface of your skin and that's true whether it is sunlight outside at the beach or the flash from a camera. Look for these ingredients in every product you apply to your skin such as moisturizer, primer, foundation and even concealer.

    Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 30 $21
    Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion $26.50

  • Go Bright 4 of 23

    Be sure to remember that the camera will wash out the colors of your makeup. Colors will often look one or two shades lighter, so you'll need to go for brighter and more vibrant colors than usual. Try taking a few test shots to be sure you have the intensity right.

    Stila Convertible Color in Rose and Sweet Pea, $25

  • Prep the Canvas 5 of 23

    The best way to start your makeup is always with great skin. Start out by cleaning your skin and doing a little gentle exfoliation. The goal is a fresh and glowing complexion, not a red and irritated one. You can get this with a scrub, by mixing a little baking soda into your face wash or even just a washcloth. Follow up with a moisturizer which will do double duty by adding hydration and plumping up the outer layer of your skin. Fine lines and wrinkles will be less obvious and your skin will glow!

    Your Best Face Skincare Prep $80
    Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion $26.50

  • Lay the Foundation 6 of 23

    It might not be obvious in person, but your face, neck and upper chest are all different colors. And you'll need to even things out for pictures. Choosing the correct foundation can be tricky, but in general your neck will be the lightest of the three and should be taken into account when picking a shade. Many will apply to the face, down onto the neck, and depending on the occasion, even onto the upper chest.

    MAC Face and Body Foundation $27
    Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation $42
    Revlon PhotoReady Makeup $13.99

  • Don’t Make Yourself a Reverse Raccoon 7 of 23

    A big triangle of very light concealer is currently a "thing," but just because it works for Kim doesn't mean you should do it. When taking pictures, your under-eye concealer color needs to blend into your foundation and shouldn't be obvious. If you don't have a concealer that is close to your foundation shade, try mixing concealer 50/50 with your foundation.

    Benefit Erase Paste $26
    CoverGirl Smoothers Concealer Concealer $7.29
    Smashbox High Definition Liquid Concealer $22

  • When In Doubt, Blend Some More 8 of 23

    You want your foundation and concealer to be seamless from your face onto your neck and down to your chest. Even if you don't see any lines in person, the camera will pick up things you can't see with the naked eye. So, blend, blend and blend!

    BeautyBlender $19.95
    Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush $25

  • Go Matte 9 of 23

    Once your foundation and concealer are on, you'll need to set everything with super-fine powder. Luckily there are some great options out there made just for looking great in front of the cameras! Apply just to your t-zone and blend it in.

    Cargo HD Picture Perfect Translucent Powder $32
    e.l.f. Studio High Definition Powder $6
    Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder $34

  • Consider Tinted 10 of 23

    If you're one of the lucky few who get a white cast from using a translucent powder (try a few test shots to see if this is you), you should opt for a tinted powder instead of translucent.

    Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder $34
    Cargo HD Picture Perfect Pressed Powder $32

  • Blur It Out 11 of 23

    There are a few new products out there that are made to go on over your foundation to help blur any skin imperfections and fine lines. Add a little to the back of your hand and then apply with a very light hand, using a brush. These products take quite a bit of practice, so do a few trial runs first.

    CoverGirl TruMagic Skin Perfector $10.99
    L'Oreal RevitaLift Miracle Blur $24.99

  • Add Dimension 12 of 23

    Once you've applied your primer, foundation, concealer, and powder you've done a great job of flattening out your face. So, you'll need to add some dimension back in! Use a matte, not orange, bronzer around the outside of your face, under your jawline and under the cheekbone. You want the bronzer to be very subtle without any harsh lines.

    Benefit Hoola $28
    Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer $30
    Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer $30

  • Pretty Flush 13 of 23

    Adding a little color to your cheeks is perfect for pictures, but you'll need to do it a little differently than usual. Blush will photograph much lighter than it is in real life, so go for a brighter pop of color than usual. Blush should go only right on the apple of your cheek -- smile to find the perfect place. Don't sweep it back toward your hair line, your bronzer is already placing the emphasis on your cheekbone.

