There was a time when an unflattering photo could be your secret shame, hidden in a drawer forever. Then along came Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you name it—and now every double-chinned, shiny face can be immediately broadcast to family, friends, and the world at large. Armed with these expert tips on makeup, hair, and strategic posing, though, you’ll be picture-perfect in no time.
For Planned Pictures
Conceal lightly. A face masked in foundation will look flat and pasty in photos, says Morgen Schick, a beauty expert and the author of Your Makeover ($10, amazon.com). For a more natural effect, use concealer only to hide imperfections (say, redness around your nose) and shadowy areas, both of which may be amplified by the glare of a flash. Not sure where your facial shadows lurk? Look in the mirror while tilting your chin down an inch or two. You’ll probably notice darkness around your eye sockets and the folds that bracket your mouth, under your lip line, and on your chin.
Tap concealer over those areas with your pinkie until the makeup melts into your skin, then use a puff to press a translucent matte powder on your forehead, down the center of your nose, and onto your cheeks and chin. “These areas tend to look greasy when light hits them,” says Schick. Stay away from foundation and powder with sparkly mica. Allover shimmer will just look allover shiny in photos.
Enhance your eyes. To make sure yours pop when the flash does, focus on defining your brows and lash lines. Fill in your brows with a pencil or a powder (taupe if your hair is light, brown if it’s dark). Then intensify your upper lash lines by working liner into the bases of your lashes, says beauty expert Carmindy, the makeup host of TLC’s What Not to Wear. (Skip lining the bottom lashes or your eyes will look closed in.) Follow that with mascara on the upper and lower lashes.
Add some color. Without blush, your face can look pale or washed-out in a photo, even if your skin is naturally dark. Lightly apply a warm rose, pink, peach, or coral to the apples of your cheeks, starting from the point below your irises and working out to your temples. (Don’t go any closer to your nose, as this can make your eyes appear close-set.) Keep the blush sheer (think of creating a watercolor effect), so the look is romantic, not Raggedy Ann.
Want to look your very best when taking pictures? Here are even more tips and trick on how to look great in photos.