    Cargo Blush in Key Largo, $26
    Maybelline Fit Me Blush in Deep Rose, $5.99

  • Catch a Little Light 14 of 23

    Now that your face is completely matte, you can add a little glow back in! Highlighting selected areas can really make your complexion glow, but you'll need to be stingy with the highlighter. Use a subtle, light catching shimmer on your upper cheekbone, brow bone and Cupid's bow.

    Benefit Watt's Up $30
    NARS The Multiple in Copacabana, $39
    e.l.f. Essential Shimmering Facial Whip $1

  • More Primer 15 of 23

    You'll need to prime yet another area: your eyes. This primer will help cover up any blood vessels, grab on to your shadow (preventing fall out), and even make it blend more easily and last for hours.

    Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eye Shadow Primer $20
    NYX Eye Shadow Base $7
    e.l.f. Essential Glitter Primer $2

  • Emphasize Your Eyes 16 of 23

    The answer to showing off your eyes is not dark eye shadow and more of it. Instead, go for a look that is less harsh ... think plums, navy and brown instead of black, if you want a smoky eye. Lighter shades with a bit of an emphasis at the lash line and crease are also great for opening up the eye.

    Urban Decay Naked Basics $27
    NYX Love in Rio Shadow Trio in Voodoo Love Spells, $6

  • Eyeliner is Your Friend 17 of 23

    Even if you don't usually do it, this is a step you shouldn't skip! The extra definition around your eyes can make a big difference. Don't use a thick line of pencil, as that will make your eyes look smaller. Instead use a thin line of liner right in your lash line and smudge it out with a smudging brush. To make sure you get the light look, try using a dark shadow and an angled brush instead.

    e.l.f. Essential Smudge Brush $1
    Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Damsel, $20

  • Lash It 18 of 23

    Yes, it is true that false eye lashes look amazing in pictures. But if this isn't a look you're used to, they can be hard to pull off. Instead, curl your lashes and follow up with mascara. Layering a volumizing mascara with a lengthening formula can give you the look of false lashes, but keep a lash brush handy in case of clumps.

    CoverGirl Bombshell Volume Mascara $11.99
    Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara $23
    CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara $6.89

  • Frame Your Eyes 19 of 23

    One of the steps that most women forget, but will give you the best pay off, is filling in your brows. You don't need to go crazy, just a little extra definition is all you need. Use a pencil or brow powder that is 1-2 shades lighter than your brows, unless your brows are blonde -- go darker in that case. Lightly fill in and emphasize your arch, then comb with a spoolie brush to soften the look and straighten your eyebrow hairs.

    IT Cosmetics Your Brows But Better Brow Power Skinny Pencil $24
    Too Faced Bulletproof Brows $30

  • Smooth Imperfections 20 of 23

    Once your moisturizer has absorbed, you should continue prepping your face with primer. This will help foundation to glide over imperfections like large pores and give you a more perfect complexion. Look for a primer that will help you achieve a semi-matte finish. If you have oily skin, try a shine absorbing primer and those with dry skin should try a hydrating primer to avoid any flaking skin.

    Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer $34
    Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer $36

  • Pucker Up 21 of 23

    You might be a lip balm girl in your every day life, but you need something with a bit of color for pictures or your lips will disappear. A neutral lipstick works great for formal occasions since lipstick trends change every season.

    Too Faced La Créme in Nude Beach, $21
    Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté in Nude Beige, $34
    Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color in Just Peachy, $2.29

  • Lipstick Alternative 22 of 23

    If you're not a lipstick person, consider filling in your lips with a lip liner and then adding a gloss on top. You'll get a little color and shine without the heavier look of a lipstick.

    Wet n Wild Color Icon Liner Lip Pencil in Brandywine 666, $1.49
    MAC Lip Liner in Spice, $15
    Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lipgloss in Streak, $19

  • Keep It in Place 23 of 23

    If your skin is oily or you'll be dancing for hours, you might want to consider a setting spray once your makeup is done. It will keep everything in place and can offer other benefits like oil absorption.

    Skindinavia Bridal Setting Spray $29
    Urban Decay De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray $29

Read more from Christine on Babble and her blog, 15 Minute Beauty. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Article Posted 4 years Ago

Videos You May Like